Should We Feed Our Wedding Photographer?

This is one of those questions that has no right or wrong answer.

I would say with confidence that I have been fed at around 98% of the hundreds of weddings I have covered in the last 15 years however, I never expect it and it’s always appreciated.

Obviously it does depend on how long your photographer is with you on the day. If the coverage were for 3-4 hours and they finish before you sit down for the wedding breakfast (a quite common length of attendance) then you wouldn’t be expected to supply a meal. But if they are with you for the whole day, say 8-10 hours, then it might be an idea to supply some refreshment to keep the sugar levels up! Also, at a lot of venues, going ‘off site’ to get some food just isn’t practical.

When to Feed

I always prefer to eat when the bride & groom and their guests sit down themselves. It’s probably the one time that the camera can be rested as shots of people eating are rarely of interest or very flattering. I might get a few shots of the food itself but would then leave the guests to enjoy their meal.

Usually the photographer (and other suppliers) would have a similar meal to the guests, but perhaps the main course only. Most caterers will advise you on what to feed those working for you and some will offer a reduced rate for this.

Where to Feed

There would usually be an anteroom set aside for the suppliers to eat. Somewhere away from the main dining area but close enough to be ready in case there is an impromptu speech. On rare occasions I have been sat at a table with guests, once again, this isn’t expected and is very generous but I think most photographers would prefer to spend the mealtime relaxing and reviewing the day’s work thus far.

Quite often when the wedding reception has been in a hotel my clients would tell me to go to the bar and get a snack from there which can then be charged to the wedding account.

The final decision is yours and, as I said above, there are no rules one way or the other but, after a day on their feet, your photographer will undoubtedly be grateful for the offer of some refreshments.


Lloyd Dobbie captures wedding photography in London and across the UK and Europe. You can see his wedding portfolio here on his website.

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