Do We Have to Feed Our Wedding Vendors?

Esther Sun Photography

Sure, you've already paid your wedding vendors for their day-of services. But should you also pay for their meal? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your questions in our daily post.

Do we have to feed our wedding vendors?

Definitely yes—the last thing you want on your wedding day is a low-energy DJ or an exhausted photographer. Your vendors are putting on your affair so that you don't have to, so plan on feeding any wedding professionals who will be there with you at the reception. This includes your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, and DJ or band, plus their assistants (but not your florist or the ceremony musicians).

Work their meals into your budget and consider it part of their fee. (And actually, for many vendors, it is actually stipulated in the contract that the couple is to provide a meal.) As for pricing, ask your caterer—everyone has different policies. Some won't charge extra while others will charge you around 50 percent of the guest meal cost. Others will have you pay full price. Once that's settled, you are responsible for letting your caterer know how many extra meals they need to prepare for your vendors. Also talk to your caterers and the venue manager to designate a quiet spot for them to eat during a break (though you may want to seat your photographer in the main room so they're near the action, in case they need to jump out of their seat to take a shot). Just remember, your vendors are going to be working five to eight hours (or more!) that day and you don't want their energy to flag just as the party gets going.

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