Wedding Etiquette Forum

To Feed or Not to Feed...

That is the question! I am having an intimate wedding of 100 guests, there is absolutely no wiggle room on that number. It took a lot of cutting and some heated discussions to finally get it down to that number.

The problem is, I have been reading that you also have to feed your photographers, videographer and DJ. When I contacted the event coordinator at the venue and asked her about the meals for them she said you have to put them into the quest count. Which would mean I would have to cut 4 more of my family and friends so that I can offer a meal to them.

I just felt like I am already paying for their photo/video/DJ services for the day (which is very expensive) so why would I also have to cut my own guest list and pay for them to eat too?

Is this mandatory to do? Would I be a bad host not to feed them? I am so stressed over this, I really don't want to cut anymore of my friends or family! :(

Any input would help! Thanks!
KnotRiley
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Re: To Feed or Not to Feed...

  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    That is the question! I am having an intimate wedding of 100 guests, there is absolutely no wiggle room on that number. It took a lot of cutting and some heated discussions to finally get it down to that number.

    The problem is, I have been reading that you also have to feed your photographers, videographer and DJ. When I contacted the event coordinator at the venue and asked her about the meals for them she said you have to put them into the quest count. Which would mean I would have to cut 4 more of my family and friends so that I can offer a meal to them.

    I just felt like I am already paying for their photo/video/DJ services for the day (which is very expensive) so why would I also have to cut my own guest list and pay for them to eat too?

    Is this mandatory to do? Would I be a bad host not to feed them? I am so stressed over this, I really don't want to cut anymore of my friends or family! :(

    Any input would help! Thanks!
    Check your contracts with the vendors. Depending on the length of time that they're there, they may or may require a meal.
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    PrettyGirlLostFosmohjaprincess24
  • How much extra is it to feed your vendors?  A couple hundred?  Thousands?  If the former is the case, and you can't come up with that, you probably shouldn't be having that big of a wedding to begin with.  If the latter, well, again, you shouldn't be having that big of a wedding if it means you end up being rude to anybody there, including the vendors.
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    MGPAmanderson1290
  • dalm0mdalm0m member
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Comments 25 Love Its Combo Breaker
    My venue offered vendor meals at a different price (which did not include the open bar because they were there to work not party)
  • NowIamMrsKleinNowIamMrsKlein Cold Canadian North (British Columbia) member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Definitely check your contracts. My DJ and Photographer specify in their contracts that they either a) must be provided a meal or b) must be allowed to leave for an HOUR to get their own food for which they must be reimbursed.

    If you are having your vendors their over meal time, personally i think it would be super awkward to feed everyone else and NOT them.

    Ditto PP's about whether or not its budget concerns or venue capacity. If its capacity then yes, you have to cut your guest list. Meal or not, vendors have to be included.

    If its budget, work with the venue to see if they offer discounted vendor meals.

    Did you remember to include your FI and yourself in your guest count???
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    Blue_Birdcowgirl8238japrincess24
  • Check with the DJ, some require and others don't, but that should be established ahead of time so that if you aren't going to provide food for them, they can eat prior to coming. As for the photographer and video person, If you are only going to have them for a ceremony & say an hour or two of the reception, they can probably plan eating around that. But if you are going to have the them for basically the whole day, you either need to feed them at your reception or give them a minimum of 30 minute break to go eat during the day. Possibly an hour break in case they need to go find a local place to get food if there isn't one nearby. To ask someone to work for 6+ hours and not eat is not realistic and do you really want your photographer to have "snickers" moment? And if you think about it, what portion of the day do you not want them there for almost an hour?

    indianaalum
  • MegEn1MegEn1 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    Our caterer has a plan for vendors that's like ... $20 a pop because naturally they aren't eating the same spread we're providing the guests. I'm sure it'll be good food, adequate, but nothing to write home about. Can't your caterer look at something like that? 

    Otherwise some have it in their contracts some do not. If it's not in the contract it isn't expected. 

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  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    As PPs have said, look at your vendor contracts to see what, if any, meal requirements your vendors have, and also check your budget to see if anything can be dropped or cheaper alternatives can be substituted if your budget is an issue.

    But don't expect vendors to work without getting meals.
    MGP
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    I will say that even if the contract states nothing about a meal it is still a nice gesture to feed your vendors.  Most vendors will only take a short break to eat, maybe 15 minutes or so.  For example my DJ ate at his booth so he could still play music and my photographer and her assistant ate at a cocktail table while we ate and then they started snapping pictures once we got up to make table visits (so I guess they got a 35 minute break)

    But you have to remember that most weddings take place over a meal time, so unless you are okay with giving them 45 minutes or so to leave (means missing pictures and no music) and get a meal elsewhere, I suggest you find it in your budget to pay for 2 more meals.

    Also, in your 100 guest count, did you remember to count yourself and your FI?  Some couples tend to forget themselves in the headcount.

    [Deleted User]japrincess24
  • AddieCake said:
    How much extra is it to feed your vendors?  A couple hundred?  Thousands?  If the former is the case, and you can't come up with that, you probably shouldn't be having that big of a wedding to begin with.  If the latter, well, again, you shouldn't be having that big of a wedding if it means you end up being rude to anybody there, including the vendors.
    I disagree with this. While I don't like OP's attitude (and suspect she might be a bad tipper as well), I don't think it's fair to say that someone apparently can't afford the wedding they are having if they can't afford to come up with an additional couple hundred dollars. 
    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.  My thought is, if a wedding is stretching you so far financially that an extra few hundred dollars will break you (if 2 extra meals even costs that), then you probably shouldn't be spending what you're spending on the wedding.  Also, the meals for the vendors should have been factored into the budget in the first place.  
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    Amanderson1290
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    AddieCake said:
    How much extra is it to feed your vendors?  A couple hundred?  Thousands?  If the former is the case, and you can't come up with that, you probably shouldn't be having that big of a wedding to begin with.  If the latter, well, again, you shouldn't be having that big of a wedding if it means you end up being rude to anybody there, including the vendors.
    I disagree with this. While I don't like OP's attitude (and suspect she might be a bad tipper as well), I don't think it's fair to say that someone apparently can't afford the wedding they are having if they can't afford to come up with an additional couple hundred dollars. 
    I agree, Addie. My cost per person was $225. OP said they had four vendors, which, minus the bar costs, would still have been over $800 for me. That's a lot of money to spend if it isn't necessary. 
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    Maggie0829PrettyGirlLostsnowywinter
  • Right, but no venue is charging $225 for a vendor meal. The photographer wont be enjoying the open bar, cocktail hour, or venetian hour, so her meal will be less. Our vendor meals, like the kids meals were half off the regular price.
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    PrettyGirlLostjulieanne912
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited July 2015
    AddieCake said:
    How much extra is it to feed your vendors?  A couple hundred?  Thousands?  If the former is the case, and you can't come up with that, you probably shouldn't be having that big of a wedding to begin with.  If the latter, well, again, you shouldn't be having that big of a wedding if it means you end up being rude to anybody there, including the vendors.
    I disagree with this. While I don't like OP's attitude (and suspect she might be a bad tipper as well), I don't think it's fair to say that someone apparently can't afford the wedding they are having if they can't afford to come up with an additional couple hundred dollars. 
    I agree, Addie. My cost per person was $225. OP said they had four vendors, which, minus the bar costs, would still have been over $800 for me. That's a lot of money to spend if it isn't necessary. 
    -----

    Boxes?

    If meals are part of a vendor's contract - then it is necessary and needs to be accounted for in the budget.  If it's not in your budget then do without the vendor.  A DJ needs to be fed.  An iPod doesn't.

    Even if it's not in the contract it's the right thing to do.  Feeding some people but not all over a meal time is horrifically rude, even if those people are on your payroll for the day.

    ETA - since I love math let's look at it from a percentage standpoint.  At ANY budget price point it shouldn't cost you more than 2% more to feed a few more people.  That 2% will give you a much greater return on happy, fed vendors who do quality work, and if you don't have 2% wiggle room in your budget you are probably not spending your money well on other areas of your wedding either.  Just another lesson in not spending and inviting to your full capacity.
    [Deleted User]julieanne912Amanderson1290
  • Yes, please feed them, and I am curious like others, is the 100 people your budget limit or space capacity? that makes it a whole different ball game. I'm also not going to say if you should or shouldn't be spending what you are spending if you can't wiggle out an extra couple hundred, but I can say that personally I would not feel comfortable with that. I wouldn't want to be stretching it so thin that every account was drained and I couldn't come up with even a penny more, but to each their own. 

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  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Yes, you need to feed your vendors (though it should be a cheaper meal than your guest meals are). If they are working over a meal time, they should get a meal (or you need to give them time off to go get food).

    Vendors also need to be included in the head count (food or not) regarding maximum venue capacity.

    PPs gave good advice on the rest- if the issue is budget, cut out favours, find cheaper flowers or smaller bouquets, or cut something else to fit in 4 people.

    I agree that this scenario is a good reason to not invite to your venues or to your budget capacity.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    If you can't afford to feed your vendors, you should not be having a videographer.

     Also, when is your wedding? Are you inviting everyone's SO? What if someone gets into a relationship before invites go out (if they haven't already)? You always should have extra wiggle room in your budget and your capacity.
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    [Deleted User]MGPAmanderson1290kaitlynmichelle
  • If you invited 100 guests exactly and cannot afford to feed 4 more, how are you paying for your and your future spouse's meals? I assume you two are not included in that 100 either and you want to eat, don't you?
    image
  • OK, first of all I want to thank everyone for their input, second of all I want to say the snarkiness and attitudes are not appreciated. I've never planned a wedding before, so I am not a pro at planning or know proper etiquette so that is why I asked on a discussion board. I have read many articles on a couple different wedding planning sites that have explained both sides (feeding and not feeding). Which is why I reached out considering I found just as many "Yes, you feed them" as I did "No, You dont have to".

    To answer some of the questions, 100 is the number my fiance and I came up with due to our tiny budget. It is $115 per plate at the venue we booked. We have already cut our budget in other areas (for ex. we are making our centerpieces out of the cheapest grocery store premade bouquets. We are not having limos or any type of transportation, our 2003 ford explorer is our ride. Not having an engagement party or engagement photos taken. Not going on a honeymoon for a couple years after our wedding and my fiance's ring is made out of silicone, not a precious metal.) We made a lot of cuts in other areas so that we can afford the venue we wanted. I get it, that's on us, we could of chose a cheaper one, but its our wedding so we had to have at least ONE part exactly what we wanted on our day.

    Yes, I did include my fiance and I into that 100 count. When i contacted the venue, they are the ones that told me that the vendors would count as a guest so the cost would be the same per meal and I would have to add them to the final count. But like I said, the 100 count is due to budget not capacity so paying $460 more or even having to cut 4 of our friends and family to get it into the budget is a killer.

    I completely understand the whole "how would you feel if you went 8 hours without eating?". I do it sometimes when I am busy and it blows big time, I am ridiculously hangry by the end of the day. BUT I also bring my own food and prepare myself for the day. My work pays for me to do my job but I am responsible for feeding myself, I prepare accordingly. I reread the contract and i couldnt find anywhere that it says I have to feed my photographer and DJ. I'm not a bridezilla and I dont want to come off as one, i just want everyone to have a good time at my wedding and still be in the budget.

    sooooooooo stressed!!! lol
    sunflowersandcurls
  • peachy13peachy13 in my cubicle, doing very important work member
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited July 2015
    OK, first of all I want to thank everyone for their input, second of all I want to say the snarkiness and attitudes are not appreciated. I've never planned a wedding before, so I am not a pro at planning or know proper etiquette so that is why I asked on a discussion board. I have read many articles on a couple different wedding planning sites that have explained both sides (feeding and not feeding). Which is why I reached out considering I found just as many "Yes, you feed them" as I did "No, You dont have to".

    To answer some of the questions, 100 is the number my fiance and I came up with due to our tiny budget. It is $115 per plate at the venue we booked. We have already cut our budget in other areas (for ex. we are making our centerpieces out of the cheapest grocery store premade bouquets. We are not having limos or any type of transportation, our 2003 ford explorer is our ride. Not having an engagement party or engagement photos taken. Not going on a honeymoon for a couple years after our wedding and my fiance's ring is made out of silicone, not a precious metal.) We made a lot of cuts in other areas so that we can afford the venue we wanted. I get it, that's on us, we could of chose a cheaper one, but its our wedding so we had to have at least ONE part exactly what we wanted on our day.

    Yes, I did include my fiance and I into that 100 count. When i contacted the venue, they are the ones that told me that the vendors would count as a guest so the cost would be the same per meal and I would have to add them to the final count. But like I said, the 100 count is due to budget not capacity so paying $460 more or even having to cut 4 of our friends and family to get it into the budget is a killer.

    I completely understand the whole "how would you feel if you went 8 hours without eating?". I do it sometimes when I am busy and it blows big time, I am ridiculously hangry by the end of the day. BUT I also bring my own food and prepare myself for the day. My work pays for me to do my job but I am responsible for feeding myself, I prepare accordingly. I reread the contract and i couldnt find anywhere that it says I have to feed my photographer and DJ. I'm not a bridezilla and I dont want to come off as one, i just want everyone to have a good time at my wedding and still be in the budget.

    sooooooooo stressed!!! lol


    You're right that there is a lot of information out there dedicated to wedding planning, but not all of the info available provides proper etiquette. Even though you may read somewhere that it's okay to not feed your vendors, that same article/website may also tell you to instruct your guests on what to wear, to have a 2 hour gap in between the ceremony and reception, and that cash bars are okay. I think a lot people planning their wedding - who have never planned one before (myself included) - know that TK etiquette board will likely steer you in the right direction. I don't think anyone is being snarky to you, but it's possibly that everyone is giving you answers you just don't want to hear.


    ETA: $115/plate is a big time expense for a small budget. I don't know when your wedding is but is there any chance of changing venues? And it would be "bridezilla" of you to host your guests at this lovely, expensive venue but refuse to feed your vendors.
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    newvalleyAmanderson1290
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