Post # 1
I hired a wedding planner when I got engaged. She came highly recommended and I really liked her when I met her.
I recently met with her to go over wedding details (I’m less than 4 months away and have a LOT to do)…and in the middle of our planning appointment she had a total breakdown. I mean, complete mental breakdown. Started sobbing…told me a close family member (husband) lost his job….and then talked about it for the next 30 minutes. It wrapped up with her asking me/my parents to keep her family in mind in case anyone we know is hiring. As an FYI, my parents own a successful business and she knows this.
I think she’s a nice person but honestly, would you be put off by this? I felt so awkward….and now my parents feel like they’re in a super awkward place…it just seemed so unprofessional to me. I really do feel for her but…to cry to your client and ask for work?? Am I overreacting? My friend put it pretty well (I think)…”you hired her to handle your stress for you, so yeaaa….”
Ugh I don’t know what to do/think.
Post # 2
I would not continue with her services. She had a breakdown, which is unfortunate, but she should not bring it out on you. it is her job to alleviate your stress, not add to it.
Post # 3
- Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa
Laur12: This is what we call a red flag. I don’t think you necessarily need to fire her (can you imagine THAT breakdown?), but I would have a talk with her. Something along the lines of, “I hope that you are doing better/things are improving since our last talk, because I know I am going to need a lot of support from you on our wedding day.” And see what she says from there. If she breaks down and cries again, I would have to let her go, explaining you need someone who can take control in high-stress situations. If she apologizes for her previous breakdown and says it won’t appen again/sounds strong and professional, I say keep her.
Post # 4
gingerkitten: +1 This is a great response.
OP, that is a bizarre situation for sure, and you are definitely not being too harsh.
Post # 5
Thanks ladies. I know i need to reach out to her but I really just don’t want to…I agree with lovelee1, she is adding to my stress!! guh
Post # 6
howsweetitis: & gingerkitten – I think this is great advice and I will probably do this. I just feel so awkward talking to her now! I rarely cry in front of anyone so I’m one of those people that has a hard time … sharing emotions… with anyone that I’m not close to. I’m hoping it works out but yea, I dunno how she’s going to act on my wedding day, what’s going to happen in the next 3 months…just so much uncertainty!
Post # 7
I’d give it a day or two for her to get her emotions under control and then ask her, kindly and gently if she thinks she’s up to it. Tell her that you know it’s a rough time for her and that you’d totally understand if she wants to step down from the job with no hard feelings. If she says that she’s fine then tell her “Okay, great. I’m going to need you to pull yourself together because I need you to handle my stress. If you can’t do that right now, I’ll be happy to find someone else.”
Post # 8
Perhaps you weren’t the right person for her to break down in front of, but she is human and sometimes we lose it. I’d give her a day or two and ask her if she feels up to it as PP mentioned. I had my engagement shoot photog make a comment like, “keep me in mind” for the wedding, but I knew for the wedding we would go for someone else as I wanted a different style for wedding photos. But I politely said that I would and didn’t internalize pressure, and you shouldn’t, either. Just because she asked you to let her know if you know anyone who’s hiring doesn’t mean that you have to ask around or anything. If she asks again, tell her you don’t know of anything but you’ll let her know if you do and move on.
I think she will recuperate in a few days and get her act back together and everything will work out. Best wishes.
Post # 9
thistlelips: Right on. Agree that this would be a potentially uncomfortable situation to be in, but giving people the benefit of the doubt and extending kindness and understanding to them when you see they are going through something hard is never the wrong way to go. She may well have been in a specifically bad spot that day and be able to do her just fine after a little time to regroup.
Post # 10
I agree with most PPs. I’d give her another shot. It was obviously unprofessional, but most people have done someone unprofessional in their work life at some point. As long as it’s not a patern, I think it’s not the end of the world. I would plan another meeting/chat and if she is professional then I’d think it was just a really bad day and let it go.
Post # 11
Yeah I am giving her a chance I just think it was out of line to ask us if we know of anyone hiring…I’m her client! I don’t know, I’m in a client-facing role and I would never do that.
This meeting was last week and I still haven’t heard from her regarding the 5+ action items she was supposed to get back to me on. Were under the 100 day mark now and still don’t have tent, table, chairs, linens, food, etc. squared away and she should have gotten some of this together for us months ago.
I guess I’m just venting at this point, but Ive been frusturated with her over the last few months and this was really the icing on the cake!
Post # 12
I personally would let her go. While I understand that people go through tough times/are human, she is in a line of work that depends on her ability to handle stress. Would you go back to a surgeon that freaked out at the sight of blood? I don’t mean to be harsh, but you’re paying good money for a wedding, you don’t really want to have to emotionally babysit your planner.
Post # 13
I’d like to be generous here and say that perhaps the very recent shock of her husband losing his job had been overwhelming and her breakdown was totally out of character.
However, since the main advantage of having a wedding planner is to avoid stress yourself then I’d be seriously worried by her inability to hold it together during a client meeting. Only how will she resolve the sort of problems that she’s bound to encounter on your wedding day? You need a calm person with excellent problem solving skills. Not someone who easily tips over into an emotional mess.
I also work in a client-based environment. I share absolutely nothing about any issues in my private life. No matter how upsetting they may be in real life. This is how a professional works.
Given your update it sounds as if she’s not actually up to the job regardless of current circumstances in her private life. You don’t need this now and for sure, you don’t need it on your wedding day. So I’m afraid I’d be letting her go.
Post # 14
I would give her another shot, maybe have a talk with her to ensure that she will be able to handle coordinating your wedding and your vision. If she has another breakdown, I’d kindly say that perhaps she is not in the mental or emotional space to take on this current job.
Maybe she brought this up to you because she felt you had a great rapour. I do agree that it’s strange and unprofessional but some people go through hard times and we’re all human and we’ve all been there or will be there at some point in our lives.
But definitely contact her and just say if she’s having issues meeting deadlines that you understand but that you need to ensure that deadlines are met
Post # 15
Laur12: Yes, it was odd and unprofessional.
In your shoes, I think I would try to treat it as a one off but proceed with caution. If she can pull herself together and get back on track, everybody wins.
If she is an emotional mess next time you meet? Then you say, “Planner, I’m so sorry your family is having a difficult time. if you feel you can’t deal with this wedding right now, let’s dissolve our contract.”
If she hits you or your parents up about a job for her husband, you are so sorry, you’re not hiring – let’s get back to the center pieces.
Be sympathetic but get right back to business. You are not her friend – you are her client. Let her know she can either opt out if she can’t handle her job right now but if she wants to keep you as a client, you need her head in the game.