Post # 1
I guess I need to vent and get some advice. I’m a little more than two weeks away from my wedding and trying so hard to stay positive…but today I’m just really frustrated with my wedding planner. As many of you who are planning destination weddings know its difficult planning a wedding 100s of miles away. Our wedding planner is really the only planner on the island that we chose and I do have faith that in the end the wedding will be beautiful. My issue is that I feel like she knows she has a monopoly and has us “by the balls” for lack of better expression so she does things that just at times feels very unprofessional and is a bit off putting. There have been times where she hasnt replied to my emails for months, forgets meetings, doesnt provide information on time…there also seems to be a bit of price gauging but thats expected in the wedding industry right? So my issues at this point are financial…she charges a percentage of the wedding budget and has rolled things into the “wedding budget” such as the location we are staying during our stay there. One day the villa is being used for the wedding but the other days its just a vacation rental. We didnt receive a discount on the price of the villa, but the owner waived the event fee…however, her percentage rolling in all of the days of our stay is much higher than the event fee..almost twice as much. I questioned why the other days we are staying is being rolled into my wedding budget and she just said “thats how we do it”. My contract for the villa is directly with the owner not with her so any liability for the villa is on me not her. Now I have received my final budget and she rolled vendor tips into the final number and is requesting her percentage on my tips to vendors. So she is asking for 800 for tipping people but doesnt tell you who or how much and adding the tips into the budget that she is determining her fee upon. Thats an extra $240 to her. The amount isnt the issue as much as the practice. I dont understand paying your planner a fee on your tips. Can anyone tell me if this sounds right? It just isnt sitting well with me. I have tried very hard to overlook alot of things and just go with it in hopes that it wont cause a strained relationship between she and I when we arrive since I’m so dependent on her but this is really bothering me…Not sure what to do? Is this a common practice?
Any advice or opinion is greatly appreciated…
Post # 3
We paid our planners a flat fee, so not familar with the practice when paying a percentage, but from my experience and from friends, the delayed responses aren’t unusual, but the fee on the tips would make me uncomfortable too. Can you have the best man distribute tips instead? I would also be wary of having a confrontation with someone you are so dependent upon, so agree that trying to keep the relationship running smoothly is best.
Post # 4
Hm. I would check out this about tips. I found it on Pinterest.
I’m doing a Destination Wedding and I’m sorry, but your planner sounds awful. That is unprofessional of her to be blowing through your budget and not giving you specific numbers and details. It means she’s not doing her job at all. At the same time, you don’t want to piss her off because she has the reins on your wedding. I’m so sorry she’s causing you stress because that’s literally the opposite of what she’s supposed to be doing.
I agree with @mrandmrsp and think you should have the best man distribute tips so she doesn’t get any more than she’s promised. I bet you anything she’s got a ring of deals she makes with vendors so that her little monopoly stays on top.
That sucks and I’m so sorry. 🙁
Post # 5
@queenbee33: remember that she lives in another country and it’s a different work culture/ethic. I’m sorry she is being difficult.
Post # 6
@queenbee33: So unprofessional! It stinks that there aren’t any other options…
Post # 7
Ur planner sounds pretty much like how mine was. Its extremely difficult to plan a wedding over email when it’s a destination. Ur not alone in ur frustration. I had quite the same feelings and experience with a Caribbean Destination Wedding. If u have a lot of details that u want to be incorporated, or if u are trying to be able to completely visualize ur event before it unfolds, u r probably going to have frustrations. Ppl on island operate in a completely different manner, on island time and I think they don’t realize that mainland ppl operate on deadlines and when they ask questions, they expect complete answers and in a timely manner. Basically, the less u care about details and specifics about ur event, the happier u will be. But that wasn’t me and so I struggled trusting my planner.
A fee on tips does not sound right but if u r working with a resort planner, u will not have as much freedom in choosing how ur money is spent as if she were an independent planner. I think all u can do is try to be assertive with communicating ur expectations and hope they respect ur feelings enough to give u better service or an insight as to how and y they do business the way they do.
Post # 8
@queenbee33: you could always tell her that you need to cut the budget because it’s financially not feasible… thus cutting her fees.
Did you not include a clause that any $ over budget is deducted from her fees? That keeps your financial interests aligned. Or a % of the budget, up to $X.
ETA: Just noticed it’s in 2 weeks. I’m sorry you’re going through this and good luck with her.
As a planner, her job is to keep you on budget. She’s not doing her job. Do you have any flexibility on locale?
Post # 9
Thanks for the replies. I guess at this point it is what it is…but so disappointed. Lesson learned….I think that you guys have some great tips…
Hire someone with a flat fee and I think its a great idea to have rolled in some sort of over budget clause in our contract. Unfortunately its too late for me…but hopefully some other bride to be will learn from this experience 🙂