You have graciously accepted the honor of standing in front of a crowd while all of the attention is on two people getting married – you are now a member of a wedding party, the honor attendants, entourage, groupies, whatever you want to call yourselves. Congratulations! Before I get into the main points I must first call out to those who bestowed upon you this honor.
These amazing people who you have asked to stand with you are some of your nearest and dearest. They are standing with you for a reason. They are important to you and it means the world to have them stand with you. If what I have just said is not true, then you have chosen people because you have to (aka relatives or you were in their wedding – which is a whole different situation) or you need to rethink why you chose your attendants.
These people are friends or family and have accepted your request to be a part of your big day. They did not sign up to help with every little thing that has to do with your wedding, like gluing 638 rhinestones onto every candle holder to represent how many days you’ve been together. They didn’t sign up to be required to listen to your every decision and/or issue while planning your wedding. They did not sign up to be treated like hired help, because they are not being paid. They signed up to be a part of your day, will do everything in their power to help when they can, plan and attend some pre-wedding parties, buy an outfit they can afford, walk 20 steps and stand still, smile at a photographer and keep you fed and hydrated all day. Other than that, you can expect nothing more. So what I am about to tell these honored attendants is not just good for them to know, but good for you to hear. That way you know what to expect of them and won’t be disappointed if nothing else happens. Now let’s begin with things you must and must not do as a member of this elite club.
WHAT YOU MUST DO
Buy or rent your wedding attire. Look, buying a dress or renting a tux can be expensive, so make sure you let your couple know ahead of time if you will have any financial issues with this. That way they can make the decision to help cover the cost or choose someone else (which I hope they don’t do). The price of the attire should be within reason, meaning based on your age, employment status, etc. If it is not within reason for you, talk with your couple and see what can be worked out.
Attend the wedding and the reception. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people show up extra late or leave early that are in the wedding party. It even happened to yours truly, but we won’t go there. Unless there is an emergency or an unavoidable issue, you need to be at the ceremony and the reception on time, and for the entire time.
Do not get drunk before the ceremony. And keep them from getting drunk too. Nothing holds up a wedding more than a liquored-up wedding party. They show up late, they don’t listen to instructions, they throw up on the alter…..it’s just bad. Drinking is going to happen, but do it in moderation. Once they say “I Do” then keep it flowing and have fun, but stay sober enough to be able to get through the entire reason for the day.
Help plan and pay for pre-wedding parties. In general the maid/matron/man/person of honor is in charge of the pre-wedding parties (aka showers and bach parties), and the rest of the attendants chip in financially and with ideas. Even helping organize, prepare, and execute the events. Sometimes parents will offer to chip in or host showers. This should not be expected, but they should not be left out once planning starts. All this being said, if you cannot financially help with the festivities, make it known ASAP and help in other ways. Offer up your house, assemble all the favors, clean up when all is said and done. There are many ways to contribute if you cannot spend money. But if you are of a stable job, this is something you must be prepared for. And to those at the head of planning the parties, set a budget and stick to it.
Help with setup. Now in an ideal world, every couple would hire a wedding planner (**cough cough** ME) or at least someone to set up their venues so that their friends and family don’t have to help. But it’s also not in everyone’s budget. So if your couple does not have a planner, and they ask for your help to set things up at the venues, help them. It’s a big undertaking and they will need all the hands they can get.
Attend pre-wedding festivities. Now sometimes everyone’s lives do not correlate well together and schedules do not mesh. There are for sure legitimate reasons why some people may not be able to attend one of the pre-wedding parties, but do your best to be there. And if you can’t, at least still help with putting it together. Even if you live in another state you can send a check to the host and a gift to the couple, it’s called Amazon.
Listen. Sometimes your couple is going to get stressed out while planning this wedding. IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. So although I said earlier that you didn’t sign up to hear every little issue, you did sign up to be a friend during this time. Sit on the phone and just listen. Even if you have no clue how to help, be an ear to bitch to and go on your merry way.
Make sure your couple is hydrated and fed all day. The wedding day will go by so fast, and they will be pushed and pulled in so many directions that sometimes they will not remember to drink or eat…..especially in the morning. It is your job to make sure they are taking care of themselves because they have a long day to get through.
Photo by: Johnny Joo
WHAT WOULD BE NICE FOR YOU TO DO
Go shopping for THE dress. Now of course this is one of those things where schedules will not always align, especially the more people that are being asked to come. So if your schedule doesn’t match the appointment times, it’s ok. Dress shopping can be both fun and disappointing. Bridal dress sizes are all wonky and shopping for this outfit can have a lot of weight to it, so emotions run high. Be there for support in her decision.
Help pick out your outfits. So do you have to? No. But if you don’t then you have no say in the end with what you are wearing. Plain and simple. Voice your opinion and wear something flattering. Stay home and wear the neon pink sequined dress with the giant bow on your butt. Your choice.
Pay for your “extras” aka hair, makeup, shoes, jewelry, etc. Now here’s where I also say, don’t pay for your hair and makeup. The thing is, if you can financially afford it, then pay for it. If you cannot afford it then let your couple know. If they are REQUIRING you to have your hair and makeup done and you can’t afford it, then they should be paying for it. But do your best to get it done because you will look like the odd one out if everyone is all done up professionally and you did it yourself. Trust me, you CAN tell.
Help with some of the wedding tasks. Depending on your couple there will either be minimal tasks to be done, or there will be so much DIY your fingers will no longer feel the pain of a glue gun anymore. Be ready and willing to help your couple assemble some wedding items: favors, invitations, centerpieces, etc. Make sure you make it clear from the beginning what you are able and willing to help create. Also, your couple knows you, so if they don’t ask you to help because they know you are not crafty-capable, don’t take offense. Not everyone wants glue fingerprints and glitter all over their escort cards. Be honest with yourself and put down the glue gun.
Give a toast. Now in general it is a traditional and normal request to ask the people of honor to speak at the wedding reception. So if you are in that position be prepared for it and don’t say no. If you are any other member of the party you may be asked as well, sometimes even to speak at the rehearsal dinner. Just be honest with your couple if you feel you can do it or not.
WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO
DO NOT ACCEPT THE ROLE IF YOU ARE NOT 100% INVESTED. Look, in the end, you have the right to be treated with kindness and as a human being. We all know there are some couples that feel they are entitled to more than they should be. That’s the nicest way I can put it. BUT you have agreed to be a part of this momentous occasion that comes with stress, high emotions, menial tasks, and a lot of working parts that need to come together. Sometimes it will get the best of them, and as a friend who is important enough to be standing by their side as they declare their lifelong commitment to each other……bite your tongue, smile and nod, glue the rhinestone……deal with it.
Choosing a bridesmaid dress for the females in your wedding party is no easy task, but it can be one of the most fun parts of the wedding planning process. Inviting the special women in your life to be your bridesmaids; your sisters, your lifelong friends, your cousins, and special family friends; is a way to seal important friendships during this very special time in your life.
Tips on Choosing the Right Bridesmaid Dresses
Naturally, it’s the couple who will be the focus of attention on the wedding day, but it’s important for the bridesmaids to look gorgeous too. Choose something simple and not overdecorated or detailed, but which will make your bridesmaids look elegant and sophisticated.
It’s important to choose a dress style which will flatter everyone’s figure. This is never an easy task, but empire waists and A-line or princess skirts will tend to suit most shapes and sizes. A very nice alternative, and one I recommend, is to choose the fabrics and colors and allow each individual bridesmaid to choose her own dress style. Separates are definitely an option too. Mixing and matching separate tops and skirts makes it easier to find a style that suits each individual bridesmaid.
Always keep a budget in mind for your bridesmaid’s gowns. Some times you can find sales or dresses even cheaper if you go to the right store. If you have your heart set on a more expensive gown, or one of your bridesmaids is financially unable to purchase the gown, you might consider helping out or give another dress option. Having someone be a part of your big day is more important.
Classic Looks for Bridesmaids
Any kind of formal gown, semi-formal, or evening dress can be chosen as a bridesmaids gown, so you have literally thousands of options. Satin, organza, chiffon, georgette, tulle, lace, brocades, and crepe are all classic fabrics for bridesmaid dresses.
You should think about the time of year you plan to hold the wedding, and how this will affect your gown choices. Choose lighter fabrics for summer, and a sleeveless or even a strapless dress style. If your wedding is planned for a cooler time in the year, long skirts and sleeves are best, or include a shawl or wrap as a gift.
Though a lot of people tend to choose their colors according to the time or season of the year, it’s not really necessary. If you want a color that isn’t typically seen in the winter, do it anyways. My only recommendation is to make sure they match your floral choices so your gowns will tone in nicely with the bouquets. Discussing your color ideas with your florist will make the job of choosing colors much easier. In the end, black never goes out of style.
Accessories for Bridesmaids
The simplest look will tend to work best, so accessories should best be kept to a minimum. Often a simple pair of earrings or necklaces are all the jewelry you’ll need. If you want to give a gift and keep things uniform, you can also gift jewelry to your bridesmaids to be worn on your wedding day.
Keep comfort as well as style in mind when you choose shoes for your bridesmaids. Very high heels may be uncomfortable to stand in for any period of time. I once wore 3.5″ heels and personally was in pain because I don’t wear heels regularly. So keep that in mind as well as the fact that the bridesmaids will most likely be wearing the shoes for the wedding ceremony and the reception. Choose shoes which will be comfortable to wear all day, then dance away the night.
It’s no lie that the majority of wedding guests are very much looking forward to enjoying a drink at your wedding reception. And alcohol, being the great social lubricator that it is, often helps to get the party going. But along with having a good time, it’s important to encourage moderation with consumption to ensure safety as well as a good time.
I’m sure you can look at your guest list and point out those who might think that drinking is an Olympic sport, so it’s important to have a game plan in place to eliminate issues long before they arise. When you implement certain things that we will talk about below, it can also help you keep the cost in check too.
Limit the Selection
Rather than offering a full bar, opt for a couple of basic beer and wine choices and consider also offering one or two signature cocktails. If you want to have hard liquor then opt for well options instead of top-shelf. Or keep the top shelf and only pick a couple of options. You can make a lot of drinks with Vodka and Whiskey with a few mixers.
Keep the Good Stuff Behind the Bar
Maybe you or a VIP like something special (or expensive)? You don’t have to give that up on your big day. Instead, have a special bottle in the back for that person and don’t supply the whole guest list with it.
Let’s get real, shots tend to be the thing people do when they want to get “warm” really quick. The problem is the quick consumption of alcohol not only goes through your supply (meaning you could run out) but it serves its purpose: people get drunk faster with shots. Since you’re the one throwing the party, you are liable just as much as the bartender serving. Now of course, when you hire a professional they will know when they need to cut someone off. But it’s better to not let it get there if you can avoid it.
Keep Your Guests Hydrated and Fed
The best way to do that is to ensure there is water and other non-alcoholic drinks available. You can even make it really cute with a lemonade bar in the summer, include different types of lemonade and garnishes. Maybe a collection of different flavored waters as an option. They’re even better when they are self-serve. It’s one less job to hire for (other than refilling) and those who don’t drink alcohol don’t have to wait in line.
Make sure to offer your guests coffee. Even if you don’t drink it It can be just table service (aka a pot on each table) or a fancy barista. It’s great at the end of the evening to get people to switch drink types. Lastly, make sure snacks are amply available throughout the evening. The more carbs and protein the better to “soak up the alcohol” too.
Limit Your Hours
Cocktail hour is obviously prime time for drinking, and once you open that dance floor the drinks should be flowing. But what about that time in between? Close the bar. People can grab a drink from the bar as they head to their seats and then they will be focused on their delicious meal and watching you two dance that they don’t need to get up for another drink. Unsure if that will make your guests unhappy, then purchase table wines. It’s a drink people tend to take slow and is more cost-effective.
Don’t Do It
No matter what, asking your guests to pay for their own drinks is not something I recommend. You would think it would make people drink less, but that’s not true at all. But again, it is certainly acceptable to limit the selections or adjust the timing. And yes, there are always exceptions to the rule, but 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t apply. There are certainly other options out there for offering your guests drinks without breaking the bank.
Along with a good meal, having a great bar setup goes a long way in making sure your guests really enjoy themselves. But making sure they do so responsibly is something you can help control with your choices, and it can help save you a few bucks along the way.
First thing I must say when tipping your wedding professional team, please remember that it is not a mandatory expense. Gratuities should only be given to those wedding professionals who have gone above and beyond their contracted duties. Small business owners should never be overlooked since their businesses are often run by just one person. Before dishing out gratuity, double-check your contracts. Some professionals will include it in their contract, and I wouldn’t want you double tipping. Also, keep in mind that this is a guide. There really is no set number in what you should tip. You tip what you want, and trust me, any tip a vendor gets will be a surprise.
Lastly, a review is the BEST tip you can give any vendor. So if you cannot tip monetarily, PLEASE remember to at least leave them a glowing review.
THE MYTH ABOUT NOT TIPPING OWNERS
It is not uncommon to read articles that tell you that IF the individual providing the service is also the owner of the company, you do not technically need to tip them. Here is my take on that:
If you were to go out to eat, you would not tip the owner of the restaurant, right? But if the owner was also the person taking your order, making sure you’re taken care of, bringing your food and topping off your drinks, then you would absolutely give them a tip.
It’s my opinion that it works the same for your wedding pros.
If you are using a DJ who is subcontracted to work for a company, you would tip the DJ, not the owner. But if the owner was also the DJ working with you throughout the process AND their playing some killer tunes on your wedding day and keeping all of your guests on the dance floor all night long, then it’s a great idea to pass along a tip to them.
How Much: $50 if you’re married by a judge, clerk or officiant. Clergy members, in general, don’t accept tips, so instead, make a donation to the appropriate house of worship.
MAITRE D’ OR VENUE COORDINATOR
Sometimes referred to as a “Captain” or banquet manager. This tip may already be included in your total agreement with the catering company and/or venue. Be sure to check first.
How Much: $1 – $2 per guest
SERVERS & WAIT STAFF
Look this over carefully PRIOR to the wedding day to avoid double-tipping or forgetting to give them a tip. It may already be included in your caterer or venue contract. If it is not clear whether a tip is provided or how many staff members there will be, ask your contact with that company. Also, keep in mind that a “service charge” is often different than a tip.
How Much: $15-30 per staff member
You may wish to have a “tip jar” out on the bar where your guests can choose to tip their bartenders. I’m not a huge fan of this, but it’s a personal preference. Just remember if you do not wish to have a tip jar out, that you should then take care of a tip for the bartenders on your guests’ behalf (if it’s not included in your contract). Inform the bartenders of your intent to tip after the reception, and request that they refuse tips from guests.
How Much: 10-15% of the total pre-tax bar bill, which should be split among the bartenders. OR $40-$75 per bartender
DJ & EMCEES
How Much: 10%-15% of the cost of services up to $150
BANDS, LIVE MUSICIANS & ENTERTAINERS
How Much: $20-$50 per entertainer
HAIR STYLISTS, MAKE-UP ARTISTS & OTHER BEAUTY TECHNICIANS
How Much: 15-20% of the cost of services
DRIVERS FOR LIMOS, SHUTTLES, BUSSES, TROLLEYS, ETC.
The total tip amount depends on the extent to which they are driving you and/or your guests. Are they just making a few trips, or are they working all day?
How Much: If it is not included in the contract, $50-100 per driver
VALETS, COAT CHECK OR BATHROOM ATTENDANTS
Display a sign stating that gratuities have been taken care of. The staff should also be instructed to refuse any tips offered by guests.
How Much: $1 – $3 per guest, to be split
DELIVERY PERSON FOR FLORALS, RENTALS, CAKE, ETC.
It is not “required” or common to tip these individuals, but a small gratuity is always a nice touch.
How Much: $5 – $20 per person, depending on much heavy-lifting they’re doing
These pros will often be spending the most time with you throughout the day and it’s important to appreciate their hard work and attention to detail. If they will be having any assistants, you can also extend an optional tip to them.
How Much: 5% – 10% of the cost of services – $25-$50+ per assistant, depending on their level of involvement
HOW YOU SHOULD GIVE YOUR WEDDING TEAM THEIR TIPS
It’s most ideal to pass along your wedding vendor tips (and final payments if necessary) to your wedding planner/coordinator or to a trusted family member (like mom or dad). That way you won’t be worrying about getting it to them while you’re occupied with your big day. Make sure they are in sealed envelopes with the person’s name and/or role written on it so that there is no confusion.
Something I have seen time and time again on local boards for wedding planning are questions about RSVP’s. Now I’ve already written a blog about invitation etiquette, and I lightly touched on RSVP’s, so if you just want an overview you can skip to that blog now. Within this one I am going to go into much more detail on just your RSVP card and the process of collecting that information.
RSVP Card Basics
Let’s start with the basics of your RSVP card by taking about the type of card. Yes there are types, as in a postcard, online or one you put in an envelope.
PROS: Very easy and quick for people to do, and generally leads to more RSVP’s actually coming in.
CONS: Not everyone is technologically savvy and it can turn them off.
PROS: Cheaper for return mail as you can get postcard stamps.
CONS: Rarely, but can get damaged more without an envelope to protect it.
PROS: Traditional and what people expect.
CONS: Postage can add up.
In the end I recommend at least doing one paper form of RSVP as well as offering an online one if you can. The reason I do not say to only offer online, is because you still have people that are not capable of doing it. Be kind and just send them a paper one too. Also, don’t forget that you still need to put a stamp on it. You ALWAYS put a stamp on the RSVP card. Otherwise, you are making it hard on your guests and you will have so many more that do not RSVP that you will have to reach out to (more on that later). The bonus my clients have with me is my online planning portal. My clients can send for a online RSVP request and then it automatically updates their guest list and seating chart. Boo-yah. Talk about efficiency and organization.
What should I put on the card?
Now let’s look at what should be put on your RSVP cards. The very top should have something written about the RSVP due date.
This date is EXTREMELY important. I always recommend to my clients that they set the date to be one week before final numbers are due. Traditionally they need numbers about 1-2 weeks before the event, so set your RSVP to three weeks before. WHY? So now you have a week to reach out to everyone who has not RSVP’d yet. And there will be MANY unfortunately, as that seems to be the norm now.
And YES you need to reach out to every single one who has not RSVP’d by the deadline. You do not want to have to guess and provide more seats and food “just in case”. Call them, text them, email them…..whatever you normally do to communicate with these people. And if they don’t get back to you, set another deadline. “If I don’t hear back from you by Friday, I will mark you down as not attending.” I am more than willing to help make phone calls to guests for my couples because getting a call from a wedding planner is different than from a friend. I always get the answer I need very quickly because of my position in the entire event.
What is that weird “M” line for?
The next line seems illusive to some people.
That line is for people to fill in their names aka “Mr John & Wilma Smith”. Now, traditionally it is for the guest to fill in, so you leave it blank but there is two things I will say here.
One, if you want to write in your guests names then do it. Tradition has flown so far out the window on things, that it really doesn’t matter anymore.
Two, if you do not write in their names you need to number your RSVP cards. For some reason there are people cannot grasp the concept of putting their names on things and send it back blank. Then instead of not knowing who it belongs to, you can look at the number and compare it to your guest list. I recommend either hiding the number in a dark spot on your card or buying UV pens and a blacklight flashlight. It just makes it look better to not see a hand written number on your card. If you can’t do either of the above, just number the cards and Miss Manners will look the other way, I promise.
The most important part of your RSVP card
Next on the card there is some version of the actual RSVP and an added line I ALWAYS recommend adding.
First for the actual RSVP it can be done very simply, or creatively, as long as both you and the guest understand which is a “yes” and which is a “no”. The added line is something like the following, “___ of ___ guests will be attending” or “___ seats have been reserved in your honor”. The point of this added line is to stop people from thinking they can just bring whoever they want. You have a set amount of people for that RSVP, AND YOU MUST FILL IN THE NUMBER OR ELSE IT IS TOTALLY POINTLESS. Now it doesn’t happen often, but every once in a while you get rude and inconsiderate person who crosses off the number and adds in their own. No, you cannot uninvite them as much as you and I wish you could. You do need to contact them and let them know that they will not be getting three seats instead of two. Then they have the choice of declining now or not. Stick to your guns and always blame the venue size for legal reasons that you can only have so many guests.
Don’t forget the food!
Lastly, if you are doing family style or buffet, then your card is done. But if you have meal choices for your guests to pick, then you also need to include that on your card.
Pretty simply leave a line with your meal options and the phrase “Please Initial Your Meal Choice Below”. Now sometimes you will get people putting in numbers or an “X” instead of initials. You can call those people and get a definitive answer if you want. Or you can keep in mind that they are family and if one ordered fish and the other beef, they can switch plates if they get the wrong one.
In the end, contacting them with your questions is best
You can follow all of the above and you will still end up with questions unanswered when you get your cards back. If you need more information or someone has not RSVP’d yet, CONTACT THEM ASAP. Don’t leave anything to chance. The goal in this is to do everything you can to make RSVP-ing easy for your guest and yourself and in the end have the least amount of headaches possible.
As a bonus, some people like to add fun things to their RSVP cards, like song requests. That is absolutely something you can add to your RSVP card at the bottom. And if someone requests the Macarena, kindly forget to put that on your DJs list for me. Thanks.
So as a wedding planner, I get asked a lot of questions and this is one that I have seen asked again and again on local wedding boards. I’m very honest with my couples, so let me be honest with you. This should be a no-brainer. Your vendors are working hard for you all day. Would you want to go without a meal while working?
My boss doesn’t pay for my meals, why should I pay for theirs?
You are correct! Your boss doesn’t pay for your meals, instead you get 30-60 minutes to go and get your own meal to eat. So when would you like me to dismiss the DJ and photographer? I’m sure you won’t miss the music or holding up your dances till they get back.
Seriously, vendors are human too and they want to eat. It’s often time even written in their contracts that you must provide a warm meal and a place for them to sit. So that’s my first piece of advice, check your contracts and see what it says.
My second piece of advice is to talk to your caterer and see if they offer “vendor meals”. Sometimes they can give nice pasta instead of the filets you are serving, and this is acceptable! Some give a discount on vendor meals to be nice to you for serving your vendors. If anything, giving them the cheapest option of the meals you are serving your guests is completely acceptable!
My caterer doesn’t give a discount but said they can make boxed lunches for the vendors.
OK, while yes this is food, and yes it is at least something, it is not a nice thing to do to your vendors. Boxed lunches are generally made well before other things have been made. Now you are serving stale bread with turkey, cheese and potato salad. Maybe a bag of chips. If your caterer only offers this or your full priced meal, then pay full price. All this will do is aggravate your vendors and they will not work as hard for you as the night wears on.
Your wedding photographer is probably working 10-12 hours to capture your day. Your DJ shows up well in advance of your cocktail hour for setup and doesn’t leave until about an hour after the shindig is over.
As a wedding planner, I can tell you that I am the first in and last out. I work on average of 12 hours on the day, sometimes more. I usually have a great breakfast because I know I am not going to eat until dinner. When I remember I get to shove a granola bar down my throat with a bottle of water sometime between 12-4pm. It is exhausting to work weddings and it takes a lot out of you. Being given a nice warm meal with a table to sit at makes you feel appreciated and will help keep you going for the last 5 hours or more.
Wait, should I put them at a table with my guest? How does that work?
This can vary per wedding. The best thing you can do is to have a table at the back of the room specifically for your vendors. No decor needed, so don’t worry about the extra money on that. If you can’t put them in the room, then they need somewhere close enough to know what’s going on.
I always recommend sitting the photographer at a guest table if this is the situation because then at least they are still in the room to capture anything that may happen. Some DJs like to eat at their booth, some like to step away. I personally don’t care where I sit as long as I have a seat. I tend to take a few bites and then go back into the main room to make sure things are going well. When I am in wedding planner mode, I tend to not stay away for long, it’s just not in my nature. Again, check your contracts, it’s probably written in there. It’s not? Then ask your vendors!!
So who all do I need to feed then?
In short, anyone that is working your wedding through dinner.
The long list:
Wedding Planner & Assistants
Any other vendors that will be there through dinner, that are not attached to your caterer. The caterer generally feeds its own staff if they need to be fed.
When in doubt, ask your vendor. It’s just the nice thing to do.
And speaking of food, let’s talk about lunch. You’re going to a salon and will be eating lunch afterwards, great. You’re having someone come to you for wedding day hair and makeup, and will be eating lunch where you are at? Offer them food. Keep your vendors happy and they will go above and beyond for you.
I don’t want my vendors to miss anything, when should they eat?
When you do. If the food being served is in a buffet line, as the wedding planner, I will make sure you and your party are taken care of and then I will send the vendors right behind. Depending on the time, I may send VIP family first. If your dinner is being plated, your caterer should know where the vendors will be eating and have the food to them right after you get yours. Seeing a pattern here?
This is really important because your vendors need to be ready to move as soon as you are. And shoveling food into their face just to get something down because they were only given 10 minutes to eat, is not an ideal thing. As the wedding planner, I know that I need to be available at all times, hence why I have an assistant. This is for many reasons, but one of those reasons is so that my assistant can eat while I watch the floor. Then when she is done I go eat. Sometimes I don’t eat until after all the events have happened and the dance floor is open. Everything gets planned and scheduled and worked out before the wedding day so that everyone is fed a proper meal that night.
You want to add a cherry on top of the awesome meal you just served? Make sure to offer your vendors cake during the night or have some boxed for them to take home. It takes a bit to unwind after a wedding, so a late night snack is always something that is appreciated!