Weddings can be pretty overwhelming for everyone. It’s a really long day, there’s a lot of action and moving around, and let’s not even get into the stress of getting everything right. Sometimes I find myself at the end of the night completely drained. Yes, I loved it, but I’m still worn out. Things are 10 times worse, though, if I don’t eat anything throughout the day. This brings up a question that’s been going around: should you feed your wedding vendors?
Should You Feed Your Wedding Vendors?
I know I sound like I’m already on one side of the argument (I am), but I’m going to do my best to represent all sides of the question. That way, in the end, you can make your own decision instead of just listening to me (or not).
A. Don’t Feed Them!!!
Let’s start with the reasons not to feed your wedding vendors. I don’t think this is the majority of people, but the people that do agree usually feel very strongly.
It’s Another Expense
Weddings are expensive. I’ve said that thousands of times, and I think everyone knows it. You’re already paying for so many things and that bill just keeps growing. If you buy food for all the vendors, that’s another $100-$300 depending on the price of food and amount of vendors.
Vendors are Getting Paid to Be There
Do you like paying someone twice? Some people see feeding the vendors is doing that. You’re already paying them for their services, so why should you have to buy them food? Can’t they take care of that themselves? I mean, do you bring lunch to the person that serves you at a restaurant?
B. Feed Them!!!
This is the side that I tend to fall on, of course. I’m a wedding vendor and I’d prefer to be fed.
Wedding’s are a Special Celebration
Weddings aren’t your everyday event. It’s not like going to the post office. Weddings are a special event, and anyone that is involved is a big part of making it memorable. These people, the vendors, should be treated like more than just workers. Often, I spend more time with the couple than anyone else there, so I hope I’m more than a random person to them.
With all of that said, in general, I believe vendors should be treated similarly to a guest. Now, I know that there is still a big difference between the vendors and a guest, but I think serving them food shows you value them.
The last thing you want for your wedding is something not going right. Honestly, when I get too hungry or thirsty, I start to feel sick and get light-headed. I can survive for a long time without, but after 7 hours or so, I start to crack. I remember one time I even got sick to the point where I had to sit down.
Overall, people will do a better job and think more highly of you if you feed them. Think about the opposite, they are hungry and they think you don’t care.
Is this for every Vendor?
I don’t think this applies to every single person that is involved in your wedding. Your florist and baker probably won’t be around more than an hour. I think this really applies to the people that are there for over 4 hours. That would be your photographer, videographer, DJ, planner, and maybe a few other people.
If you’re not satisfied with either side, you can always compromise. There are a few options that might keep both sides happy.
One thing I’ve heard of couples doing is having some kind of packaged food prepared for the vendors. It’s usually some kind of sandwich. This is much cheaper than paying for the normal meal everyone else is getting. The only downside I could see to this is some vendors still might look down on this as being cheap or not caring about them.
Another option is to let the vendors go get their own food. I know in some contracts it states that if food isn’t provided the vendor will leave for a set amount of time to get food. This keeps the couple from having to pay for anything, but do you really want your DJ or photographer disappearing for an hour?
What’s the right answer?
Like most things in life, I don’t think there is a perfect answer. For most, I would say feed those vendors that are there for longer than 4 hours. Most likely you’ve built a relationship with them and want them to feel comfortable. In the end, I think spending a few hundred dollars is well worth happy vendors that are full and ready to work!