Weddings aren’t cheap. I know. I paid for my own wedding. So, if you’re going to be relying on your venue to recommend vendors to you, wouldn’t you expect those vendors to be people that actually provide a high quality service at a value compared to other similar vendors? With some venues that’s not necessarily the case. Please understand that this does not apply to all venues and all preferred vendor lists that you will come across. However, for me it is an ethical issue that I feel is worth writing about to educate the couples that we work with.
One thing that venues won’t necessarily tell you (even if you ask…) is how vendors get onto their preferred vendor lists. Unfortunately, it’s not always necessarily because of the great service that the vendor offers. It’s because the vendor has paid to be on that list. Many venues have preferred vendor catalogs or lists and they essentially sell space in those catalogs or lists to vendors. Before you immediately turn to a venue’s preferred vendor list, find out what the process is to get onto that list. Make sure the vendors you’re looking at didn’t pay to obtain their preferred status. If they do pay, that doesn’t mean you will be getting great service or bad service, it just means that you should be aware of what the label “preferred” really means. Many vendors who do pay for “preferred” status are fantastic.
If a venue does basically sell “preferred” status as if it were an advertisement, make sure you do your research on the vendor. Call up past clients. Check independent websites, like Wedding Wire or The Knot to see what other people have said about them. Doing your homework can help make sure you’re getting the best quality service for your investment in your wedding. Happy Planning!