Post # 1
I’m getting married in June and hired a full service wedding planner last spring. While I don’t have a budget that usually calls for a full service wedding planner, neither my fiance or I live in the city we are getting married in, we both have super busy careers, and our families are either also working full-time or live outside in the country. So we needed help!
While she’s a nice person, she has pretty much done little to nothing. She just forwards emails back and forth between me and the vendors (literally, I can see them on the email histories). And instead of finding vendors that fit our budget, she just sends me her “usual” vendors which are waaaaaaay too expensive. I’ve ended up having to find and book almost all of our vendors via internet/email, and enlisted the help of some lawyer-friends to look over our contracts. She hasn’t negotiated once for us, and I feel like I’m overspending on almost everything.
I really want to say something to her, but is it worth it? By this point almost everything is booked. I can’t fire her and hire someone else since her fees paid so far are non-refundable. I definitely want day-of help, and I don’t want to make our working relationship strained.
Anyone have experience with wedding planner issues? What did you do? How did it work out?
Post # 3
Have you already paid her fee 100%?? We only paid half up front and the second half is due one-month out from the wedding.
If you haven’t paid 100% of her fee, then I’d say cut her loose. You can always find a Day Of Coordinator to step in and help on your big day, since it sounds like all of the other “work’ in finding vendors is complete. And I bet other coordinators would be willing negotiate on their price for you if you tell them what a disappointing experience you’ve had thus far.
Post # 4
Nope, I haven’t paid her full price, but I’ve already paid 2K. Yikes!
Post # 5
I would definitely express your concerns to her, at the very least. What does your contract specifically bind her to, as far as duties?
Post # 6
Ugh! How irritating Wedding Party are suppose to be there to do what you ask and in your budget. If they cant do the job right they shouldnt be in that job field.
Post # 7
Definitely, definitely express your concerns to her. When you signed on with her and you both signed the contract (you DID do a contract… right?), it should have outlined her exact duties, and what you were actually getting for the money. If she is not withholding her end of the deal, something needs to be said.
Is she a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants? If so, she has some major ethic codes she needs to abide by. The ABC is a very trustworthy organization, and when you hire an ABC coordinator, you know you are backed by the ethics of the entire association.
As far as her vendor ‘recs’ are concerned, it’s unfortunate that she just ‘went through the motions’ and didn’t bother to think outside her box for your wedding. It irks me when wedding planners do this… and sometimes they do this because they get kick-backs from the vendors when you book them. Were there kick-backs involved? If so, she should have been upfront with you about them. I am sorry this has happened to you. 🙁
Post # 8
You girls are right. Thanks for the advice–I was just worried that I was being too demanding. But yeah, our contract specifically outlined each of her duties and she really hasn’t done any of them!
Post # 9
If she’s in breach of contract, then not only should you cut her loose, you should get your money back. I would go through your contract and make a list of the things she was supposed to do and the ways in which she has NOT done them. Then let her know that she has not upheld her end of the contract and that if she’s not willing to refund your money, you may have to take this to small claims court. It’s absolutely absurd that this woman would get $2000 of your money for forwarding emails and forcing you to overspend on your wedding. Yeesh.
Post # 10
@Mdallas — definitely express your concerns to her. i loved my wedding planner and think she did an amazing job. but i remember there were a few times I felt like i was in a similar situation as you. For me, I think it helped when i told her specifically what i needed done instead of assuming she’d jump into the planning alongside me. Like, when I got the budget proposal from the florist and rental vendors, I asked her to review it and let me know if it was in line with what she’s seen before. I also asked her which line items she thought I could cut back on and which items might be worth spending more on. Her input ended up being really helpful and she took the lead on reworking the proposal directly with our vendors.
Since you hired your own vendors, she might assume that you are enjoying all your involvement in the planning process so far. So if that is not the case, its prob best to bring it up first and tell her more specifically what your expectations are get her feedback on the situation.
From my experience, I learned that picking and hiring vendors was the easy part. The process of reconfirming with all the vendors in the weeks leading up to the wedding to make sure they understand all the details, the set up, the timeline, etc. is the stressful part and I was so glad I had someone to outsource this to!
Post # 11
mdallas — must be that southern charm talking — doesn’t like sound you’ve been “too demanding” at all; quite the contrary. I agree with the other bees that you should speak honestly with her and express your needs directly and in detail.
I’m about to hire a DOC and she describes a bunch of things she’ll be doing those weeks ahead of our June wedding, such as doing binders for EACH of our vendors that include explicit timelines and explicit responsibilities of theirs, as per their contracts and past (friendly and warm, with me) discussions. She’ll also carefully map out a timeline for me and for the managers at our (loft) space. And, she’ll nudge the wedding party when it’s time for each to walk down the aisle, etc. (we’re not having a rehearsal dinner at all), and nudge the DJ for various prompts and toasts and so forth. Oh God! I hope all this works — for you and for me — for us all!