Looking for recommended wedding suppliers?
Planning a wedding isn’t as straightforward as most of us hoped it would be. There’s managing budgets and expectations, family drama and sourcing quality or recommended wedding suppliers. Along with everything else, it’s enough to make the best of us recoil in horror. It’s no wonder many of us vow to never do this again! But unfortunately we’re here to rub salt in the wounds and make things that bit more difficult. We’re here to tell you why you should never book your wedding suppliers based on a venue recommendation alone.
There are hundreds of ways to find wedding suppliers these days. Social media, google, wedding directories, wedding fairs, wedding magazines. You’re spoilt for choice! But having so much choice makes knowing where to start almost impossible. So when you see that your beloved wedding venue has a list of recommended suppliers, you may feel like you’ve struck gold. Imagine all the time you’ll save! Just pick the best photographer, florist and venue decorator on the list and you’ll be good to go. However, these lists are not alway what they seem to be.
Most of us would (fairly) assume that a list of recommended wedding suppliers was just that. A list of suppliers that a venue would recommend based on their skills, professionalism and knowledge of the venue. Sadly, that is not always the case.
It is becoming ever more popular for wedding venues to charge for access to their supplier list. You can now PAY some wedding venues to appear as a recommended supplier at the venue.
Other wedding venues will allow you to join for free on the condition that you PAY THEM a set fee or a % of your fee every time you work there. In some cases this can be as much as £200 PER wedding! And that’s on top of what you, the couple, will have already paid them. So imagine that you’ve paid £10,000 for the venue. Imagine you book each of your suppliers from that list. Your photographer hands over £200. The florist then hands over £100. Your cake maker £50. Your venue decorator £75 and so on. Thats a tidy sum they’re making. How genuine do you think those recommendations will be? Will they really be the best, most experienced suppliers available, or will they simply be the suppliers who most consistently pay up?
Other venues not only charge suppliers a fee but also impose conditions to you being on their list. For example you must provide them with free products or services for their open days, or you must pay and participate in their venue open days or fairs.
For a supplier, you’re looking at hundreds and possibly thousands of pounds just to be on a list with NO GUARANTEE of work.
Well firstly it means that you should take venue recommended lists with a pinch of salt.
You may never know who, if anyone, on that list is a genuine recommendation and who has paid to be there. We used to receive emails from venues we had never even worked at asking if we were interested in being included in their booklets etc (for a whopping great fee of course) so you can be fairly confident in the fact that it’s not about sourcing quality suppliers, but about sourcing suppliers who are willing to pay!
If someone is willing to pay to be on a list that is by all accounts supposed to be based on trust and mutual respect, you should ask yourself why. To be fair, it could simply be a venue they love and would like to work at often, but being on a list is no guarantee of actually getting bookings. As such, you do wonder whether you’re actually getting bottom of the barrel suppliers who are not getting work elsewhere. Again, this will not always be the case of course but it’s a reasonable thought process.
To be clear not all wedding venues work in this way. We are recommended suppliers at several Staffordshire wedding venues and all of these are genuine recommendations. We do not support and will never support the idea of PAID “Recommendations” as we believe that business relationships should be mutually beneficial and above all else, authentic.
Venues who charge suppliers to be added to their lists are duping their couples, taking advantage of small businesses and simultaneously destroying the integrity of the wedding industry. If you are a wedding supplier in Staffordshire, or indeed anywhere else we urge you not to support wedding venues who participate in such a system.
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