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The Flash Dance
Rachael: I am a wedding photographer and have been shooting 30-50 wedding a year for the past 10 years. I have been fed everything. I don't care what I'm fed. I would NEVER think to complain about it! I am lucky to get fed at all and when I am, I am grateful for the nicety. I have much more important things to think about, such as DOING MY JOB! I am hired to document the wedding, not critique the food. Get you priorities straight. We are not guests! (01.08.10, 07:41pm)

Beautiful Living: Love this post! I'm an ex-Event Planner and I have to say (perhaps it's a New York thing but) we never got crappy box meals with soggy sandwiches - and thank goodness for that. The only time this ever happened to us was in NJ doing a wedding at a hotel and it was bad. All other weddings I did in my 3 years as a planner I a version of what the guests ate. I guess NY City caterers know how to rock it!! We did work with one caterer that did refuse to have his wait staff pick-up our dishes when we were done. He asked that we take them to the kitchen ourselves. I mean seriously dude, WTF? Because vendors prancing across the dance floor with dirty plates is somehow acceptable?? And you're right, we never suggested that site to a future client. Too bad we didn't have a blog back then. I will say, brides should really consider negotiating this with their caterers if indeed they plan to pass on box meals. There is no reason a good caterer cannot make a few extra meals to pass on to the vendors at a discounted rate. If that caterer is willing to miss out on your business rather then negotiate 10 vendor meals this says a lot about them. (11.22.09, 10:17pm)

ashley: i had no idea about this. i just called my caterer and they said "we'll feed your vendors sandwiches and chips, don't worry they're used to it" well needless to say, i am looking into a new caterer. i love food so much and i can't imagine serving that crap to anyone. thanks michael! (11.19.09, 05:58pm)

MELISSA KILLERTY: OMG! it cracks me up that these cheap "brides" keep getting their panties in a bunch! i think you're right michael, they must be caterers who you have pissed off. why is it that people who have not worked with you, or even know what it is that you do would get mad about this post!?!?! i find myself checking in every few days to see what the latest is. you must have a pretty exciting life if you get that riled up because someone says they don't like to eat leftovers. my oh my. (11.17.09, 05:46pm)

Polite Bride: Oh, sorry, I had you mixed up with "Footloose". (11.17.09, 02:21pm)

the flashdance: hey POLITE BRIDE, did you just call me bub? since you never hired me in the first place why are you taking it so personally? i don't want you to worry about my business, believe me, i am doing just fine! (11.17.09, 12:15pm)

Polite Bride: You are a professional for whom I am paying large dollars to perform at my event. You're not my friend, or my potential friend. My venue charges $140 per meal. I am not paying that for you, your assistant, the photographers, the videographer, and whatever other vendors I've hired. The only reason that meals are provided to the hired vendors for your convenience, so that you don't have to bring your lunch with you. If you don't like what is being provided, then you are welcome to bring a cooler and a thermos. This is going to KILL your business, bub! If the 80s-referenced name of your business hasn't done so already. (11.17.09, 11:46am)

Laura Burlton: Amen to that! We were fed this once at a Hilton. At least we got a bag of oreos...cuz that and the chips were all I ate. Soggy sandwiches are gross. My favorite are the caterers that DO feed you a meal, HOWEVER it is 15 minutes from the end of the night and it is all sort of congealed and dried out and you don't have time to eat it....There is one venue here that I always make t a point to bring a snack or something because I know I am not gonna eat. And yes, the bride and groom DO have to pay for it. Did you know that when a B & G have a buffet, generally you ARE counted as a guest, so you might as well eat up. We don't have it in our contract however I don't think there is anything wrong with it, after all most bands here have it in their contract that they will be provided alcoholic drinks.... (11.07.09, 01:40pm)

erin bentor: anyone who would feed michael some crappy boxed meal has obviously never seen him perform. i know that i would have felt like the biggest jerk in the world if i had done that because he was the VERY best part of my wedding. (11.03.09, 12:34pm)

the flashdance: well RUDE AND ANNOYING you do live up to your name, i'll give you that! since you didn't take the time to leave your e-mail address i'll address my response to your comment here for the benefit of anyone else reading... i am not interested in being a guest, i am interested in being treated the way that the couple who hired me would actually want to treat me, (not the way some caterers want to treat me) and i am interested in the caterer (WHICH I MUST ASSUME YOU ARE) treating their fellow vendors with some respect, (which many do not do) particularly if the client is going to be charged upwards of $50 for $6.50 worth of bodega food. now if you are not a caterer, i can't imagine what would have your panties in such a ruffle but i imagine i'll never know because, this post, like many before it is intended to alienate people like you. good riddance. should you care to direct anymore of your unfounded anger at me my e-mail address and phone number are at the top of this page, i'm sure we have PLENTY to talk about. ha! (11.02.09, 07:52pm)

RUDE AND ANNOYING: You are a vendor and are getting paid to perform a service. You are NOT a guest. (11.02.09, 07:22pm)

Sealicious: Good to know! Thanks! (11.02.09, 08:01am)

LA: what's wrong with a sense of entitlement? if you are good at what you do, you should be treated accordingly. it's not like you are asking for a prom limo to take you to and from the venue and a bottle of champagne chilling in your suite upon completion of your performance. sheesh. now if you start adding diptyque candles and buckets of fried chicken to your rider... (10.30.09, 01:30am)

jesse: i say "what goes around, comes around" i believe in treating people with love, respect and kindness...however this translates to you. but i do know from my own experience at least 60% of our clients choose the photographer first and when they ask me for my recommendation, naturally i think about the wonderful meal i was fed at that past wedding. i must have passed at least 30 weddings on to my favorite caters based on the deliciousness they served me. whatever they did worked. michael- i love you, brotha'! well put. (10.29.09, 09:36pm)

the flashdance: i like it PHOTO FRANK! marie antoinette? priceless. (10.29.09, 07:10pm)

Photo Frank: I would never put it in my contract, as I think that is as tacky as being served this meal. And I think couples are told by caterers that they just special price the vendors without being told what that means, because countless times I've gotten virtually nothing to eat for a 10 hour day and the bride is like 'did you eat the chicken or beef?' - and what am I going to say - no, they only gave me a bag of chips? I also love when they give you the cold remnants of whatever they were serving, but refuse to give you salt or pepper to make it at least resemble food. And for the guy who said he understands because they have like 14 vedors, the bad, etc. I do not. You can afford to hire 14 vendors to serve you hand and foot the entire day, you can feed them. You might be the bride, but you are no Marie Antoinette. (10.29.09, 07:02pm)

Stacy Reeves: Ken has a point in that we shouldn't perform at anything less than 100% just because of the meal we are served, however I don't think that's what was being conveyed here. The point was that it's bad etiquette, it's really quite tacky in my opinion. Everyone who works an 8-12 hour workday in the non-wedding world is given at least a 30-minute break to go off-site and get the meal of their choice. Since that's not realistic in the wedding world, I think the bride and groom - as de facto employers - owe it to their vendors to provide a hot, filling meal or give their vendors a 30-45 minute break to leave the venue and go somewhere else. In fact, that's what it says in my contract. Either I'm provided with the same meal as the wedding guests, or I get 45 minutes (paid leave) to peace out and get a meal of my own. It's the same rules that you'd find in virtually every workplace in the country. (10.29.09, 06:51pm)

ken kienow: that's just fine - glad it's in your contract. if it's in your contract then you're right, you've got every reason to be upset about a box lunch. i do take issue with photographers and other vendors who decide to perform at 75% because they feel slighted by something a client has done (and often unintentionally). it's petty and unprofessional. i see it often, read about it on twitter, and hear about it from friends. that apparently doesn't apply to you since you agree beforehand about the terms of your meal - good for you. (10.29.09, 06:31pm)

the flashdance: well, KEN KIENOW damn right i feel entitled to eat something that was intended for human consumption!! indeed i have put it in my contract and i haven't heard a word from anyone about it. frankly i don't give a shit if a client sees it as ridiculous!! they can find someone else. i wrote this post to people who are getting married, to caterers, and for the people who can't get away with putting it in their contracts, or that don't have contracts to begin with. this isn't a philosophy it is a call to action. (10.29.09, 06:21pm)

ken kienow: disagree. this is an entitlement philosophy. if you haven't contracted with a client over the kind of food you want (which most probably wouldn't because it would probably be SEEN by clients as a little ridiculous), you shouldn't be upset over what they are or aren't feeding you. you've been hired to do your best at whatever's in your contract, and it would be incredibly pathetic if getting a box lunch caused you to compromise your efforts for the rest of the evening. this is an entitlement mindset, nothing less. if you want filet instead of subway, put it in your contract. (10.29.09, 06:10pm)

komal: Once, we had to actually leave the hotel (Four Seasons, Dallas) during a super long wedding (Indian, of course) and found a Wendy's! (10.29.09, 05:56pm)

Sara: I completely agree, boxed vendor meals are no fun and I wish they ceased to exist. That said, when clients have 12-18 vendors to feed (lwhen they have a band, photog + 2nd shooter, video + 2nd shooter, a planner + asst, etc), that $100pp meal becomes $1500. That's $1000 more than a the $35pp boxed meal, so I understand when my clients give me a boxed meal. If someone could convince the caterers to feed vendors something slightly more substantial for $35 (or even $50) that would really help both the clients and the vendors out. Until then, I throw a meal bar in my bag when I head to work and suck it up when necessary. (10.29.09, 05:49pm)

Diana Ramos: Amen! (10.29.09, 05:31pm)

edyta szyszlo photo: you ROCK! clients usually have no idea! (10.29.09, 05:12pm)

sarah : So well said Michael! Love this. Vendor meals are the worst!!! (10.29.09, 05:04pm)

Amber Events: What's crazy is the fact that the clients get charged $35-55 for the soggy sandwich and chips. I see it on the Beverage Event Order and it's infuriating because the client has no idea that they're paying that much to feed us sub-Subway. The WORST venue for vendor meals are the Ritz Carltons. Ugh. (10.29.09, 04:59pm)

lyn: i had NO IDEA. i assumed that the vendors working my wedding would eat the same thing i am feeding the guests! i am definitely going to check with the caterer and make sure he doesn't have plans for the kind of evilness you stated above. (10.29.09, 01:30pm)

Event planner : You are so right !!!!! (10.29.09, 12:47pm)