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Getting on the Preferred Vendor List: 7 Strategies for Wedding Pros

As a wedding professional, earning a place on a venue’s preferred vendor list can feel like unlocking a golden gate to a stream of consistent business.

However, securing this coveted position requires a strategic mix of dedication, professionalism, and relationship-building.

Here are a few proven strategies to help you ascend to the top of the list and become a go-to recommendation for couples planning their big day.

1. Cultivate Professional Relationships

Relationship building forms the bedrock of your journey to the preferred vendor list. Focus on fostering authentic, lasting connections with venue coordinators and staff members.

This isn’t a one-time coffee catch-up; it’s about sustained, meaningful engagement. Be genuine, show appreciation, and consistently demonstrate that you value them as individuals as well as business associates.

Make an effort to meet them where they are – at industry events, bridal shows, or over a casual lunch. When scheduling a meeting, bring thoughtful gifts, like snacks or coffee, to show your appreciation.

Remember, venues want to refer professionals they enjoy working with. Make it easy for them to choose you by being personable, professional, and reliable.

2. Deliver Exceptional Service and Exceed Expectations

Your service must speak louder than your words. Delivering an impeccable service is non-negotiable.

When you work at a venue, make every effort to surpass expectations. Show up prepared, be informed, and strive to make the venue shine in front of clients.

Leave no room for cleanup or last-minute fixes; the aim is to make the venue’s job easier, not harder.

In short, over-perform and over-deliver.

3. Share Your Success

When you’ve pulled off a great event at a venue, don’t keep it to yourself. Share your success by providing images of the event to the venue.

These high-quality photos not only demonstrate your skills but also provide valuable promotional material for the venue. Remember, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

Helping the venue succeed is just as important as your own success.

4. Communicate, Appreciate, and Update

A venue will appreciate your ongoing communication and gratitude. Thank the venue for any referrals, regardless of whether they resulted in a booking.

Keep them updated about any weddings you’re handling at their location and send timely reminders before the wedding detailing who will be overseeing the event.

This continued professionalism will keep you fresh in their minds when referrals are requested.

5. Be Strategic about The Lists You Aim for

Becoming a preferred vendor at every venue isn’t feasible, or necessarily beneficial.

Concentrate on venues that align with your target demographic and business goals.

This strategic approach will ensure the referrals you receive are well-suited to your business, and likely to convert into bookings.

6. Make a Digital Impact

In our digital age, your online presence matters. Follow, engage with, and promote the venues you’re targeting on social media.

Write positive reviews about your experience working with them. Digital praise holds immense value, and it’s another way to show your support for the venue.

7. Follow Up After the Event

The post-event period is crucial for consolidating the relationship you’ve nurtured.

Send personal notes to thank the venue’s team members, and where appropriate, send thoughtful gifts.

Blog about the wedding, highlighting how great the venue was to work with, and ensure you connect with them via social media to share your post.

Time To Get On Your Favorite Venue’s List

Earning your place on a venue’s preferred vendor list is a marathon, not a sprint.

It requires patience, professionalism, and a genuine desire to build lasting relationships within the industry.

Stay focused, make each event count, and before long, you’ll find your wedding business climbing to the top of the preferred vendor lists. 

If you have questions about marketing your wedding business, we’d love to chat! Schedule a free discovery call with our marketing consultant and we’ll discuss your goals and discuss your next steps.

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