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(Wedding) food for thought

Kate Cataldo

A Pittsburgh wedding blog, Burgh Brides reported that 88% of couples believe their vendors should receive the same meal options as their guests.

So, what does the other 12% want their vendors to eat?

A lot of wedding venues provide meals for vendors, which sounds great to a couple as they all want the people working for them all day to eat and enjoy.

However, many couples don’t realize that most venues provide “boxed lunches” for their vendors in order to save a dollar. And, when a vendor sits down to a cold, pre-made sandwich and a tiny fruit cup after running around for hours, they can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I, myself, could eat two full meals after photographing a wedding all day.

Some photographers, like myself, have even taken to putting a clause in their contracts stating a hot meal — the same as the guests — must be provided. Some even say that if a meal is not provided then they will leave and eat their meal elsewhere. It’s important for wedding vendors to fuel up throughout the day as they exert a lot of energy doing what they do.

It has also come to light that many couples think that their vendors are getting a hot meal. But, since the vendors are most times seated in an entirely different room, the couples don’t even see the vendors eating. Couples will even pay for a hot meal for the vendors only to find out that they weren’t given one.

It seems as though the communication between couples and vendors is open, but the venues are falling short when coming through with vendor meal promises.

A photographer was even told by a venue coordinator once that “we don’t feed vendors here.”

I was told at a wedding that the cookie table was “for guests only,” when the bride had just told me to fix myself a box before I left for the night. Clearly, the venues do and say what they want, even against the couple’s wishes.

Photographers and other wedding vendors admitted that they feel undervalued when they are escorted to a “broom closet propped open by the mop bucket” to eat their soggy sandwich probably made at 9 a.m. that morning. Vendors are sometimes also the last to get served their meals, giving them no time to sit and eat their meal and vendors said it can be “quite embarrassing.”

It’s clear that venues are only hurting their relationships with vendors by treating them as less than. These vendors are people who all work together to make the event happen, so why is it so hard for them to just get a decent meal?

More and more vendors are seeking to educate couples, vendors, and wedding planners about why they are asking for a simple hot meal that is easily accessible. Vendors shouldn’t have to be the bad guy in order to get fed during a long day’s work.

It may be smart for wedding venues to start thinking more about their working relationships with vendors and how the vendors are accommodated throughout the day. It may only be a matter of time before vendors stop servicing certain venue locations simply because the venue can’t or won’t feed them.

In reality, the solution is simple: Feed your vendors a decent hot meal.

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