There are few things in the world as exciting and confusing and frustrating as planning your wedding. Endless are the vendors, the options, the details… And, that is when everything goes well. What if you are hiring someone who isn’t telling you the whole truth???
Having been in the industry for more than 30 years, I have seen it all. I have placed myself front and center for every cause you can imagine. And for those of you who know me, you won’t be surprised to hear that I have my opinions. My opinions are not based on loose information either. But, rather on years of experience visiting and revisiting every scenario at one time or another.
Today’s blog is focused on a topic that has come to my attention recently which has me completely perplexed. A professional wedding planner (not naming names so don’t ask) that I know who has come on the scene the past few years has taken it upon themselves to create a business plan which is completely misleading and unethical. They are demanding wedding vendors such as floral designers, photographers, invitations artists, cake designers, etc. to pay a kickback under the table of 15% of their contracted price with the client back to the planner as an additional fee. The planner then charges a ridiculously low “full service” fee to the bride. The bride is under the erroneous assumption that she is getting a great deal and discounting other qualified planners who work ethically and transparently because of the ticket price difference. What they don’t realize is that the vendors who are forced to pay the kickbacks are marking their services up an additional 15% to accommodate the loss. Therefore, the bride is paying the money anyway. They just don’t realize it. Plus, many talented and ethical vendors will refuse to pay this fee and are therefore never an option for the planner’s bride. This narrows the field and eliminates many excellent options for the client.
I have seen a lot of things in my professional career, but this takes the cake.
My suggestion: Ask the important question when booking your wedding planner. Make sure they are charging you exactly what is in your contract with them and not receiving kickbacks or referral fees from vendors.
I have been offered commissions before by vendors who wanted my referral business. My vendor selection process is based on criteria that has nothing to do with my financial gain, but rather for expert services for my client. That’s what really matters. What I charge my client is all I charge my client. I always tell these vendor inquiries that they should offer any such discount or extra perk to my client. That plus taking very good care of them is payment enough for me!
Just a little food for thought from my soap box!