Feeding The Wedding Photographer

Do We Feed the Wedding Photographer?

My photographer will be taking photos at my wedding along with his assistant. I didn’t know he was brining an assistant until last week. My wedding is three weeks away.

Now my question is…how do I feed these guys? Do they sit at a table with my guests? My reception is rather intimate and small like my wedding. Only 38 people in attendance. There will be four round tables set up with approximately 8-10 people a table. I’m unsure if I should sit them at a table with the guests, or have a smaller table set aside for them. I would like to do the proper thing here.


Donna, Wedding Queen

No, the wedding photographer and his assistant will eat with the other wedding vendors or service providers either in another room or at a table the reception venue will provide. Speak to your banquet manager about this if you have questions.

Reader Response

Thanks, should I be feeding them the same food I am serving my guests? Is it appropriate to feed them something else? I am renting a private venue for my reception and the caterer will not prepare anything else for them. She will charge me $65 dollars each for both the photographer and his assistant. I really do not want to spend another $130 to feed two people that I am already spending $3000 plus for their photography services.

Don’t know what to do.

Donna, Wedding Queen

Your service providers will be with you all day long, right? If you do not offer them food and drink what is your expectation — that they will bring a brown bag lunch? No, it is appropriate for you to offer a meal to your service providers, especially the photographer who may be with you from early morning to late in the evening. It is expected that you will feed your vensors such as band, DJ and photographer.

Expert Bridal Photographer

Dear Brunette:

Any wedding professional that is going to be working over six hours at a wedding should be fed. Sometimes, caterers will prepare a slightly less inexpensive meal for them. But in this case, you don’t have that option.

Yes, you are paying for their services. But providing them meals is another issue altogether. You should feed them, even if it does cost you $130.00.

As a wedding photographer, I would say that it is definitely NOT the norm to have the photographer eat outside the reception room, at least in my experience. While as a general rule, there aren’t really photos to be taken whilst people are eating, there are times when something unexpected does happen during dinner, and even times when there is something happening during dinner that you might want photos of. I believe it is always best for the photographers to be as near as possible, along with their cameras, just in case.

Donna, Wedding Queen

Here in the states, depending on the venue, the banquet manager will typically provide the table or area for the vendors to eat. Most often the table is in the reception room but I have been to many weddings where the room was too small to accommodate any additional tables and we vendors ate in another room. In that case my partner and I took turns eating so there was always someone at the reception, providing the service. Also, we wouldn’t linger over a meal.

My real point was that the service providers should be offered some food in addition to their payment and some even stiplulate this in their contract.

Wedding Photographer

As a wedding videographer in Las Vegas , I sometimes give the bride an option of allowing myself or my videographers a specific time to leave the venue to get food on our own. I then communicate that this means that if something happens that requires ‘spontaneous shooting’ during that period, there will be no one on hand to shoot it. Generally, they have opted to feed us in order to keep us there (which is a wise decision) however, as a previous poster mentioned, we don’t usually shoot during the meal anyway so it does leave an option. As a closing note, I have shot a wedding where I started with the bride at 1pm and the meal was served at 9:30pm and there was no provision for my meal, I couldn’t leave because there was dancing throughout the meal time (very strange) and I was told to cover it. This is what I would call “working a willing horse to death” and it is the precise reason why videographers and photographers should be fed at the venue, even if it costs the bride a little more.