Wedding Etiquette Forum

Where do vendors sit?

I've never paid attention to this at any weddings I've gone to so I'm absolutely clueless as to whether it's rude... Do I have to provide a seat at one of the tables seating guests for the 3 vendors we have?  I'm providing meals for them (buffet), but I don't have a table for them at the moment. We have 120 guests not counting the vendors and 15 tables that seat 8, so having an extra large round table to sit 3 people doesn't seem right. The venue is providing the tables and chars.

I'm going to ask the venue where the vendors typically sit when I talk to them on Monday - I was thinking maybe there's a table in the back that they usually eat at or that the venue could put a small table out. Am I going about this right?

It's a DJ, photographer, and photographer's assistant.

Re: Where do vendors sit?

  • I'd ask the venue and your vendors. I've seen them seated near but not with guests and some (like our DJ) eat at their work station.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I only had a DJ and a photographer that I needed to feed. The DJ ate at his booth I think, and the photographer sat at the bar or near the bar.
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  • I sat ours with the guests because, like you said, 4 people at a 10-top would have looked strange. I didn't want them to look like they were in some weird wedding quarantine. Often the DJ eats at their booth though, since they're often playing music during dinner. Ours were dueling pianos so eating at a piano would also look strange and uncomfortable.

    I would just add one more table, take 2 people who know each other from each of two tables (maybe people with interests in photography and/or music?), and now with them plus 3 vendors you have a non-weird 7-top.

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    It kind of depends.  As you say, it would look odd to have 4 or 5 people sitting separately from 10 guests, but if there are 100 guests, you might prepare a separate table from them to the side, in another room, on a balcony or patio, or somewhere convenient for all concerned.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I personally don't find it appropriate to sit your vendors with your guests. A separate table is fine, but I have never seen the vendors mingled with the guests at the same table.

     I certainly don't agree with what lolo (sorry all your advice is usually great) said about taking 2 people from 2 different tables and putting them with 3 vendors. So now you have a not weird 7 top, but when the vendors leave to go do their jobs then you have only 4 people at that table. That's awkward for those guests. I would feel like a second class guest if I were one of those 4 guests.

     Like I said, I only had 2 outside vendors, so it was easy for me, and it wasn't necessary to have a separate table. Most of the venues I looked at said the vendors can eat at a table in another room. There is nothing wrong with that.
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    Fran1985
  • Agree with asking your vendors and your venue.  Our DJ and photo were friends of friends, so we sat them at regular guest tables (with those mutual friends) but I know that several venues we looked at had options we could use for venues, such as a smaller table, providing seating in a separate space such as the bar, or delivering food to the the vendors at their work stations. 

    Your contracts might have more information for you; otherwise you should ask your vendors what type of seating is most convenient for them.
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    Anniversary


  • I'm sitting ours with guests. I tried to put them with people I thought they'd get along with. I agree it would look strange having a table just for 3 vendors.
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    thesummersky
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I personally don't find it appropriate to sit your vendors with your guests. A separate table is fine, but I have never seen the vendors mingled with the guests at the same table.

     I certainly don't agree with what lolo (sorry all your advice is usually great) said about taking 2 people from 2 different tables and putting them with 3 vendors. So now you have a not weird 7 top, but when the vendors leave to go do their jobs then you have only 4 people at that table. That's awkward for those guests. I would feel like a second class guest if I were one of those 4 guests.

     Like I said, I only had 2 outside vendors, so it was easy for me, and it wasn't necessary to have a separate table. Most of the venues I looked at said the vendors can eat at a table in another room. There is nothing wrong with that.
    I agree with all of this.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Our vendors ate at the high tops in the cocktail space.  

    My thought was to allow them a separate space with a little extra room where they wouldn't feel like they had to be "on".  Also, there would be plenty of space to spread out if they needed to spread out with equipment or whatever.  
  • My planner actually requested being seated with guests.
    My photographer could go in his office if he really wanted too, but I gave him a seat that happened to be with some guys from his home country. (His office is attached above our venue). 
    My DJ said he'd like to eat in the DJ booth - so no worries there.
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  • I have my DJ, photographer and photographer's assistant (also his fiancé). The DJ will be eating at his table per his request. I was planning on seating the photographer with guests where he will be able to see what's going on and jump up for photos if necessary.
    poodledoodleooo
  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We only had our photographers to feed, a husband and wife.  They're also good friends with my Brother and SIL (they shot their wedding too, which is how they met).  Since we only had 40 guests and 5 tables, they sat with my Brother/SIL and some other guests.  We didn't have assigned seats either though

  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    Our DJ ate at his booth (his request), our photographers requested to sit at a table near the bridal party so they could get up quickly to capture spontaneous stuff so we sat our two photographers and our two videographers at a table with some of DH's 2nd cousins where they had a clear site line of the VIPs.
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  • Our vendors are eating in a separate room. Would totally feel weird as a wedding guest to be seated at the "vendor" table.
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  • I personally don't find it appropriate to sit your vendors with your guests. A separate table is fine, but I have never seen the vendors mingled with the guests at the same table.


     I certainly don't agree with what lolo (sorry all your advice is usually great) said about taking 2 people from 2 different tables and putting them with 3 vendors. So now you have a not weird 7 top, but when the vendors leave to go do their jobs then you have only 4 people at that table. That's awkward for those guests. I would feel like a second class guest if I were one of those 4 guests.

     Like I said, I only had 2 outside vendors, so it was easy for me, and it wasn't necessary to have a separate table. Most of the venues I looked at said the vendors can eat at a table in another room. There is nothing wrong with that.
    There wasn't anything weird about it. Vendors are just as capable of carrying on a normal dinner conversation as anyone else, and most of the tables were at least half empty once the dance floor opened. My pianists actually sat with my mom and aunts, who LOVED talking with them. Nothing second class about any of them.

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    lc07Alikat9614
  • Our DJ sat with guests, as he was someone we knew and we could sit him at a table right next to the DJ booth with people he knew. 

    We asked our photographer if she wanted to be seated with guests or not and she said that she usually grabbed a quick bite in a back room as she liked to be "on" as much as possible during the meal so as to not miss anything photo-worthy. Since this is what she wanted, that's what we did. Had she said that she did want to be seated at a table with guests, I would have happily done so. 
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  • Our DJ ate at his station and the two photographers sat at their own table beside the DJ's booth. That's what the vendors wanted, and that what the reception venue typically does. I would just speak to your vendors to find out what they prefer.
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  • Thanks for all the replies. I'm glad to see there isn't just one etiquette-approved way to do this because now I have a lot of options when I talk to the venue.

    LabLove86holyguacamole79
  • Our DJ at at the DJ table, per his request. Our photographer sat with some of my family; it was a 7 top any way, so it both filled up a table and allowed him to be at the first table to go through the buffet after our sweetheart table, thus allowing him to get back to work around the same time DH and I were done eating. Our videographer sat at a 6 top with people around his own age and he got back to work when he was done. Our vendors were very appreciative of getting a good meal and time to sit down, but not be secluded so they could still get some shots at their discretion.
    theartistformerlyknownas
  • I don't know where my DJ and photographers sat. I went up to each of them and said the buffet and nonalcoholic drinks were open to them, please have at as much as they wanted. We had plenty of seats (I didn't do a seating chart) and that they were free to sit wherever they wanted when they ate. I know they ate, I saw them in the line, talked to them all night long. They always had a smile on their face, said the food was awesome. I hope they took a moment to sit. They deserved it. 
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    edited September 2014
    DJ ate at his station.    Photographers ate at the high tops near the bar.   They could have eaten in a little area just off the reception area.  They choose to stand at the high tops so they didn't miss anything.

    Due to the tent collapsing a few hours before the wedding there were 2 guys from the tent company around (I got married in the middle of a strong tropical storm).    They ate in the small room off the reception room.  


    Everyone one got the same food as the guests.  After they were asked about dietary restrictions. 

     Well the 2 guys we didn't ask. No one knew until last minute they were staying. They were over an hour from home.  I instructed the coordinator to feed them whatever they wanted.  I instructed them personally to eat anything they wanted from the cocktail hour.   Due to some no shows it didn't cost us anything extra. Had it we would have paid.   It was the least we could do since they gave up their saturday night to make sure our wedding wasn't ruined by a collapsing tent.


    ETA - I should note there was dancing between courses.  So it was not like the photographers were trying to take pictures of people eating.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07
  • jynxiie said:
    I'm sitting ours with guests. I tried to put them with people I thought they'd get along with. I agree it would look strange having a table just for 3 vendors.
    I did this too. Not only did it help with the aesthetics of it, but it made them feel more welcomed and comfortable. 

    theartistformerlyknownas
  • The band, all 7 of them ate during their break at a separate table in the main part of the CC where the reception was held.

    The photographer was working but grabbed a quick bite (as per her request) in the same place and then went back to work

  • Cookie PusherCookie Pusher Looking over your shoulder member
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Our vendors were spread out among our guests. The officiant and piper sat at a table with some of our college friends (we all went to the same school), the two photographers sat with my family, and the DJ had a seat at the table closest to the DJ booth. This helped us to fill up partial tables and kept our vendors nearby in case we needed them. The people we had as vendors happened to be friends of ours, but we would have done the same had we chosen other vendors (as long as THEY were comfortable with it, that is).
    ~*~*~*~*~

    Alikat9614
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited September 2014
    I think there will always be some combination of what the vendors want combined with what the venue may normally do.
    Our DJ was happy to eat at his station. Our venue pulled the cake table off to the side after we cut the cake (it was to be served as dessert) and set that table for our two photographers.  We sat the officiant and his wife with family that we knew they'd jive with.  ETA: the officiant was "off-duty" and was sitting for the whole 5 courses. The photographers and DJ were "on-duty" and had the 2-course vendor meal provided by the venue.

    That said, I've been that guest sitting at a table with 5 or 6 other guests plus vendors.  To an extent I felt like a "leftover" friend, but I understand that's how the numbers play out sometimes as family and friends don't come in neat sets of 8 or 10. 
    ________________________________


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