Post # 1
I started writing this on the photographer board, but thought it was worth starting a new one.
Miss Penguin, I know that other bees besides me must appreciate all your good advice. We have spent a ton of time with our photographers; we start a series of meetings with our band and vocalist next week; and we have been working monthly with our venue staff and caterer. I just love all our vendors. They are spending so much of their time to make sure that we have the ideal day… and they have so much influence over that! I must have really lucked out, because they are all really generous with their time – although I have to say that I passed on a vendor and an officiant right at the start because although they came highly recommended they just didn’t seem that interested.
It had not occurred to me before reading your posts that they might have their own preferences about food, and I will say that they have all been surprised and happy to be asked. I am sending them all invitations and STDs with handwritten notes saying how much we are looking forward to their contribution to our event, and how much we enjoy their work. It would not really have occurred to me to do that without weddingbee. I loved the post today about thank you notes to the vendors – absolutely they deserve an expression of gratitude beyond payment and tip, especially if they really made your day.
So Pengy, try not to be frustrated – I know that you have opened my eyes on this issue, and I’m sure there are others.
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2007 - The Wellington House in Fayetteville, NY
Yes! Miss Penguin is right.
You should feed your vendors!!!!! The only ones that shouldn’t be eating at your reception are the ones working at the reception venue (and that’s expected in the restaurant biz).
But your photographers, videographer, and coordinators MOST IMPORTANTLY should be fed since they are going to be with you pretty much ALL day. How can you expect them to do a good job on an empty stomach???
Your DJs and musicians should be offered something to eat also, though they might decline anyway as they are usually only working the reception. But please offer them something just in case and make sure they get drinks (non-alcoholic of course).
Post # 4
It was never a question in my mind that you should offer a meal to your band, your photographer, videographer, etc. It is the polite thing to do and if you ask yourself – how would YOU find a way to eat if you were working a wedding like they are? Same thing with thank you notes:
"If a feeling of thanks is felt but never expressed then how does the person who you are thanking EVER know? It amounts to your looking thankless."
From that advice I have collected thousands of thank you notes just for the purpose to letting people know my appreciation no matter how small or large.
Post # 5
You guys are awesome…I can’t tell you how many stories of mistreatment I’ve heard from vendors. And I’m talking the really cool, well regarded, established ones who love the business and the clients. It’s a lot of hard work and there’s a lot of emotions involved, but sometimes a meal offer or a thank you makes them feel great (I swear…hehehehe promise…it’s better than a tip…at least for me). Don’t get me wrong, these people are paid to be there, but that shouldn’t mean they get treated any less than a plain old human being deserves. Too soap-boxy? Okay, I’m done. 🙂
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country
I apologize for going ape shit on that last one, but I just came back from a 10 hour shoot and no food. What was worse was that our client went out and got food for everyone (actors, his boss, etc) BUT me (camera operator) and the director of the shoot!!! WTF?
This happens to us a lot. Everyone forgets about the crew for some reason. And lots of shoots (similar to weddings) dont have "down time" because studios are expensive to rent, and people are being paid hourly, thus, people who fund the videos dont want to have a lunchbreak. We run around a lot on shoot days, and by 6PM (having eaten at 7AM) I’m about ready to kill someone.
Its not that your vendors WANT you to SPEND money to feed them…its that they do not have an opportunity to leave your venue to go find food (usually in an area they are unfamiliar with). And a sack lunch after you’ve been on your feet for 7 hours just really…sucks.
Its beneficial to everyone involved to treat vendors like friends, not just as moneysucks. I feel like by developing a friendly rapport with my vendors, they really go the extra mile for you. I’ve experienced it firsthand…from my wedding coordinator, to my florist…if you give a little, you will get a lot.
I’m not choosing sides on the issue…I’m sure the bride did not get the work she expected out of her photographer, but to have 20 people chime in and say that they will help her bring down their business…I dunno. A little harsh. None of us were there to experience what really happened except the bride and the photographer. Sympathy for her is fine, but to chime in and want to bring down someone’s business that you’ve never actually had personal experience with is really horrible.
Post # 7
I met with our DJ and asked him how we can make himself comfortable during our events…I wasn’t sure how to accommodate him as far as dinner is concerned because he is our MC and the night will be in his hand. He said that he doesn’t need much and that we shouldn’t worry about him. Regardless of what he said, i was thinking of assigning one of my bridesmaids to make sure the vendors would have something to eat at one point during the evening. I figured that I would forget to check on them then. I would feel horrible if they were treated any other way…even if we are paying them. At this point in time, they are are friends as much as our vendors. That’s the way I see them. plus, if you care about their well being, they’ll take care of you by providing you better service or treating you better..just my though.
Post # 8
Most coordinators I’ve talked to will offer a DJ water at some point in the night. I bet if you did that, he’d be grateful.
Post # 9
I don’t think it matters what you do – we have all had the experience that one person with a crappy attitude or one person who goes out of their way to be nice can change your whole day.