Wedding Vendors are Your Team

Last week, Brides Magazine published an article, “Which Wedding Vendors Do You Have to Feed at Your Wedding?”, which received significant backlash from the wedding industry – especially photographers. The article, written by wedding planner, Sandy Malone stated,

“My general rule is that, if you’re working just the wedding itself— five or six hours — feed yourself or pack a lunch to eat in the staff break area if you cannot survive the shift. A photographer, for example, should be taking pictures through the wedding dinner (with some breaks to let people unselfconsciously feed themselves without a camera in their faces).”

The article was directed towards Western weddings and as we all know, the wedding day at most South Asian weddings is longer than 6 hours. However, what bothered me is the sentiment behind the article. It expressly stated to provide meals to some “vendors” but not all. Wow. Way to keep it (not) classy. The article was a generalization and probably aimed at couples who are trying to keep costs down and that’s understandable. Weddings undoubtedly are expensive, but denying meals is the wrong solution.

{“Vendors”}

You might be wondering why I keep putting “vendors” in quotations. It’s because I don’t like that word. It implies a transactional relationship at best. That’s why you see “vendors” referred to as Wedding Professionals and the Wedding Professionals Team, on the ShaadiShop blog.

That’s what they are – the couple’s team. They’re there to bring couples’ wedding dreams/visions to life. They love what they do and want to do incredible work for their clients. And skimping out on food (especially when there’s plenty!) is insulting and unprofessional. Will wedding professionals still do their job well if they’re not fed? Most probably will. The more important question is, will they go the extra mile? Will they stay longer, if needed?

{Paying for Wedding Professionals’ Meals}

I know meals for the wedding professionals are not free. With an average of 10 companies and multiple team members per company, the costs add up.

ProTip: negotiate wedding professionals’ meal fees with the venue. Wedding professionals don’t occupy seats at guest tables – they’re too busy scarfing down, naan and daal makhani, in a corner somewhere, eager to get back to work for their clients. Try to negotiate venues’ fees on this.

ProTip: If the fees are just too much, consider alternatives like gourmet, boxed lunches (the key word being gourmet). The bottom line is you don’t want wedding professionals to feel like they weren’t taken care of.

ProTip: clarify the number of team members each wedding professional company plans to bring. You’ll need to know this anyway.

ProTip: Check out our guide on tipping the wedding professionals team.

{When Should Wedding Professionals Eat?}

According to expert South Asian wedding photographer, Pye Jirsa, from Lin and Jirsa Photographers, they should eat when guests are eating, and finish before they finish eating. That means the venue and catering staff shouldn’t make wedding pros wait until all the guests have been served either, because by that time many guests are finished eating, which means the entertainment, photography, videography, coordination needs to pick up again; as opposed to the lull that occurs while guests are eating.

ProTip: Make a point of discussing when the wedding pros will eat with the venue, the caterer and your team.

Since #SB50 is today, we thought it appropriate to talk about one of the most important teams in any couple’s life – their Wedding Professionals Team! And…just for fun below see some photos of gorgeous South Asian wedding food and desserts. Enjoy the game today! 🏈

Brought to you by ShaadiShop, the best place to find South Asian-friendly wedding venues.
Cover photo: Carpenter Photography

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