Do We Have to Feed Our Wedding Vendors?
“Do we have to feed our wedding vendors?” is a question we get asked all of the time. The short answer is, well, YES!
It's no secret that most of your vendors are going to be by your side on the day of your wedding for eight or more hours. This includes your photographer, videographer, DJ and wedding planner/coordinator. Whether you are providing a plated meal, buffet, or serving family style, be sure to provide a meal to any vendors who will be attending your reception or working long hours the day of your wedding. One other thing to keep in mind is to always be sure to read your vendor contracts in detail. Some of the vendor's contracts make it clear that a meal must be provided, no exceptions. Some contracts even go as far as mentioning that a hot meal must be provided (sometimes boxed lunches serve as an alternative to cut down on costs).
The next thing you should consider is timing and where your vendors should sit. Your vendors should be one of the first tables served, right after the bride and groom and parent tables, of course. For example, you will want your photographer to be able to sit down and eat his/her meal at the same time the bride and groom are doing so. Then, when toasts or some other type of photo opps come up, your photographer can quickly spring into action and get back to his/her job. This allows allows the vendors to be on the same page as you are so that once you’re finished eating, they are too, and the night can keep moving forward.
Now, as for where your vendors should sit, you're working with a few options here. We've had some couples seat their vendors with their wedding guests, which can get, well, kind of awkward. Another option is to set aside a designated table specifically for your vendors. Oftentimes this table ends up being in the back corner of the room, but still within view of the head table so we can see what’s going on. However, this additional table is definitely not needed and can actually end up being an added expense with the additional linen, centerpiece and glassware/china if you happen to outsource. It is definitely a nice touch though and typically preferred by us vendors :) Another option is if you're getting married in a hotel, for instance ,an ideal location would be in the hotel restaurant/bar area or foyer/cocktail hour area. Just make sure your wedding planner/coordinator is keeping tabs on the timing of events and reports back to the other vendors. If toasts are going to begin a little sooner than expected, you'll want to make sure your photographer, videographer and DJ are in on the action and that absolutely nothing is missed!
If you have any further questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to ask us!