Many of you will really have never thought of this ever before, but as soon as you meet with your coordinator and put together a detailed timeline of the wedding day, you may notice there is a time in there for "vendor meals."
A vendor meal is basically a meal that your vendors get to eat. Sometimes we eat the same meal as the guests but most of the time, we are served a quick and easy meal, that is also inexpensive for you, because that is all we really need to refuel and jump back into the wedding!
Without question, when I put together a timeline for a couple, the vendors always eat first. You're probably a bit confused by this at the moment..."How rude!" "Guests come first!"
...but before you judge, let me tell you why.
A photographer, for example, typically has about a 10 hour day. He or she arrives toward the end of you getting ready to taken those much-adored "getting ready shots." Then some groomsmen shots are taken, you get into your dress, the bridesmaids take some photos, and about half of the time the bride and groom then do their first look.
Then it is time for the wedding ceremony to being and a simple timeline goes something like this:
5:00pm: Ceremony starts
5:30pm: Ceremony ends
5:30-6:30pm: Cocktail Hour
6:30pm: Grand Entrance
6:35pm: Welcome speech
6:40pm: Dinner is served/buffet opens
7:15pm: Toasts (during dinner)
7:40pm: Dinner ends
7:45pm: Father-Daughter Dance
7:50pm: Mother-Son Dance
7:55pm: Open dancing
8:15pm: Cake cutting
8:20pm: Garter Toss
8:25pm: Bouquet Toss
8:30pm: Photographer departure
I know every timeline is different and "activities" are all placed depending on specific circumstances, one being how many hours you have your photographer hired for. Sometimes, you just can't get everything into a timeline and sometimes you have to squeeze it in real tight.
Now take a look back and you'll notice, that the only time the photographer is able to eat during this timeline, if from 6:40-7:15pm. Then it's boom boom boom for the rest of the evening before the leave for the night.
And this isn't just for photographers...do you really want your DJ eating at his or her DJ table in front of all of your guests while he is trying to get a dance party started?? I think not! And he needs to be there to make announcements for everything else so like a photographer, he or she only has that short time period to eat as well.
Making more sense now?
So while you may think it's rude and you may think your guests come first, here are the reasons why you should ALWAYS make a request with your caterer that your vendors eat first:
1. They are humans too...and need food. They have been there since the morning setting up, shooting, etc. and didn't have a cocktail hour full of appetizers. All humans need to eat!
2. It's in the contract - Most vendors do require vendor meals for all of their employees present. So take a look at your contract and make sure you're all covered.
3. Food = fuel. And fuel helps us perform! You want the best photos possible, right? You want an outstanding video shot, right? You want your DJ to sound enthusiastic, right? Well food is our fuel and it helps us perform to the best of our ability.
Do yourself and your amazing vendors a favor, and give us that 15 minutes to scarf down a meal and refuel to help you have a fantastic wedding the rest of the evening!