St. Simons Wedding Planner :: Island Destination Weddings | The Lie the Wedding Magazine Told You…
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The Lie the Wedding Magazine Told You…

oxycleanguy

I’m not the Oxy Clean guy.

There is never a “But WAIT!  There’s MORE!” moment with me.

There is no “but if you call right now, we’ll double the offer” moment.

Ever.

Just to clarify, I’m not this guy either:

I sell provide a service that includes my creativity and expertise. It does not consist of discounts.

While that’s not the “lie” that they told you outright, I feel that we should clear up a tragic misconception.  This misconception has been flagrant in the economic climate where the funds that were once set aside for your wedding have been diminished and depleted.  Everyone is looking to save money. I don’t blame you.

So, the thing that really molds my lip gloss is when the glossies and some blogs perpetuate the role of a wedding planner as a walking talking coupon code or Entertainment Book (remember how you had to sell those in school?).  I believe they say things like “A good wedding planner will save you money with her vendor relationships, who in turn will provide you with discounts”.

Oh, really? No. Not quite.

Let me tell you what a good wedding planner will do:

  • A good wedding planner will never publicly or privately purport to you that she can get you exorbitant discounts.  This is something that is never guaranteed.  Unless, she is discounting her own service and pricing.
  • A good wedding planner will save you money by matching you with vendors that fit against his/her stringent wedding budget and event vision criteria.  S/he already knows who to go to—s/he knows which vendors to go to for what it is you need that will be in your price range and maximize your dollar for your event vision. By doing the footwork of research, preliminary and sample orders for you, s/he has saved you time.  Which is almost the same as saving you money.
  • A good wedding planner will always pass along any professional courtesies to his/her clients and refrain from taking kickbacks or markups on the client’s order.
  • A good wedding planner understands that to get “the best deal” or price is relative to each particular client. The best “deal” may be a completely non-traditional workup of the menu that the caterer does not typically do, or a service or product upgrade.
  • A good wedding planner has worked years for his/her vendor relationships, and continues to do so; s/he does not violate, abuse, or manipulate them in such a casual manner,as some of the antiquated wedding advice columns perceive.  S/he knows, not only as a creative professional, but a business owner, the enumerable costs of overhead, taxes, staff salaries, etc. that factors into a vendor’s pricing.  S/he appreciates when discounts are given to her clients, but knows that they are always at the vendor’s discretion, and never guaranteed.

  • A good wedding planner will tell you this.

A good client will not rely on potential discounts, but can plan their wedding on a budget they can actually afford. They understand the ??less is more” concept, understanding that if budget is truly an issue, the guest list may need to be cut, or the vision may need to be scaled back.

Check out other wedding planning myths you can’t afford to believe.

17 Comments
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17 Comments

  • True, TRUE!!

    As an instructor in the Wedding Coordination & Design Certification Program at The International School of Hospitality (www.tisoh.com), this is always the conversation amongst the wedding PROFESSIONALS I gather for an Event Professionals Panel class.

    Many event professionals who I know and respect will tell you how much easier it is to work with a planner who understands, appreciates and respects their end of the equation.

    I am sure that my philosophy, which mirrors yours in this post, may have cost me clients but in the end, they were not my client and the ethics I stand behind have earned me the highest reputation of integrity as an independent planner here in town and one other professionals want to work with.

    A planner is only as good to a client as the relationships they build with their fellow professionals to help bring the clients vision to life. Otherwise, one might as well just go through the phone book.

    May 11, 2009 at 6:48 pm
  • I am totally RT’ing this now! xxoo

    May 11, 2009 at 7:42 pm
  • Thank you, thank you!!! How many times have I met with a bride who is armed with the same information that you mentioned. We then have to re-educate them about how a “good” wedding planner works with her vendors and clients.

    May 12, 2009 at 8:31 am
  • simone

    Reply

    amen, sister terrica!

    May 12, 2009 at 9:46 am
  • Thank you for mentioning this! I am so tired of people, especially friends, who think that there is no value to what we do. Wedding planners must stand up for our worth, and show people that our value really is priceless.

    May 12, 2009 at 10:17 am
  • dee

    Reply

    So I’m late to the game on this post, but you’re debunking a pretty common myth that I’ve held. So here’s my question. I have X money for a wedding budget. Let’s say about the national average, which is what, $25,000 now? So I have $25,000 to spend on every aspect of the wedding. If I spent $5,000 on a planner, I now have only $20,000 to spend on every aspect of the wedding. Yes a planner saves time, but can you design a wedding for $20,000 that’s identical in quality, style, and taste to the $25,000 wedding without one? How is this possible? As a bride that’s on the fence about working with a planner, I don’t necessarily see how this works unless vendors are discounting or extending some kind of favor to those who work with a planner.
    – On the fence

    May 19, 2009 at 9:45 am
  • Hi Dee!

    I am so glad you joined the discussion, and you have a very honest and valid question. I think if the sole purpose of getting a wedding planner is based on the discounts and favors, then a client could completely miss out and underappreciate the value and talent the planner brings to the table. I also think that similar question could be posed to a bride– could you plan a design a wedding that is identical in quality, style and taste for $25K to one where a wedding planner was able to create and execute? Planners have so much talent that goes beyond just getting discounts and relying on favors from vendor relationships. For your $5K, s/he will more likely than not assist you finding creative ideas for your menu and signature bar, new design concepts with linen and lighting, research, prequalify and interview vendors that are within your budget and share your event vision, and more. The planner’s talents also consist of using her experience to know what works and what doesn’t so that her clients don’t waste time (and money) or find out the hard way.

    It’s like painting your house– but there is a rule (in this example), that you only get to paint it one time. You could hire a painter or do it yourself. But with all the options out there and since you can only do it one time– do you want to trust yourself with doing it alone or get the help of an experienced professional. Sometimes, all the do-it-yourself books don’t help when you are in the thick of a situation. It comes down to a matter of paying for convenience and expertise or saving a dollar and winging it. The painter may not be able to get you a discount on the paint, but you’ll rest assured that the right finish is used in all the right rooms, the colors are consistent, the right amount of layers have been applied and nothing else is messed up.

    There are so many intangible benefits that it can be hard to really grasp when all that wanted at times is a “really pretty” event. You, as I’m sure all brides, value their time, their sanity, and their ability to consult with a professional enough to pay a planner’s fee.

    May 19, 2009 at 1:56 pm
  • Terrica, your answer to Dee was spot on! The only other thing I would add is that a planner can act as your agent on the wedding day. S/he is there to handle anything that can/will go wrong while you are enjoying your day. If your photographer or DJ doesn’t show, would you be ok with having no pictures, no music and more than likely lost deposits? A good planner will have backup vendors she can call.

    Or what if there is a sudden storm headed your way 15 mins before your ceremony is supposed to start? All those custom programs you and your friends set out on the guest chairs for your garden ceremony will be ruined because instead of watching the weather, you’ll be preparing for your walk down the aisle. A planner will have a plan B in place that will protect the investment you made in those programs.

    I could go on but I think you get the picture. Its hard to put a price on piece of mind.

    May 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm
  • say it sister!

    May 19, 2009 at 2:22 pm
  • Great follow up remarks, Terrica.

    As I tell my clients all the time: the best service that we offer is a stress-free planning experience. We definitely save the bride’s time and ensure that they get the best possible services for their money. We guide and assist them in making informed decisions. Many times, a mistake or do-over is more costly than the original decision (that was probably made in an attempt to save money).

    Although, many times, vendors do extend courtesies, which I will most definitely pass on to the client–it is never a given and shouldn’t be expected. I can, however, help a bride institute to most minor (and cost-effective) details for her wedding to send it over the edge from regular and done-before to “Wow! I can’t believe they thought of that!”

    May 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm
  • Anonymous

    Reply

    I completely agree with Wendy. Not only is a Bride getting all the benefits that you mentioned in your post PRIOR TO the Wedding Day, she will also have an objective, nonemotional, personal assistant with an arsenal of contacts, supplies and patience on the DAY OF the Wedding. Keeping everything on schedule, knowing who to call if something goes wrong, removing makeup from the wedding gown, running around tirelessly while the guests eat, drink and be marry and not leaving until every last detail is wrapped up.
    Getaway cars have engine trouble.
    Cakes start to fall.
    Sound systems fail.
    Wedding crashers show up.
    Ice sculptures crumble.
    But a GOOD Wedding Planner is always ready, willing and ABLE!

    May 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm
  • I completely agree with Wendy. Not only is a Bride getting all the benefits that you mentioned in your post PRIOR TO the Wedding Day, she will also have an objective, nonemotional, personal assistant with an arsenal of contacts, supplies and patience on the DAY OF the Wedding. Keeping everything on schedule, knowing who to call if something goes wrong, removing makeup from the wedding gown, running around tirelessly while the guests eat, drink and be marry and not leaving until every last detail is wrapped up.
    Getaway cars have engine trouble.
    Cakes start to fall.
    Sound systems fail.
    Wedding crashers show up.
    Ice sculptures crumble.
    But a GOOD Wedding Planner is always ready, willing and ABLE!

    May 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm
  • To offer a similar insight but from a different angle…large/medium and small corporations/business hire professional event/meeting planners & destination management companies to plan their meetings, conferences & reward incentive trips not for the possible “discount” but for their professional expertise and local vendor knowledge. They do this to get the best EVENT planned for their companies objectives…..why then would a bride not want the same expertise in planning the best EVENT in her life-her wedding. Hopefully you only do it once, so why try to source every vendor/detail yourself when you could hire a professional to assist you in bringing to life all the details of your perfect wedding plus more that you probably never thought of…..Wedding consultants are event planners that specialize in weddings.

    May 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm
  • All great responses to Dee (who I’d like to personally thank for her post….a GREAT question that allows planners to answer).

    I would add that there are times that we can help out in the negotiations that many times would not happen if a “planner” was not involved. There was one instance, the week before the wedding, that we realized we needed a second bus to deliver guests to the ceremony. I was able to acquire that for my clients at no additional charge.

    That’s not something I could of promised them 13 months before the wedding when we started our planning. Vendors want to be in our referral list and sometimes that relationship is a win/win for you, the client.

    May 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm
  • dee

    Reply

    ahh, such a breath of fresh air! Thank you so much for all of your responses. I discovered this blog on a whim but became a loyal reader for refreshingly honest posts and posters! Thank you for all of your feedback. It definitely helps to have the perspective of the planner when making a big decision like whether or not to work with one!

    May 19, 2009 at 11:27 pm
  • Thank you for writing about this! So very true!

    May 20, 2009 at 12:42 am
  • Terrica, I’ve read this post at least 4 times, and every time it makes me happy! This is something I have to address with clients all of the time, and I’m happy to do it, because I don’t want them to believe I’m a walking, talking coupon. Thanks for your honesty, I love that your posts are straight-forward and touch on subjects that may not always be easy for people to put out there!
    .-= Jessica | Stella Event Design´s last blog ..love it:: a unique getaway =-.

    September 3, 2009 at 3:40 pm

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