Do You Need to Feed Your Wedding Vendors?

Not sure whether or not you need to provide food and drinks for your wedding pros? Read this.
by Sophie Ross

Feeding your wedding vendors isn’t just the polite thing to do—it’s necessary. Think of it this way: Just like anyone else who works a solid eight hours at a time, they too need to refuel with some food in order to stay focused. You don’t want a woozy, hangry photographer, do you? Below, find out how to make sure your pros are well fed.

Don’t Forget Anyone

Think of the ones that will actually be at your reception. This typically includes your photographer, videographer and wedding planner, along with your entertainment—whether it’s a one-man DJ or a four-person band. You obviously don’t need to provide for the ones that won’t actually be in attendance (for instance, your florist and baker). Allocate meals accordingly.

Read the Contracts

More often than not, meal needs will be specified in your vendors’ contracts, so read over those first and foremost. To be safe, talk to them directly regarding any allergies or dietary restrictions so you’re not in a bind on your wedding day when you find out they’re vegan and all you have to serve them is steak.

Talk to Your Caterer

Dietary restrictions pending, you should ideally feed your vendors the same meal you’re serving your guests. When you’re negotiating your budget and finalizing your head count, you can simply tell your caterer how many vendors you have to feed—everyone has different practices, but some will charge you less (or nothing) for the vendors’ plates. But take note, if you’re serving a very fancy (read: expensive) meal, caterers might be able to offer a different meal option for vendors—something slightly less fancy, like a sandwich with chips. (But the more substantial the meal, the better.)

Provide a Table

Your vendors need a place to sit while they eat too (this might be specified in their contracts as well). The best option is to simply seat all of your vendors together and have them enjoy their meals while everyone else is dining too. That way, your photographer won’t miss any potential shots, and your DJ or band can simply have some background music on autoplay while everyone’s busy eating.

Remember It’s Okay to Say “No”

Just because you’re providing meals for your vendors doesn’t mean they get free rein at the open bar. It’s an unspoken rule that your vendors shouldn’t drink (they’re on the job, after all), but you can specify that you need them to abstain from alcohol at the reception. Additionally, if you see one of the band members scarfing down hors d'oeuvres at the cocktail hour, feel free to have your wedding planner or maid of honor kindly tell them there are only enough appetizers for your guests.   

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