When it comes to tipping, wedding DJs, and wedding vendors in general, are not exempt from tipping. Remember, your wedding vendors are still providing a service to you and your guests. The biggest question is, how much should you tip your wedding DJ or band? Do you have to tip them or any of your wedding vendors? The short answer is: it depends. You may be wondering, well, it depends on what?
Believe it or not, some wedding vendors have tipping built into their contract. Some vendor contracts will specifically add a 15% - 25% gratuity onto the total bill for the servers or other staff. We've seen many venues do this, catering companies, bartending companies, and yes, even wedding DJ companies, too! We get it, tipping is a nice way to incentivize the staff who work to do a great job, but in our opinion, it's more beneficial to the vendor than you. Why? Well, this is money that they can promise their own staff, without having to directly pay it out of their own pockets or profits. You, the client, are directly paying the gratuity. Is it fair? Yes and no.
Yes, it's fair, because well, it will be in the contract that this is required and hopefully, you read the contract thoroughly! No, because vendors should want to pay their staff well and not force the clients to spend more, just to keep the staff happy. This is our policy. We don't require tipping and leave it 100% up to the client. If the client wants to tip us, great! If they don't, that's totally okay, too! We're happy to get a "thank you," and always very happy to get a great review from happy clients!
We pay our DJs a great pay rate to keep them happy and we offer our own bonus programs and incentives. None of which rely on the client to pay for. We're certainly not bashing anyone who does include mandatory tipping. We're just choosing to do things differently. The main reason is because tipping should always be optional, in our opinion. If you're less than happy with the service, being forced to tip for a service you were unhappy with just doesn't seem fair to us. :(
Our advice is to read the contracts, thoroughly, and find out about tipping, if it isn't in the contract. If it's mandatory, ask about what happens if you're not 100% happy with the service? Are you still required to tip for bad service? Hopefully not!
The bottom line is this: If you're 100% happy with your service and feel a tip would be a great idea (if it's not mandatory in the vendor contract) a 10% - 20% tip would certainly be appreciated by your wedding DJ! Many times, clients will simply tip $50 - $150 to the wedding DJ and this is more than acceptable. We know that some wedding DJ companies can charge upwards of $2000 - $4000, which means $200 - $400 tip (for 10%) and this is a lot! We get it. Do you have to tip even 10% - 20% of the bill? No, you do not.
As stated above, $50 - $150 is the average tip we've seen. You can tip more, or even less, if you'd like. Remember, wedding DJs get paid a decent salary and are not paid $2.14 like some waitstaff may be paid at a restaurant. If your wedding DJ is not getting paid what they want to be paid and expect a tip, that's a problem for the DJ company to solve, not you. There is not any DJs making minimum wage or less, for their work, so don't worry if you don't have the budget to tip 10% - 20% of the total bill. Again, your DJ will be happy with any tip that you do leave, because at the end of the day, wedding DJs want their clients to be happy and a happy client that simply says "thank you for doing a great job" is always appreciated, with or without a tip! :)
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