When in doubt, consult your contracts.

By Sara Dickinson
January 09, 2020

Your vendors are absolutely essential to making your wedding vision a reality. From wedding planners and caterers to photographers and DJs, the team of experts you hire are the people who will execute all of the details on the big day. So, what's the etiquette when it comes to offering these professionals a break during their time at the event?

Tracy Taylor Ward, owner and creative director of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, suggests planning schedules with your vendors ahead of time to make sure everyone is fulfilling their duties without wearing themselves too thin. "Depending on the nature of the break, it might a few minutes or an extended break of about 15-20 minutes for a proper meal," she says. "Vendors with longer days, like a photographer, will require shorter and more frequent breaks, while vendors who only work the reception, like a band, will usually break fewer times but for longer intervals."

The trick is coordinating the vendors so that everyone has breaks at appropriate times. Your photographer, for example, should eat when you do—no one likes a photo with their mouth full anyway! "By accounting for everything well ahead of the wedding day and including it in our timeline we're able to ensure that our vendors never miss an important moment while also making sure they eat and rest as needed," Ward adds.

Susan Norcross, owner of The Styled Bride, reminds us, "The number one thing to make sure is that the team, including your photographer, videographer, band, and planner, eat when you are eating. So, this means the vendor dinners should be served either right before the guests or even earlier." Other than breaks for meals, vendors should be expected to take small breaks here or there, especially those who spend most of the day with you, like the photographers and day-of coordinators. "The band may need a 10 once or twice, photographers may need to switch a lens, grab a light, or inhale a power bar," Norcross says. For the most part, vendors won't stray far or be gone for long.

With a vendor team that you trust, you shouldn't have to worry too much about their breaks on the day. Coordinate everyone's meals and then trust them to take smaller breaks at opportune times throughout the evening. They'll go out of their way to make sure they don't miss any special moments!


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