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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #1
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Venue charging Bride to use "outside" vendors.

This is the first I've ever heard of this, so I'm wondering if this happens in other parts of the country.

There is a very popular venue that offers couples - for a fee - to book all the vendors. DJs, Video, Photo, Cater, Flower, etc.. They will then call vendors from their preferred vendor list. If the bride chooses to book her own vendors, they then charge her a fee to bring in vendors that aren't on their preferred vendor list.

What do you guys (and gals) think of this practice?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #2
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sounds pretty shady to me. The B&G have the right to choose who they want but of course the venue also has the right to do what THEY want. Personally if it was me I'd try to find someplace else but if the place is as nice as you say well, I guess while it's legal, it sucks.
Just my opinion.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #3
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Sounds a bit suspect to me - wouldn't that be "restraint of trade" or something of the sort? But I think a venue has the right to control what happens on "their property"... Perhaps they've had "bad experiences", and feel they don't want to put their customers at risk on their special day, so they put the time into vetting the vendors... I can see advantages, having seen brides have problems with one or more vendors, there's lots of places for things to "go wrong".

Maybe you should see about getting on their preferred vendor list? Might actually prove lucrative, although I bet they are taking a back end cut on all their "talent" as a part of the deal, thus to make it up they charge if you use an "outside" vendor.

Still something seems a bit strange about it, just can't put my finger on it... but if brides accept it to use their venue, not sure you can do much about it.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 01:17 PM   #4
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I am in the AV industry and this practice is common. Venue would charge client to bring in an outside vendor. There has been a push to educate clients about this. Venues are devious, you can bring an outside vendor but there is a fee, if client pushes to have their own vendor they slap them a 200 page do & don't book. We usually swallow the cost ( $ 500) but I think going at smaller vendors like DJ, Videographers, etc is just too much.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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The simplest -- and best -- solution is to convince the bride to change venues.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Chris,

It's usually a "fact" made known to the client after they have signed the agreement. It's usually in fine print. I hope this practice does not prosper, this basically killed the AV industry. Pretty soon venues would be asking for 20-30% from the prefered vendor or they move on to the next willing vendor.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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I just found about this today from another video company that's running into problems with the venue. A bride wants him to shoot her wedding, but isn't crazy about paying the additional fee. We've both shot there many times before, and are looking into getting on the vendor list. I'm aggravated as a vendor, the business it tough enough as it is to get bookings without dealing with this kind of thing. But, if I was the couple planning a wedding there I'd really be annoyed. It's a tough one to fight. This is a very desirable location, especially for destination weddings. Also, the parent company owns other venues where they are instituting the same policy.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:43 PM   #8
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Yes! This is being practiced here on Oahu. There is one hotel that has a list of preferred vendors. To get on that vendor list, you must provide excellent service, and you are "invited" to be on their list for an annual fee of $1000 PLUS pay the hotel 20% of what you are charging the client!

If a client has a venue at the hotel, they are required to use only the preferred vendors on their list. If they deviate from the list, they are charged $1000 per vendor that is not on the list! This practice was brought in about 5 years ago from some mainland hotel corporation to this upscale hotel.

Needless to say, most local brides do NOT go to that hotel anymore, even if it's one of the nicest on the beach.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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Warren, that's a bit scary especially if this practice catches on. Funny thing is, the videographer who told me about this is not on the preferred vendor list, but produced a video for them - at no charge for use at a bridal show.

I know very little about legal things, but this doesn't seem totally legal to me, but I would imagine if you want to challenge it, you would need some deep pockets.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #10
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As much as I don't like the idea, it doesn't strike me as shady at all. Certain venues have been doing this for a long time. We just had a venue in our area now require brides to use a specific DJ, and we've been recommending this place to brides for a while .. but we recommend a different DJ. It's unfortunate mostly because the bride loses out in most cases by having to settle for the 'preferred' vendors .. which are often just those companies that are willing to give up profit or pay fees to the venue.

Try filming or photographing a wedding on a cruise ship. They don't allow it. We managed to do it once because we were 'friends' of the bride and groom .. basically they booked us and we became friends. d;-)

And Chris, I'd love to hear the spiel to convince a bride to change her venue just for you. In most cases you might as well try to convince her to change her date. I suppose hypnosis might work ... d:-)
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Old May 6th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #11
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I'd be interested in see how hard ball the venue would play if a bride threatened to not use the venue. Would they the risk losing a $20,000 booking over a $1000 service fee?
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Old May 6th, 2009, 06:40 PM   #12
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In my earlier post I mentioned that a certain hotel here in Hawaii charges vendors to be on their list.

This hotel is also famous because of it's "service charge" lawsuit. A couple paid a 19 percent service charge on the food and beverage, totaling more than $4,800, but the hotel did not tell them that the entire amount did not go to the employees who provided the services.

The lawsuit is seeking to obtain damages for all customers since March 1, 2006 who paid the service charge to the hotel in connection with buying food or beverages.

Hawaii’s Revised Statutes 481B-14 says that any hotel or restaurant that applies a service charge for the sale of food or beverage services must distribute the money directly to its employees as a tip, or must disclose to the purchaser that the service charge is being used to pay for costs other than wages and tips of the employees. By talking with one of the employees later, the groom found out that waiters at their wedding didn't get their tips.

This hotel has a reputation of trying to squeeze everything out of customer, vendor, and even employees!
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Old May 7th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #13
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Not to hijack the thread, anyone of you guys on a preffered vendor list? I dropped off some flyers to a Banquet Hall yesterday, spoke to the Manager and they want to arrange a business relationship with us and asked me what I can offer them.

I was unprepared on my sales pitch, any advice? I promised to send her an email with our package cost, etc. Really love to get this one coz it is 10 minutes from our place.

Thanks in advance.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Lising View Post
they want to arrange a business relationship with us and asked me what I can offer them.
I think they mean, "how big is your bribe going to be for us to put you on our list?"
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Old May 7th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #15
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Vito, that's a given, they want a commission. LOL.

I just want to get ideas from others who has been on a list. Did they do a "tap dance" to go along with their 10% referral fee? BTW I did mention I was willing to give 10%.
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