Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Meals for Photographers/DJ, etc

I've heard mixed viewpoints on this so I wanted to get other people's opinions.  My fiance and I are planning our wedding in Central PA.  For the reception, we were wondering if it was proper/assumed to include meal plates for the photographer, DJ, etc that you hired for the wedding.  Some family members seem to think its common courtesy... any thoughts??

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Re: Meals for Photographers/DJ, etc

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    Yes,  you should include meals for the photographer and DJ.  My photographer had it written in his contract.
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    Yes, for anyone working during the reception, you need to provide a meal.

    Check your contracts to see if there are stipulations - some write in dietary requirements or request the same meal as guests.

    If there aren't any special requirements, check with your venue. They will normally give you a cheaper vendor meal, which is likely one plate of food or a sandwich box. Our vendor meal was the same food as our guests, but it was 1/5 the cost of our guests' meals since it didn't include tax, gratuity, service, alcohol, appetizers, etc.
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    Yes, at least ask them. 

    Our photographer did get a meal, and ate super-fast. 

    The DJ replied with this "Thank you for asking, but I never eat at wedding receptions because I am such a picky eater.  I don't eat chicken or vegan (I hate veggies)."
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    Yes, you are expected to do this, and in many cases is in the contract like PP said. (You need to do it even if not in the contract). Discuss with your venue. Ours charges a smaller fee but they will get the same food as the buffet for guests. 
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    Definitely check with your vendors. Some can be extremely picky! But it is definitely common courtesy to provide them with a meal and non-alcoholic drinks.
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    Yes, you should be providing meals for photographer and DJ since they will be there the entire time and traveling and set up.  My brother did photography for a small wedding once and by the time he traveled out to the place, did all the set up and get ready pics and then stayed the whole wedding... he was starving and no one offered him anythign to eat :(  You can check with your caterer they typically have discounted pricing for vendor meals.
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    Our vendors are getting a meal, some require it, some don't, but i have a table just for them & i would no matter. 
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    I put it this way...would you rather provide them a meal?  Or would you rather them leave your reception to get themselves food?  You figure both of them are going to be there long enough to need to eat, so those are your choices and obviously it doesn't make sense for your vendors to leave....so providing a meal it is.
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    All of our vendors require it, and our venue has a discount on their meals. They don't want a table, and all they requested besides food were bottles of water.
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    We're doing a buffet, and I'm including them in it.  I set up a vendor table.  They probably won't sit there for long, but it gives them a space to leave things and sit down and eat when they have time.
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    I asked both of mine - DJ said it was up to us so we are going to provide him with a meal.
    Photographer said he usually eats, but since dinner is at 7 and he and the assistant are done at 7:30, he said not to bother.
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    Yes, you should feed them.  You do'nt have to have tables/place settings for them.  Ask the venue, they will often set up a table for the vendors somewhere out of sight so they can eat quickly while your guests are eating.  The venue will usually offer a discounted meal for them.  But really, get them a hot meal.  They will appreciate it and a happy, fed vendor will do a better job than an unhappy, hungry vendor.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_meals-photographersdj-etc?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:3f6aa86d-c4a6-4588-a580-980018abb996Post:1ba16c51-8bbe-4c84-824f-f03482c5af73">Re: Meals for Photographers/DJ, etc</a>:
    [QUOTE]Yes, you should feed them.  You do'nt have to have tables/place settings for them.  Ask the venue, they will often set up a table for the vendors somewhere out of sight so they can eat quickly while your guests are eating.  The venue will usually offer a discounted meal for them.  But really, get them a hot meal.  They will appreciate it and a happy, fed vendor will do a better job than an unhappy, hungry vendor.
    Posted by noodle_oo[/QUOTE]



    I was totally going to say this... I know I get cranky when I haven't eaten in awhile so we are gladly offering food to keep energy levels high and people happy lol
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    Most vendors will stipulate that they have to be fed in your contract. My venue provides special vendor meals (sandwich, salad, etc) for a cheaper price. Don't really feel like paying an extra $100 to feed my DJ.
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    Anniversary
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    Where we got married, most people in the wedding business knew each other and our caterers provided meals for the vendors free of charge.  I actually had to let them know that the wedding planner and officiant were friends of mine and actually invited guests so they knew they were in our final head count.

    But yes, you should definitely feed your vendors.  I would have done it even if I had to pay.
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    Two people come in for the photobooth, the photographers (FI's parents will have table seating) and the DJ is a good friend who is going to be within the first tables being served as my friend is going to make his plate for him. All our vendors including coordinator are allowed food, whatever they choose, even dessert for all I care. They are helping me make my day perfect and the least I can do is feed them.
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    Please feed your vendors who will be there for hours to make your day the best it can  be.  We talked to our photographer about it and he said they won't eat unless invited to.  He then told about a time when they were told they would be getting a special meal.  He was excited until he found out it was a sandwhich box.  He wasn't thrilled with it.  Some caterers will do that for a cheaper cost, but talk to the person eating it to see if they would like it.  It's gonna cost me a little more than I expected but it's the least I can do for them.  I would rather have them well fed and happy, they will do their job better that way. 
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    It's common courtesy to extend the offer. Depending on the length of your wedding, I believe most will typically take your offer. I don't function well if I'm starving, and I can only imagine busy photographers, DJs, etc. are the same way. I'm sure you'll want them on their A game on your big day.
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