When you have a chance to make things better, you just do it!
There is an estimated 1000 wedding venues in Virginia alone. There are 52,000 weddings each year and on average 10 vendors will service each wedding. Our local wedding industry provides an estimated 520,000 jobs annually! This creates incredible opportunities and the need for structure to manage and maintain fair policies and practices that protect brides, grooms, guests, vendors & venues.
Engaged couples have more options that ever before and they expect more. Couples want to know more about the business operations behind the beautiful venue, stunning views, styled shoots and friendly staff. Fair Practices Venues are rising to the top as a priority in the selection process. Brides & grooms want to know that their wedding investment is protected by venues and vendors who adhere to a higher standard of business ethics. Wedding venues and vendors are helping us spread the word about why it is so important to find and hire Fair Practices providers. This message is impacting brides & grooms on the search for a better, smarter, more fulfilling way to select wedding services.
Fair Practices Venues Value Vendor Relationships
- Professional vendors are vital to the success of weddings & special events. Fair Practices Venues understand the value of their vendor relationships and maintain a professional vendors only policy. Amateurs allowed to work weddings place the venue, vendors, clients and guests in risk of increased safety violations, work ethic infractions, customer service failure and contract violations. New wedding professionals keep our industry innovative and thriving, they should be supported and expected to invest in the same basic business standards as seasoned professionals: state business license, liability insurance and register their business in the business background checks system for increased accountability.
- Fair Practices Venues require that all booked clients submit a list of their booked vendors no later than two months prior to the wedding. This allows the venue advanced knowledge of any potential hazards that could occur from vendors they have never worked with or do not have current license and insurance on file. The venue is in a unique position to help encourage far more productive safety measures by requiring only a few small policy changes to their standards of practice. These small requests are not a problem for professional, dedicated, serious wedding vendors to comply with. Additionally, these policies ensure that our hard working professional wedding industry businesses are hired more often and lose less jobs because an amateurs was hired.
- Venues that have lax management of the vendors who work weddings at their venue increase event liability by accommodating unregulated vendors, reduce safety by allowing unaccountable, unlicensed, uninsured vendors to have the same access and opportunity as vendors who do protect wedding and event clients by investing in business licenses, insurance, business education.
Fair Practices Venues DO NOT Charge Hidden Fees.
- Venues that force couples or event clients to hire certain vendors and then charges these vendors a percentage of their fees for each wedding they book at the venue is not a Fair Practices Venues. This practice is unethical, most often kept hidden from clients and encourages a referral relationship based on the exchange of money rather than the performance of the vendor.
- Venues that that attempt to appear competitive in pricing by hiding fees in mandatory services are not Fair Practices compliant. For example, some venues appear have very good, competitive or even lower rates than other, similar local options. In reality these venues have exclusive relationships with a DJ for example, event clients must hire that service which is allowed to charge an unreasonably high fee, much of that fee is paid to the venue to offset the published venue rental rate. This hidden fee is not disclosed to clients. This is an egregious violation of ethics meant to undercut venues offering transparent fees and rate structure. This also prohibits talented vendors from working at the venue because of the exclusive agreement.
- Fair Practices Venues do not force vendors to pay annual fees to be placed on a preferred vendor list. Making vendors pay to be on a preferred vendor list undermines the value of the vendors and how essential they are to the production, design and overall success of every wedding and event. Forcing vendors to pay a fee to be listed on a preferred vendor list creates a system of pay for play rather than referrals based on talent, integrity, experience, ability, professionalism and dependability. Venues that use their relationships with clients to force fees from vendors creates a false sense of security with the client assuming the preferred vendor list is based on talent, when in reality each vendor space is for sale.
- Fair Practices Venues do not allow 3rd parties to enforce fees and regulations onto the vendors allowed to work at the venue. For example, venues may have a relationship with a wedding planner. While the venue does not directly charge the vendors, the venue allows a wedding planner to dictate who will have the ability to connect with the clients who have booked the venue. This creates a potential for extortion tactics by 3rd party. If you allow a 3rd party total access to the clients who book your venue and allow that person to force fees from vendors in order to access your booked clients then you are violating Fair Practices.
- Fair Practices Venues do not force vendors to advertise in booklets or venue promotional printed material to be listed on the preferred vendor list or to be guaranteed referrals from the venue. These booklets are over priced and offer a mediocre impact from booked brides & grooms rarely resulting in bookings for the paid advertisers. Additionally, in order to pay for the booklet advertising quota, more vendors are added to cover printing costs, not in an effort to create more value for the client. This damages the original preferred vendors by adding any additional vendors willing to pay to meet the advertising quota. The advertising rates vary allowing some vendors to pay $800 for a small ads and some to pay as much as $3500 for an ad – these fees find their way into the billing cost for clients. If the vendor wants to be referred by other venues who use the booklet advertising method a vendor could be charged thousands of dollars per venue which leads to higher costs for couples. This is an abhorrent policy that is so damaging to both the venue and all vendors that it should be rejected by all event venues as one of the worst business practices in the wedding industry.
Fair Practices Venues do not have policies that interfere with vendors ability to fulfill contractual obligations.
Fair Practices Venues do not put couples, guests or vendors at risk with lax policies on safety.
Fair Practices Venues do not allow business bullying, bashing or slander.
Venue owners or management will not require vendors to perform duties outside of their contractual obligations for the client
Fair Practices Venues will report contract violations
Venue staff and management should never be abusive to vendors
Maintain business licenses as required by state and liability insurance.
Fair Practices Vendors are never late to events and never call in sick or no show a wedding
Provide written contracts to all clients at the moment of commitment of service.
Maintain up to date equipment, vehicle, tools of the trade.
Work as a team with all wedding professionals hired to service the event.
Communicate properly with the client providing multiple ways for the clients to contact the vendor
Vendors must support the wedding venue by adhering to venue policy.
Vendors must have professionally trained staff
Vendors should have knowledge of the venues where they are hired to provide services.
Vendors should have professional appearance at each event.
Vendors should not ever take items from the venue, other vendors set up or stations without consent
Vendors should not have friends or children at professional events.
Vendors should not drink alcohol or become otherwise impaired during events.
Vendors should not eat during the ceremony and reception except for the designated times established for vendors.
Vendors should know every vendor working their upcoming booked weddings and begin connecting prior to the event for a better effort of teamwork
Vendors should never be abusive toward venue staff.
Vendors should never agree to provide services to a client only to resell that service to another vendor at a higher amount.
One of the best ways to protect your wedding investment is by hiring a Fair Practices Venue or Vendor.
Business owners who adhere to Fair Practices can offer a far superior experience for clients and guests. Fair Practices businesses reduce the potential liability and increase the safety of these events. Please look for the Fair Practices logo before you hire a business for your wedding.