1. Do You Have to Feed the DJ at Your Event?
In my personal opinion, the answer to this question is NO!
With the high level of responsibility that goes with performing any event, I believe your DJ should prepare for their workday as diligently as you prepare for the job you go to every day. And that includes making & bringing any food that they plan on eating.
Barring special appreciation days or holiday parties, do you go to work expecting your employer to provide you free lunch, just because you work there? Many DJs will add it to their contract that they are to be served dinner, and I feel that this is inappropriate.
2. What vendors should you feed at your event?
Your list of hired vendors would generally include the event planner, DJ, photo booth attendant, and contracted bartenders. Weddings might also include an officiant, photographer, and/or videographer.
Personally, I don't believe that it should be mandatory to provide any of your hired vendors a free meal, on top of the service fee you are already paying them. All vendors should be professional enough to prepare for their workday by planning & bringing their own food, along with all other supplies that they need to properly perform their tasks.
3. Do Vendors Count As Guests?
This is possibly one of the most important reasons why vendors, especially DJs, should not be provided a mandatory meal.
Many fellow DJs complain about guests not respecting their professional/personal space. So I feel that letting my clients know right away that I prepare and bring my own food, helps to establish proper professional boundaries when it comes to how seriously I take my job.
If you want to provide your vendors with a meal, then by all means, please do. But no vendor should ever make you feel obligated to do so. Your vendors should always plan on bringing their own food, at least as a back-up plan, in case of any errors with your caterers.
Thank you for reading.