(Closed) Vendor Meal

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
9097 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Most catering companies offer vender meals, they’re usually just “toned down” versions of whatever you ask for.

I personally wouldn’t give sandwiches. Doesn’t seem substancial enough, but as someone who has done photography for people, I wouldn’t mind a sandwich as long as they had something more than a strip of lettuce in it.

My vendors are getting exactly what my guests are being fed, but I am having a buffet reception and it isn’t going to cost much per head.

Post # 4
4661 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

By all means give a cheaper meal.  But like PP mentioned, I’d go for something more filling and preferably hot.  A pasta dish would be a good example.  [Some of] these people will be on their feet, running around after you and your guests so you don’t want them to go hungry.

Post # 5
1157 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think its fine.Personally, I think vendors should provide their own meals just like anyone else that is going to their paid job.

Post # 6
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

What other vendors do you have running around other than a DJ and photographer?

What kind of reception are you having?  We had a buffet, and when I inquired about vendor meals they said they didn’t have a separate meal available but “they don’t count who’s eating too closely” which I took as for them to feel free to grab a plate, especially since we had 9 no shows, so were paying them for 6 un-used meals even with the vendors helping themselves.

Post # 7
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

How many other vendors are you going to have? If its just a few more, I would just suck it up and let them have the meal. Otherwise, its going to look weird the DJ and photographer eating and not them. I am not sure how many other vendors you would have though? The only people who will be at our reception is the DJ and 2 photographers. Of course all the staff associated with the venue (waitstaff, bartenders, wedding coordinator) but the venue doesn’t allow them to eat even if we wanted to allow them. Obviously our other vendors (bakery, florist, hair/makeup) won’t be attending the reception. We invited our harpist to stay but she won’t be. 

Post # 8
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@kellmerr:  Personally, I think vendors should provide their own meals just like anyone else that is going to their paid job.



So are you gonna provide them with a refrigerator so they can store their meal?  Let them leave your reception to go get food? 

Post # 9
2253 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@jessie4588:  As mentioned above, ask your venue if they have a vendor meal plan available. Usually it’s like something like a boxed meal. I opted to feed my vendors the same food as the guests bc there were so many of them it equated to a whole table of people. It was just easier all around for me to do it this way.

Post # 10
55 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

My caterers offered a special meal for the vendors, priced at about 30% of a regular guest’s. I needed 25 vendor meals but my coordinator said we should just order 12, since I was having a buffet and she said that there’ll be lots of leftovers for sure. She was right! 12 of them had the vendor meals, the rest were served by the waiters from the buffet before they packed up the rest of the leftovers for my family to bring home. None of the vendors ate until after the entire reception was done — they didn’t sit to eat til the lights were on and the tables were being cleaned up.

The vendor meal was, I believe, 3 things from my buffet — chicken, pasta, and fish? And they threw in some dessert, and drinks of course.

Most of my vendors offered the option of me paying extra for them to get their own meals, but I opted to do it all through the caterer instead.

Post # 11
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

At my sister’s wedding the venue made a tray of lasagna for the vendor meal…so it was substantial but far less expensive than the guest’s meals.

Post # 12
8440 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

My venue does individually packaged lunches that you can order from the restaurant.  We are serving a buffet, but I’m worried that they won’t have time to get in line and grab a plate.  This way, their meal gets delivered to them while they’re working.

Post # 13
1693 posts
Bumble bee

Different vendors have different preferences. As noted previously, the photographer is often active throughout the reception catching candid shots: she cannot afford to get her hand messy, and often can grab only one bite at a time, and a hot dish would get cold. So, substantial sandwiches work well. The band on the other hand, have to set up before your guests arrive, and then make themselves scarce until dancing is scheduled: a quick hot meal in the kitchen or at an isolated table might be their preference. I discuss breaks and amenities with the vendors when contracting for their services. Sometimes, a cooler or small refrigerator where they can store their lunch, or a scheduled break with time to go to a nearby cafeteria, IS the preferred and cost-effective option. This is a business decision: it is not rude to discuss it practically and bluntly with your vendors. In fact, good business etiquette requires that you treat your vendors as business-people and not confuse their status with that of second-class guests.

Post # 14
960 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

My Vendors are getting the full meal, no discount.

I have 1 Photographer, 1 Videographer, 1 DJ and 1 MC. Total additional cost: $400 I kind of consider it a tip as they already cost quite the pretty penny as is.

Also… I LOVE plates to be photographed and this gives my Photographer a perfect opportunity to do so ๐Ÿ™‚

They will also be allowed to eat from the late night seafood/sweets buffet. And after they finish they are all allowed to drink. (DJ and MC will have to get their drinks a little early as they are set up until past last call)

I feel better knowing they’ll be taken care of and hopefully that will encourage them to perform better. A happy worker is a productive worker ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 15
914 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

My venue has vendor meals at a slightly reduced price. I can choose to give them sandwiches/cold meal for about $10-15 or a meal like my guests are having for $25 (rather than the $55 price tag for my guests). I figure I will give them the same meal that we are getting since it is quite a long time to go on just a sub sandwich and I want them to be happy. I’m hoping that will reflect in their work ๐Ÿ™‚ That being said, I am having a ceremony musician who will only be there for the ceremony and cocktail hour. Do I feed her?

Post # 16
1202 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@jessie4588:  I think that if vendors are doing a service for you even if they are friends, the least a bride and groom can do is provide a meal for your vendors. After all with photographers and videographers are usually with you all day which is at least 8-9 hours, providing a meal shouldn’t be too big of a deal. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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