We are into the double digits (!) now on our blog series “So You Think You Don’t Need A Wedding Planner?” I know, I know – it is mind boggling why anyone would NOT want a wedding planner, right?? Well, awhile back we asked folks why they wouldn’t and got some great information. We combined the feedback into a dozen main reasons why couples might not want to work with a wedding planner and have been sharing about all of those reasons. We are now onto our #10 reason!  Read on to learn more. Then feel free to share with your friends planning weddings!

Reason #10: The Paranoid Bride says, “I think everyone is intentionally trying to trick me out of my money.  Wedding planners and vendors are in cahoots so the planner gets kickbacks for suggesting other services and isn’t really looking out for my best interests.”

Who she is: This bride has likely been burned before. Maybe she had a personal relationship or friendship end in betrayal. Perhaps she works in a highly competitive work environment where collaboration is a four-letter word.  Maybe she has had a slew of bad experiences from companies whose customer service left something to be desired (for me, this is Comcast. If I ever move somewhere with no other option for cable, I won’t be having any cable services, thankyouverymuch).  Like most of us, somewhere along the way, she’s been taken advantage of by someone she thought was on her side. Either way, there’s not a whole lot of trust left for her to share, so she protects it valiantly and doesn’t share it with very many people. Even if she’s not the one who’s been burned personally, she may have a close friend or family member who has – and she’s trying to be smart enough to learn from their bad experience.

Photo by The H Photo - You Name It Events

Here’s what I have to say to her:  Yep – it’s true. Lots of vendors work collaboratively in the wedding industry.  As big as the wedding industry may seem when you are researching (aka wading through) wedding vendors, in some ways it is also quite small and close knit. Some vendors do get referral bonuses, which are known by a slew of other uglier names as well  (think: commission, referral fee, kickback, etc.).

As tawdry as this all may seem, there’s really a very simple solution:  if you are at all concerned about your vendors, then you need to take a few steps back and make sure you are selecting vendors you can trust. True life lesson here: you should only ever give your money to people you trust.

All of our favorite conspiracy theories aside, the reality is that some vendors feel like sharing a small portion of income generated by a direct referral is the right thing to do. Others decide to pass that amount along to the client in the form of a discount – and I have met a total of ZERO brides ever who don’t want that to happen. Other vendors simply don’t do any type of referral bonus or incentive at all, instead relying on a combination of the accuracy and competitiveness of their pricing and quality of their service to win business. Regardless of your vendors’ approach to referrals, plain & simple you need to be able to feel like you can trust them with the most important day of your life.

About our services for her:  We always approach our clients with our three chief values in mind: custom service, personal relationships & excellence. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it is tough to have a positive personal relationship with someone you don’t trust. Start there – and don’t be afraid to ask any of your vendors questions like: “Will you receive anything in return for me booking my services with this particular vendor?” If you ask us, we’ll tell you the truth. Every. Single. Time.  Transparency is a key component of the trust we build with our clients, and we have nothing to hide when it comes to our relationships with the vendors to whom we refer our clients.  We only refer clients to vendors we know and like and trust.

Our list of vendors is fairly extensive and always evolving, so we can have the best resources available to our clients.  Our referral process is clear and specific. We refer clients to other vendors based on who we believe will be their best fit, based on a combination of the following:

  • the client’s priorities for that vendor/category
  • the client’s preferred price point
  • the client’s style and personality as it would mesh with the vendor’s offerings

For us, any referral is really all about you – our client! We know our process well enough to both articulate it and to confidently confirm that it has nothing to do with what we might gain from the process.  Our greatest gain comes in making sure our clients are satisfied in all aspects of their wedding.  Your best interests really are our best interests – and who doesn’t need more of that in their wedding planning process?

Skip to post #11 here!  Two word preview:  Vegas, baby!!

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