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The Inspire Box is ran by a team of wedding planners, here we discuss the most common topics when planning a wedding.

Posts tagged band food
Do I need to feed my Photographer?

One of the hottest topics in planning your own wedding or event is... Do I need to feed my photographer/suppliers?

This can send you into the realm of online groups, asking family & friends or simply pulling your hair out.

Some of the most common responses when you resort to these sources are...

-No! Of course, not... I'm a (insert various occupation here) and my boss doesn't feed me.

-Absolutely, I fed mine the same meal as the guests.

-Not a chance, do you know how expensive the meals are?

-Mine stipulate it in their contract, so I must.

-I feed mine, they're there for 14 hours.

There is no right or wrong answer to this. There isn’t even a specific etiquette or industry standard practice to this question. You must base your decision on your circumstances & your budgets. Fortunately, there are some hints and tricks I can give you to make this decision a lot easier.

Little insight into life as a supplier

For an event supplier, life is a little different. The location/venue we work in changes every day, so we don't always know the local area to nip out and get something. It's like our first day, every day.

Many understand the fluid nature of events and don't like to leave site in case they miss anything. Just imagine how angry you would be if your photographer is lost looking for the local Tesco, while the cake cutting was taking place. Or you must halt your first dance because the band is in the local chippy.

This is one of the many reason suppliers stipulate they need feeding in contacts.

But what do you do if your supplier doesn't stipulate this in contract and you’re on a tight budget?

The honest answer is.... It's completely up to you! As much as it's appreciated by your suppliers, we understand that events aren't cheap, and this sometimes just isn't possible.

I would like to offer some tips, tricks and guidelines I've used in the past in helping me decide if and if not, I should feed my suppliers and what to do when I’m on a tight budget.

My guideline.

any staff member or suppliers on site (booked by me) for over 4 hours will require a meal & hot & cold drinks throughout the day.

I discovered this guideline in one of the fabulous Manchester based event companies I've worked for and it works as a great starting point to help with your action plan.

Deciding against feeding them.

Absolutely fine, but there are things you can do to help your supplier.

See if you can arrange a crew area so they can nip in for a break every now and again. Ask your venue if they have space in the fridge for any suppliers bringing their own food. They may even be willing to set up a brew area for your suppliers FOC. Please tell all your suppliers this ahead of time. That way they can make the necessary arrangements for the day.

Providing food.

If you decide that you would like to provide food for your supplier that is fabulous and will be greatly appreciated.

Now, don't for one second think this means popping them in the seating plan and adding more heads to your menu. No.

Firstly, talk to your venue, I can't tell you how many times the venues I've worked with have told me not to worry about my suppliers. Once all the courses are out, they will sort them.

Many venues have a 'crew food' menu. This is perfect if you have a few that need food. This ranges between £5-£15 per head and consists of large batch food & drinks.

-Chips & Sandwiches

-Lasagna

-Chili & Rice

If you only have a couple of suppliers, you could consider opening a limited bar tab for them. This way they can grab when they can, and they can get drinks.

If possible, try and arrange for a brew and water station, most venues will do this FOC or for a very small fee.

If this still feels like it's pushing your budget, consider providing a small buffet yourself. I once had a client who purchased trays of sandwiches, drinks and cakes from Costco. It couldn't have costed more than £30 and it fed an army of 20 hungry men & me :)

You can even keep costs down by bringing a kettle with some teabags and coffee from home to create a DIY brew station.