Post # 1
I need some advise.
I hired a wedding planner for our destination wedding, she is one of the best, really good wedding planner and she agreed on a budget with us, before we signed the contract with her.
We went to the city where we are getting married and after looking at places and talking to the vendors she sent a revised budget which is 2.5 times more than the original budget. She claims we expected more than we told her but… if so, why did she make us meet with those vendors?
Furthermore, the only place we really loved from the ones she suggested for the reception, has been booked so now we have nothing.
We have sent her a mail saying that we would love to work with her but she needs to find some other -equally good, not as recognized and expensive- vendors, in order to continue, but she is suggesting we use the same vendors but lower our expectations.
We are seriously considering just continuing with the planning on our own or find some other vendor with different contacts, I just find it very difficult to think everyone getting married there has our budget (which is quite large I think) so there must be some other people we can work with and still get the wedding of our dreams. I have looked online and found some other vendors, but if I have to do that for her, is there a purpose in having a wedding planner?
I am thinking, if I don’t work with her I could use the money we were to pay her and just go there for a week and get it all done… but what about the day of the wedding?
What would you do?
Post # 3
hmm is she charging you a percentage of the wedding budget? that could be why she’s pushing such expensive vendors.
i would send her one more email, telling her your budget is X and if she can’t find vendors who fit into that, you will no longer be working with her.
have you already paid her anything? what does your contract say about cancellations?
Post # 4
I say fire her, but you could hire a day of coordinator. That way you plan everything but they do everything the day of to take the stress off! Just a thought 🙂
Post # 5
@Latin-bruden: Did you already pay a deposit and are you willing to lose it? I have similar problems with my wedding planner – suggestions for accommodations sucked (I found better online), suggestions for hair & makeup were way overpriced (found my own online), and he had no clue how to decorate a wedding. I basically had to design the whole theme of the wedding and pick out every single individual detail about the wedding. The whole time my wedding planner boasted about being able to get “huge discounts” that I wouldn’t be able to get on my own. Well that was a load of BS b/c his quotes included 200% kickbacks. Unfortunately we had already paid up to 100% of the cost 6 months before the wedding and if we fired him, we’d lose 50%. I basically stopped using our planner after that. Fortunately he was the cheapest I found and trust me, my case was a lesson in “you get what you pay for”. In hindsight I would have been more willing to pay the extra couple of thousand just to have more peace of mind.
If you are unhappy with your planner right now I would say nip it in the bud. There is a WEALTH of information online. And if having someone else coordinate the day for you is important, may be you can enlist the help of family and bridesmaids to oversee certain details like flowers, food, guests, etc.
Post # 6
@jenewitt: thanks, that’s a really good idea, I wouldn’t mind giving someone a super detailed list the day before, and let them do it… will look into that.
@kitzy: I paid her an initial deposit of USD 800 which she would keep in case of cancelations, but I am OK with that, she did guide us a lot in the beginning, but now she is just not adding any value. She is indeed charging 12% but she came with very good recommendations so… I thought she would be better than to want to inflate our budget
Post # 7
@kankanwed: thanks a lot, I have thought about family and friends but I just think that’ll end up being more stressful, considering they don’t live in the city. I am thinking about using the money I would have paid her, to go to the city myself once again, and get everything done instead.
I just hate it, because I went with one of the most expensive planners…thanks for sharing your experience!
Post # 9
I say fire her and either find someone new, or plan it yourself and then get a day of coordinator. Your relationship with your wedding planner is really important, and if you don’t feel comfortable now, it’s not a good sign. You want someone that understands your goals, vision, and most importantly, your BUDGET. You should never be told to “lower your expectations”, she should be providing you with options that can make your expectations a reality! I’m sure you can find fanratastic vendors that are within your budget, and if she can’t stick to that then she is not for you.
Post # 10
@Latin-bruden: You may be able to do a lot of the stuff yourself without even going to the city where your wedding will be. We planned our Destination Wedding without a wedding planner, and only arrived in the area of our ceremony the day before. We did it all with looking up things on the Internet, and communicating via phone and e-mail. And even if you wanted to make a visit, you could use these methods to narrow down your potential vendors so that your trip could be as efficient as possible.
Post # 11
With the internet, it’s easier find and review locations, vendors, etc. I think you should fire your planner and do things on your own. Plus, you’ll be saving money to use elsewhere!
Post # 12
I hope your budget is in your contract. If so she is legally bound to work for you for that price. Did you talk about what happens if either of you breech the contract?
Post # 13
I’ve been a wedding coordinator for over 20 years. You absolutely have every right to fire your wedding planner/coordinator.
My son and his wife recently got married in a beautiful Hawaii wedding this past Dec. Because it was my son, I wanted to relax and enjoy watching them plan and pull their day together, so I suggested they hire a wedding coordinator. Six months before the wedding they did just that. Fast forward to Oct. Her father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Devastating news! She shared this with their coordinator, but instead of the coordinator staying in contact with the bride she [coordinator] pulled back. My DIL continued to push for details. Pushed for contracts. Emails sent. The excuse that was given to the bride when she finally did connect with this wedding coordinator was that she “didn’t want to overwhelm her [bride] with details.” Breech of contract. Communication to a bride is vital, as is confirmation to vendors who will be participating in your wedding/reception. Lack of communication characterizes lack of professionalism and quality of service by a wedding planner.
Two and half weeks away from the big day, I received a text message from a bride, full of trepidation. I designed their wedding invites, program, and destination guest bag newsletter, so knew the theme and of course agreed to take the task. I reached out to the hired coordinator and ask her to please send me everything that had been confirmed to date. Within a few hours I discovered the venue, reception site and photographer were the only things fully confirmed. No flowers. No makeup artist. No clergy. No DJ. No menu. No cake. No rehearsal date/time. No bridal room to get ready in. Some of these things were tentatively on the wedding coordinators table, but the ball had been dropped. For the next 48 hrs I was on the phone reaching out to vendors located on an island, in the middle of an ocean that I had never met so relied on reviews from others. Did I mention I live close to NY? Needless to say, my son and his wife fired the wedding coordinator.
Being a destination wedding, I knew the guest number would be below 30. After contacting the wedding venue representative, I discovered unnecessary expenses put into the budget by the hired coordinator with an alcohol (only) minimum of $2500. Absurd! The wedding venue rep was wonderful to work with. She listened to my request to crunch figures. The vendors who participated in the wedding were awesome. They had an amazing, beautiful, evening sunset wedding overlooking the Honolulu Harbor.
How can you avoid this from happening at your wedding? Read the contract thoroughly. Ask questions. When “technical difficulties” is used as an excuse for not contacting wedding vendors or contacting you, THIS is a red flag. Read reviews by other brides. When you begin to see the same communication issues, THIS is a red flag! If the contract states: “You will make payments directly to the service providers / vendors and not to me [Wedding Consultant Service/Wedding Day Coordinator]” and then are requested to send said Wedding Consultant Service/Wedding Day Coordinator a check directly to them instead, THIS is a red flag! If the contract states: “Contract to be revised with 45 days of contract signing with confirmed date and venue”, and this does not happen. THIS is a breach of contract from said vendor and THIS is a red flag! If the contract states: “30 days out: optional setup for rehearsal will be scheduled” and you do not receive verification that this has been set up, THIS is a breach of contract and another red flag.