What is a vendor meal? Do you require them? Let’s talk about this subject…sometimes it can be a touchy one.
Lots of time and effort goes in to making sure your big day is perfect. Your vendor team spends countless hours meeting with you, emailing and calling you, creating timelines, downloading music, making playlists and so much more. On wedding day, the bulk of your vendors are with you on average of eight hours. Sometimes more. Sometimes less. For Joe and I, we are usually there anywhere from 8-10 hours…sometimes more depending on wedding specifics.
Think about it, vendors like your photographer, videographer and coordinator are with you around three to four hours prior to your ceremony and are usually there until the very end of your reception or at least until cake cutting. By the time dinner rolls around, we have been on our feet working hard for you for around five hours. Because we want to provide you with the best possible experience, we don’t have time to order in dinner or go off site. Brining our own food gets tricky because lots of times there is no where to store it or warm it up. This is where a vendor meal comes in and boy do we appreciate and love you for it!!
A vendor meal is a great way to show your appreciation to your hard-working team. Now only is it a hot, filling, delicious meal, bu it also gives us 15 minutes to sit, chow down and rest our feet as we prep for the rest of the night. And when I say chow down, I mean it. We don’t lolly-gag. Instead, we sit, shovel the food down our throat and get back to working for you! It’s very important to have your vendors eat while all of your guests are eating, so we don’t miss anything important.
Most venues and catering companies will offer vendor meals to you at a discount or even include a few for free. Some places give you an option of a hot meal (which we always prefer) and some offer boxed meals. It is very important to check your contracts when you are gathering your final numbers to submit to your caterer to see if your particular vendor requires a meal and if they have any specifics about that meal. (This is always something I do for my clients – perk of hiring a coordinator!)
For example, we (as in Big Day Celebrations) require a hot meal, not a boxed meal. Ok, so that may sound very snippety, but here is why. Many times those boxed meals are prepared one or two (or even three) days in advance. By the time they get to us, the sandwiches are soggy. I personally feel bad that you have paid money for something that quite frankly we can’t really eat. (Sensitive stomach here – I get nervous). Usually for a few bucks more, you can get hot meals and they come out of the kitchen just like every one else. Most of the time there isn’t even an extra fee for that! They’re fresh. They’re yummy. They give us that boost we need to kick butt for you until the end of the night. 🙂
The vendors you would normally provide a meal for are:
Coordinators and their assistant(s)
Photographers and their assistant(s)
Videographers and their assistant(s)
Band (all members including the sound guy)
DJ and their assistant or MC
Sometimes there are a few other random vendors like a caricature artists, candy buffet attendant or performer that would need one.
There are vendors out there that don’t require one and that’s cool! Like I said, that is why it is always important to triple check your contract. I also always ask if that vendor has any dietary restrictions. Usually as long as the caterer knows in advance, they can accommodate! No sense in paying for a chicken meal for a vendor if they are vegetarian (like me and Joe). Waste of money because we will just eat the mashed potatoes and veggies. 🙂
I hope that helps explain why vendor meals are so important. As always, we are here with any questions you may have!