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Eat or starve at your wedding shoot?

So, I came across this conundrum while I was shooting the Holloway wedding Saturday (some of you may have seen some of their engagement pics below and on my Flickr site)...

Should you eat during a wedding shoot?

For the past few weddings I've done, I've just gone hungry or have eaten something before hand, because I was just to shy or embarrassed to ask if it was ok and then most of the MOBs or FOBs have volunteered to get me a to-go box or something. So, I decided to do a little research and see what other wedding photogs do. Here are some of the options I found:
  • If its a short wedding, (4-6 hours) just eat before hand or bring a granola bar or energy drink with you. Some hosts will let you eat off the buffet anyways. Be sure to ask.
  • Ask the bride or MOB during your initial meeting if the wedding will be longer than 6 hours and if so, ask or have a question on your contract about whether a meal will be provided or you can take a short break to eat something off the buffet in the back kitchen.
  • If not, ask to have a short 15 minute break while everyone else is eating to eat yourself.
  • If its really important to you, or you start feeling woozy if you don't have a regular meal, put it as a stipulation in your contract that you MUST have one of the above options.
  • Explain to your hosts during the initial meeting that if they provide you a small table to eat at, you will be able to keep an eye on the wedding to make sure they aren't missing anything. If you simply leave for an hour to get something to eat, you might miss coverage of something important during your reception.
For the record, the MOB on Saturday was very generous and let me have my pick of all the buffet in a big to-go box for the road and I wasn't really starving because it was a fairly short wedding (4 hours). So, this post in no way was any fault of the Latta or Holloway family, it was just something that we forgot to discuss ahead of time.

So, that's one thing I learned this time around. What are some of you guy's experience with eating during your shoot? Did they let you? Was it discussed ahead of time? Please leave me a comment.

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