I Am Not A Wedding Pimp

In the wedding world there are referrals, and there are kickback machines. Many vendors only refer to people who they have a "special relationship" with, meaning that they're getting a kickback from them. Either there's a markup in price that's passed along to the referring vendor, or they actively refer only to each other and just as actively tell clients NOT to hire anyone else.

I don't do that, and I don't work with people who expect me to let them bill the client so they can pad the balance due. I've told several planners (most of whom I've never heard of before) that they need to give me the client's email so that I can contact them directly.

If they won't, I won't work with them. If someone won't give me the bride's contact information, it's probably because the planner wants to send the clients the bill herself and add a little onto it for her trouble. I don't think so.

I'm not a wedding pimp who will take kickbacks or send clients to you for financial gain on my part. I get no cash or prizes for sending clients to other professionals. The only reason I give out someone's name is that I think they do good work.

So for people who want to call other professionals and ask to be put on their referral list, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Be polite. Don't tell me to put you on my list, ask to meet with me.

2. If all you have in your portfolio is photo shoots and no real weddings, I'll be reluctant to refer you. Photo shoots are one thing, working under the pressure of a real wedding is entirely different.

3. Be polite.

4. If you want me to check out your work, you'd better have a website. You'd be surprised how many people don't.

5. Be polite.

6. Did I mention that you should be polite? Remember that when you approach someone else you're asking for a favor, and people don't respond well to being ordered around by someone they don't know.

7. If you want to "work out a deal" where there's any kind of money being exchanged between us in exchange for referrals, it ain't gonna happen. Don't bother to call.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com

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