Recommended and preferred suppliers are often presented to wedding couples in the form of shiny brochures. The venue may have you believe that you will be choosing the best of the best from the various suppliers . Do you ask your venue how the suppliers got on the list? Check if the suppliers have paid the venue to be on them or check if the suppliers have been asked by the venue to give a % back from the booking. You may not get an honest answer but you have a right to ask.
Paying to be recommended
An email landed in my inbox the other day from an event company promoting a wedding fair locally. They asked if I would like to exhibit at their fair. They then informed me if I paid the venue an extra £25 they would put Sweet Ally Scoops onto their recommended suppliers list. My answer was no because the venue didn’t know me. I’d have been over the moon if they put me on their list because they had heard great things about me and how hard I work to go the extra mile for wedding couples. Perhaps they heard how professional I am, or how my customer service is fabulous! Maybe they know how unique my ice cream van is and how delicious my ice cream is, but oh wait, silly me it’s because they just want my money!!
My personal feeling is that this practice by venues is immoral and should be stamped out. Not everyone agrees with me and that is fine. Most suppliers are small businesses and ultimately the cost of having to pay a venue to recommend them is actually passed onto the wedding couple.
There is so much information on the internet nowadays. Suppliers are always happy to be contacted and to recommend other suppliers they have met on the wedding circuit that they know are good. Good suppliers will have genuine reviews on their website and social media pages. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against suppliers lists if they have been put together by a venue based on the merits of the supplier and not because they have exchanged money to be there. Recommended and supplier lists should not exist just because wedding suppliers have paid to be on them.
It’s your big day and you are parting with a large amount of money. If a venue insists on the suppliers you use, question them and perhaps walk away if you feel uneasy. Planning your wedding should be a happy time and you are in control. A huge thank you to the venues who do recommend me. These venues wouldn’t dream of taking my money to do so. There are many out there but you just need to check when getting in touch with them.
I have Lottie Loves page on my website where you can find my list of recommended or preferred suppliers. I have met these at weddings and have no hesitation in recommending them due to their own merits and therefore I do not ask them for anything in return when I recommend them.