Hunger is a savage beast | Feed your Photographer

Hunger is a savage beast

3 Things your Wedding Photographer does during the dinner break

And why it should matter to you

So why do you keep reading about feeding your photographer online? Well, someone at, p.s. save your time & money and look at reputable sources for inspiration & direction, decided you ought not have to feed your photographer because they should be photographing other people with their mouths full, and we're 'the help'. pulled their article due to all of the backlash, but you can read it here

Back to Hunger.  Face-melting, head-pounding, body-shaking hunger.  It’s real and it’s frightening.  And if it happens to your photographer (or any other vendor, for that matter) on your wedding day, the consequences are dire.

How dire? Imagine…

Your wedding album is full of pictures of you inhaling cheese grits while hugging Aunt Eunice. 

The DJ “forgets” your playlist and blasts “Y.M.C.A” on repeat out of hanger.

Your college roommate face-plants on the dance floor and your videographer misses it because she was eating.

The sparkler send off of your dreams?  The photographer faints from hunger before the last dance, leaving Aunt Eunice fumbling for the camera on her flip phone.

To prevent these awful outcomes and ensure that you have hundreds of gorgeous wedding day memories, follow these guidelines. When discussing meals, it’s a good idea to include all vendors who will be present at the reception, such as wedding coordinators, DJs or band members, and videographers.

three things your wedding photographer does during the dinner break

What to feed your photographer

Your vendors should eat the same food as your guests, ideally.  Most brides are more than happy to include vendors in their head counts, and many caterers will offer reduced prices for vendor meals.  Sometimes, however, caterers take issue with this and will offer a soggy sandwich with chips to the other vendors.  Not only does this meal lack the proper nutrition to sustain anyone through many hours of intense physical work, it also sends the message that your vendors aren’t important or appreciated.  I highly recommend discussing the vendor dinner policies with your caterer AND vendors before you sign any contracts.  If for some reason the caterer or venue is unwilling to provide hot vendor meals, schedule time for your photographers et al. to grab a quick meal on their own.  

Y’all, my FitBit says I do the equivalent of a half-marathon on a wedding day. This girl has gotta eat!
— Stefanie Morris, owner of sMm Photography

Also remember that like your guests, they may have allergies, and if you like them and want them to not need an epi-pen in the middle of your reception, please ask them. I am allergic to shellfish; bring on the chicken or beef for me please.

When to feed your photographer

Most photographers want to eat while the bride and groom eat.  This usually happens sometime between the blissful wedded walk down the aisle and your first dance.  The timing depends on the type of reception you plan, proximity of ceremony to reception venues, and if you plan to take group bridal party and family photos after the ceremony.

If you are serving a sit-down dinner, the photographers and videographers and entertainment should eat as soon as you and your spouse are seated.  That way, they are able to get back to work before you’re finished your dinner.  

If you can't honor me as a human, don't hire me.

When you should eat

If your day includes a cocktail hour and/or banquet stations, instead of a sit-down dinner, it is very important to work with your venue and catering manager(s) as well as any coordinators to designate about fifteen to twenty minutes before your introductions and first dance for you and your brand-new spouse to eat.  Alone.  Hidden. Not only will this give you a chance to gaze into your beloved’s eyes and reconnect, it will likely be the only precious minutes you will SIT and EAT during the entire reception.  And if you want to have the energy to hug every happy relative and still own the dance floor, you will first need to SIT and EAT.

This sacred quarter-hour also allows the other key people of the evening to SIT and EAT.  Then, your photographer will be ready to capture the tender first dance kisses.  Your videographer will record every glorious moment (including your college roommate’s face plant during “Come Sail Away”) and the band will nail their Styxx impression.  And you will be so happy they did.

3 Things your Wedding Photographer does during the dinner break

And why it should matter to you

  • We want to eat in the same room as you, or at least within the same area. If you let the venue stick me in a closet or breakroom to eat and then wonder why I didn't hear your elderly-dying Uncle Bobby's impromptu speech...well, there ya go.
  • We want an actual seat, with silverware and a napkin ready. I can't recall the number of many times have I waited for left over buffet food, which is cold and of slim pickings, because I'm the hired help--which means I'm not important to the caterer usually, and then had to wait for someone to find a fork, and oh wait, I also need a knife... *Don't mind me eating like a caveman over here, lol.* Oh and now your planner just told me that you finished your dinner 10 minutes early and want to speed things up so I have 3 minutes to eat. Great. 
  • This time isn't just about food. Here are the three things most photographers do during their sacred 20-25 minute break:
    • Backup photos from earlier in the day
    • Run to the restroom, because its the only time I've been able to go since 11AM. 
    • Eat, because breakfast was 10 hours ago, and I didn't eat lunch. 


Sign up below to receive access to our wedding client resources.