Although there is absolutely no rule etched in stone about your obligations regarding the feeding and accommodating of photographers, DJs, band members and your guests’ children, there are quite a few factors to bear in mind.
First of all, your vendors are not your guests. They are at your wedding to do a job for which you are paying them. However, when you consider the amount of time that the photographer has to work on your special day, from your preparation to the cake-cutting and garter-throwing of your reception, you will agree that they have been on their feet for quite some time. Everyone gets hungry eventually, and some bridal couples feel that it is only fair to include a meal for such hard-workers. The DJ, on the other hand, may only arrive after the meal has been served, or may only work for a few hours. In this case, you may or may not feel that they will not require something to eat. Use your discretion.
What concerns some bridal couples is the ‘per head’ cost of the meals, which can be quite pricey. If this is your concern, why not provide a ‘staff’ meal to certain vendors (such as a tasty sandwich or a bowl of pasta)? This will abate their hunger and will not cost you a fortune. Other couples have not felt altogether comfortable with this (particularly if staff meals look less than savoury) and prefer to serve their vendors the same food as everyone else. This is your choice and should be based on discussions with your caterer and a careful consideration of your budget.
Seating such vendors is another concern. There might be space limitations, or you are possibly uncomfortable about seating these strangers with your friends and family for the potential awkwardness that everyone may feel. If your only vendor is your photographer, he or she might be quite accustomed to making conversation with guests. Alternatively, find a quiet spot (such as where you had welcoming drinks) and let them enjoy their meal there. If you are unsure, the best course of action is simply to ask your photographer what he or she would prefer. It is important that, wherever they sit, they should still be aware of the action so that they do not miss out on any important shots. Make sure that they eat first so that they do not leave guests waiting for the music to begin or the photos to be taken. If you plan to feed your DJ or band members as well, why not set up a vendor table (whether in your dining venue or just outside) where they can interact and enjoy their meal together?
Seating young children is another matter entirely as it depends very much on their ages. If they are very young, it is advised that they sit with their parents. These parents should provide the prams and booster seats for babies (and are usually happy to do so). But, children that are slightly older (perhaps between 3 and 6 years of age) will require their own seat. If you are not having a buffet, discuss the possibility of kiddies’ meals with your caterer so that you do not have to pay the full head price for a meal that will be too big for most small tummies. The older children can either sit with their parents or at a “youth table”. It is essential that you have someone older and responsible sitting with them to ensure that they do not get too loud or excited. To keep them occupied during speeches, consider having colouring-in pages and crayons.
Your wedding is your big day. Still, you want your guests to feel comfortable and your vendors to be happy, so that they are able to do their jobs more efficiently. Do not be afraid to communicate your concerns and explore the possibilities.
Photo Courtesy of www.jasminestarblog.com