There are countless blogs and articles on the internet that are centered around the ways to “save money” while planning your wedding. Many of the tips and tricks that are offered are either outdated, misleading or just flat out wrong. The problem with these articles is that the readers rarely take the time to look up the background of the author. Truthfully, if people really did their homework, they might be surprised to find out that many people writing wedding advice articles actually have no experience in the wedding industry.
But if brides and grooms will listen to articles where the author can be some random person that’s never even attended a wedding, what happens when that author has spent their entire life as a wedding planner? It’s the difference between getting your facts from a tabloid and an established news station.
Earlier this month an article appeared on Brides.com and was very quickly deleted. Why you ask? There was so much retaliation against this one horrendous post, Brides.com did the responsible thing and deleted it before you, dear bride, had the chance to be so horrifically misinformed. The worst part? This writer was a planner, so the posts’ readers felt like it was actual solid advice. Spoiler alert – it wasn’t.
The writer’s big money saving tip? Don’t feed the vendors. Specifically, she says not to feed the photographers.
Are you kidding me?
When you are planning a wedding, there are going to be surprise expenses that pop up. As much as that is said, however, many couples don’t believe it and therefore, do not leave a 5- 10% window in their budget to handle these surprises. Many couples never think about providing a meal to the vendors that are working their wedding. It’s all about the per person cost and how many people make their guest list. But the vendors? Wait. They have to eat?
Hangry vendors…not a good look.
The vendors that work a wedding during the reception period when dinner is served include:
- DJs and band members
Each of those vendors typically has a clause in their contract which outlines the whole “I need to eat or else I die” thing. But let’s be totally honest and admit that very few people actually read contracts. On top of that, couples are already drowning in the per person cost for their reception and what every vendor is charging them that they aren’t even thinking about this random cost of food for these people.
Venues offer a discounted “per person” charge for vendor meals and that number is always listed in the contract that the couple signs. This means that while their guests will be $225 per plate, their photographer(s) will be $50 per plate. At the end of the day it’s such a negligible cost that couples don’t think about it until they are a month or so away from their wedding date. But plenty of couples go close to if not completely over their budget when planning their wedding and any way they can save a few pennies is something they want to know about.
Let me lay out the basic wedding day timeline for anyone unsure of it: bride and bridesmaids start getting hair and make up done, then photos/first look, followed by travel to ceremony, ceremony, travel to cocktail hour/reception (possible hours between ceremony and cocktail hour) and then reception until at least cake cutting and possibly through the end and into the after party if there is one.
Time? Roughly 10-12 hours. Sometimes 14.
When is the last time that you went 14 hours without eating? How pleasant were you to deal with? Think you could work for that long without food? This ridiculous “advice” was intended for the couple that whines “yeah, but do I reallllllly have to feed my vendors?”
Yes, you actually do.
It’s food, for the fellow human beings who’ve been at your service all day. The cost is such a small percentage of the total amount that you are spending, that it’s complete nonsense to even consider this a “budget saver.”
So, the writer implores couples to really look over their contracts and see if they are obligated to feed their vendors. If it’s not “required” then it’s not necessary and the couple can pretty much tell the catering staff not to include those vendor meals in the final bill. Meanwhile, the author, makes sure to note that wedding planners should be fed.
Her argument for not feeding the vendors that work the reception (those vendors I listed in the beginning) is that if they are only working “five or six hours,” they can pack themselves a lunch.
Photographers that work 5-6 hours…who are they? What weddings are they working? Because the photographers that I work with are working 10, 11, 12 and up to 14 hours during the day.
On top of that long day, they should be “brown-bagging” it too? Heaven knows the photographer shouldn’t miss that moment where Aunt Sally bites into her entrée..because that is the image the bride and groom paid thousands for.
Not everyone hires me and not everyone hires a planner who is in tune with the needs of the fellow vendors. Some people hire planners that think like that article writer and some couples don’t hire planners at all. (Disclaimer, that’s a horrible choice too. Check out what your DIY will really be like here.)
Many couples rely on the articles they read, and articles like this one are especially attractive as the prices for weddings continually increase. While there are ways to save money, real money, during the wedding planning process, not feeding your vendors isn’t one of them.