Over the years I’ve come to realise that there are certain wedding related questions which get asked often that are controversial and divisive. The question “Should we feed our wedding photographer?” is definitely one of them. I do understand both sides of the debate. The arguments debates go on social media go something like this:
THE YES CAMP
Yes – Our wedding photographer is going to be with us for most of the day. He/she is working a long day and will of course need feeding. It’s only polite and besides which, they’ve put it in their contract that they require a hot meal
THE NO CAMP
No – We are already paying a lot of money for our wedding photographer. We don’t expect a meal when we’re at work. We’ve already spent a lot of money on guests and the wedding breakfast is £50 a head. We’ve two wedding photographers and two videographers so that would be an extra £200.
How do wedding photographers see it? What are our opinions? Do we all agree? I’ve debated this in various wedding photography groups around the Nottingham, Derby area and also nationally. It seems we cannot agree either. Here are the arguments on both sides from a wedding photographer’s point of view.
PHOTOGRAPHER’S THAT SAY YES
We’re often putting in 10+ hour days and don’t get a moment to rest. Even during the wedding breakfast, we will be backing up your images, reviewing them and planning the next parts of the day. Having a meal provided makes sure we are also close by in case something happens so we can be there to document it. Lastly some venues do not allow us to bring food or buy it.
PHOTOGRAPHER’S THAT SAY “IT’S UP TO YOU”
You’re paying us a decent amount of money. We’re adults. Whilst a hot meal is appreciated and very generous of you, we’ll sort ourselves out if you choose not to. You’ll always get the same professional service regardless.
Which side are you on so far? I personally fall into the “It’s up to you” camp. As a customer, I would find it quite offputting to have a hot meal as a contractual obligation. Even if I would be providing food as a matter of course anyway.
I always ask wedding photographer’s who say “It’s in my contract” what they would do if the couple failed to provide it. Would they sue for breach of contract? Of course not. So why have it as a clause?
As a wedding photographer who has photographed hundreds of weddings all over Nottingham & Derby, I’ve yet to find a venue which either couldn’t provide me with food or find a local Mcdonalds/supermarket within a 5-10 minute drive. Of course it does mean I need to leave the venue so yes. If something did happen during the wedding breakfast then it would be missed. But being honest what is going to happen? No-one ever looks good with a fork full of food so it’s never something we would photograph anyway. Let’s face it. You might be in your designer wedding dress but a photograph of you slurping your soup is never going to make it into your album!
Many venues provide a supplier meal or you can always put some money behind the bar/set a limit. Certainly don’t feel that you must provide a full three courses. A main meal is plenty. This could be a good way of limiting spiralling costs whilst feeling like a good host.
In my opinion, please don’t feel an obligation to provide food to your wedding suppliers but of course I do totally understand that it’s a polite thing to do. Of course that may mean certain things may not happen since we’re all human at the end of the day but then that’s all part of life isn’t it?