brides magazine: do not feed your wedding photographer …

We came across an article by Sandy Malone, she’s a destination wedding planner and has had a show on TV. I’ve spoken with her personally on social media and this post is not to attack her. We have a different viewpoint from what she wrote and it is directly applicable to the area we live in, the Midwest – who typically experience very long, traditional, ceremonial wedding days. Also, we’re nice people over here.

Here is the article at Bride’s Magazine.

update: Bride’s Magazine removed the article. Controversy? february 5, 2016

second update: Thanks to Sean Molin you can’t delete anything from the internet, here’s the archive version. Bride’s Magazine simply deleted the post, thinking the negative social media would go away. I hope they plan on addressing the situation.

our viewpoint on feeding wedding vendors


Almost all bands have a rider in their contract that will require a meal. The meal will be given to them before guests arrive or during cocktail hour. While they should be playing during the meal (IF you have contracted that additional hour), then it is up to the band to either eat before or have a few of the musicians playing. Music should be softer in sound anyway, not a full blown band with singing while guests try to dine and talk.


Many do not have in their contract to be fed. It’s an understanding. If your photographers have been with you from the hair salon (at 10am), pre-wedding photos, ceremony, cocktail hour, grand entrances, a welcome speech … then it bodes that they need to eat. HAVE to eat. If you are unwilling to provide a meal for them, then expect that they have the right to leave the wedding to eat and then return. Who wants that? They don’t need anything special, although she is right, in many circumstances it is more difficult for the catering to provide special, less expensive meals. Either way, they need to refuel their bodies. NO PHOTOS SHOULD BE TAKEN DURING THE MEAL. It’s in poor taste and photos that will never be used in any photo album.

wedding planner team

See above for the photographers, same rule is applied.


It’s customary in our area to feed your DJ. They setup before guests arrive and then return to be on-site for 5+ hours.

who could you skip?

Perhaps you have certain vendors that “just showed up” (i.e. photo booth). They setup early and then are able to leave and return when the booth is to be open, may not require a meal. However, it’s better to feed vendors and have them on-site should the timeline need to be shifted due to unforeseeable circumstances.

While you should never need to contract a meal for your transportation driver that has to sit outside for hours to provide guests rides, we will wait until everyone is fed and IF there is left over food, go outside and give the driver a plate. Same goes for security (although most caterers will feed them anyway). This is not included in your catering final count. We do this, because we are all human beings and it’s a nice act of kindness.

final thoughts …

Your wedding planners will work with the caterers to have meals set in a different room while YOU eat. Please note, we don’t care where we eat. Usually it is the first time we have sat down all day and we literally gulf our food down. It’s not pretty. We’ve eaten with plates on our laps in stairwells. We aren’t complaining, our bodies need to fuel up.

Finally, know that we live in a geographical location that being gratuitous to your wedding vendors — that you will continue to see or interact with on social media or in person, is expected. We are not a destination location that you can whiz in, whiz out and never see that vendor again.

So please keep all of this in mind when reading articles that give this type of advice.

featured photo credit: pfe iphone

plan on!

your emcee and wedding timeline…

Picking your entertainment is CRUCIAL to your event. This is why…

We can plan and strategize your timeline and how you would like the events to unfold, but when someone is on the “mic” it is ultimately up to them on how the events will unfold. As wedding planners, we aren’t going to sprint to the Emcee and tell them (in front of all the guests) that what they just announced is wrong. WE (meaning the bride/groom and wedding planner) are the only ones that know that it is out of order or not appropriate to the timeline that you spent hours thinking about. The guests don’t know, so why draw attention to it?

Wedding planners will work with your entertainment, but they have control of the announcements.

Not that that this is a bad thing. It’s how it rolls at weddings. There are many times when we change things up (because of the bride/groom) at the actual reception. Vendors know this and roll with the punches.

My personal biggest pet peeves are times there is silence. “Dead Air” is so noticeable at any event. Professional entertainment will not let this happen.

Just food for thought, as you plan your wedding!

plan on!


having a backup (heat) plan

We all know that for outdoor weddings, it is critical to have a backup rain plan.

But have you considered the other weather elements? Like oppressive, humid, glaring, blazing heat from the sun?

This year we have had an tremendous shift of venues for wedding selections. More people are choosing personal residences or outdoor venues for their wedding ceremony (and/or receptions).

It’s a fab idea, as bride and groom’s are looking for something different for their special day. The concern is mostly with the potential of rain, but you have to remember other weather elements. In southern Indiana, the humidity factor is a huge concern as it is oppressive to a woman in a beautiful, layered wedding dress and men in full tuxedos. This can lead to crabby attitudes, sweaty faces, heat exhaustion and fainting.

Keep these points in mind, when planning your outdoor extravaganza:

  1. Your elderly guests need to have shade and comfort.
  2. Outdoor musicians will not play in direct sunlight. It’s not the uncomfortably factor (although that should be a concern, imagine YOU trying to play a violin dripping of sweat and exhaustion for an hour), musicians WILL NOT expose their high dollar instruments to direct sunlight. It ruins them.
  3. Should you proceed with the outdoor, sunny plan; then make sure you are choosing garments to wear that will allow some coolness factor. This includes your wedding dress, groom/groomsmen attire, bridesmaids and parent attire.
  4. Prepare for helping the guests cool off: A shaded location to wait until the last minute to be seated for the ceremony, fans (electric and handheld), cool non-alcoholic drinks to refresh themsevles.
  5. Choose a short vow ceremony. Short…. very short.
  6. Have an inside backup plan to move the ceremony. You don’t want to think about this now, but once you step outside in full dress, you may change your mind.
  7. Do NOT choose a month that an outdoor wedding will almost 98% sure to be miserable. In this area, August is the worth month of the year with high humidity and heat.
  8. Encourage more casual dress for guests; open collar shirts and sundresses for the girls.
featured image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!


a little Christmas poem …

Guest blogger …

Craig Sumsky, Director of Cutting Edge Entertainment
Twitter: cuttingedgedjs


‘Twas the night before Christmas, when he asked for her hand,

And shortly thereafter a wedding was planned.

They first looked at places for a reception so grand,

Then pondered the question “A DJ or Band?”

They wanted things festive, classy and fun,

And with that thought in mind the search had begun.

They first shopped for bands and their music was nice,

But they took pause to book them because of the price.

So they met with a DJ and booked him with haste,

With a wide range of music for everyone’s taste.

So they planned and they planned for the big wedding day,

And they picked out the songs for the DJ to play.

The DJ had all of the tunes that they chose,

With the radio versions that everyone knows.

And when the time came for the big wedding night,

The DJ introduced them and said the names right.

The guests all were dancing and then danced some more,

And they danced the whole evening til’ their feet were sore.

And when it was over, and the music was done,

The guests all agreed it was sure lots of fun.


Thank you Craig, that was an awesome poem!

happy holidays everyone!

make a grand entrance to your wedding

Getting introduced into your wedding reception is a tradition that we LOVE to keep. It’s obvious you both are the guests of honor and it’s proper to make that recognition.

Here’s a couple of ideas:

  1. Let your wedding party go into the reception and start the party. Only you and your groom will be introduced into the wedding reception. It’s quick, clean and easy.
  2. Consider being introduced about half way into your cocktail party. Why miss all the fun?
  3. Make a real splash and do something fun and funky (but safe too). Like our clients Amanda and Brian. They had a super fun wedding party that were doing impromptu dancing and lots of fun antics. Amanda turned to my intern, Aubree, and asked, “What should we do?” Aubree suggested that Brian put Amanda on his shoulder….before the next beat, up she went!

amanda monarch and brian woods grand entrance wedding

photo credit: walker studio
feature image photo credit: studio b

What a fabulous entrance that made a great photo and the audience totally whooped it up!

So how will you enter your wedding reception?

plan on!