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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happy Vendors Are Happy Workers Part 1

Lesson 1: Don't Feed the Bears, But Definitely Feed the Vendors
Today I'm revisiting a series about treating your vendors with appreciation. So often I notice that in all of the excitement of wedding planning and the wedding day, couples neglect to show their vendors appreciation. Wedding vendors are in this industry because they love weddings. Vendors are there to do a great job but are much more inclined to go the extra mile when they feel appreciated. Let's face it, people love working with people they genuinely like. And people generally work grudgingly when they feel under appreciated.

The first lesson is on feeding your vendors. It's unfortunate, but when I was planning my contract specifically required that you provide meals for me and my staff. I am not talking about a small sandwich and chips. I'm speaking of a nice hot meal and plenty of water or juice. I cannot stress to you enough that if you do not think about your vendor meals, the vendors will hurry through their duties so they can leave and eat a real meal. In other words, a well fed vendor is a happy vendor.

A few rules of thumb:

  1. Vendors working four consecutive hours or more should be served a HOT MEAL. Most vendor meals are at a reduced rate.
  2. Vendors should always be seated within earshot of the wedding festivities or they could miss the toasts, cake cutting or any other spontaneous happening that has been either moved up or removed from the timeline.
  3. Vendors should NEVER sit at tables in the room with the guests. Why? Because it's just tacky. That's right, I said it.
  4. Vendors should NEVER go through the buffet line with the guests. Once again...tacky. It's not that hard for the caterer to prepare platters and deliver it buffet style to the vendor area.
"Tami, how do I go about providing hot meals for my vendors?"
Good question. Let me explain how this works. Inform the caterer that you would like to add vendor meals to your banquet order or menu pricing. Be sure to ask the caterer or site to provide you with a cost, because as stated, vendor meals are often priced at a reduced rate.

Also and MOST IMPORTANTLY the vendors need to eat at the same time or before the guests. Do you want your photographer scarfing down a steak while you're supposed to do your first dance?

When seating your vendors, it's typical that there is a kitchen area or a room within earshot where vendors can toss their items down, plug in their battery packs and have a meal. Keep in mind that not all vendors dine at the same time.

Just remember, while it may cost you a few extra bucks, a happy, well fed vendor is more willing to work harder, longer and be less irritable. In the long run, it makes you the best bride ever!

Food for thought....when was the last time you worked 8 hours straight WITHOUT a break?

Until Next Time, Stay Fabulous!


Lauren @ ELD said...

Love this! And good point- it's so very common for vendors to be so incredibly busy on the wedding day that they overlook eating, but it's really not a good idea to not eat for 8 to 10 hours!!

Stephanie said...

I always thought this was a "no duh." It's extremely tacky and unprofessional of the couple to NOT feed their vendors. I'm not talking about your hair and makeup artist at 9 am, but your wedding coordinator, photographers, etc. deserve a hot meal in which they can sneak away for 15-30 minutes to enjoy. They are only human...

Andrea @ Justwenderful said...

So true Tami!

cathie said...

the only problem with the "room in earshot" is it most often isnt! we have been in kitchens, back rooms, outside- for that reason it is best to be in the room- a vendor table in the back works great- we dont want to risk missing anything!

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