We hear this all the time, right? And we all know this is so true, especially in regards to media. Well, today I noticed an article on Yahoo’s front page titled “10 Wedding Planner Secrets, Wedding planners often keep their happy couples in the dark.”
I knew that article was out there days ago, first featured in Smart Money and that was bad enough. Lately, there have been many shows, interviews, and writings about wedding planners taking advantage of couples. So, every media outlet is, of course, jumping to be the next one to feature another story about horrible Wedding Planners. Yes, there are plenty of seedy ones, but that goes for any and all professions.
My problem with this article is the title, and Yahoo’s sub-title, which really does not relate to the actual content. For the most part, the article gives some good advice. I would like to post my two cents on a couple of things…
Number 1 quote: “Since wedding planning requires no formal training, anyone can hang out a shingle, and a growing number of former brides are doing just that.” So, always ask for references from former brides – and at least three – and talk to these brides to get their feedback. And find out from the Planner how they started in the industry, where they got experience, what type of formal training they have and if they belong to any associations, such as the Association of Bridal Consultants (www.bridalassn.com).
Number two quote: “Another way to time yourself into savings is to get married during the “off season” — typically December, January and February — when wedding planners may offer reduced rates.” I don’t know about other planners but for me, doing a wedding in December hardly means a discount, especially if the event falls during the holidays. I like to be with my family and to take a break from planning, especially during the final weeks of the year!
Number 3 quote: “And since a wedding consultant’s commission grows in tandem with her clients’ budget, she has powerful incentive to encourage couples to pull out all the stops on their big day — and virtually none to negotiate with vendors for the best deal.” When you hire a Wedding Planner, ask him or her if they receive any kickbacks, discounts, referral fees from vendors. NONE of the professional Wedding Planners I know of do this, as it is considered unethical. My purpose is to pass on savings to my client.
Number 4 quote: “Then, once you’ve selected vendors and collected contracts, devise an event-day schedule and send it out to all your vendors two to three weeks prior to the wedding. The rest is icing on the cake, so to speak. Still daunted? Recruit your maid of honor or most reliable friend to help out. …….. ask for a gift of administrative help on your wedding day.” Your wedding guests should be exactly that – your guests! Having your best friend or family member work your wedding is not the best choice. Especially since Planners are trained to handle last minute changes and emergencies.
A trained, experienced Wedding Planner will help you stick to your budget, find money-saving options, keep you on track with your progess, be available to guide you when needed. Now that is priceless.