Post # 1
<span class=”Apple-style-span” style=”color: #333333; font-family: arial; font-size: 13px; line-height: 16px”>I just found out my wedding coordinator asked a vendor who someone else found for me for a commission. I asked my coordinator for people in my budget and she didn’t have them, so someone from outside suggested this person and I asked her to set up the appointment. She approached the vendor about the standard commission and the vendor said no because my budget was too tight. Then with meeting with the vendor they informed me about it ( perhaps naively) I was very upset and caught off guard because I didn’t think my wedding coordinator would ask a vendor commission for a service which they did not find in the first place (plus I end up paying this because I haven’t even been quoted a price so if they decide to pay her I get footed this bill somehow). I am already paying my coordinator fee for her services anyway so I would think setting up an appointment for me does not warrant a commission. Am I wrong. I approached her about it and she told me to read my contract and it only states "wedding coordinator may receive commissions" but I assumed/read it that it was only for those she found for me as it seemed normal she could (she is paid to recommend people who do good work etc) she gets a percentage negotiated between them tow and that’s it. I just don’t see the justification for her asking a % to vendors I bring to her and ask her to set up appointments with if I end up booking them. Should she decide to use that vendor again then its different. Anyone have any experience with this? I find this horribly tacky! And specially since I have several vendors I booked from other referrals!
Post # 3
I would be very upset. Our coordinator specifically told us that she does not receive kick-backs (politely worded as commissions) for vendors. As I understand it, the coordinator-vendor relationship is supposed to be synergistic. The vendor does a good job, so they get more gigs by the coorinator recommending them. The vendor enjoys working with the coordinator and appreciates her sending along business – so the vendor recommends the coordinator to potential clients. There are no shortage of brides who choose bands, venues, and caterers before coordinators – so they need those recs from vendors.
I would be peeved. Is she a seasoned coordinator (more than 5 weddings under her belt)? Anyone here a seasoned coordinator who can help figure this out. I like blueorchiddesigns.blogspot.com – she is a coordinator, and you can submit questions to her – she may know how to handle this.
My first instinct is to call all of the vendor that weren’t referred by her and ask if they paid her – as that means it is padded in your bill – and then find a way to change that.
Any desire to change coordinators? It sounds ridiculous that she get a percentage for simply making a phone call. I’m peeved for you. Good luck.
Post # 4
One of the questions I asked each wedding planner I interviewed is if they received kickbacks/commissions from the vendors they recommend, because this may mean he/she is not acting in your best interest.
The money might be an ulterior motive for him/her to recommend someone. Like she will only recommend these 3 vendors (which happen to be outside of your budget) because these 3 vendors agreed to pay her a commission.
I would fire her as soon as possible. I believe one of the Bees (Miss Jasmine possibly?) also fired her planner because she found out the planner received kickbacks from certain venues and she was pushing her to book with her recommendations.
It’s not illegal, but it certainly is unethical if she doesn’t reveal this arrangement and ESPECIALLY, if she is asking for kickbacks from vendors she did not even recommend!
Post # 5
Thanks so much for your feedback… It was my mistake to book a coordinator who I knew was receiving commission but I figured it was based on her referrals and didn’t mind that so much, now looking back I regret it but I agree it should have been disclosed that it included vendors she does not refer as well (which I find absurd) but had I known I would not have booked her. I asked her about my other vendors just a few minutes ago and she advised (2 others, one of whom I found through Weddingbee) said they No. I need her for the day of so I have to hold on tight even if my instinct is to fire her and use her to get everyone there on time and coordinating things. Its just an upsetting experience to have so late in the game…
Post # 6
If her contract said that the wedding coordinator "may receive commission", does that mean the vendor has to pay her? The vendor never agreed (or signed a contract with your wedding coordinator) to pay a commission fee. If she approaches you for the fee, then I would refer to the contract where you are paying her to coordinate work (it should be included in her service terms). A lot depends on the wording of the contract, but I think it’s ridiculous for her to expect commissions from vendors that she did not refer.
Ugh…so sorry about your predicament.
Post # 7
I’m a little confused. The wedding coordinator is not hiring or paying the vendors, correct? The vendor contracts are actually with you directly? In that case, why should the vendor you found feel any pressure to pay a commission to the wedding coordinator?
I understand if you really need her for day-of coordination, but I would have a serious talk with her. I agree with Yach – her contract certainly allows her to try to get a commission, but it doesn’t guarantee her one. And I would at least the vendor that you found yourself know that they are working for you, not for her, and should decide what to do about this situation accordingly.
Post # 9
Yeah, this is difficult. I would probably be careful and not strain the relationship with the coordinator too much before the wedding if you are counting on her to do the right things. I would suggest that on the day of, also have a friend keep an eye on her so that she doesn’t miss anything major.
I’ve also heard stories of wedding vendors upon receiving a bad review cancelled the bride’s other vendors by registering for a very similar email address as yours etc. Just be watchful, maybe leave your cell # w/ the vendor so that if they’d ever receive a cancellation request on your behalf, to contact you by phone. — sorry for the horror story but it’s always better to be careful than sorry later.
Post # 10
it sounds like these commissions are paid to her by the vendor for her referring them and getting you to use them. Tell her that!!! If you go in and say this is the vendor I want, and she doesn’t even know who they are, too damn bad for her! She should have enough class too, to not go asking for money from your vendors! By no means is she entitled to these commissions, just because she made up a contract and put it in there that she "May receive commissions", this is based on her agreement with HER vendors! You need to say something, because she is completely bullshitting you. and you can find another day of coordinator, too!
Post # 11
Ahhh…. finally this subject comes up.
I really wish the magazines would write about this more. In certain cities planners AND HOTELS getting kickbacks is the norm, but I find it highly unethical when dealing with boutique-style vendors.
Before signing a contract with a planner EVERY BRIDE SHOULD ASK THAT PLANNER IF THEY GET KICKBACKS FROM THEIR VENDORS!!!!
It is normal for planners to get a commision from caterers and from rental companies….. those are people she works with all the time. But anything else means the $$$ is coming from your pocket.
You need to stick to your guns and tell the planner that for vendors that you bring to her she should not receive a kickback. Tell her it’s unethical and that you are very dissappointed by her policy because she knew your budget and took you on as a client with full knowledge of your budget limitations.
If the contract agreement’s are between you and the vendor
then technically she has no recourse to receive a commision. Talk to ALL of your vendors and for those that you are about to hire, just tell them to tell her no, that they should not give her a commision and you contract with them anyways.
Also….. I think you said that she is just Day Of for you? That makes this situation even more absurd.
Post # 12
Well, I wanted to offer my point of view seeming I am a wedding coordinator here in Massachusetts.
In my opinion and from what we learn in school, relationships with vendors are essential as you all may know. Some offer commission and some offer discounts. As a wedding planner I will only deal with vendors such as linens, rentals, caterers etc who offer discounts because I feel this is good business practice especially in today’s economy. It gives me a chance to expand the bride’s budget and get more bang for her buck. I do make this very well knon to my brides upon signing my contract. I highlight the fact that I do not receive commissions from any vendors not even the ones I negotiated the discounts with.
THose who receive and negotiate commissions, should provide you with a list of "preferred vendors" upon signing your contract for your review. Always bring this up in your initial consultation because it gives the planner a chance to clarify so nothing is unexpected. Ask her to go through each paragraph of your contract and explain each and every point. In doing this it gives brides the chance to generate questions while reviewing. THose vendors on her list should be the ONLY vendors she gets commission from. Anyone else should result in just a discount for her bride or negotiated price. A good planner will put an amendment or addendum to her contract if you choose to push the issue. Get it added to your contract and in writing signed by both parties. If she is a reputable planner and a good one at that she will do so without hesitation. Her not stating or clarifying how she works with vendors/Commissions should be a big red flag. IF she isn’t easy to talk too or gets defensive especially for just a "day of" package, she will screw you and you will not get what you pay for. That is the difference between those who work for their brides and those who work for the money. There is a fine line but it makes all the difference in the world.
Retail is the only thing I do get commissions on. Other than that I feel your coordinator is nickle and diming her brides and doesn’t care for reputation or in what is in her bride’s best interest. Money is her object and even as a planner, that doesn’t sit well. Re-Read your contract with her and highlight anything in question even it is a play on words. Ask her to clarify or put her words into a situation where you understand. This one scares me. Good Luck!
Post # 13
Wow. I didn’t realize that they would go so far as to require it… i understand if they get one, but requiring it? Eek…