Post # 1
(I am a regular user posting under another account to preserve the anonymity of this vendor)
I am having a semi-destination wedding about 4 hours from my major metropolitan city and definitely want the assistance of a full service planner due to a hectic work schedule, distance, lack of creativity, etc. I finally found a great one that fit in my budget that I clicked with. They have great reviews, fab eye for design, and have even been featured on Style Me Pretty (Which I Heart).
In my industry, we often get asked a lot if we are intending to stay in business due to the economy so I jokingly asked them the same. After an awkward pause they admitted their family was relocating next year and were in the process of turning over their business to a colleague. They assured me this colleague has worked closely with them for years and been the driving force behind many of the details that I admired in their work. They also promised to assist the colleague during the transition which would take place well before my wedding (which will be in about 13 months).
So Bees, what would you do: Would you step out on faith and go ahead and hire them anyway knowing there will be a change in ownership? or would you keep looking? (even though it has been hard to find full service in your budget, and you love the work you have seen)
all opinions welcome!
Post # 3
@WhenTheGoingGetsTough: I didn’t have a wedding planner, so I don’t know much about it, but I think it generally sounds Ok. I would maybe just make sure there was a clause in your contract to protect you in case they go out of business or something if the transition doesn’t work out?
Post # 4
I would not personally be comfortable with it…I would feel more secure looking at other vendors who you know will be in business….then again, your wedding is a long way away and it could happen to another vendor too. If I were you, instead of signing a contract with the current vendor, I would reach out to the one they will be transitioning too and work directly with them from day one and have a contract with that vendor. I think you would be more protected if something were to go wrong.
Post # 5
I would interview others and see if there’s anyone you like just as much who isn’t moving. I interviewed one who was moving a month after my wedding and ruled her out because of that since I had 2 others I really liked as well. If you can’t/don’t want to keep looking, it will probably be ok if they have a good reputation and seem trustworthy.
Post # 6
I’m inclined to say it”ll be fine, but I would ask for specifics about what her ideas and designs have been. I would also get a list of references from vendors they’ve worked with and see how they respond to questions specifically about working with the new owners (you don’t have to say they is a potential change in ownership, only that you think X will be doing the primary coordination for you).
Post # 7
Can you meet with the person they will be trasnferring it to? I feel like that could ease the worries of a lot of ‘what ifs’
Post # 8
I chose other.
Having the right credentials and great reviews isn’t enough to choose a wedding planner IMHO, you need to have great chemistry as well. You are going to be working with this person in great length to perfect the wedding of your dreams and if your personalities do not mesh that will make the process much less pleasant. You also need to be sure that they have the same approach to planning (ie is one more detail oriented, one more mothering etc). If you are hiring the first one because you like their approach the second one should be the same, which isn’t always the case.
In choosing our wedding planner we “interviewed” two ladies that worked out of the same office. While they were both amazing I definitely clicked with one more than the other and I appreciated her more detailed and hard lined approach versus a more nurturing and mothering approach.
I would highly suggest that you meet both the current planner and their colleague to ensure that you feel comfortable with both before deciding.
Post # 9
Thanks so much for your input everyone. I ideally wanted to go ahead and sign a contract so that we could spend time with them visiting and selecting venues on my first visit. Sounds like overall I need more info. Maybe I should see if I could schedule a Skype date with the new owner-to-be to see if we click?
Post # 10
I honestly would be okay with this. The new owner probably paid big money to buy that business and is likely to take it very seriously simply because they’ve got a big investment. In a larger business, you might never know when your staff changes (I’ve been through 2 cruise coordinators in the 14 months since we signed on our chartered boat venue, and I think 4 hotel coordinators). It happens all the time, and chances are it’s going to be just fine.
As with ANY vendor, I’d recommend paying by credit card so you have that protection.
Post # 11
I think if you get along with the new owner that’s fine, but it seems sketchy that she didn’t mention that she was moving until you asked about it. That seems like the sort of thing a planner should tell you almost immeadiatly.