The Blog of Fred + Kate

Fred+Kate Presents :: To Feed Or Not To Feed, Vendors Are The Question

November 19, 2014

So, what are you feeding your vendors? Let’s be honest, you may have completely forgotten about them. “Do we HAVE to?” No judging here, brides… WE GET IT. Most wedding menus don’t come cheap and it can be a great way to save on expenses.

We’re here to help you answer this sometimes awkward question with some tips, tricks and plain ‘ol facts so you can walk into the catering office with an informed decision.

Photo Credit: Hale Koa Hotel

1. Contracts Don’t Lie

Whether or not you want to feed your vendors, sometimes you’ve already agreed to it! Did you read that fine print in the contract? It’s not uncommon for coordinators, photographers and videographers to account for meals for one or two staff members in their contract. We ourselves request two (for the coordinator and their assistant) at Fred+Kate Events. The reason is simple. These vendors are typically with you for hours on your big day, sometimes from start to finish...without a meal break. 

If it is in the contract, it doesn’t have to push you over budget. Unless the contract specifically states the meal has to be the same as the guests, you can explore other options such as…

Photo Credit: Chef Elmer Guzman’s Island Cuisine

2. Vendor Meals Do Exist

Hooray! Many hotels will offer a cost-effective option for feeding your vendors. The Halekulani Hotel offers a delish club sandwich for less than half of the guest menu price and the Hilton Hawaiian Village can arrange for to-go lunch boxes. 

Still other venues like Ko’olau Ballrooms & Conference Center arrange for vendors to eat from the buffet at a discounted price. It’s not only hotels either. Star caterers like Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering offer to-die-for bentos and Beaches & Backyards Catering will let your vendors eat from the regular menu at half-price! Don’t be afraid to discuss cost-effectiveness with your food provider…. and don’t be surprised by this next question.

Photo Credit: Hilton Waikiki Beach

3. Will You Be Providing A Table For Your Vendors?

Should you provide a table for your vendors with your guests? This is up to you, but here’s what we always tell clients when this question comes up.

Fred+Kate Tip: Consider seating your vendors on a round in the ballroom or main reception area. This round can be towards the back, away from the center of activity, but it’s important for coordinators, photographers and videographers to be nearby in case something amazing happens that should be captured! If someone has to run to get your photographer from the other room, the moment may have passed.

Some venues have other seating options available for your vendors that are out of the flow of things. For example, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa will often place a few rectangle tables in the corner of the ballroom for your vendors to dine at, out of the hub of activity. The important thing is that your vendors remain in the ballroom! Speaking of “those vendors”, who are they, anyway?

Photo Credit: Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering

4. What Vendors Should I Consider Feeding?

Our rule of thumb is any vendor that’s around for a few hours or more, or any vendors present at the reception. Coordinators, photographers and videographers should be fed whenever possible, as they often have coverage anywhere from eight hours to 12 or more. Musicians performing for long periods of time, DJs and MCs should also be considered.

And lastly, the burning what-if…

Photo Credit: Halekulani Hotel

5. What If It’s Not In My Vendor's Contract and I Opt Not To Feed Them?

No problem! It’s your wedding. The only word of caution for not feeding your vendors is that at that point they will become responsible for providing their own food, and this may take them off-site and away from your celebration in search of some munchies. Most hotels and venues will not allow outside food or drink, so they may have to consume off property. If it’s your photographer or videographer, that may be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour they aren’t capturing your priceless moments. Make sure you discuss this with your vendors beforehand to determine the best times to do this so you won’t be in for any wedding day surprises!

Photo Credit: Beaches & Backyards Catering

We hope that helped clear up your burning questions about feeding your vendors, brides! Visit our vendor directory HERE to learn all about our all-star venues, caterers and wedding vendors. Til next time, Happy Planning!