Post # 1
Our reception will be a buffet and we are adding our vendors in the headcount to make sure there is food for them. The Ceremony and Reception will be short, combined it will be 3.5 hours. Our vendors will be the pastor, musicians, day of coordinator and photographer. Should we have a table setup for them to eat? I don’t remember seeing vendors eat at other weddings but I am sure I didn’t pay attention. Just want to know before I place an order for rentals. Thanks!
Post # 3
Generally you treat the pastor and his wife as guests, so yes for them. For our photographers, we just asked them what they prefer – obviously they will be dressed up like guests – and they indicated that seating with the guests is fine, and lets them keep an eye on the action so that they know when to get ready to go again. Our musicians will be playing during dinner, and so want a back room and separate food service, which we are arranging to have the chef provide during their breaks. I don’t know what your DOC would want – if he/she feels like they are "on duty" during the dinner hour or not. But I would just ask your vendors – all of ours seemed to really appreciate the question.
Post # 4
As a former event planner, it was very important to me to make sure my vendors were always fed at an event. So kudos for thinking about it!
Usually at a wedding, vendors do not expect to be seated with your guests, but definitely appreciate the gesture of being able to eat. You don’t have to set up a fully-decorated table for them. If the venue has an extra table away from your reception, that’s perfectly fine.
I know this doesn’t apply to your situation since you’re having a buffet and adding vendors to the final headcount. But for other brides out there with expesnive per person costs, ask your venue/caterer if they would provide "vendor meals". You can usually pick something simple instead of paying the $100 per plate as some hotels, but at least you give the vendor the option to eat.
For most weddings, vendors like photographers will be working 8 hours or more if they arrive to shoot you getting ready. So better to keep them fed & happy, then to have a starving DJ who hasn’t had the chance to break away and eat and just wants your party over with because he arrived 2 hours early to set up!
The only exception is the wait staff….it is not expected for the bride & groom to feed them, too.