Vendor Meals--Is it rude?

I'm having my wedding at the Ihilani and they have a separate menu for vendors.  It's called Meals on Wheels and the price is a little over half of the per person buffet price.  The vendors can choose 2 from the following: Smoked turkey on french bread; Smoked pipikaula, ham, and salami; Sonoran grilled chicken salad; Sliced sirloin of beef; Grilled portobello mushrooms & eggplant sandwich; Seared ahi tuna; or Bento.   We have a total of 7 vendors to feed.  Considering our culture, do you think it would be rude that we have them choose from this menu rather than have them eat from the buffet?

Re: Vendor Meals--Is it rude?

  • I'm having my wedding at the Ihilani as well and didn't know about such a program for vendors. In my opinion, I think I would feel bad as these are the people who are going to be with us the whole day. We are having a buffet style meal, so I will probably just let them eat from the buffet, although that means they are getting an $80 meal on top of their fee. Maybe we can give them a little less tip then? Now you've given me something to think about as well! Let me know what you decide. I'm curious to know what people usually do. :-)
  • I'm pretty sure that my caterer has a special price for the vendors- and it's much less than what we are paying per guest, because they will not have a seat or receive service.  I'm not sure if you have that option.  Since there is a vendor menu, I would think that vendors who are used to your venue might expect that?  I wouldn't worry too much about it-- they are there to do a job for you, they don't expect to be part of the wedding.
  • I would consider that your vendors are used to having vendor meals.  If you can afford and feel inclined to have them eat from your buffet, great!  But don't feel that its rude that they eat from a vendor meal selection.  My vendors had vendor meals, they ate off to the side or in the kitchen. 
  • I think if you're local (from Hawaii and having your wedding here) it is considered rude. I would include them in the count for the same buffet meal as your guests. We did this with all of our vendors. I just asked for a final head count for their staff that day and advised them we would be providing dinner. I feel this is especially crucial for photographers (as they were with us for 8 hrs) and my videographer who went above and beyond who was there for 12 hours!

    Also, although vendors shouldn't assume they are getting a meal, I know they do make remarks on what kind of food they were fed or how they were treated by the couple.
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  • Our wedding planner told us that they have special vendor prices for meals (approximately half) but we would be offering the same thing, I believe. I think this is because they probably just serve themselves... Since this is what they wedding planner gave us as an option, I just went with it assuming they knew best.
  • We provided our vendors with the same meal that we ate - it was half off through our caterer.  We paid for our photographers, DJ, and coordinator to eat.  The rest of the vendors weren't there very long and could have eaten on their own. 
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  • I have a friend who is a wedding videographer and he Instagrams a lot about the bad food that's served to him. He feels that it's in poor taste and that you should feed vendors good food...especially since they'll be there all day.

    8-12 hours is a long work day...for anyone...so being fed a measly, not so great-tasting meal is a bit messed up, so I say feed them well. Especially since they are the ones putting together your photos and video. Just saying...
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  • As a wedding vendor, I can say that any food is appreciated. Not feeding them and expecting them to work (especially your photographer who will be on their feet for 10+ hours and needs good sustenance) is rude. By the time the vendors eat they'll just be grateful it's edible.
  • Vendor meals never crossed my mind; perhaps because I didn't have a wedding planner telling me to include them. I knew my caterers would feed themselves if there were leftovers (or maybe they added it to the food calculation), and I noticed - and didn't mind a bit - that they fed one of the photographers. None of my vendors were hired to be there for more than 4 hours, so maybe feeding them was not as necessary.

    To answer the original question, I think it's okay to order from the 'vendor meal' menu. Really it's on the venue to make a decent vendor meal. After all, how reassuring is it when one of your vendors says, "oh, I love working there" when you tell them where your wedding is?
  • We ended up feeding our vendors the same meal, but our WC told us it was up to our discretion, she only recommended a meal for the vendors that were on-site for 5 hours or more. 
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