I get asked this question by every client when discussing the food and beverage and budget during the reception planning meeting...
"Tracey, what is your advise when it comes to providing meals for the vendors?"
And my answer every time is 110% "Yes, please allow room in your food and beverage budget to feed your vendors and your humble consultant too! Please know that this request is made for the benefit of all.
First of all let me specify those vendors that should be receiving a vendor meal is anyone who will be on site working at your event for 5 or more hours (including set up and breakdown). Generally the people this usually applies to is your consultant and assistant(s) if they are on site for 6+ hours, your photographer(s), videographer(s) if applicable and yes, your DJ or entertainment (band) if they are there more than 6 hours.
Why should I pay to feed all of you you may ask? Well, over the course of a long day of setup and service (especially photographer and videographers) for a 4-5 hour event, we need to get sustenance so we can be at our very best for your event!
2nd point is that we are there to coordinate, photograph, videotape and entertain at your wedding and need to be on site to do so. It would be to your advantage for us to remain on site at the event. Even while we may be eating our meals (after you and your guests have been served of course) we are still there for you and your event and will return to work feeling satisfied and ready to go:)
If you need something from me, I am on site (not in some long drive through line waiting for food), if a priceless spontaneous photo/video opportunity happens, the photographer and videographer can jump out of their seats (they have camera lenses in the back of their head I think) to capture it and your DJ can monitor the vibe of the event or have their assistant change dinner music if needed.
I also highly reccomend that you ensure to confirm with your catering manager (especially at hotels/country clubs) that YOU want/demand (whatever it takes) that all vendors taking vendor meals be seated either at a table placed discreetly at back of the reception ballroom or in an area as close as possible with good sight lines. Again, I refer to the paragraph above and reiterate that we need to be close to you and your event for your benefit and to ensure your wedding runs smoothly. It's very hard to do that when we are down the hall or upstairs or unaccessable.
Now, it is not necessary that you feed us lobster and filet mignon or whatever you and your guests will be dining on. A less expensive plated meal or small station of sandwiches, etc. is perfectly acceptable. Many hotels and venues offer a vendor meal at around $15-25 that includes bottled water and soft drinks. It is well worth the price to know that your vendors are watching out for you and on the ball.
I know you love your photographer, videographer, DJ/entertainers and your humble consultant:) That is why you hired us. I love them too and I love my staff so I will make sure that I take good care of them so they (and I) can take extra special care of the two of you!
If you have any questions or comments about this topic, please feel free to to do so here on my blog.
Have a Stylish Day!!