There's more to hiring vendors for your wedding than just picking someone who provides the service you're looking for, has a style you love, and will show up on-time on your wedding day. You know you're supposed to tip them and feed them, but what about where your wedding vendors will stay once the party's over? Our experts weigh in on whether or not booking a hotel room for your vendors should be added to your to-do list.
Whether or not you have to provide hotel rooms for your vendors depends on whether the wedding professionals you're working with are local, will have to drive to your venue, or are flying in from another part of the state or country. Does your planner live a few towns over? Chances are they'll drive home at the end of the evening. Are you getting married at a remote location, but your photographer is based out of the state capital? Even if he or she isn't contracted to shoot for the entire evening, you may be contractually required to book them a room nearby for the night. Flying in that amazing band you saw in Nashville? A few hotel rooms will definitely be required.
Most vendors (particularly planners, photographers, and bands and DJs) have a travel and lodging fee outlined in their contract, which requires you to either pay an additional sum or cover their costs if you're asking them to travel beyond a certain distance from where they're based. It's usually in the same section where they outline requirements for vendor meals, but if you don't see it, just ask! You can also confirm how many rooms they'll need, especially for a band with a larger number of members — chances are all 10 band members don't need their own rooms, but they may ask for separate rooms for performers of different genders, or be totally fine sleeping four people in a room with two double beds.
If you would like to (or are required to) provide lodging for some of your vendors the night of your wedding, you're not obligated to put them up in the same swanky hotel where the reception will be held. You will, however, want to pick a hotel that's nearby and easily accessible, and should confirm with your venue that the vendors' equipment (especially things like speakers, lighting, and instruments) can be stored somewhere safe for the night — this way they're not lugging everything across town unnecessarily.