(Closed) Vendor meals–rude?

posted 4 years ago in Food
Post # 46
Member
418 posts
Helper bee

Our vendors are getting the same entree as our guest, but they will not get the appetizers/other courses.

Some of our vendors will get the full meal as they are our friends and will be seated at a guest table.

Post # 47
Member
13951 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

We gave an option similar to the boxed meals you described to our vendors.  Our vendors also specificially asked not to be seated with the guests because it was very uncomfortable for them, so they ate behind the scenes with other staff members.

Post # 48
Member
1377 posts
Bumble bee

Our vendors are eating the same as our guests or as the venue said “what the kitchen has left over”. 

You should just offer them the same as your guests, as the overall cost for 3 meals is very low. If they are sitting amongst guests it will be very odd for them to eat a bagged lunch while the person next to them is enjoying traditional wedding fare.

Post # 49
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I guess I’m in the minority but I would not feel obligated to pay to feed my vendors on top of what i am paying them. For the money I spent, they better pick something up on the way or have an assistant run across the street to the pizza spot. 

Post # 50
Member
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016 - Charleston, SC

View original reply
lula0508 :  I personally would give them the full meal. They’re spending a long day working your wedding, and will be hungry. A sandwich, chips, and cookie won’t tide them over at all. At the end of the day, $100 probably won’t break your budget, they’ll really appreciate it, and you’ll get better results from your vendors if they’re well-fed and energized! 

Post # 51
Member
3163 posts
Sugar bee

Our photographer and assistant were seated with our guests. It was a stipulation as they wanted to remain amongst the action so as not to miss anything. The other vendors had a plated guest meal and ate either together outside or at their station (DJ). I do think it’s the right thing to do, even if there are ways to justify not doing it. As a PP said, happy vendors (or employees if we’re to extend the parallels being made) = great results 

Post # 52
Member
645 posts
Busy bee

I actually don’t like getting a typical meal. If I’m seated with guests I have to be “on” and make small talk when I just want to collapse for a while. And if I get served somewhere else,  venues are quite frankly a bit dim about it and serve you once everyone else has finished and the speeches/dancing is about to start. Or they forget about you altogether…… nothing worse than a bride asking you if you’ve enjoyed the meal they paid for and you’ve had to fudge that the venue never gave it to you.

That said, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by some couples who’ve made it quite clear to the venue that I am to be served a decent meal no later than halfway through the serve.  Those ones always get some extra freebie prints or album pages 😉

So mostly I’d rather just bring my sandwich and big bag of fruit and sit in my car backing up the images. 

Post # 53
Member
2668 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

Our venue does have a vendor meal, but it’s the same main course that the rest of the guests are served (they don’t get a starter or dessert though). Our venue coordinator has said that they basically serve the meal alternating, the same as for the rest of the guests – we have 4 vendors (1 photographer and 3 people in the band) so they’ll be served 2 of each main option and can decide between themselves which they would like. Non-alcoholic drinks are also included in the price, which is around $45 a head from memory.

Post # 54
Member
533 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

View original reply
lula0508 :  My BFF is a wedding photographer and I asked her for advice when it came to vendor meals. She said it really sucked sometimes as the cold meals (sandwiches etc) were so terrible that she would go the entire evening having not had anything to eat. 

Obviously as the bride it’s up to you to decide whether you want to provide a cold or hot meal but if it’s only a little out of your budget to pay for a proper meal for them, I think it’s a nice gesture to feed the people who’ve been around for 6-8 hours getting your best day ever together. 🙂 

Post # 55
Member
7566 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

View original reply
angelaw2g :  you better check your contracts then. You may be obligated whether you like it or not.

Post # 56
Member
7566 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

FWIW one of the reasons it’s customary to feed vendors is because they’re in a situation where it may not be possible to feed themselves affordably and practically. Your location might not have refrigerators to keep a packed lunch/dinner cold (or might not allow outsiders to access the refrigerators), there may not be anywhere nearby for them to nip out for carry-out, and the per-plate charge might not be within that person’s budget (just because you chose to spring for the $60/head meal doesn’t mean your photog should cough up the same too).

A HVAC tech or whatever service person can stop between customers and go get the lunch of his/her choice. Even if they spend all day working just in your house, they can (and do) leave for lunch. Your wedding vendor can’t leave. So comparing a wedding vendor to the cable repair guy is not a good comparison.

as to the math showing that a photographer makes $87 an hour and is therefore super well off and should be able to feed herself/himself, not only have you not solved the question of “how practical is it for them to expect to be able to leave, find dinner, and get back quickly, for every single event” because weddings can be held in all sorts of  places, many of which are not anywhere near a Quiznos. Plus, you’re assuming that a photographer has a wedding every single weekend and we all know that’s not the case. There’s a lot of weekends with no work, so the cost of equipment per use goes way up.

Bottom line: your vendors are working hard for you, and while they are getting paid for their time, weddings in general don’t make it easy on a vendor to get properly fed, so be a nice person and give them a decent dinner, doesn’t have to be lobster but try not to pawn off a hot pocket as dinner. You want them to have an assistant go get them a pizza? Then you better hire an assistant for them (at your cost).

Post # 57
Member
7807 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Our vendors refused meals. Our DJ said he’d never even been offered food (!?) and refused, and our photographer refused. Our officiant did not attend the reception (though he and his wife were invited).

Post # 59
Member
6166 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

View original reply
lula0508 :  we are going to have the band members, photographers etc eat the same meal as our guests. It’s the curteous thing to do. Then again we also feed our HVAC repair men/women and anyone that comes to our home to do work so I guess to each their own.

Post # 60
Member
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

The DJ we booked states in the contract they do not take breaks, which I’ll probably still offer them something because I’d feel bad,but I think we only have them for 5-6 hours,I honestly can’t remember off the top of my head. My photographers are a husband/wife duo and we will be providing them with the same meal as everyone else.

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