When planning a wedding, it’s easy to focus on the needs and preferences of the bride, groom, and guests, but it’s equally important to consider the needs of the vendors who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the event a success. One crucial aspect often overlooked is providing vendor meals. These meals not only sustain hardworking professionals but also show appreciation for their efforts. Our wedding photographers break down everything you need to know about vendor meals.
What Wedding Vendors Get a Meal?
If your wedding takes place during a meal time, and you’re planning on serving a full meal to your guests, then you should also expect to have food ready for your vendors. Vendors that are included in this meal are ones that have been there for most of the day, if not all of it or are there for the full reception. This includes:
-Band or DJ
-Photo booth attendants or other specialist reception entertainment, such as performers, live painters, etc.
Your catering team will take care of their meal themselves but double-check to see whether bartenders are included in that, especially if they’re from a different team. Vendors that leave before the reception starts, such as florists and decorators, aren’t included in the meal. Hair and makeup artists typically aren’t either, unless you’re having them stay around all day for touch-ups, in which case you should provide them with a meal.
Who to Communicate with and Plan Vendor Meals?
Discuss vendor meals during the initial planning stages to avoid any confusion or oversights. Include it in your conversations with vendors or wedding planners. This will help you determine the number of vendor meals required and help you accurately estimate the quantity of food needed. Vendors may also have dietary needs, and you should pass along the menu to them before the date so they can make accommodations if needed.
What is Served at a Vendor Meal?
This widely depends. Often, vendor meals are the same as what the guests get, as a catering company will just make additional plates. Other venues or caterers may do a hot buffet with easy-to-make food. In general, though, if you’re serving your guests a hot meal, your vendors should get the same.
When are Vendor Meals Served?
This is something you can discuss with your caterer, venue, and planner. Typically, vendors are served after guests have been given their entrées since guests have to be served first. This also allows your photographer and videographer enough time to eat while guests are distracted before getting back in action to capture post-meal toasts and events. Sometimes it’s best to serve the vendor meal before the guests, though, as guests will want to hit the dance floor immediately after eating, so having them wait for the band to finish can throw off the flow.
Where do Vendors Eat?
Your vendor team will most likely eat together at the same time or in smaller groups depending on scheduling needs. They’ll likely do so in an area that is separate from your guests or on the fringe of the action. Make sure you plan an area for them, though. There’s nothing worse than serving up your hard-working vendors a meal but not having any tables or chairs for them to sit at.
Do I Have to Provide Vendor Meals?
The short answer is yes. Whatever level of food you are providing to your guests, you should also provide to your vendors. If you’re just going for appetizers and snacks for your guests, make sure you’re also providing that for your vendors. While vendors aren’t guests at your event, they are working tirelessly to make it go smoothly and perfectly, and they deserve to be treated with respect. Plus, everyone works better when they’re well-fed!