Another version involves facilities that charge your planner, caterer, decorator, rental center, bar service, and other merchants a percentage of what they earn from you for the “privilege” of holding your event at their facility. In this case, those fees, usually 10% to 15% of your bill, are generally passed on to you in the form of higher costs, again without your knowledge.
In both scenarios, you may be paying more for your event without your knowledge and you may unwittingly have your choice of locations or vendors manipulated by your planner, caterer, or another merchant for their personal benefit.
Occasionally, event facilities will offer a discount during certain times of the year when business is typically slow, such as January – March. This is good business as long as the discount is passed on to you, the consumer, not pocketed by your caterer or planner.
If you think any of your merchants may be engaging in the unethical practice of seeking or accepting kickbacks, ask them. Also ask the venue you are considering renting if they pay a “referral” or “finder’s” fee to your planner or caterer. It is possible they are willing to pay such a fee to vendors who request it. Your vendors should not request it. It is not a cost of doing business, but rather is a deceptive practice that hurts you, the consumer. If you feel uncomfortable with the business practices of any merchant with whom you are considering doing business, choose another merchant. You have the right to know exactly what you are spending your money for and to receive the full value of your money.