They’re responsible for making your wedding day a success, so it’s important to know how to properly handle any of your vendors’ needs. This often begins with reviewing vendor contracts to fully understand what your vendors’ needs may be. Many people ask us “Do we have to feed our vendors?” before reading these important documents, surprisingly. Yet, in short, the answer is yes.
However, it’s not quite a straightforward yes. For example, florists do not require vendor meals as they do not stay and work throughout the event. Offering and requesting meals is most often for those vendors that are working during the actual event hours. The exception to this would be for wedding ceremonies and receptions where the officiant, florist, and ceremony musicians are generally not fed as they are only involved in the event for a small portion of time.
Most often photographers, DJs, bands, and event planners will include in their contract if they require a meal. Additionally, their contract usually states the type of meal they expect. In many circumstances it is a meal of the event host’s choosing, however there are some that will ask for a boxed meal and others that will require a hot meal. Although there are vendors that do not require a meal, but the gesture is appreciated. The last thing you want on your event day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer. Your vendors are putting on your affair so that you don’t have to, so providing a meal is a great incentive for high-energy and focused service.
Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. Vendor meal pricing can be different from guest pricing as it won’t include things like open bar and hors d’oeuvres. As for pricing, ask your caterer — everyone has different policies. Regardless, you are responsible for letting your caterer know how many extra meals they need to prepare for your vendors. Also, talk to your caterer and the venue manager to designate a quiet spot for your event vendors to eat during your event. Just remember, many of your event vendors may be working five to eight hours (or more!) that day and you don’t want their energy to flag just as the party gets going.