Should I feed my wedding photographer?


There’s been a couple of brides ask if they need to feed their wedding photographer in the Southern Bride Facebook group recently, so I thought it was about time we tackled this topic on the blog.

Do I need to feed my wedding photographer?

The answers from brides-to-be are always varied.  There’s a few couples who feel like, “hey 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 your own food?”…

I see where they’re coming from, but it’s not quite that simple.  I feel like, at the very least, you should ask your photographer if they’d like something to eat (and if they do, check for dietary requirements). It’s common sense and the polite thing to do… and in the scheme of things, would you rather a happy photographer or one that’s about to flake out from no food?

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!

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).  Check with the 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.


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”.

So when is my wedding photographer going to have a meal then?

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.

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