Vendor Meals - Should you feed your vendors?

By John Morgali

Right now there is a column up on The Knot about wedding planning basics.  In the article there is a section of questions and answers.  One of which I wish to address in this post.

The article in question specifically covers feeding your vendors.   Paraphrasing, it says, feel free to not feed your vendors if your vendor does not have it in their contract.  If you are having a wedding which is a full-day event, and your vendors are videographers, or photographers, or musicians, I have to whole-heartedly disagree with this advice, and I will tell you why this is bad advice. 

First, Your wedding professional is working hard on your day for you.  This means that they are burning calories, for you, to help build the wonderful memories you are expecting from your day.  When you burn calories, you need to take in calories to stay on your game.  It's just basic biology.  The last thing you want on your wedding day, is for your photographer or videographer to be off their game, getting light-headed or thinking about the pain in their stomachs, as you toast over a hearty meal.  

Second, if you feed your vendors a "vendor meal", that is fine, but please make sure that your vendors are served when you are.  It is important that the vendor have time to consume that meal and be ready to work when the work is needed.  Does the father of the bride want to provide an impromptu speech towards the end of the meal?  Great!  Your vendor should be available for this, and feeding them when you are fed helps make this happen.  Every photographer and videographer I have had the pleasure of working with, including myself, eats at a speed that could be considered competitive eating. Providing vendor meals at the same time as the guests receive their meals can really help out!

One more thing that venues will do on occasion, is feed vendors in a separate "vendor room" away from the guests.  After all, you don't want a vendor eating with your guests!  This is fine for the event staff, waiters and waitresses, but not so good for the people documenting your event, or performing at your event.  If they are in another room, it will be difficult at best for them to notice that dad wants to provide that impromptu toast, or that something funny and/or memorable has happened that you would have cherished having documented. 

With these thoughts in mind, please plan to feed your professional wedding photographer, videographer, band, dj, etc in the same room.  Plan for a table, out of the way if that is your preference, for your vendors to utilize, or if you like, tell your vendors they are every bit as much guests as your friends and family are, and should sit with them!

This is years of experience saying that I, as your photographer, don't want to miss anything important to you!  Help me make your day the best it can be. 

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