One of the underrated things that couples need to tick off from the Wedding Checklist is the Wedding Supplier Crew Meals. Before we thought that we don’t need to allot money for this since only a few suppliers will be present at our wedding and actually akala namin kasama na yung food nila sa bayad namin. Admittedly, we felt naive with this concept at first since here in Kuwait, whenever we freelance with some events, either we’d always be included in the guest list or we need to make sure that we’re already full and not expect our clients to feed us because it’s not part of the agreement. But, in the Philippines, it’s entirely different. So after we researched on the importance of crew meals and talking to our Coordinator, we came to realize that we should definitely provide for them because they will be working very hard for more than 6 hours on our wedding day! After going through all supplier contracts and double checking it with our Coordinator, we found out that our expected number of crews/staff have increased and that some wedding suppliers even have their own “preferred” meals or corresponding meal allowances.
To give you an idea, we’ll be sharing with you our Crew Meals List Sheet template that we have created. Usually, if you booked a Full Coordinator, expect to have this similar list with you early on. But if you have an OTD Coordinator, depende sa team, if they have this kind of list for turn-overs wherein mostly these check list, will be given to you upon booking or at least 2-3 months before the wedding. For us, mas okay if you do it earlier so may direction na agad kayo and you’ll easily spot kung ano ang kulang. It’s like fill-in-the-blanks! Also, make sure to customize the sheets according to your wedding kasi magkakaiba tayo ng wedding details. We hope this will help you in your own planning.
This is our CREW MEALS LIST SHEET. Here we listed them separately according to Lunch and Dinner since we didn’t provide breakfast. Providing the number of crew meals will depend on your wedding time and the number of suppliers who will be needing it on the day of your wedding. In our case since our ceremony is at 4 PM, we asked all of our suppliers directly what meal do they need (breakfast/lunch/dinner) and prefer (meal allowance/packed food/catered food).
For Lunch, we preferred to give meal allowance since our hotel is very strict with crew meal suppliers and we also thought that giving them fast food for Lunch is not healthy especially since they would work the whole day. Different suppliers have different meal allowance rates per meal per head so ask them directly although usually this is already stated in the contract. The standard rate for packed crew meals from a crew meals supplier is around Php 120-250 ++ per head per meal depending on the food variety offered, though the usual would be 1-2 cups rice, 1-2 variants of dish, 1 dessert and 1 water bottle. Delivery fees for the ordered packed meals would vary depending on the location. Some suppliers would even ask Php 300-300 ++ per head per meal as meal allowance depending on their work. When we asked them if okay na meal allowance, mas natuwa pa sila. But if you do this, make sure you inform your suppliers in advanced so they can strategize as well.
Other than the lunch that we provided, we also prepared snacks (assorted bread, coffee, tea, water, candies, chocolates, water bottles, and fruits) in between so they won’t be hungry since they will be always on the go. Instead of buying it from the hotel which was so expensive or getting it from a Crew Meal supplier, we instead bought it outside in packs (Red Ribbon and Goldilocks) and brought it with us upon check-in the night before. We made sure to do our grocery for our unlimited coffee, tea, water, bottled water, chocolates, and candies a few days before our wedding so everything was ready. Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any problems when we brought it inside the hotel.
For Dinner, we gave them plated meals from our Caterer. The standard rate would vary depending on the Caterer but usually, it’s around Php 350 ++ per head, per meal. Crew meals from hotels can even go as high as Php 550 ++ per head, per meal. At least we know masarap food nila and it’s the same dishes being served to our guests as well. We don’t want our suppliers to go hungry since we know how hard they worked for our wedding. This is based on experience while doing freelance wedding photography. But here’s something that we did that saved us thousands of pesos. If you notice we have 65 suppliers for our plated crew meals from our caterer. If you multiply that to Php 350 per head per meal (that was 2016 rate, no idea if nag increase na) that would be around Php 22,750! Quite expensive diba? Instead of paying for it, we talked to our Caterer’s ES and made a request to “offset” the things that we won’t be needing from our package. Initially, we have 10 free plated crew meals from our package and from that we canceled out the other “free things” from our Caterer’s package. Bottomline, na libre lahat ng 65 plated crew meals namin! We booked our Caterer directly kaya we were able to do this “offsetting” unlike if we booked a Venue + Caterer’s package where it would be difficult to change our “freebies” but better check with your Caterer’s ES if you can do this.
Now, the most common question is if it’s okay to give Packed Crew Meals to your wedding suppliers. The answer will actually depend on the Crew Meal supplier that you will book. If the packed crew meals would be “decent” enough, then it’s good. The standard for a “decent” packed crew meal would include 1-2 cups of rice, 1 side dish, 1-2 main dishes, 1 dessert and 1 water bottle/cola/juice in a suitable plastic container complete with utensils. But in our case, just like we stated above, we preferred to give our suppliers meal allowance due to the strict policies of our Hotel where we had our preps and plated meals directly from our Caterer during our wedding reception so that they would also feel like they are also our guests. So far, everything went well and this kind of setup suits us. But before you decide on this, I would always suggest to talk to your Coordinator first to get to know what they would recommend as well as check the contracts of all your suppliers.
- Make sure to inquire about your Hotel if they allow packed crew meals. Counter check this information with your Coordinator and other suppliers about their past experience with your chosen hotel to be sure. Take note that majority of Hotels do not allow Supplier Crew Meals inside and instead you will either get it from them for a usual rate of Php 350 ++ per head, per meal.
- Always ASK your suppliers what they prefer, whether it’s meal allowance, packed crew meal, crew meal from your Caterer/Hotel or homemade cooked meal (paluto).
- If you think na mas makakamura ka kapag nagpaluto ka, no problem. Just make sure to put it in “decent” packaging and know about your hotel and/or reception venue’s supplier crew meals restrictions.
- Create your own Crew Meals List if you must so you can check kung how much need to budget and ano pa ang kulang.
- Be mindful of your alloted budget for this. Minsan kasi yung akala mo na nakamura ka at mas ok, eh mas napamahal ka pa pala at mas maperwisyo.
Before booking your Wedding Suppliers, you can check our list of “Things to Ask your Wedding Suppliers..” so you can have an idea what services they will be offering, the possible contents of the contract, etc.
9 Comments Add yours
this a very good read!since I’m a working freelance photographer, i really do know how hard it is for the crew to not have enough food to function for the whole event!thanks for this.
You’re welcome Luis. I do hope we were able to really emphasize its importance. 🙂
Thanks for this. It is often mistaken as hidden charges. But here in the Philippines, crew meal is a SOP for event suppliers. Maybe one of the reason is that our (supplier) cost are low already and no allowance for the crew’s meal. Also, some venues are too far from places where crew can dine. And some hotels, our crew are not allowed to leave until the event are not finished, so no way to eat out.
Hi Cherry. You’re welcome. 🙂 That’s true and that’s the reason why “crew meals” should be explained to the clients by suppliers like you (I assume that you are a a supplier) since not all are aware of it during the inquiry and booking stage.
Thank you for all the tips! Nice read!
I’m preparing for my son’s wedding in the Philippines remotely from Canada! Your blog is a huge help to us. Kudos for your style of writing. It’s direct to the point and very informative. I already got one supplier from your post. Thanks! I’ll keep on reading..
Hi Guinevere. You’re welcome and thanks for appreciating our blog. It’s really heartwarming whenever we read comments like this. Anyway feel free to ask if you have questions about any of our posts. Have fun in preparing your son’s wedding!
Thanks for this! Did you provide lunch for your entourage as well? If yes, where did you order the food? Many thanks!
Hi Yza. You’re welcome! During the wedding we didn’t provide lunch for our entourage but provided snacks instead since majority of them were booked in the same hotel where we had our preps.