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Wedding Expenses: Do I Feed the Wedding Photographer and Band?

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With some wedding planning decisions, it’s not the rule — but common sense — that should prevail.

Dear Wedding Guru: “Am I being cheap if I don’t feed the band and the photographer? The per-person price for food is expensive and will add up to big bucks.”

(Our answer on next page)

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The Wedding Guru says: There is no “law” that covers your question, but here’s the deal: Many wedding professionals, particularly those who are around for the entire event, include a stipulation in their contracts that says that they need to be fed. Even if it’s not contractual, it’s both a nice gesture and a smart one to offer them a meal. Do you really expect someone to spend 10 hours working for you and not eating? Do you really want them to bring and eat a bagged lunch and dinner?

What you don’t need to do is to offer them alcoholic beverages; soft drinks and water are fine. However, keep in mind that there’s nothing stopping them for walking up to the bar and getting a drink. Why not be a sport and tell them it’s okay (provided they know how to hold their liquor)?

As for the added expense, talk to your caterer and ask if a lighter meal like sandwiches can be made available, or if they will feed the wedding professionals at a discounted rate. It’s also a good idea to find a space where they can eat undisturbed.

» More on wedding expenses
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2013