You’ve made it – your wedding date is quickly approaching and you’re at your final meeting with your venue. You’re proving final choices and head count. The best caterers and venues will ask for two counts – your guest count, and your vendor count.
Two important notes about this.
Your venue shouldn’t charge you for alcohol for your vendors. Your vendors shouldn’t be drinking – ever. We are there to work, not party, and drinking is not acceptable. Your venue knows this and should be willing to remove the alcohol cost for your vendors. This is the same with other miscellaneous fees like cake cutting, or valet.
- The Vendor Meal
You’re at the end of the road. Those costs are adding up… fast. You’re writing a whole lot of huge final payment checks. So when your venue tells you that they have a “vendor meal” option and offers it to you at 25% of the cost of your regular meal, you’ll probably take it. We understand. But you should know what that vendor meal usually means.
Most “vendor meals” are cold boxed lunches. We get a generic sandwich, a random bag of chips, an apple, and maybe a cookie. It doesn’t matter if we are vegetarian, or need to eat gluten free, or are allergic to peanut butter cookies, that’s what we get. We have no choice of sandwich, or chips, and we’re usually left pretty hungry.
Remember that by the time dinner comes around, most of your vendors (e.g. your photographers, videographers, wedding coordinators) have already been with you for 6-7 hours. They’ve been working that whole time and haven’t taken a break to run through and grab a nice lunch in the middle of your wedding day. Any of us that have done this before are smart enough to bring snacks with us, but most of us are also looking at between 2-9 MORE hours of work before we can get home to our beds…and fridges. We’re hungry. Like, really hungry and we need some energy to keep us running at full-steam until your night finishes.
You also need to be aware that your vendor contract may have included a “hot meal” clause. When you signed that contract, you probably agreed at that point to provide that vendor with a hot meal at the reception. Now I’ve shared countless boxed meal dinners with vendors that mentioned to me that they have this clause in the contract but the good ones don’t sweat it. The good ones aren’t going to ruin your wedding day just because they got a sandwich. But you should check the contract before choosing meal choice, because that clause is probably there.
Now I”m not saying we need filet…. honestly, by the end of the wedding season most of us are kind of sick of filet anyway. We would just like some kind of hot, substantial meal. The important thing is to ask your venue what is included in the vendor meal. Some venues, like MacRay Harbor, have a wonderful vendor meal. They bring us a menu and we get to choose between 3-5 hot meals off of their restaurant menu – like a hamburger, or a chicken caesar salad. This is a PERFECT alternative.
Remember, your vendors are working hard to make your wedding day perfect. They’re putting in a lot of hours, a lot of heart, and pouring the best of themselves into your Big Day. Think about them when you’re giving that final count. Trust me, they’ll love you for it!