My preferred vendor list is precious. My reputation is hitched to each one of the people that I refer to my clients and therefore I am very, very particular about who I recommend. Most wedding planners are. Not to preach to the choir, but our referrals are part of what you are paying us for. We have spent years cultivating our preferred AND our black lists.
When a person gets engaged, usually that person first turns to the people around them to get referrals for dress shops, photographers, florists, etc. and while that is all good and natural, those referrals may not be that great when it’s all said and done. Many times, a vendor is referred based on the final product: the pictures or the flowers, but that is just the end result of the referral. There is SO much more that makes a photographer good than good pictures or a florist pretty flowers! Is that photographer friendly, punctual, courteous, professional, organized, helpful, and a team player? Is that florist a diva who promises the moon and stars, charges you an arm and a leg, then shows up two hours late on your wedding day? You may not know the answers to these questions until after your wedding is over.
Many times, referrals come from other wedding vendors, and that vendor has only experienced one facet of this referred vendor. Example: you ask your photographer for a recommendation for a DJ and the referral that your photographer gives you is the guy he met last week at an industry networking party. They clicked on a personal level but this DJ turns out to be a total hack that ruins the reception and embarrasses you. I’ve seen this happen.
So while referrals from friends and other wedding vendors can be valuable, they can be just as tricky as just choosing someone from a wedding planning website.
My point: wedding planners and coordinators see entire picture of the wedding– we see how vendors work behind the scenes AND also see the end result of that vendor’s product. We know who is ethical, who is going to return your emails/phone calls, who will give you good value for your money, who will follow through with promises, who is a team player, and who is an all around nice person. Oh yeah, AND they’ll take pretty pictures or create mindblowing flower arrangements for you!