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Feeding the Help

The question of whether or not a couple should provide a meal for their vendors in one I see circulating around a lot.

Being a vendor who usually works 7+ hours on a wedding day, my immediate response has been “Of course you feed your vendors! They are providing you a service and it’s terrible to make people working hard for you starve!”

But, as is always a good step to take when such an initial knee jerk reaction like that takes place, I took a step back and tried to examine the situation from the couple’s point of view as well as the vendors.

Here is what I have learned.

Not Every Wedding Vendor Is Hired Equal

Just because someone is present at your wedding and working for you in a vendor capacity, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are working hard, or working for a long period of time.

Some vendors may just show up and set up a candy bar or a s’mores bar and leave after half and hour. If they also hit the buffet line while they are there, that’s an extra $12-$20 (maybe more) extra that you are out.

As a rule I would go for any vendor who is giving you 4+ hours of their time as deserving of a meal.

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Food Is Energy

Don’t think of it as who would you be rude to not give a meal to. Think of it more along the lines of who needs the energy boost that food will bring to stay on their A-Game?

I know that if I am filming a wedding for a 7 hour span, I start yawning a lot between when the reception starts and when food is served. My thoughts drift towards food and the need for more energy.

You want your vendors to have clear thinking and give you their best when working your wedding.

I think that extra $12-$20 would be worth the extra cost to have someone bringing their best work to my wedding.

Keep An Eye On The Contract

Some vendors write that you must provide them a meal right into their contract.

I am one of those vendors. I know that I cannot bring my best performance when working for 7+ hours without some food in me at some point.

Make sure you are reading your vendors contracts carefully to know if you are to supply them a meal or not.
Odds are that if they took the time and thought to add it in, they feel as though they need the food to provide good service.

If you have someone setting up and running a photobooth for 3 hours, they may be putting this clause in their contract to score some free food.

As I said before, 4+ hours of service is usually a good rule.

What Would You Want If You Were The Vendor?

Overall, put yourself in the vendors shoes.

How long would you want to work your job without eating?

What span of time could you perform your best for your client without refueling?

By putting yourself in that position, you should be able to better see who gets food and who doesn’t.


Thanks for reading this post!

I hope it has helped you in deciding who gets to partake in your wedding dinner!

I know that my initial reaction of anger towards people who ask this has changed to a more questioning outlook on the situation.

What do you think?

Should every vendor get a meal?

Does it matter how long they work?

I would love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!