Recently, I posted an Instagram reel about Why you Should Feed your Wedding Vendors. I had no idea there was so much controversy over this subject nor did I ever think the video would be seen by over 400,000 people! Having been raised in a small Southern town and marrying into an Italian family, I’m used to that Southern hospitality and the Italian way of giving your guests something to eat and drink. I had no idea that when it came to feeding your wedding vendors, this would be a much different case for some. In this post, I’m going to talk about Why you Should Feed your Wedding Vendors and why the timing of when they eat is crucial.
In the Instagram reel comments, those who fully disagreed with feeding wedding vendors main reasoning was that “you’re the professional, you should feed yourself.” While I completely understand where this logic is coming from, I want to explain why it’s not that simple.
On wedding days, vendors are working nonstop hours. Your wedding planner, DJ, Hair and Makeup and of course your photographer. I’m going to write specially about photographers experience since that’s what I do.
A typical wedding collection includes 8+ hours of coverage. Most weddings are at least hour away making for a 10+ hour day. The mornings of wedding days, I eat a big breakfast, work through lunch, and am starving by dinner. I always bring water and snacks but it’s rare that I have a chance to eat or drink until dinner time at the reception. Even though I have snacks, snacks are not a replacement for a meal. Food is energy and you have to have energy to continue doing your job. We are talking at least 20,000 steps, 10 hour days, nonstop working and moving from the moment you step into the bridal suite. It’s both mentally and physically exhausting. Most people have absolutely no idea what photographers do on a wedding day. “Taking photos” sounds easy and glamorous but there’s so much more to it than that.
Most weddings I photograph are no where near any restaurants and I’m lucky if I have phone service, Door Dash is not available, refrigerators/ microwaves are not available to vendors, and food in a cooler may be spoiled after 10 hours.
All of this to say, having a hot and hardy meal is incredibly needed and super appreciated after a long day. If the vendor meal is not what the guests eat, that’s totally ok!! I’ve photographed a wedding that had super fancy seafood for guests and the vendors had a buffet style pasta bar. It was hot food that provided me the sustenance needed to push through the last few hours of the day and give 110%.
If for whatever reason, you can not feed your vendors, communicating this in advance is crucial! Your vendors will need to make arrangements for a meal.
At the reception, after introductions and the first dance, dinner is typically served or open buffet style. After the bride, groom, and wedding party get their meal, I ask that my team and I eat. Why? Because during the reception, guests don’t want images taken while they are eating (your couple doesn’t want that either) so I eat my food so that I am ready when toasts begin. If my team and I aren’t able to eat until after the guests, then toasts begin, and we aren’t able to eat. It’s that little window in the reception where it’s the perfect opportunity to eat without missing any moments.
Hopefully this helps answer your questions and provides insight about why you should feed your vendors. I promise your vendors will be so appreciative and give you their best! Want more tips? Click here to read more!
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