Smart Grooms Don’t Need Preferred Vendor Lists


Gone are the days when wedding plans were left to the bride and her mother. Today’s grooms don’t just show up for tuxedo fittings. You are expected to share with your bride the fun of planning,tasting, and paying for your wedding. One thing you may not plan is to be presented with a preferred vendor list. A what? Yes, there’s a select list of vendors, and you’re expected to use it.

Be Aware of the Preferred Vendor List

As soon as a couple chooses a venue, the contracts start coming. Contracts are signed not only for the venue, but for the catering company, the photographer, the entertainment, and so on. With your venue contract, you may also be presented with a preferred vendor list. After perusing the growing pile of brochures for everything from videography to the caged doves that will be released at the ceremony, a preferred vendor list can look appealing. Avoid the list!

The List Isn’t Necessary

Weddings are time intensive events. What couple wouldn’t welcome access to a list of pre-screened vendors? The vendors on the list are thoroughly vetted, so it should just be a matter of choosing the ones who offer the best package. While the venue supplying the list typically won’t recommend a vendor with a poor reputation, they are still telling you who you can, and should, hire. You’ll understand why in a moment. For now, just know that you don’t really need the list. Grooms, remember this when the overwhelmed bride insists that you do, indeed need to choose your vendors from this select list.

Why You Should Avoid the Preferred Vendor List

Quality and reputation isn’t the issue. Most preferred vendors provide an excellent experience for clients. The issue is the way vendors make the list, and what venue managers do to ensure these vendors get hired. What earns a wedding vendor a place on the preferred list is money. Yes, each vendor pays a fee to the venue for the privilege of a listing. In many cases, those vendors also pay out a commission for each booking they get to your venue. You pay your venue, part of the fee you pay your vendors goes to the venue as well. It’s like double-dipping, except you’re the one paying for it. If you circumvent the list and hire your own preferred vendor, your venue may, unbeknownst to you,  charge them a fee. It all seems a bit, well, unethical.


Grooms be aware! If you don’t want to use the preferred vendor list, don’t use it. Most people prefer to know upfront what they’re paying for and appreciate the freedom to hire vendors of their choice, regardless of whether they’ve paid a fee to have their name on a preferred list.


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