Everything You Should Know About Preferred Vendor Lists at Venues
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — planning a wedding is no joke. It takes time, effort, and patience, which is why taping into a network of pre-vetted vendors is the dream for most couples. For many, it starts with picking the photographer or the venue — these are natural starting places, after all. The beauty in finding the venue is that there are many times the venue’s point person will have a list of preferred vendors. And while you aren’t always obligated to use those vendors, it makes the whole process that much simpler. So we’re taking a look at the idea of venues maintaining preferred vendor lists with the folks at White Lotus Farm & Inn so you can start your wedding planning off on the right foot.
Owned by partners Natalie and Niall, this 70-acre property on the Olympic Peninsula is in the country and therefore knows a thing or two about making wedding planning easier for their couples. “We are not an area with a high volume of vendors. People in the city usually have more vendors around and there is more advertising. In the country, there is a lot more networking face-to-face and not online. We have lists to make it easier for couples that are coming from Seattle and may not know our town as well as we do,” the couple tells us. So let’s get right to it with a traditional Q&A.
Q: What are preferred vendors and how does it differ from a required vendor list maintained by a venue?
A: “Preferred vendors are just our suggestions if it works for a couples budget but nothing is required. A couple can do what they please and make an event as rustic or as accomodating as they wish.”
Q: Is it typical that couples be charged a fee to work with and bring their own vendors?
Q: Does a preferred vendor list help couples with a wedding planner as much as it might those without a planner or wedding coordinator?
A: “Yes — they are helpful for either situation and save the couple time and energy researching.”
Q: If a vendor is on a preferred list is it safe to assume that the venue has pre-vetted them and checked their professional credentials for couples?
Q: Before going into contract with a vendor on the preferred list, do you recommend the couples vet them on their own and have a meeting with the vendor(s)?
A: “Yes, if they wish to do this.”
Q: As far as you know, is there usually a cost difference if a venue decides to maintain that list? Put more bluntly, does it make the venue more expensive?
A: “I do not believe it makes the venue more expensive. It is just nice to give couples this information.”
Q: Are there any downfalls to relying on a venue’s preferred vendor list?
A: Possibly, because it may not include vendors it doesn’t know about that the couple may have liked had they not researched that vendor category themselves online.
Photo courtesy of Mariah Treiber Photography