Post # 1
I emailed a relatively new wedding planner about her packages and fees. She responded by asking about my budget and what I wanted to pay.
I HATE this tactic. How do respond? I’ve talked to another DOC who charges $850 and everyone else in town seems to offer partial planning, not DOC services.
Post # 3
Find out about what others pay her or lowball her- don’t give her your real budget. Its like making an offer on the house- give them your top limit and that is what they will charge.
Post # 4
Honestly do you even want to work with someone who thinks like that? She sounds like she intends to milk you for whatever you are worth or that she will think you are below her if your budget is too low. If you’re hellbent on having her just say something that mildly avoids the question like ‘well I’m pricing out wedding planners and wanted to see if your rates are comparable’ and if she pulls the whole ‘well what are they charging you?’ question then back out for sure! No sense having a money hungry person in charge of your wedding!
Post # 6
Yea I would not work with her if her first thought is your money.
Post # 7
Tell her you don’t know yet as you are getting prices for various parts of the wedding and then you will figure out which things you are going to go through with once you have all the info. If it was me, I would say in a joking way “why? does your price change based on my budget.”
Post # 8
I have to be careful here because the wedding industry in my little town is SO tight. She is friends with a photog that I hope to work with on another project (I do some creative stuff) and she’s tight with a florist I am considering.
I’m worried that the DOC that quoted me $850 might back out because I know she has a conflict with her office job and my wedding date (we both work for a Unviersity and I know what her calendar is like). So, I’m really, really hoping this new person works out.
I feel like I have to do such a careful dance in this town. Everyone knows everyone!
Post # 9
I agree with CanAmBride.
I would again reinterate wanting to know about her packages, whats included, and her fees… That you would like to find the package that best fits what you need and your budget.
And if she still doesn’t answer then head elsewhere. That’s what I would do & did. =)
Post # 10
@CanAmBride: that’s what I was going to say 🙂
Normally DOC planners should have a set cost, but she probably doesn’t want to scare you away with her normal fee. This most likely shows that she’s willing to work with your budget.
If you’re comfortable paying $600 for a DOC, then tell her that! If she comes back with ‘Well, I charge this…’ then you could possible negotiate.
Post # 10
I don’t think it’s unprofessional to ask those kinds of questions, but you don’t have to answer her. Tell her that you’re not sure what your budget is yet for these types of things. You’re trying to get quotes to fit them into your budget.
Post # 11
You do not have to tell her your budget. Who does she think she is? I agree with the others, ask again about the packages, etc, and if she still doesn’t comply, find someone else.
If someone asked me what my budget was, it would be an immediate red flag. It is NONE of their business.
ETA: Err… I was kinda thinking your entire budget, but even if she’s just asking about your budget for her services, I would just say you’re not sure yet, and ask for her fees. She’ll find out your budget when you tell her you can or cannot afford her services.
Post # 12
eww that is a weird situation in a small town. Be super cordial and really specific about what you need!
Post # 13
Some planners won’t do a wedding unless a budget is a certain amount since they charge you a percentage of what your total budget is. She may want to know so she can either tell you to not waste yours and her time or to give you the best package that she can offer within your budget.
My friend called a wedding planner here who did not work weddings with a budget of less than $30k. She asked upfront and they didn’t waste time talking on the phone about the packages she wouldn’t be offering her.
Post # 14
@Miss Tattoo: I understand…I know most of the planners in town. The thing is, this woman doesn’t have any weddings under her belt under her company’s name. She used to be an in-house event manager for an upscale hotel/resort here.
The sad thing is that we don’t have any “low end” planners here. Another newbie quoted me $3K for partial planning. She has one season of weddings behind her.
Our top planner, the one who charges over $15K for full planning, just had a baby and is leaving the business. I think others have stars in their eyes right now and it’s driving me crazy.
None of our planners in this town work on a percentage basis. They all have flat fees.
Post # 15
The first rule of negotiating is “She who talks money first, loses”.
I agree with CanAm bride–let her know that your budget isn’t set yet and furthermore, you don’t feel comfortable sharing that information until you have signed a contract. If she is unwilling to discuss it further, then keep looking. You also might make it clear to other vendors that you consider your wedding personal business and that discussion with anyone else would be considered breach-of-contract.
$15,000 for wedding planning? Really? I can see if you are celebrity in a big city but that’s crazy!