Wedding Etiquette Forum

Seating Chart - DJ's, Photographer, etc.

I'm working on my dinner seating chart for the reception, and am having a hard time trying to figure out where to place everybody (a common issue, I imagine).  One thing I'm trying to figure out: I know our dj and wedding photographer are expecting a meal as well, and I'm not quite sure where to put them.  Is it ok to put them at a table with friends and/or family? I'm having a small wedding (80-90 people), so this is pretty hard. I don't want any other guests to feel like they got "stuck with the dj". 
Also, what is the standard gratuity for the vendors?  15%?  20%? 
Thanks so much!

Re: Seating Chart - DJ's, Photographer, etc.

  • How will your DJ's equipment be set up? Will he have a table by himself to eat on?

    He'll still be playing songs during dinner, right? So he should probably be close to his equipment.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Is it actually in the vendors' contracts that you're going to serve them meals?  If not, I'd negotiate that with them.  I'd also consider asking other customers of theirs about reasonable gratuties, as well as other bridal couples who used other vendors in the area what is standard.

    If you don't mind serving them meals, I'd provide them a separate table of their own.
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    A lot of times vendors (such as DJs and Photographers) will eat off to the side or in another room or at their DJ booth (for DJs only of course).  You can place them with your family and friends if you want but unless it is written in their contract that they be placed at a table then they usually just fine a nice place themselves.

    I honestly can't even tell you where my photog or DJ were during dinner but I know that they ate.

  • We have several vendors including the DJ, 2 photographers, 2 DOCs, so I plan to seat them at a table close to the DJ booth.  Our venue actually serves them the same chicken tendors and fries meals as the kids since they usually aren't sitting for long, plus it saves us $.  I would ask them if they feel comfortable sitting or if they would like to eat at their station.

  • Yes, it is in their contract to serve them meals, but it makes sense that they should be close to their equipment, since they will keep the music going during dinner.  I will check with the venue and see what they've done in the past,  and if there is a suitable place for the dj's to eat their meals.  Thank you ladies for the advice!!
  • Yes, it is in their contracts to serve them each a meal, but it makes sense to have them close to their equipment, since they'll still be playing music during dinner.  I will check with the venue to see what they've done in the past, and if there is a suitable spot for them to eat their meals.  Thanks ladies for the advice!!

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I had 100 people at my wedding and that included the photographers & DJs.  I just had a small table only for them, by the DJ stand.  That way they had a place to sit and eat.  But also call your venue, they may have a vendor meal that is cheaper than your per plate meal or a specific area they have set aside for vendors to eat at.

    As for vendor tips, check your contract to see if its included.  Many venues or caterers will already have this added into your contract.  In general, if they own the business, you don't have to tip unless you feel they went above and beyond.  Any assistant to a business owner should be tipped.  You can tip at your descretion.  The only standard percentage for vendors should be for the servers for the venue/caterer.
  • We're having a small table for our DOC, her assistant, photographer and her assistant set up for the meal. Once the party gets going my venue will take it out of the room.

    The DJ will eat at his booth.
  • I told my DJ, videographer and photographer ahead of time that they would be fed, but I never set up a table for them to eat. I'm pretty sure the photog and videog ate in a side room where we got ready before the ceremony, and the DJ ate next to his equipment. 
  • Tami87Tami87 member
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited October 2012
    Our DJ ate at the table set up for the DJ equipment and played music during dinner. I put our photographer at a table close to the head table with one of my bridesmaids her family, and my MOH's family. It worked out great to have the photographer at a table with guests and close to the head table. She got some wonderful candid pictures of the people she was seated with, and she was close by to take pictures of the toasts we had during dinner. She had requested that she be seated in the main room with guests so she wouldn't miss out on picture opportunities. Obviously, she did eat so she wasn't taking pictures constantly, but if you expect your photographer to eat in a back room or off in a corner they might be more likely to miss something.
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