While this issue is covered in our contract, I know by the time those last weeks roll around re-reading the contract is the last thing you want to do. So, this is our general take on the issue of vendor meals.
We start coverage for most weddings around lunch time in the early afternoon. What does this mean? It means we were driving to you during lunchtime and probably did not have a great meal. Then, you’ll see, we’re running around and making incredible images of you. While driving in the car from one location to the next, we’ll probably scarf down a granola bar and a bottle of water, because that’s really the only downtime we have.
After the ceremony, which may or may not be in a warm place, we run after the family members that tend to wander off so we can move through the family formal photos. Then we walk around with you, moving low to the ground or climbing rocks to get the perfect angle for your bride and groom photos. Sometimes we’re traipsing into the snow or sand with you. Sometimes I get smacked in the back with a wave while on the beach (true story).
We’re likely still photographing you during cocktail hour, and then run into the reception to set up for the rest of the night. By the time your 8pm dinner service is starting, we’re naturally feeling pretty rundown.
At this point, more often than not, one of these situations is what happens:
- The venue lays out a platter of soggy sandwiches in the cocktail room and by the time we get there the band has already picked though it all (this is why we not so affectionatley call them “bandwiches”)
- We’re given a take out box with a slightly less soggy bandwich and a bag of potato chips, and end up eating in the hall outside the reception room
- If we are fed an actual warm meal, it’s usually at the end of the reception’s mealtime after the entire reception room was served. This means we get about two bites, and the reception starts up again and we need to take photographs. We come back to the food during a moment of downtime, only to find it’s been taken away.
So, what would our ideal situation be? Our ideal situation would be eating at a corner table in the reception room so we can see what is going on and jump up to take photographs if we need to. Our ideal situation includes eating the same food at the same time as the bride and groom, so we have plenty of energy for the rest of the evening and can be ready to take photographs when the bride and groom are finished eating.
In layman’s terms, our contract reminds you of this. We understand some venues prefer to give sandwiches or other meals that aren’t the same as the wedding guests. If that is the case with your venue, you need to let us know in writing two weeks before your wedding. This way we can arrange to quickly leave the venue and find a good meal ourselves. This is not ideal, because we would be unable to photograph if anything special is going on while we are away. If you’d prefer we not leave, please let your catering manager know how important your photos are to you, and that the best way to get great photos is for your photographer to eat well at the same time you’re eating.
When we’re well fed, these are the types of photos you’ll see from the rest of the reception:
Things happen, and sometimes we get elbowed in the face or stabbed by a high heel. It’s a lot easier to keep on shooting if it’s just your foot hurting from that high heel. We also think better and feel more creative if we’re not thinking about stopping for fast food on the way home!