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!

love your wedding videographer

Our special series of “loving your wedding vendors” continues:

Today we are going to talk about your wedding videographer.

More than half of our clients want to have video captured of their wedding. This is a digital age (duh!) so just think into the future after your children are born…..they will want to see video!! Video is an excellent compliment to photography to remember your wedding.

Reasons why you should love your wedding videographer?

  1. Their equipment is heavy and can be cumbersome, it’s back breaking work!
  2. They have to be as creative as they are stealthy to capture those moments.
  3. Unlike photographers with digital cameras, they have to shoot a lot of film and usually will not check it until they are back in their studio the next day.
  4. Serious skills in the editing department; that’s what makes you tear up when you watch your wedding video.
  5. Flexible and understanding; they work long and hard while often not getting a chance to sit down or eat a full meal.
  6. They are challenged in capturing your moments because people walk in front of their cameras all the time (sorry, I do it too).
  7. Somehow they get your vows on film, even though your pastor or priest will not allow them to stand in a good position in the sanctuary.
  8. Like any true artists, they pour their hearts and soul into creating a video by editing raw film footage and adding music that will leave you feeling like a movie star!

Behind the scenes:

I’ve worked with a few wedding videographers both locally and outside our immediate area. It never ceases to amaze me how professional and how much energy they use on a wedding day (I thought I was the one that buzzed around a lot).

Humorous things that I see is how often videographer’s shots get messed up (of course after the editing process all is usually good). Because they stand so still they seem to blend into the background, which is a good thing. BUT, guests and wedding planners (okay, me) sometimes will walk right in front of them, which is not a good thing. I’ve had to train myself to be aware of where they are at when I’m running around on a wedding day.

They can have challenges also with DJ lights. You know the first dance is beautiful and then there is a blue light bouncing off the bride’s face. No problem when you are watching it in person; but when you transpose that image into video…they may end up looking smurfs!

They hear and see EVERYTHING! You know when they are recording you and your bridesmaids getting dressed on your wedding day; they are recording with audio too!!! It’s a good thing there is an editing process and music takes the place of some of those conversations. *wink* At one of our weddings, the videographer taped me threatening to stick one of the “overly-friendly” groomsman with a boutonniere stick pin. It was fun to see that raw footage later.

Overall, wedding videographers are absolutely committed to capturing all your memories to create something that you, your family and friends will enjoy for many years to come! For that and all their hard work, THAT is why you should love your wedding videographer!

featured image credit: pfe iPhone

Tomorrow: love your wedding planner

plan on!


wedding videographer …

We talked about video today on TV. I love, love, love wedding videography – it is a great compliment to the still photography shots. Both have a place on your wedding day.

Here’s the thing. You have to make sure you are hiring a professional videographer. Do you really want to spend $2k on a package and then have the camera not focus on people’s faces (yes! that happened at one of my weddings).

Questions to ask:
1. First of all, a videographer should be seasoned enough to show you 2-3 DIFFERENT weddings. Why do you not want to see just one? Well, cause that will be his/her BEST wedding!
2. Watch more than just the highlights. Everyone’s highlights are going to be the BEST ever!
3. You can ask about camera equipment, but unless you are into that nerdy technology – it will just go over your head.
4. Instead – watch the camera angles, transitions between shots, is the editing done well and provoke emotion?
5. Tell your photographer that you have a videographer. You expect them both to work together to deliver respective quality products.

plan on!