More than a one-night affair…

Feeding the (vendor) Bellies

I know what you are thinking right now… there is an irony about writing a blog on feeding bellies when I have such a challenge making time to eat on a daily basis.
However, on wedding days, it is like I am a different person. Not only do I get plenty of sleep the night before, but I also make sure that I eat & stay hydrated throughout the day… Running around for weddings is no cake walk! But before we go on to question my reasoning on eating habits… Lets focus on the subject matter; Feeding Vendors at weddings/events.

Most people who are planning a wedding for the first time, might find it odd that many of the vendors who will be servicing their event for the majority of the day, request to be provided a meal as a condition on their contract. But its not uncommon for this sort of thing to be either implied or be part of the contract, I have it as a part of mine, and it even specifies that it be a vegetarian mean (not because  I am vegetarian but because I have so many random allergies, it’s usually the safest choice!) The alternative to not providing a meal is that the vendor leaves your event to find their own food… posing a slight little problem to the service being provided, especially if they are a photographer, videographer or DJ. Additionally, if you happen to be at a venue that is not in a centralized location for a quick bite to eat… we face a few more challenges… timeline nightmare!
While I do not think it is necessary to feed us the same meal as the guests, or seat us among them. I do think it’s important to get us re-energized for all the fun still left in the night (nothing is worse than a passed out vendor!). Usually, when all the vendors have an opportunity to sit down together for a quick break, we are also “task planning” or reviewing for the remainder of your event. It is when we cover important items such as the correct pronunciation of names (for toasts or speeches) for the DJ, or strategic placing of you during the bouquet & garter toss, with the photo/video team or maybe we are running early/late and need to adjust the timeline a bit. There are so many elements important to us a team, that a quick second to review (and eat!) really allow us to do what we do best.

Obviously, all of this has to happen before the rest of the wedding starts to get on its way. Which brings me to a second point about feeding the vendors… it is usually best for us to get our break when “nothing” is happening. Which is usually during dinner, when everyone is just enjoying meal and conversation- there are no moments that will be missed on photo & video, and no music that needs to be changed in response to the crowd. Customarily, I advice my clients to feed the vendors right after they (the couple) and wedding party & families have been served or excused to the buffet. Back to the team effort, often times, between me & the DJ or the caterers, we come up with a plan (before your wedding) on how your tables will be served or excused for dinner- that way people in a buffet style wedding, aren’t left to try and figure out when they are going to eat because the DJ or the coordinator are MIA. Ultimately, feeding your vendors at the top of the dinner hour allows them to get back to work quicker!

I have in the past worked at 5-Star venues that have had issue with feeding the vendors early for some reason. When it’s happened, I encourage couples that instead of arguing it through with the catering sales-person who refuses to add it to the BEO timeline, just go along with it (and don’t forget to order the meal!), for I will normally deal with the kitchen staff on the day of the wedding anyway; they totally get it! 9.9 times out of 10, we’ve all been taken care of just fine regardless of what the BEO timeline says…  ☺ Nothing a little Sweet Brenda Talk can’t accomplish!
Ok no, but seriously, it goes back to being that “Team” effort for your wedding, and catering teams usually understand what it takes to have a successful event too, so we all do our best not just for ourselves, but for everyone we want to work with in the future!

Thank you for feeding our bellies!!!


8 responses

  1. Lindsay

    I read somewhere you were unable to eat at our wedding…that makes me very sad 😦 I had included the vendors in our guest count so you guys could get the food everyone else was getting. Of course that night I forgot to ask if you guys had eaten…:( So Sorry!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    • no apologies needed darling! We all got taken care of 🙂 xxo!

      January 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm

  2. Great post Brenda! 🙂 And thanks for taking great care of me and Daniel the other time when we worked together! 🙂

    July 23, 2009 at 5:29 pm

  3. Amen!

    July 23, 2009 at 9:06 pm

  4. Audra

    This is a great post! As an upcoming bride, I love to be prepped with this kind of insight. I asked my venue at the first meeting if there was a vendor meal package, as the regular per person charge includes an hour of open bar, champagne, cake fee blah blah blah. Things above what the vendors will be utilizing. At least I assume the open bar is not what the vendors come for? Haha- I am a “vendor” too- don’t we WISH!
    Anyway- there is not a special rate, so I am paying the same price for the vendors as my guests, which seemed a bit off to me. OF COURSE I will do it, because I gotta feed yall! But with a buffet like we are having, I almost want to stick it to the venue and just go fix myself 5 plates LOL! Ah, gotta love the wedding venues!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:46 pm

  5. echo to what melissa said. 🙂

    July 24, 2009 at 1:43 am

  6. DJ Showtime

    Amen times 3! 🙂

    I’ve always left out meals in my contracts to avoid looking tacky. But after reading this post there are so many good reasons why I should add it in there. Thanks Brenda I feel a little better about this now.

    July 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

  7. Hi, everything is going fine here and ofcourse every one is sharing facts, that’s actually excellent, keep up writing.

    April 6, 2014 at 11:58 pm

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