When it comes to food, there are always questions about how much to serve or what type of meal to have, but many of our couples also ask us about the vendors and meals. Here are the four questions we receive the most from couples concerning vendor meals and our answers:
Do I have to feed my vendors?
Yes! Providing services to a wedding is extremely rewarding, but weddings do involve a lot of time on the day of the wedding for many vendors. That’s why providing a vendor meal is definitely the ‘correct’ thing to do in the eyes of the etiquette gurus and working people everywhere!
You might be thinking, “Ugh, but we already paid these vendors so much…and now we have to pay for a meal?! How is that fair?”
Many vendors have started to require meals in their contracts, but even if they don’t, it’s seen as good etiquette to provide your vendors with meals.
Who should you provide meals for?
Typical vendors who should receive meals are:
DJ or Band Members
Officiant (if you are inviting them to stay for the reception, which is not required)
Wedding vendors such as your makeup artist, florist, and baker are usually gone from the venue by the time you start your ceremony and cocktail hour, so you are not being rude by not providing a meal for them. By feeding your wedding vendors you will avoid having any woozy vendors on your hands, which makes for a better event!
One note on hair and makeup artists – they are often there for four to five or MORE hours doing bridal party hair and makeup in the morning/afternoon. It would be nice to offer them a snack and a drink of water while they are there to keep their energy up while making you all look even more beautiful than you already are.
Our best advice: when in doubt, ask your vendor! A handful vendors will pack meals, but most do not because of the lack of places to store food at venues. They’ll appreciate your concern for them.
If you elect to provide meals for your vendors, (and we suggest you do) you can elect to serve them the same meal being served to your guests, minus the cost of appetizers and plated salad.
Do I have to feed my vendors the same meal my guests are eating?
Most likely it will be more affordable to have your vendors eat the same meal since your caterer will not have to deviate from your original menu.
One note though – be sure to check your vendor contracts. Some vendors will have in their contract that they require a hot meal.
Where do the vendors eat?
Another question we often get asked is where to sit the vendors when they eat. Do we have to sit them with the guests?
No, actually most vendors do not want to sit at a table with wedding guests. It is usually not done or expected. It can be awkward for both the vendor and the guests!
We are happy to set a place for your vendors to have a break and a bite to eat at a table in the tasting room.