Should you provide a meal for your wedding photographer?

I occasionally get asked by customers and others “should we feed you and your assistant” or “should we offer our wedding photographer a meal?”. Click the “read more” link to hear our thoughts. “Should we provide you with a meal?” is a question we get asked from time to time. Everyone wants to do the right thing, but they’re not sure what the norm is or what’s expected, plus weddings are expensive and the meal is a large part of that cost.

Couples aren’t expected to provide us with a meal, it’s not assumed or taken for granted that it’ll be provided. However if a meal is offered to us, we always gratefully accept a main meal, but we don’t require an entree or dessert. Not having to organise food makes the day simpler for us, and gives us ten minutes we can sit down, eat, relax, and plan what we’re doing for the rest of the evening before continuing photographing your reception. Some wedding venues offer a “vendor meal”, a main meal cheaper than the full entree/main/dessert combination that most couples provide for their guests if the meal’s plated. If we’re not taking photographs after the meal then there’s no need to provide us with a meal.

We can happily bring along snacks for ourselves, or if we’re in the city we can head off to get a meal elsewhere. In both situations we’re away from your wedding for between 30 and 60 minutes, so we’re not available to take photos during that time. Usually not many photos are taken during dinner, and photos are never taken of people eating, but we often use that time before people have eaten or after plates have been cleared to take photos of your guests at their table.

We find it best to eat dinner or our snacks at approximately the same time as the head table, or not long after. The logic behind this is that we want to be available to take photos whenever you want us, and if we have dinner after all your guests we’re still eating when you’re free. This has happened a few times, the bride and groom are ready for sunset or post dinner photos but we’ve only just sat down for a meal, which delays things a little.

So in summary, a meal isn’t assumed or expected, but it’s always appreciated and accepted if one is offered, and as it makes our lives easier and less stressful it means better photos for you.

This entry was posted in Wedding tips.

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