As Kona Wedding Planners and Coordinators, we are often asked about gratuity for your Hawaii Wedding Vendors
So who should be tipped? The short answer is: It is completely up to you.
For a longer answer, Here Comes the Guide has an outstanding and detailed article on the topic. I recommend checking that out but have summarized my perspective below.
Specific to what we have seen in Hawaii, we usually notice clients tip their vendors that are providing a service rather than a product. This would include your photographer, videographer, officiant, musician, stylist, DJ and planner. They less commonly include the florist, equipment rental company or calligrapher. For your caterer, bartender, transportation provider or resort staff, gratuity or service charges are often built in but it is important to double check your contracts to confirm this.
In regards to amount, it is not as clear cut as restaurant service expectations. In other words, 15% is not a requirement. For example, your photography contract will likely be multiple thousands of dollars and a smaller percentage will still be perfectly acceptable and welcome. Ultimately, it is up to your discretion. I can tell you that vendors certainly appreciate it but it is not always expected or required.