Thursday, July 26, 2018

Your Wedding Vendors

Photo by Bailey Pianalto Photography
Flowers by A&L Floral Design
Venue Castle Bridge Event Center
 One of the most valuable aspects of hiring an event planner is the vendors that they bring with them.  These are vendors that the planner has worked with professionally on more than one occasion and trusts enough to say, "I think you would do well to use this person".  It behooves the event planner to well and truly vet those vendors, because their name is also on the line.

However, the first question you should ask when you are choosing your event planner is, "Do you receive a commission from your vendors?"  Many event
Photo by Bailey Pianalto Photography,
Stationary by The Prettiest Pixels
planners get a commission or a "kickback" from the vendors that they refer.  It may also be called a "referral fee".  Personally, I find this rather suspect in my line of business.  I know many planners that do accept and expect fees of this nature, however, I would not trust those referrals.

The most important referral that I ever get is the one that comes from someone I have worked for or with.  If I am referred to a client by someone that already trusts me and has worked with me, then I am already that much more reliable to my client.  But if I am only being referred because I am giving someone a 10% kickback, then I have no value outside of the money exchanged.  The same is true for anyone that I refer.  

The relationship between client and vendor is sacred.  I do have preferred vendors that I have worked with and have relationship with.  They do not pay me for that relationship, nor am I under obligations to use them.  If I refer them, it is because I value them and the job that they do.

Photo by e-Golden Moments Photography
Sometimes vendors will offer a discount.  If a vendor has offered to give me a discounted rate on their services for clients that I refer to them, then that discount is passed on to my clients.  This is a very big distinction.  Some planners hide these discounts from their clients and pocket the difference.  If your planner pays the vendors directly, it may be because they are charging you a different fee than the vendor is charging them.  Ask your planner if you sign all contracts and pay vendors directly.  It may seem simpler to allow the planner to sign the contracts and handle all the payments, but it does not assure you that you are getting what you paid for.

That being said, this begins my first blog in a series that I am calling Vendor Relationships.  I will share with you some of the vendors that I have worked with in the Greater Kansas City area and what clients need to know before searching out vendors.  Stay tuned.  I will publish a new article each Thursday, God willing and the creek don't rise 😎

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