(Closed) Is it expected to provide meals for vendors?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Some vendors do require meals as part of their contract, so I’d check with yours to make sure. Some catering companies will comp the vendor meals…mine is, or even give you a cheaper vendor meal. I only have four vendors to feed so it wouldn’t be too outrageous if I had to pay for it. We’re feeding our two photographers, our dj, and our coordinator.

So is it required? In some cases yes. Should you provide meals? I think so. They’ll work better with full tummies than on an empty stomach.

Post # 4
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’ve heard it go both ways. There was a pretty long thread a few months ago about feeding vendors and people’s thoughts on it. I always took it as a given that you should feed the vendors. I personally would feel weird if I didn’t. We are doing a buffet so it doesn’t matter, but I have heard some venues offer a separate meal for vendors that is lower cost than the meals served to guests.

Post # 5
1937 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I think you should budget for meals for the vendors.  You have hired them for a specific period of time, and if it falls over a meal time, they are entitled to a meal.  Would you rather your photographer, DJ, etc. “take a break” to go find something to eat (like a fast food restaurant) because you didn’t provide anything?  They may miss out on key points of the reception then.  Especially when it comes to the photographer, who you may have hired for 6-8 hours – they need time to eat.  IMO, I would be upset if my job made me work for that long and didn’t provide a time to eat (and in many states that would be illegal), so I would treat the people I hired the same way I would want to be treated.

In short, please provide hot meals for all of your vendors.

Post # 6
661 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

There are some vendors that ask whether you will be providing meals, and some that require it.

Our asked – and we said we would feed them.  After all, its all these people involved that will help make my special day perfect, right? 

Depending on your venue, they have something called “vendor meals” which are half of what your cost is per person.  Our venue offered this (because obviously they won’t be drinking and we have an openbar part of the “per person” cost) and we were able to get their meals half off.

Good luck!!!

Post # 8
3563 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

Some people put it in their contracts, but even if they don’t, I think it’s the polite/humane thing to do. Fed vendors are happy vendors 🙂 

Post # 9
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

A full vendor is a happy vendor IMO. I plan to include mine in the headcount  because if it were me, I’d have kind of a hard time working if my stomach was grumbling!

Post # 10
11001 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

Not a chance!  I’m paying too much as it is.  This will be a small & short event.  It seems to me if they are true professionals, they will bring food & take a break when appropriate, not expect to be catered to as a guest.

If it’s in the contract, that’s one thing since it’s stated up front & freely negotiated.  But there is no way in hell I’m spending my hard earned cash to feed vendors!


Post # 11
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

All my vendors had it in their contracts. I mean, you surely can’t expect them to work for 6-8 straight without food?  And do you want them leaving your reception to go to McDonalds?  Feeding them is the right thing to do.

Post # 13
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My photographer and coordinator had meals indicated in their contract. The venue offers lame sandwhiches for vendors, but has also allows the vendors to eat the same meals and the guests so they getting well fed!!

My DJ said that he works the whole entire night without one break…he’s getting a plated dinner anyway!

Post # 14
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think you should.  I had a buffet, and asked about a vendor rate and our site coordinator was like, “no sorry, they’re full price, but really would we notice that you’re plus or minus a couple people?”  Kind of strange, but I just added in two extra meals and told all four to help themselves.  those *wink wink moments are always kind of awkward.  In the end we had 9 guests not show up, so everybody was accounted for and then some.

My best friend is a health nut and a wedding photographer.  She always brings her own meal because in her words “If I ate banquet food every weekend I’d be six feet wide”.  I’d say check with your vendors what their preferences are.

Post # 15
7693 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I think  you should definitely do it if you can – we did a discounted meal for our vendors that was sandwiches and french fries. I Thnik they were fine with this! If your photographer is taking pictures for 8+ hours they need to eat to keep their energy up!

Post # 16
153 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

One suggestion – request that your vendors are served at the same time or slightly before all of the guests (especially the photographer!). At my friend’s wedding the photographer had to wait until every guest was served before he was allowed to eat. By the time he got his meal, everyone else was finished and he was eating when they started to do a toast. I remember her complaining that they didn’t get all the toast pictures.

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