I'm going to climb up on my soap box for a minute, so I apologize in advance. I read a great article today regarding wedding TV shows and preferred vendor lists. The article is called "Brides Beware! Wedding TV Shows Are Mostly Infomercials" and it was written by a wedding officiant in Los Angeles named Elizabeth Oakes. Here is an excerpt:
The catchphrases “Best of the Best” and “Preferred Vendor” are supposed to make you think providers have been vetted for quality, but the truth is the only quality required is the ability to write a check.
So brides beware! Don’t take everything you see on TV or read in wedding magazines at face value. Of course you knew that, it's just that when you’re starry-eyed with excitement about your impending wedding you might not see the white tulle being pulled over your eyes.
It’s not that you can’t consider booking these vendors if you like what you see. Just be aware that you’ll need to verify the superiority of their services for yourself--and that their prices will probably be higher than other vendors, given that they’re paying for pricier adverts and those costs are passed along to you. It’s always smart to seek independent referrals, references, and recommends from people you know in addition to any media information you receive; your own research and good sense should be your guide....a far better guide than the mediated ones being offered to you under dubious pretenses.
I whole-heartedly agree with Ms. Oakes. Anytime you are presented with a "preferred vendor list," please ask if these professionals pay to be listed. Any time you see a full-color, glossy brochure at a venue that contains a list of vendors and ads, they have definitely paid to be included. And it's not that they aren't great vendors, per se, but as this article says, be sure you are hiring a professional because you like their work, you have checked their references from past clients, and you have verified their business license and checked with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints.
Thanks to fab Orlando wedding planner Kerline Docteur for sharing this article with me!