Post # 1
I have three vendors that will be present during the reception: our photographer, the DJ, and the DJ’s assistant. I asked our venue and they do not really offer a vendor meal. They do take $7 off the price of the meal for vendors, but it is the same five course meal that all guests eat. And, there is no small vendor table; they sit with guests. The DJ company has confirmed that feeding the DJs is not required, but appreciated. I have not asked the photography company–I just assumed we would feed him since he’s going to be with us for ten hours.
I have no worries about placing the photographer at a table with other guests. But how will he get up and about taking photos when he’s trying to eat? And what about the DJs? How would I seat them at a table when they should be at the DJ table playing the music? What do you think I should do? Also, if I do give them all a dinner, is that on top of any tip I was planning to give?
Post # 3
@Alleycat: I don’t know about the DJ, ours are with the venue and have specified we don’t need to worry about them. But our photographer actually specified in our contract that we need to provide a meal. She said that usually she just gets her food immediately after the head table, and then just eats as quickly as she can. She says it’s better that way anyways,because no one really wants a picture of themselves eating food.
Post # 4
My photographer and videographer have contract clauses stipulating I have to feed them. My DJs are like yours– food is appreciated but not required. From what I understand the vendors will eat at the same time the bride and groom does. They also recommend to place the vendor table near the bride and groom’s so it will be less likely they will miss anything. They should get up when you do. If you’re worried, just ask them to take turns eating with their assistants so there is someone always ready to shoot. As for cost, the only way around what your venue offers is to bring in your own food, which I’m not sure most places allow you to bring outside food in. Sometimes, its a cost you literally have to eat [pun intended =)].
Post # 5
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Yes, dinner is in addition to the tip.
I think it’s is really weird that there is no place for them to eat. Mine ate in the back, like in hidingm certainly not out among guests and they didn’t sit down and eat their whole meal in one sitting while the guest ate.
This sounds so weird to me.
Post # 6
I think our dj just ate in his little booth and our photographer was seated at a table close to the head table and they took turns eating since we had a pair.
We had a buffet and while there was no vendor rate our venue coordinator was just like.. Well we don’t count too close *wink wink.
Post # 7
Many of the weddings I photograph actually don’t have a table set up for the vendors, sadly. I usually get my food after the bridal party and find a quiet place at the venue to eat. Dinner is the time of the evening where I swap batteries, reorganize my gear, and take a little break. This is because dinner is the time of the evening when the least amount of photographing is done. Most people feel very uncomfortable being photographed while eating.
At more formal weddings, with plated meals, the couple has always set up a table for the vendors and we are served with the guests. I keep my camera with me at the table, and hop up to photograph whenever I see a moment. Again, there is less photographing during dinner. Photos of people eating are very unflattering.
Post # 8
If you are the customer, it is up to the venue to do what you want. I would simply tell them I wanted a small table for the vendors and where I wanted it placed.
Post # 9
@julies1949: Hear, hear! I cannot imagine a that the venue is unfamiliar with this request, or that they routinely refuse it. It sounds to me like they are taking advantage of the bride’s relative inexperience. This is a “tell, don’t ask” situation — and I would tell them that I expect a simple one-course meal for the vendors, too, while I were at it. Professionals do not want to be dallying over appetizers and salad courses when they have a job to do.
Post # 10
This is a great topic…my photographer has a clause where he must be fed a hot meal, which I’m totally fine with anyways. But now I’m thinking I should provide a place for him and my other two on-site vendors to eat…hmm..
Post # 11
@julies1949: I third this!
For our reception our venue set up a table in the cocktail area for our vendors. We provided everyone a meal on top of a tip. Our vendors ate quickly when entrees were served and as we made our rounds.
Post # 12
I personally think it is very rude to not feed your vendors and I also find it rude to isolate them or feed them something different than your guest….
I had a photographer, videographer and wife, DJ and his wife, and fed then exactly what I fed my guest even giving them the option of chicken vs. steak.
No one wants photos or videos of themselves eating so they shouldn’t be taking many pictures anyway, and the DJ most likely already has dinner music preset…. so seating them a table in together among the guest seems very appropriate to me…
I feel doing it any other way would be treating your vendors as peasants
Post # 13
My band, photographer, and planner will all need meals. They’ll get the regular meal as well, as my venue actually charges full price for a vendor meal–even though they won’t be drinking.
My band actually requested that they be at a table close to the stage. It’ll make things easy for them. (They said once they were seated across the room from the stage, it made it hard to make announcements and check speakers and such).
I might sit all the vendors there together, but I’m not sure yet.
Post # 14
I have no official experience, however at my mom’s wedding the photographer sat with a table of guests and they had a blast with her! The DJ sat with another group of guests and ate quickly while a pre-set playlist played. I find it strange when people want a different menu for their vendors. Yes, you may be paying more in the end for them, but they are a HUGE part of your wedding – let them enjoy the experience as much as the guests! That’s only going to enhance their work. 🙂
Post # 15
Thanks everyone! What you say makes sense. I will seat my photographer with the guests and give him the normal meal–like you said, he can always jump up and take photos if he needs to. Although I don’t think I can put him at a table near us, since that’s where the parent tables are going. But then I need to make a placecard to denote his entree choice =/
I’m still not sure about the DJs, but I guess if they are playing a preset list then they could sit at a table too. It’s just weird because it’s a formal plated dinner, with five courses, and it takes a whole hour and a half. It’s not that I mind any of them sitting with my guests, but we are already very tight for space and I’m trying to avoid needing to place any tables on the dance floor. Would the DJs feel ostracized if I had the venue deliver their meals to the DJ table?