Feeding the DJ/vendors + open bar

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
4029 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

artdeco:  First, I think you do provide a vendor meal (usually a reduced cost…mine were each like $15-$20) for each vendor. It’s polite as they are doing hard work for you. I would budget for 3 vendor meals into your total food budget. Professional vendors will NOT drink alcohol while working your wedding. Water and/or soda, absolutely. None of our vendors even neared the open bar the entire night. 

ETA: Vendor coordinator…I don’t think so. We had one (and she had an assistant), but the chef tends to cook about 20% more than what is needed-we weren’t charged for this, it’s a just in case they mess something up thing- and the coordinators ate from that. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  KatiePi.
Post # 3
Member
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I think we had 14 vendors at our wedding. Our venue charged us $50 per vendor. They did not get a seat. I’ve never heard of them being a part of the seating arrangements. Also, like a PP stated professional vendors will not drink alcohol so the open bar shouldn’t be a worry….

Post # 5
Member
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

artdeco:  I would absolutely feed the dj.  I get the whole idea of saving money by letting them have a break where they can go get food, but there’s two things to think about.  First they may not be willing/allowed to leave once all their equipment is set up.  Its expensive stuff to leave unattended while they run and get food. Second I would not want my vendors leaving until everything is done.  What happens if they get a flat tire, stuck in traffic etc? For me it would be worth the extra money to feed them to not be sitting there at 6:20/6:30 going “where are they, why aren’t they back yet…?”

Post # 6
Member
1788 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Both of my photographers sat down and ate a regular plated meal with our guests. They all got along great, and my photogs also said they don’t do photos during dinner time, so it was a successful arrangement. Our contract was for 5 hours, but they just asked me to tell them when I expect them to be done (even though they knew what time to arrive), and they stuck around a little after that anyway, so I can’t help you with whether dinner time is going to come out of your 6 hours or not. 

My DJ said we don’t have to feed him, but when I said we would anyway, he just asked that a plate be brought up to his station. Apparently he just eats as he works, and the plate is completely hidden from view so nobody ever notices. His was also a regular meal. However, my venue was a golf club with their own kitchen and a restaurant on site, so they charge a very reasonable $30-35 per plate for weddings and banquets, and all this business of $100 meals for a wedding is not something I had to deal with. 

None of the vendors drank (as far as I know), and I didn’t mention it because I thought nobody would be stupid enough to get drunk on the job. I figured if they wanted a cocktail and it doesn’t interefere with their work or make them noticeably tipsy, I wasn’t going to worry about it. I didn’t play coy about meals, I just directly asked what kind of arrangement they prefer.

Post # 7
Member
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

We had a non-traditional reception (heavy apps only, no seated meal), so we asked our vendors what they’d like – either a boxed lunch from Jimmy Johns, or the apps. Our DJ said we didn’t need to feed him, our coordinators and photogs went with the apps, and our video team had the boxed lunch. We did not have to pay for the bar for them (either soft drinks or alcohol) It takes two seconds to email and ask them and you know they’ll be happy – try that 🙂

Post # 8
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I am having 10 vendors, my venue does not have a vendor meal so I will be providing full 5 course meals to all my vendors and they will be seated at a table. Since there is 10 of them I will have a table just for them. I do have a open bar, and I don’t mind the vendors having a beer or whatever but I do expect them to be proffessioanl since they are there to provide me with a service…that being said I can’t expect them to work 8+ hours and not feed them, last thing I need is one of them to pass out lol

Post # 9
Member
1570 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Vendors should NOT be seated with guests (unless a situation where the are a friend).  The guests at that table may feel like they are second class guests.  Most venues will have a room or area the can eat.  

Post # 10
Member
2264 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

artdeco:  Vendors are not usually seated with guests but they are usually fed. You should want to feed your vendors and give them a moment to sit and recharge their batteries. The happier they are, the better they will be be for you!

We are feeding all 14 of our vendors. Our venue provides a “vendor” meal which is the same thing as the guest meal, but it is heavily discounted to account for the fact that our vendors won’t be eating during cocktail hour, nor will they be drinking any alcohol.

I think you ought to feed them and find them a seperate space to eat (where they can sit!) Our vendors will be eating in the cocktail space because it’s different from the reception space.

I would call your venue — I’m sure they do this all the time! Ask where vendors are normally seated and ask about discounted vendor meals. 

Post # 11
Member
1892 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We had a table assigned just for vendors. We fed 4 vendors a full sit down meal. The Dj had music on auto play for the whole 10-15 mins he ate… And the photographer also ate pretty quick. I think it’s rather rude to expect the vendors to be standing and not eat at all.

Post # 12
Member
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

artdeco:  are you sure it’s a different meal? My venue have them the same food that all the guests had. They also ate some of the cocktail hour food because I saw them when they were passing around food. I saw my videographer and his assistant eating shrimp and some other stuff.

Post # 13
Member
1788 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

In response to some of the posts about seating vendors at separate tables, I wanted to clarify that both my banquet coordinator and the photographers said that they’re most frequently seated at tables with guests. Since I had only 2 vendors that would be sitting down for the meal, seating them separately off to the side didn’t seem like a good option anyway. But again, the bottom line is just to ask everyone involved about it directly. Obviously things are done differently at different venues and possibly among different circles. I know my friends had fun sitting with the photogs and everyone really got along, but I suppose some people might take offense, and I admit that I considered very carefully which table would be the most appropriate for them.

Post # 14
Member
4029 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

artdeco:  My vendors were served what we served our guests but at the kid price since they wouldn’t be enjoying the open bar. I would check with your coordinator-it doesn’t seem to make sense to make something entirely different. 

ETA: And I do think you need to provide the meal for the DJs. You don’t want them, like one PP said, getting caught up somewhere else and being late. Also, I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving thousands of dollars worth of equipment to run and grab a meal. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  KatiePi.
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