OK. Don’t let this one scare you away because it sounds like it is going to super technical or, worse, super boring. We do have an important point to make here and it is one that benefits you, the happy couple, rather directly.
First, let’s talk about what vertical integration means. Vertical integration is, according to Oxford Languages, “the combination in one company of two or more stages of production normally operated by separate companies”. There are a lot of excellent examples of vertical integration from big names you know like Apple, Shell, Disney, McDonalds, and others.
A more entertaining and detailed example would be a wedding company. Many times, you will find a wonderful wedding venue and that venue may provide some basic décor but you, the couple, are responsible for renting additional specialty items, providing your own planning and coordination services, and finding your own catering (or using a catering company not owned but only contracted by the venue). That is an example of a company that is not vertically integrated and because it is not, it is likely costing you a bit more money and definitely causing you more stress as the sourcing and organization of these items falls to you.
If the wedding company you have chosen is carefully vertically integrated, it may provide not only the venue, but also provide a full catalog of included and upgraded décor owned by the company, employ the planning and coordination staff, and own the means of food production and catering service. When done right, this saves you money.
A wedding company that owns or is the leaseholder of the properties they manage has made a long term investment in the success of your event and, importantly, are able to provide you long term security for execution of your special day.
A wedding company that owns or leases the venue property and provides an extensive catalog of décor both included and upgraded essentially acts as its own rental company, offering you the ability choose from a wide range of items selected especially for the venue you have chosen.
A wedding company that owns or leases the venue property and provides an extensive catalog of décor and furnishes a professional planning and coordination team owns a facet of the business that can run many couples thousands of additional dollars? or many, many hours of work. An additional benefit is that there is little to no chance that a Planner is unable to prioritize your needs or may be ill that day or unavailable or that you will experience any disruption to your wedding “supply chain”.
A wedding company that owns or leases the venue property and provides an extensive catalog of décor and furnishes a professional planning and coordination team and owns the food production and catering services can supply a menu and staff fully integrated with the planning team and process as well as provide great savings through economies of scale and elimination of waste if they own and supply several venues.
It may sound pretty easy – just own every part of the service or supply chain and you’ll be A-OK and successful. Maybe, but you’d have to be pretty lucky if that was the entirety of the plan. Think about all of the competencies that go into executing a wedding. There is the team that carefully landscapes and care for the beauty of the venue that you’ve chosen for the all-important day. There is the planner and coordinator that has extensive expertise and can help you along with everything from selecting your décor to picking your menu to advising of the optimum timeline to making sure the trains run on time on the day of your wedding. There is the photographer that helps memorialize one of the best days of
your life for future enjoyment and sharing. There is the DJ that keeps the party moving. There is the catering team that selects, preps, cooks, and serves the incredible food you have selected to offer to your loved ones (and cleans up afterwards!). Each competency has to be analyzed exhaustively to determine if it makes sense to absorb into the integration. Bringing in the wrong one could not only end up costing the customer more due to increased costs from a lack of expertise in the competency but also have a negative impact on the product or service. You want a lot of things at your wedding, but a poor service or product is not one of them.
In the end, the end user, customer, or client that selects a vertically integrated company with care can be rewarded with lower costs and, even more importantly, a less stressful process leading up to and including the big day!
We believe that Trademark Venues is a company that has done it right. Over the years, Trademark has grown by the careful selection of properties and venues that are historic, current at any time, and, of course, beautiful.
We have also cultivated a large team of planners and coordinators with vast knowledge that assures you have not only the absolute best assistance, but also no disruption to your planning process through their group efforts – something that could never be said for the “one planner only” solution.
Trademark’s huge selection of décor curated with care by our design team has an incredible amount of décor included along with amazing vintage and found upgrade options at prices that reflect our economies of scale purchasing for six venues, our hospitality campus, and other properties.
There is also an amazing catering team lead by chefs with eclectic experiences that reflect the spirit of Souther California and, most importantly, result in amazing menus. Another part of that team are the folks serving you, cleaning dishes, tending bar, and much more. With our large and diverse workforce, you’ll never be faced with the nightmare of scrambling to replace someone last minute due to illness or any other reason. We have it covered. We’re going to wear out this point but executing hundreds upon hundreds of dinners every year means we purchase and procure a lot of food and that means, you guessed it, we are often able to secure favorable terms through the sheer quantity of food we purchase.
Trademark Venues even employs its own construction and maintenance team that spends many hours each week ensuring that venues are safe, have the features your want, and looking their best.
You’ll notice there are few parts of the service chain we have not integrated such as a photographer, DJ, or florist and there is a reason for that Building those area of expertise into our model would unnecessarily restrict you, the client, by severely limiting the styles available for defining your day. What we have done, though, is listen to the voice of the client to create an amazing list of preferred vendors whose competency in those areas and eye for varied styles is unparalleled. Of course, we are happy to share that list with our clients.
That is a bit more than we really wanted to write about us specifically and we hope you’ll forgive us for that. We genuinely believe that the way we do business is right way as it benefits you and us creating a wonderful virtuous cycle of happiness.
What we really hope is that this article helps you ask penetrating questions when you are looking for venues and to recognize those that are planning well, executing well, and sufficiently vertically integrated to benefit you in something as important as your wedding.