Post # 1
so far I’ve been mostly lurking around here but right now I could really use some help with the contract with my wedding planner!!
My contract has a strange “coordination policy” (something I’ve never heard of so far) that says ALL of my wedding related vendors MUST BE BOOKED thru my wedding planner… this seems really strange to me… is this normal?!
Quite frankly, this seems like a huge cash grab to me… I mean, we are gonna book most of our vendors through her anyways, but we are doing a destination wedding, and (for example) I don’t wanna have to book the place where we are gonna go for our reception through her (and of course pay her… for what exactly?!)
Sorry I am kinda upset about this one. Sooo, in short: Is this “coordination policy” totally normal or a huge red flag?!
Thank you so much!!!
Post # 2
Have you signed the contract yet?
Post # 3
Nope, not yet. We got a quote from her which we liked so we placed a deposit to reserve our date, and she told us she would send us her cancellation and payment policy to sign, which we got today. But now, this piece of paper also has this “coordination policy” on it.
What also seems VERY strange to me is that this policy states we have to book all vendors thru her unless authorized in writing prior to paying the deposit, but we were never even told about this until after placing the deposit!!!
It says though that if we don’t sign her policy and mail it back to her within 7 days, our wedding will be canceled and we get our deposit back, so technically we could still back out without losing any money.
Post # 4
I would personally back out. It kind of sounds like she may have connections to “preferred” vendors which may limit who you can actually hire. As in, she may know a florist who is her personal friend and because she has control over booking everything, she can make sure things go in her friend’s favour. It sounds very shady to me.
Post # 5
Thank you so much for your honest answer!
It also seems incredibly shady to me… for now, I will probably email her and ask her about this specific policy… what makes this kinda sad (and a hard decision whether to back out or not) is that otherwise she seems to be a fantastic planner with loads of great reviews and “awards” from the knot and weddingwire…
Post # 6
Himbeere: This seems crazy to me. We have a wedding planner, she had a preferred list, but there was no rule that we had to use those people. I would just tell her you aren’t signing the contract with that claus and want a new copy with that taken out. Wedding planners are a dime a dozen and they rely heavily on word of mouth. I bet if you are firm she will take out that stipulation as she doesnt want to lose a client or get bad reviews.
Post # 7
I’d do this:
1. email her saying you noticed that, and here are the things you want to book without her. Ask her if she can add those items to the contract as items you can book without her, and if so you’ll be happy to sign.
2. if she says no then bye felicia!
Post # 8
While intimidating, it is possible to negotiate a contract. I’ll give an example from my own life (but not necessarily wedding related).
When I moved into my first college apt, it was me and four other girls. The property managers wanted all the parents as cosigners with total liability and my dad would have none of that. He refused to be liable for any portion but mine and crossed out that portion of the cosigner contract, wrote in his own clause stating that he only had 20% liability, signed it, and we never had any pushback at all.
You could do the same sort of thing. Cross out what you don’t like and write in something that suits you better, like “All vendors providing services on venue property will be booked through Jane Doe. Vendors not performing services on venue property will be booked at client’s discretion.”
Post # 9
forevervirgo: The way I understand this (and I might get this wrong, as I’m not a native speaker of English) is that we don’t have to use the vendors from her preferred list, but whatever vendor we use we have to book it thru her (and therefore she gets the 15% coordination fee… we booked a package with her fee built in and changes/additions have the 15% coordination fee).
Thats why I said it sounds cash grabby to me…
Post # 10
Himbeere: I’m still not sure I totally understand? So you have a package and you still have to pay 15% on top of that? Or the 15% is part of the total? Either way, you’re right, it’s grabby. Her job is to “coordinate” regardless of who the vendors are. If you’re already paying the 15%, then I honestly would just book through her because it doesn’t make sense to find someone else since then you would be paying for a service your didn’t get. Or, I would just find a new coordinator. They should be charging you a flat fee for coordination services. My coordinator is doing our flower arrangements and programs, so we do have to pay extra for that, but that is outside the realm of “coordination.”
You should talk with her though and ask her all these questions. She might have a simple logical explanation that you are comfortable with or she might be willing to work with you to change some things. If you don’t feel comfortable after that conversation, find a new one. A coordinator is supposed to make your day stress free, but if she’s the one causing you stress, it’s not going to work
Post # 11
There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the clause means both on our part trying to help you, but it also seems like you’re a bit uncertain youself.
I think the best way for you to get good advice (espcially since you say you’re not a native English speaker!) is to post the actual verbiage (as in the *precise* word for word wording on the document), because that’s the important part, and then I think we can try to help interpret from a better place since we’ll have an idea what you’re actaully reading?
Also, I am NOT a lawyer, but my understanding is that the point of signing the contract is that you’re agreeing to what’s in it. So even if you ask her and she explains, or says “that part doesn’t matter”, unless you cross it out, like a PP suggested, then it’s still technically a part of your contract. That’s why I’m so concerned about what the text itself actually says.
Post # 12
A) Try to negotiate to have it removed from the contract
B) It is cash grabby because this is how wedding planners make some of their $$. I.e. they have negotiated discounts with preferred vendors and pass on only SOME of it to events, meaning they pocket a portion of the cost
Post # 13
Also, on an unrealted note, since you didn’t mention how her main package was priced.
I personally would not book a wedding planner that calculated their fees as a %. I want a flat number. That’s it. I would get additional fees like if they go into overtime above the agreed on hours, it’s an additional $100 an hour or whatever. But not a % of anything you’re spending. That just doesn’t fly with me anyway, but that’s my personal feeling.
Post # 14
I wonder if it could just be so that she can keep track of all the things that have been booked and taken care of? Perhaps it seems strongly worded but is actually there for your benefit? I’d ask for clarification before speculating too negatively and possibly getting upset over something that could be nothing 🙂
Post # 15
A lot of event planners do this stuff, but they don’t disclose it to the client. What they do is run everything through themselves and they add in a percentage to any vendor costs and then pass that on to the client without telling them.
it’s double dipping and unscrupulous IMO. But what’s odd is this person is disclosing this and tacking the fee on upfront? definitely do as PP said and post the exact verbiage here.