Miami Wedding Planner: Vendor Meals

Wedding Vendor Meals. In true tweet peep terms, this is a trending topic. I know a lot of Brides have questions regarding Vendor Meals so I wanted to give you some insight on this like I did on my post about Tipping Vendors. I'll share my take based on the norm and general rules of thumb. This is not necessarily the right or wrong way.

|Who to provide Vendor Meals for|
As a Wedding Planner, I recommend providing a meal for any vendor that you hired to work during the Reception. The common professionals are your Photographer(s), Videographer(s), DJ or Band members and Day-Of Coordinator(s) -only if you have hired your own (I hope you did and I will tell you why shortly). These are usually the vendors present during Dinner and it is nice to offer them something to refuel. After all, most of them are with you at least from 6-10 hours that day and the last thing you want is your photographer passing out and missing a shot of you and your hubby 's sparkler send-off. Right?

|Hot Meals|
A term you will probably hear when discussing vendor meals is "hot meal". This refers to a hot Entreé rather than a sandwhich and chips for Dinner. Most vendors request this in their Contract nowdays. Read your Contracts thoroughly so you are fully aware of what you agreed to provide and make arrangements with your Venue or Caterer accordingly. Just to clarify, the hot meals that your Venue or Caterer offers may not necessarily be the same choice as your Main Entreé. For example, if you are doing a 4-course meal and your main entreé is Lobster or a Surf & Turf duo, your vendor meals might be a chef's choice of Chicken Entreé. This will vary based on the Venue or Caterer specialty. Rule of thumb is providing the same type of meal for all vendors.

The Daily Green

|Vendor Meal Pricing|
Something that most Brides don't know when they start Planning their Wedding is that vendor meals are priced different than regular guest meals.They are usually discounted by Venues and Caterers, mostly for the reason I explained above. Current prices range from $25 - $50 in the Miami Wedding Industry, depending on the type of meal and Venue or Caterer. Be sure to consult about pricing and menu choices for Vendor meals with your Venue or Caterer.

This is an aspect of the Wedding where having your own Wedding Planner or Day-Of Coordinator really pays off, among many others. But since we are talking about vendor meals, I will stick to the topic.  

I'm particularly meticulous when it comes to ensuring that my colleagues are taken care of, and many can attest to that. As a professional myself, I know the Day-Of gets pretty hectic behind the scenes. We are all a team and our common goal is to produce a seamless and successful Event for you, the client.

I make arrangements so they are provided with a hot meal and I'm adamant about trying to get them served at the same time that the Bride & Groom are having Dinner. Some Venues and Caterers don't understand the reason behind this, but it's pretty simple.  If you and your vendors eat at the same time, they will be up and running when you finish, which minimizes the possibility of missing a candid moment. Please ask your Venue or Caterer to honor this request. Side note: Guests don't feel comfortable having their picture taken while they are eating. That's why this is a great opportunity to utilize this time for vendor meals.

When vendor meals have been served after all guests, I've had Bride & Grooms walk into the room and pull out a photographer while eating to capture something that just spontaneously happened. 

As far as where vendors seat for Dinner, most prefer a location in near proximity to your Reception so they can still be aware of what's going on but have a bit of privacy to take their break. That is ideal. I personally think sitting with guests might make for an awkward moment, not only conversation wise but also because the menu usually differs. On another note, keep in mind that your Venue will charge for each place setting, chair (chivary or cover) and if you have to do an entire vendor table then tablecloth and centerpieces charges apply. I really think the first option is the most comfortable for vendors anyway.

|Not providing a Vendor Meal?|
If you are not providing a meal for your vendor, they may have stipulated in their Contract that they will have to leave the Reception to purchase a meal elsewhere. Some vendors have added this clause to their Contracts because believe it or not, it has happened. I agree they are entitled to. Most venues prepare for meals based on the final count you give them the week-of not "A-la-carte"so if you didn't arrange for them, chances are they won't be able to accomodate last-minute requests. Therefore, the only option left for the vendor is to leave the premises to purchase a meal nearby.

Just as everything else in life, I think courtesy goes a long way! It's also important to to make sure your Vendors are working in the most accomodating environment so they perform at their best and in return, this will benefit your Event and eventually the products and services being provided to you.

If you any questions I didn't cover in this post, feel free to email me at info {at} stylishevents {dot} net. If you'd like to leave your feedback on this topic, you can do so in the Comments section.