In the absence of essential service providers, your wedding cannot take place. Everyone from the furniture delivery people to the photographers to the cake decorators is essential to the smooth running of your wedding day.
The last thing you need on your wedding day is a blasé DJ or a distracted photographer who missed your first dance because she was in the back getting a snack out of her bag, so it's essential to know how to tip your providers appropriately and which vendors you should plan to feed.
Your wedding day will go off without a hitch if you follow these suggestions.
Which Vendors Do We Have to Feed?
Making sure your suppliers have enough to eat is crucial and may even be required by law or contract terms. Your wedding coordinator, photographer, videographer, band/DJ/emcee, and any additional staff they may need must be provided by you. (On the flip side, you won't have to provide meals for the caterer, florist, or anyone else who is only present for the ceremony.)
Find out from your caterer what they provide for vendor meals; typically, they will have a predetermined menu from which to choose, such as a "chef's choice" or the main course that will be served to your guests. Depending on the situation, it may be included in your catering bill or supplied at a discounted flat rate.
Remember to add any vendor food allergies or dietary restrictions when you confirm the exact number of guests for your wedding and give the final headcount to the caterer.
When Should Our Vendors Eat And Take Breaks?
Every aspect of success depends on timing. Your wedding planner, photographer, and videographer should all be given meals during the reception, so they don't miss any of the action. Although you won't provide these vendors with any scheduled breaks, they will likely remain "on" until the dancing begins, at which point they will probably slip away to the back of the venue for a few minutes to rest, drink some water, and maybe even have a piece of cake.
Something else entirely is your wedding band or DJ/MC. They must be fed before the dinner guests are seated, ideally during cocktail hour. Then, when it's time to introduce the bridal party and the newlyweds and set the tone for the reception, they'll be prepared to do so. The band may perform in sets, with brief intermissions, depending on the length of time they have agreed to provide entertainment; the wedding toasts also offer an opportunity for a quiet respite.
Should We Tip Our Vendors?
Put, yes! Make sure to reward your vendors and any helpers they may have if you are satisfied with their services. In some cases, the vendor's total cost may already contain gratuity, which means an additional tip is not required. You don't have to give these details if your photographer, videographer, baker, florist, or planner is also the owner of their own company. Still, a tip of $50-$150 per assistant is appropriate.
Of course, you're also welcome to leave a gratuity for the business's proprietor.
Some Vendor Tipping Guidelines
Catering and Waitstaff:
If a service charge or gratuity is not already included, plan on leaving $10–$20 per person. The banquet manager should also not be forgotten. A tip of $250 or more is appropriate if they are not also functioning as your wedding coordinator.
If a bartending service cost is not already included in the catering bill, you should tip 10-15% of the total amount due before taxes to be distributed between the bartenders.
Hair and Makeup Stylists:
In the same way, you would tip the stylists at a salon, and you should list your stylists between 15 and 20 per cent for their services.
Check the contract to see if there is a provision for gratuity for the musicians performing at the ceremony and the reception. If it isn't included in the price, you should budget between $25 and $50 in gratuity for each person.
Wedding Day Transportation:
If you have made arrangements for transportation services, the provider has probably already included gratuity on their invoice; nevertheless, if this is not the case, you should tip 15–20 per cent of the amount due before taxes.
What Should We Do If We’re Unhappy With Something?
It's a bitter pill to consider disliking your services after investing so much money on your wedding day. Samples and trials are your chance to voice any concerns you may have about the final product. During the pre-wedding trial run, you can try out a few alternative options for the wedding flowers, the cake, and the icing. If you're having trouble with a laborious worker, don't be shy about bringing up the issue with the company's owner. You wouldn't be left disappointed if they didn't know if one of their staff was to blame for your dissatisfaction.
Your wedding day is here, and something isn't quite right. Before complaining to the vendor, check the contract to be sure you're within your rights. You should get your money back if you were charged for elaborate floral centrepieces but were provided with tiny bud vases.
Moreover, you have legal options if the other party was unreliable or failed to appear. Make an appointment and, if applicable, provide photographic evidence to the meeting. Ensure you are well-versed in your legal standing and rights before entering into any negotiations.
Where Your Photographer Sits During Dinner & How it Impacts Your Wedding Photographs
An increasing number of engaged couples are looking for photojournalistic coverage on their wedding day. Although there won't be any posed photos taken during the reception, there will be plenty of opportunities to capture perfect candid moments, such as the mother of the bride surprising the bride with a chat and hug between courses, the flower girl sleeping under one of the tables, Grandma crying during the speeches, and impromptu dance parties. If a photographer were present, they would be able to capture some truly stunning and heartfelt moments. Here are a few suggestions for the future of Mr. and Mrs.
Have Your Photographer Sit In The Same Room As Your Guests
Sometimes, wedding reception halls will have a designated area for vendors to set up shop, away from the visitors. Some vendors would benefit much from this, but a photographer would be disappointed. It's not uncommon for photographers to go to the next room for a quick snack, then dash back in with sauce on their chins and food stuck in their teeth, all the while crossing their fingers that the dinner will still be there when they return later.
There are three issues that arise from leaving your photographer in a separate room, no matter how nice a peaceful moment alone can be:
- It's not uncommon for the vendors to have their meals after the visitors have finished eating. The sellers have about 30 seconds to eat as much as they can before they have to rush out to capture the next part of the event, as, by the time the food comes out, another speech has begun. They've gone six or more hours without eating by the time they get back to our food, and by then, it's either cold or the table has been cleaned.
- When there's a lull in the action and people want to chat, they usually have to do it while standing because there aren't enough tables or chairs to go around. It's not ideal, and standing for extended periods isn't fun, but they'll try to stoop down, hide behind items, and make themselves invisible if they have to.
- If you put your photographer away throughout dinner, they won't be able to capture the natural, candid moments that occur between speeches and toasts.
If Possible, Consider Where The Vendor Table Will Be Placed.
Photographers have the most success taking pictures during wedding receptions when seated near the happy couple, their families, and their guests. Guests and family won't have to go far to get photos, as they may still use the one closest to the heart.
Family members may feel threatened if they see you crouching down, camera in hand, just a few feet away from them. They blend into the background less if seated at a nearby table. The somewhat longer lenses allow them to approach close to the head table and capture great detail without disrupting the speeches being given.
Where Does The Wedding Photographer Sit During Dinner?
Someone who tags along as a "second shooter" to capture those spontaneous moments when they happen. If they don't have a second photographer available, they might send along an intern or assistant to help get as many photos as possible.
You should contact your photographer a week before the wedding to see if they plan on bringing any assistants. You'll have time to revise the seating chart or notify the location.
FAQs About Wedding Photographer
The provision that you must provide them with food is often written into the contracts of many photographers, DJs and musicians, and so on. However, the meal you eat at your wedding does not have to be the same as that your guests consume.
Coordinate The Canapés
If you have canapés or refreshments provided during the reception, make sure the caterers are aware that your photographer and other suppliers will also get them. Hungry photographers equal fuzzy images.
Could You Not Feed Them?
You have the option to not provide dinner for your photographer during your wedding, provided that it is not a requirement of the contract that they have signed with you. If you choose not to supply them with food, give them plenty of advanced notice so they can bring their own refreshments with them.