Planning a wedding or special event can be a daunting task. Great vendors can make that experience a dream instead of a nightmare.
Especially in our current economy.
So What’s wrong with just going with the Prefered Vendors on your Venues List? Shouldnt that be the easiest option?
In all the craziness of the wedding biz there are some Venues that are holding the Couples over a barrel as well as vendors who wish to work at their locations, This is known as “Pay To Play” and is the dirty little secret that is creeping into the mix.
Basically the situation rears its ugly head as you sit down to sign contracts on your dream venue and find that you MUST pick from a selection of Planners & Prefered vendors from a list. They may not fit your vision and price range, but you MUST use only these folks! They do not tell you that the vendors have been asked to PAY a fee to be on the list and that some pay a percentage back to the venue. And who gets the fee tacked on to their bill? The bride of course!
Even worse is the “Outside” vendor fees some will demand if you wish to bring in your own Favorite baker, Florist, Photographer and Dj. I have heard outrageous fees of $500-$1000. to bring them in! If you trust your selected vendors and they have proof of Business license and insurance and references and a portfolio, why should they charge you to have them walk on the premises?
So how can this trend be stopped? Brides have More Power than they think. Voting with your Pocket book and selecting venues that allow you to be selective is a start. After all you have worked hard to pay for your wedding and should be able to get the best fit for your personality and budget.
1. Ask the venue if they allow you to bring in your professional of choice. Most Quality venues will allow you to select florist, and photographers and Dj as long as they are licensed and insured. I stress the PRO aspect of this, as most wont allow DIY other than a favor or gift for the guests. DIY disasters of the past may have something to do with some of the reasoning they demand you to use their list, but most in the industry think it is a $$$ Grab by venues feeling the economic pinch!
2.Ask if their “prefered ” vendors are PAID advertisers or PROVEN TALENT. If they are upfront they will disclose this. Many wonderful venues and caterers have favorite folks they have worked with and who are respectful of the venue and meet the credentials and insurance demands of the property.These are the Proven talent and will be “Suggested” . You should be able to meet them and get a feel for their style and then decide. But NOT have to be forced to pick only these suggestions.
You may be into an alternative style of Music or Want RAW food or all organic floral designs. Will you have to Settle for a traditional meal , cookie cutter flowers and the 70-year-old house DJ?LOL
3. Ask if you need to have an Insurance rider? Yes they do demand these at times and this is again an additional fee that may have to be added to your budget. Most professionals have basic liability, But when venues force the harpist to show proof of $ million dollar insurance for her 30 minute performance. they can cause last-minute hassles. Day of event coverage can be purchased for your vendors , but some venues try to force out your selections the last week or so with this disclosure. ALWAYS check the contracts!
4. If couples start opting for venues that allow some wiggle room and Individuality in the planning of their big days and avoid the Venues that demand “their way or the highway” it will protect future couples from going over budget and not getting their dream wedding .
Above all NEVER go blindly into a contract , ask questions, and get written answers .
Be pro active and aware that MANY fine independent vendors are being pushed out by this practice, and it is tainting the industry’s reputation. YOU Have the Right to choose!