Do I need to feed the wedding photographer?

The relationship with your wedding photographer is a funny one. You want a great rapport, because they’re going to be hanging out with you for most of your wedding day, and capturing some intimate moments. But you’re paying them to be there, so it can feel awkward asking them some questions…like… do I need to provide a meal for the wedding photographer? Don’t stress about it, because we’re covering if you feed the wedding photographer off today!

Do I need to feed my wedding photographer?

It’s interesting to hear what brides-to-be think about this topic. There’s generally two trains of thought.  First, there’s a few couples who (probably secretly) feel like, “we are paying a ton of money per head for the meal, and paying the photographer good money to be here – so shouldn’t they sort out their own food?”…

Then there’s the other group of people who figure: “what’s another meal in the scheme of themes – better a happy photographer than a hungry one who wants to hurry home and eat”.


Wedding photographers are with you the entire day.  Do you really want him/her ducking away for half an hour to grab McDonalds? Or risking food poisoning on a dodgy sandwich that’s been in the car all day? Wedding photographers work in very unusual working conditions, where it’s unlikely they’ll have much of a break the entire day, much less access to a refrigerator, microwave or boiling water for some noodles!

If you are not sure if you need to supply a meal (after all, some photographers might not want one), then just ask if they have any dietary requirements. That gives them an opening to say “don’t worry about feeding me” if they’ll sort themselves out plus gains you brownie points if they’ve got any special dietary stuff going on.

Some wedding caterers can supply “vendor meals” at a reduced cost – supplying a more basic meal for wedding vendors who are there over meal times (like photographers, day-of coordinators, entertainers and/or bar staff).  Ask your caterer if this is an option, especially if you have a few of these vendor meals to sort out.  Otherwise, often the photographer heads through the buffet line last and then heads away to a quiet corner for their meal.

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It’s often in the contract that you need to provide a meal for your wedding photographer

Your photographer may insert something into their contract about providing a meal, especially if they’re there for the first dance. Kate from Still Waters Photography (A Southern Bride Verified Photographer) explains why: “This is mostly because 99% of first dances run late, and in the majority of the rural settings I work in it is hard to find somewhere still open for dinner at 9pm. I do provide my own lunch, snacks and water though as its not hard to have them handy in the car. Though it is hard to keep something substantial for dinner in the car with has been sitting in the summer sun all day without it spoiling, or me getting food poisoning from it”.

When is my wedding photographer going to eat?

The best time for your wedding photographer to grab a bite to eat is when you do! Do your guests really want snaps of them midway through their meal? Probably not!

You don’t necessarily have to set a place at the tables for the photographer – often they can find a spot behind the scenes to give them some downtime and allow them to refuel quickly.

One thought on “Do I need to feed the wedding photographer?

  1. Thank you from a wedding photographer. At very few weddings do we not happily get offered food, treated like family often, and its always so much appreciated. Often a place is set for us which is nice but we are happy to find a spot behind the scenes to quickly grab some dinner. We do get paid but we work very hard too.

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