by Mark Kingsdorf, MBC


As you know if you’ve read our blog with any regularity; our focus is on couples planning weddings and NOT on wedding professionals even though we know many professionals across the globe read our posts on social media.

Today’s RARE Saturday post crosses the line addressing both couples and wedding professionals.

There is a dirty little wedding secret, something that goes on behind the scenes that is RARELY addressed with couples or their families; most wedding professionals just smile and go on with your wedding day.

This issue has become the bane of their existence for many wedding professionals – the dreaded “Vendor Meal” {you know if HATE the term ‘vendor’ and generally use Wedding Professional}.

What we have in regard to this issue is a “failure to communicate” – so I’m going to break it down for everyone involved.

The old adage that ‘an Army travels on its stomach’ is VERY true – hungry wedding professionals are not happy wedding professionals.

To Couples and their families:

Many of the wedding professionals you may hire have included that a meal {some state a hot meal} is to be provided for them and their assistants. These are generally photographers, videographers and planners who have been with you all day, starting from the time you got ready and in a lot of cases might be working a 10, 12 or 14 hour day.

No one is asking for the same filet mignon entrée with salad and dessert your guests are getting – just a hot meal.

The issue is the communication breakdown between whoever signed the contract and the person attending the final detail meeting with the caterer when they ask {or don’t ask} about any meals needed and some just say we do a sandwich platter for all of your professionals at $x per at person.

That might NOT be what the contract said.

If this is what you envisioned you might be wrong –

Social media has shown us images of two day old tuna wraps being tossed into the trash, platters like this being completely demolished by the band who got their break first (becuse a not enough food was provided for everyone) or professionals told to there was nothing provided or there was nothing leftover.

When the bride and groom ask how dinner was {thinking they paid for a hot meal} most wedding professionals just smile, thank them and go on doing their job.

The second issue is that many times ‘vendor meals’ are in a room down a hallway and around a corner. Because of timing serving guest meals, many vendors are served just as you to get back up to dance and are down the hallway and around the corner. Shoveling in anything they can as to not miss a moment of the action.

Ask where the professionals will be fed; ask if it’s close enough to see what is going on in the room so they can be available if “Uncle John” decided he wants to do an impromptu speech – we don’t want to miss these moments.

To Planners and Wedding Professionals:

Be clear about your needs and what your contract might say. Educate your clients on the importance of being close by. TALK to the venue and /or caterer about what your contract says, be sure about what the client paid for BEFORE the wedding not as they are serving.

To Caterers and Venues:

Social media is a double edged sword – wedding professionals who try your food and are treated like partners in a client’s event will speak highly of you. They will recommend you because they feel like they have been treated fairly and they genuinely LIKE working with you. They will share photos and wedding film with you because they feel appreciated too.

Needless to say, if you toss them leftovers and make them feel like they need to beg or are an afterthought rather than part of the team – they might not speak so highly about you in their social media.

I’m sorry that this rant needed to come to light – but couples are paying for food thinking their wedding professionals are being fed, wedding professionals are smiling and putting on a happy face for the client and ranting behind the scenes to each other and on social media and NO ONE is looking at the big picture and communicating.

Bottom line is we are all in the wedding industry because we love it, we are all on the same team working hard to make a couple’s wedding magical; regardless of what we do. Not talking about this in advance of the event is not helping anyone have a great experience.

Thanks and goodnight!