Whenever I notice a problem that keeps occurring on wedding days that could be easily avoidable, I know it’s time to blog about it and educate the brides out there about the issue. There is an all-too-common scenario that seems to occur on wedding days around dinner time that could easily be avoided with a simple conversation with your caterer!
So here’s the scenario. Wedding day is going great, the happy couple is married and cocktail hour is coming to a close. It’s time for the reception entrance, which is almost always running behind. No big deal. The wedding party is introduced, the bride and groom have their first dance, a blessing is said and then it’s time for dinner. At this point we’re probably 15-20 minutes behind schedule, so the reception timeline is already getting shifted and altered. The bride and groom sit down to eat and us vendors go find somewhere to hide away for our meal. We approach the caterer or planner and ask about our meals. We’re told that we will be get our meal (or be allowed to go through the buffet line) after all the guests have been fed.
Now I can deal with the hunger and I’m certainly not offended by the fact that we have to eat last. That’s not the problem. Here’s the problem. More often than not, especially when the reception is running behind schedule, the toasts are bumped up so they happen while dinner is still going on. So that means that right around the time when we’re supposed to get our meal, it’s time for us to photograph the toasts. Then dancing and other reception events usually ensue right after the toasts. So now the only way we can eat our meal is by running out to our now cold plate of food whenever we can find a minute to spare during the reception.
But this is isn’t just an inconvenience to us, it also affects our ability to capture the event well. There’s not really much to photograph during dinner time since everyone is eating and nobody wants to be photographed with a mouth full of food. And when this scenario arises, the bride and groom will sometimes wait until we are fed to start reception events (like toasts) so this pushes the reception even farther behind schedule than it already was. I’ve seen this issue cause a reception to almost fall a whole hour behind!
So here’s the solution. We eat with when the bride and groom eat. I know this goes against some caterer’s policy of vendors eating last, but hopefully the scenario I just described explains why that’s not in the best interest of the wedding. When we are able to eat at the same time as the bride and groom, we are sure to not miss anything important because they are eating at that time. This way we finish up our meals at the same time and we can even hop back in the reception to photograph the bride and groom as they make their rounds to say hi to their guests. Sitting around waiting for dinner is such a waste of time that could be put to better use!
So I encourage brides to have a conversation with your caterer requesting that your vendors (especially your photographers and videographers) be fed at the same time as the bride and groom or as soon as possible. I promise that this will make your reception go much more smoothly! Plus, it’ll keep us from getting real hangry!!
For more wedding planning tips, check out these posts!