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Archive 2012 · down with bad vendor meals
  
 
jprezant
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p.3 #1 · down with bad vendor meals


dude, alan.

I have the same exact problem. It doesn't matter how many time's I ask to not be served last. Around here I nearly
always get a mean glare and they serve me last. they're just unwilling to change. I've had conversations with
other wedding coordinators that recognize this issue. they say they brought it up once at a national catering
convention... and they were shot down. and it pisses me off. a few months ago I actually had a catering director say
to me:

"I have 150 people here and every one of them is more important than you". Well you can argue with me on this
point if you want. But I strongly disagree with that catering director. And I will not recommend anyone to that
place ever again (which is a bummer because it was a nice spot).



Oct 31, 2012 at 06:32 PM
ckhagen
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p.3 #2 · down with bad vendor meals


It comes down to good vendors and bad vendors and I've definitely begun to judge caterers based on how they treat me. If I have to beg for food, that's been PAID for by the couple, rummage for a fork, or get tossed a few fried wontons instead of a meal, it definitely reflects on their service overall in my opinion. I figured this out by talking to some planners and past couples... it routinely came up that two particular caterers were highly praised for their *service*. People gushed about how well they were treated through the whole process, from inquiry to tasting to wedding day. Coincidentally, those were also the caterers who literally sought me out to make sure I was taken care of and not only understood the concept of photographers eating at the front of the service time, but also backed it 100%.

Then there was another two caterers whose food was always very good, but I started hearing grumbles from planners and clients about their service. They complained of being over charged for things or about staff not being professional or having good service attitudes... sure enough, those were the caterers I had the MOST trouble getting food from. They talked down to me, gave me scraps or withheld service long enough to the point where I couldn't actually eat since the events were back up and rolling.

So anyways, I just find it interesting that I've discovered their service to the clients can actually be linked to the service I've experienced from them. Obviously now if a bride asks me who they should talk to about catering, I know where to send them



Oct 31, 2012 at 06:42 PM
amonline
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p.3 #3 · down with bad vendor meals


Maybe I just have great vendors in my area, because I don't have these problems. I haven't experienced anything remotely close to the horror stories in this thread in the 5 years I've been shooting weddings. I can't tell if it's bad vendors or just a lack of constructive and positive communication on the photographer's part(s).

Out of curiosity, are you guys having the worst times with "catered" (brought-in) vendors, or "home-site" (venue-based) vendors.



Oct 31, 2012 at 06:50 PM
jprezant
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p.3 #4 · down with bad vendor meals


almost all of mine are venue based catering. and for that reason they're super stuck in their ways and generally
unwilling to change. and I am NICE. I know online it might seem like I'm a jerk. But I'm really really polite all the time
when I'm working.



Oct 31, 2012 at 06:59 PM
jprezant
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p.3 #5 · down with bad vendor meals


oh, and the wedding shane mentioned shooting with me when we ordered pizza. get this:

we were working for 8 hours by the time dinner came out. the DJ had been there for 2 hours. we were served
cold ham sandwiches, but because the DJ worked at the venue frequently, they served him a plated meal of filet,
or whatever the guests were eating. THAT made me want to rip someone's head off. That was the biggest
slap in the face from a venue I've ever experienced.



Oct 31, 2012 at 07:01 PM
ckhagen
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p.3 #6 · down with bad vendor meals


I have the hardest time getting served from caterers, but get more poorly made "vendor meals" from in-house food and beverage. One particular venue here suggests to the couple that they purchase vendor meals for their photographers... Sounds great! They charge them about $30 each for them I believe. The couple unfortunately has no idea what they're actually serving us. It's like two day old nasty turkey sandwiches with icicles on them. That's the real tragedy in this whole thing... that someone is paying $30 for a frozen, stale turkey sandwich.


Oct 31, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Kittyk
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p.3 #7 · down with bad vendor meals


on last wedding i have been sitting next to the couple :-).

I instruct them that we sit and eat like guests already on meeting. Many forget it in the heat of preparations, many just dont know, many have outsourced menu efforts to best men and maids (who obviously not care) so we need to tell them.
Most of the time we were invited to the table but when not, couple got sorry during the evening and made a place for us.



Oct 31, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Mitch W
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p.3 #8 · down with bad vendor meals


teebat wrote:
The worst is a very popular theme park in Anaheim CA that has "princess" weddings. Not only do they serve you last, but it's a stale ham and cheese sandwich and they take you to a seperate buidling (not just a seperate room) to eat.

Cheap, cheap, cheap!

Cheap, unless they happen to be buying Lucasfilm for $4bil. Ha! That's a lot of stale ham and cheese sandwiches!



Oct 31, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Marcus Watts
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p.3 #9 · down with bad vendor meals


Don't put it on a blog, put it in your contract.


Nov 01, 2012 at 02:41 AM
morganb4
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p.3 #10 · down with bad vendor meals


amonline wrote:
Maybe I just have great vendors in my area, because I don't have these problems. I haven't experienced anything remotely close to the horror stories in this thread in the 5 years I've been shooting weddings. I can't tell if it's bad vendors or just a lack of constructive and positive communication on the photographer's part(s).

Out of curiosity, are you guys having the worst times with "catered" (brought-in) vendors, or "home-site" (venue-based) vendors.



+1

Also, to add to this I make sure that the B&G are on board with when I need to get fed and that this is communicated with the venue.

I dont demand to be seated with the guests but I do advise that it makes sense to have me near to make sure that I am 'in the mix'. I am invariably seated with the guests but fully understand why a couple wouldn't want this. The point is that I have conveyed it all to the client.



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:52 AM
 

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NathanHamler
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p.3 #11 · down with bad vendor meals


I would never mention anything like this to a client at a consult/meeting, or even in a contract....sounds totally arrogant IMO..my contract says "dinner to be provided for photographer(s)"....end of story...when it comes time for dinner, i simply find the head waiter/catering coordinator/wedding coordinator, and politely ask if i can eat sooner rather than later, so as to be as ready as possible once the action starts..they generally understand..if it's a vendor meal, oh well, i will survive....


Nov 01, 2012 at 03:05 AM
morganb4
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p.3 #12 · down with bad vendor meals


In terms of bad meals...hmmm never really consider it to be honest, most of the time Im just grateful that I am not one of the majority of people in the world struggling to find any kind of meal yet alone have one cooked for me.

The stuff that you describe as shitty is a banquet to others.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:10 AM
D. Diggler
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p.3 #13 · down with bad vendor meals


Juliewhitlock wrote:
Or try to send me home with half a cake.


NEVER been told to take cake home.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:28 AM
D. Diggler
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p.3 #14 · down with bad vendor meals


Sarah Dickerso wrote:
90% plus of receptions are served buffet-style


Mostly plated dinners for me.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:31 AM
D. Diggler
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p.3 #15 · down with bad vendor meals


Tradition wrote:
how many of you can dispute that getting served earlier rather than later would make your job easier?


Earlier would make the job MUCH easier but almost never happens.



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:34 AM
cordellwillis
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p.3 #16 · down with bad vendor meals


morganb4 wrote:
In terms of bad meals...hmmm never really consider it to be honest, most of the time Im just grateful that I am not one of the majority of people in the world struggling to find any kind of meal yet alone have one cooked for me.

The stuff that you describe as shitty is a banquet to others.


+1
Priorities in life need to be looked at more closely.



Nov 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Scott Mosher
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p.3 #17 · down with bad vendor meals


When I created my packages I included $50 in meals expense. When the vendor meal sucks, I eat the granola bars/whatever I've packed in my bag and after I go get TGIFridays or Chilis or something like that. I do though talk with the B&G about making sure we eat at the same time they do so we don't miss anything.


Nov 01, 2012 at 01:51 PM
sboerup
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p.3 #18 · down with bad vendor meals


I hear a lot of photographers that have things "in their contract" that seem so far fetched it's a joke, some of them include:
1. Getting fed at the wedding. Are you really going to walk out and throw a tantrum because you got fed last, or didnt get fed at all? And just because its in the contract makes you justified? I don't see why this is in the contract.
2. No other photographers allowed. Last time I checked we live in a free country, and if you can't handle other "photographers" during the wedding day, then maybe you shouldn't be photographing weddings as it's only going to get worse. What if the bride hired two caterers? Would they be duking it out in the back room over how many guests liked their food more than the other?
3. Videographer disturbance. This to me is another cop-out, that you cannot perform your job because another hired creative with a camera is there to capture motion instead of stills. Just because its in your contract doesn't mean that your ability to photograph the event should, in any way, be diminished by someone elses presence.

Not that these things shouldn't be considered or communicated to the bride, but having them in the contract makes no sense to me. Whenever I hear photographers tell me "oh, its in the contract for XYZ" it always sounds like an excuse for improper behavior or business policies.



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:20 PM
canerino
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p.3 #19 · down with bad vendor meals


I really dont see a tactful way of talking to clients ahead of time about getting fed. So I'd rather maintain a positive relationship with them over something that really isnt that huge of a deal (vendor meal vs. what the guests eat).

Although I do agree 100% about being fed sooner rather than later. Jason and I worked together once. We were fed well, but last. He happened to just walk upstairs at the right time and the parent dances were happening. It literally makes zero sense for the photographers to get fed last. I always looked at the photographers on a giant team to make sure that the bride and groom have the time of their lives on that day. So I never understood the animosity that caters have when we make a simple request to get fed sooner.



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Robin Usagani
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p.3 #20 · down with bad vendor meals


I have no idea why most of you have problem with vendors. The BOSS is the client. The vendor will do what the client says. I ask (not demand) my clients all the time that it is best if I eat early because nobody wants their photo taken with their mouth full. I have not done that many weddings but I do not remember eating my dinner at the end. I always get it the same time as everyone else or after immediate family.

The only times I eat kinda late is when I 2nd shoot. Never when I am main shooter.



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:57 PM
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