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Tips and Incidentals

January 02, 20234 min read

Tips and Incidentals


One expense most couples don’t consider: tipping vendors.

While this remains a controversial topic, it is up to you whether you will tip in addition to the cost of each vendor.

The ‘rule of thumb’ is to tip an employee of the vendor based on performance. So, if you see someone going over and above, tipping them would be appropriate.

From where I sit, however, you won’t notice much of anything because you’ll be distracted by everything else. You just got married and it’s your party! You’re not going to notice anything because you’re delighted, elated and exhausted!

Also, while Vendors should consider every cost into their quote, some vendors do expect a tip though they’d never say as much. If their industry is one where they receive tips outside of your wedding, they expect a tip. In order to be prepared ahead of time, ask this question while you’re working out your contract. They may have it built into their expenses already.

I want to add here, it is never rude to ask clarifying questions.  Getting married isn’t something you do every day, so you truly don’t know the answer to this question. It is polite to ask. Besides, you should know what to expect, not be broke for your honeymoon or upset with a vendor because of money.  You can also ask that any tip they wish to receive be included into their contract so you know up front.






Be prepared! There will be additional costs that arise without warning. Like flowers that arrive to the venue half wilted, or a Ring Bearer who outgrew his wedding outfit (someone else troubleshoot this, please!).

A good rule of thumb is when you’re talking with Vendors, ask specifically, “What are the extra costs involved?” Unless you ask, they may not remember to tell you that their assistant gets an additional hourly rate, or that there is a disposal fee, or-well, you name it. Read every contract and ask clarifying questions.

I encourage the couple to have $500-$1,000 set aside for incidentals, depending on the budget. The suggestion is 20%, but when you’re working on a tight budget, that may not be enough. This is where I suggest being over-prepared.

You may only use $100 on sending someone on a quick run to grab more drinks/flowers/plates for the reception, and having that money set aside-and in cash- will be a lifesaver!


A few common additional costs could include:

Replacement Flowers (more often than you think)

Guests that did not R.S.V.P. (meal, seat, place setting, etc.)

Weather related items: Sunscreen or umbrellas

Clothing mishaps (wrong shoes, someone forgot a bra (this happened!)

Additional food or beverages (Plan well--I’ve had this happen, too!)

Additional time at the Venue:

  • Cost of Venue

  • Staff Overtime

  • DJ

  • Photographer

  • Servers

  • Bartender

  • Clean up crew

  • Rental Charges


While a lot of the incidental expenses should be written into your contracts, some are going to be unavoidable.

Here are some tips on saving the headache of additional expenses on your Wedding Day:

  • Having a well-worded invitation with RSVP card and deadline

  • You also know who won’t RSVP but will show up. Add them to your guest list. It’s not worth the headache.

  • Budget into your contract for 10% additional guests

  • Be clear with the Wedding Day Coordinator about your timeline, your budget and your guest list. This person will keep the day moving forward and get people out of the venue in time.

  • Order flowers from a reputable source.

  • Even fake flowers take time to “fluff up” Order early

  • Fresh Flowers need a keen eye-your Coordinator should approve any vendor flowers that arrive and trouble shoot if they’re wrong

  • If you are DIY’ing your flowers give yourself enough time.

  • 2 days for fresh (store cold)

  • 3 months for fake (and give yourself a deadline of 30 days before your wedding to have everything finished)

  • Plan for weather

  • Sunscreen

  • Bug spray (candles/lights/rings)

  • Umbrellas

  • Tents (early Spring/late Autumn especially)

  • Have a clothing checklist for ALL Attendants

  • Most often forgotten clothing item: Men’s shoes.

While this is not an exhaustive list, the point I want to make is that there will be something you need to pay for on your wedding day, so be prepared. And, if you don’t—you have extra cash for your honeymoon. An unexpected blessing!

Happy Planning!~Corri








Wedding tipsWedding incidentalsbudget weddingDIY WeddingDIY Bride

Corri Lewis

Corri has been planning weddings and events for over 3 decades and has authored 4 books (keep an eye open for book #5!) She loves everything about weddings--and, as her husband says, 'can squeeze a dollar out of every nickel'! She is a DIY'er at heart, and loves to create beauty on a budget!

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