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Dedicated July 2019

Wedding Planner Frustrations

Caitlin, on December 4, 2018 at 1:39 AM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 8
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Long post. Kind of just need to vent.

I new early on in the planning process that I needed to hire a wedding planner. I am an out-of-state bride and the first of my family and most of my friends to get married and I felt that having someone to guide me through the process would help. I was deciding between two planners: a very experienced, expensive, traditional planner that didn’t seem to make the event “personal”; and a planner that was cheaper, pretty new to planning, but had more time to devote to us and I vibed much better with. I chose the 2nd.

I am am getting married July 2019 and am starting to get frustrated. I hired my (full service) planner Aug 2018 and I feel like we should be a lot farther along in the process than we should be. When I first talked to her and signed a contract, I gave her a budget (a pretty large one) and said that I was somewhat flexible but didn’t want to spend a fortune on one day. I really expected her to break down the budget for different areas immediately and keep it updated as I selected and paid for different vendors. She has not. when I asked if she could do a budget breakdown (because I’ve never even been in a wedding before- I have NO idea how much things should cost) she did. BUT, based it off of what we had planned to spend on the reception at 45% of the total budget (I know we are allocating a little more of our budget to the reception so 45% doesn’t seem right). Which put the budget she made total $20,000!!!!!!!! over the budget I initially gave her.

After looking on here at what others are paying for DJ, flowers, etc. I’m starting to panic and feel that some of the prices she told me were “fair” are way too high.

I know I obviously need to speak with her about this. I struggle with confronting people but this is stressing me out pretty much daily. At 7mo away, I feel like I should be confident about the amount of money I’m willing to pay for things and the definite budget.

How do I bring this up to her and fix this issue?

8 Comments

  • Caytlyn
    Champion November 2019
    Caytlyn Online ·
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    There's no fun way to bring it up, you just have to do it. I would respond to the budget that she sent you and say "My total budget is $xyz, this puts us about $20k over that budget." Schedule a time to speak to her over the phone so that you guys can get on the same page.

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  • Alyssa
    Master December 2019
    Alyssa ·
    • Flag
    I think maybe you can ask fiancé for backup if you’re that uncomfortable but you should definitely immediately deal with the issue and also be prepared to fire her if she can’t or doesn’t
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  • Brittany
    Master April 2019
    Brittany ·
    • Flag

    In regards to what other people are paying for things on here - that will vary depending on your location, so don't pay too much attention or compare. My flowers are costing 5 grand. But I'm in the tri-state area (NY/NJ/CT) and things are naturally more expensive here (my flowers are not crazy at all, sunflowers really). Where are you getting married?

    In regards to your planner, tell her what you need from her flat out. Of course be kind about it, and you shouldn't come off as confrontational. You are paying her for a service, and since she is new to this she might not understand what all is expected of her. Old-fashioned communication of what you need to make this a better experience for you should do the trick. She wants you to be pleased with her services so you leave her a good review and in turn, create more business for her for the future. Especially since she's just starting out. Reiterate what your budget was, and stress to her that you do not want to go over that number. Be clear and firm, and she should get the point. Tell her you'd like to sit down and work with her to revise the budget.

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  • A
    Master October 2019
    Angelena ·
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    Agreed with posters above. There is no way that a wedding planner should be estimating/giving you options that are that much over your budget! I freak out when a florist tries to put me 1,000 over my floral budget lol. It should be addressed immediately and if she does not comprehend or adjust you definitely need to consider other options.

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  • queenbee
    VIP October 2018
    queenbee ·
    • Flag
    Whoa $20k over budget is a real issue. Does she not understand what a budget means? Even if you said you were flexible, $20k isn’t a “flexible” amount in my opinion.
    Depending on the area you’re in, wedding vendors can be expensive and relying on pricing posted here may not be correct. Have you been booking the vendors she’s been presenting to you that are out of your budget? I feel like working with a planner, at 7 months out you should have a decent amount planned and booked already. At least your major vendors (venue, food, photographer/videographer, DJ/entertainment, flowers).
    Confrontation is hard for me too. I get your issue there. But you’re employing her. You’re paying her to do this job for you and that means she should listen to you and your budget. You and your FH need to sit down with her and go over everything, I think, face to face. That way things can’t get lost in translation over calls or emails. She needs to get this right for you!
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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
    • Flag
    I had already booked some things (venue, photographer) and bought my dress before I hired her. I have pretty much all the vendors already (photo, video, venue, catering, lodging, florist, HMUA, dress, DJ) the only big thing I’m still working on is the bakery. She has given me options to choose from but I’m sure the options are limited because she is new and doesn’t have as many connections.

    i agree, 20k is NOT a flexible amount. I agree with your advice to talk to her in person, but can be hard when out of state. Thank you for your advice!
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  • C
    Dedicated July 2019
    Caitlin ·
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    View Quoted Comment
    Brittany, I totally agree with you. I really want to be able to give her a great review! I went into it knowing that she wouldn’t have as much experience but as budget is the most important part of planning a wedding I just anticipated that she would prioritize that. Maybe I need to be clearer with her.

    Im getting married in Michigan so I didn’t the prices would be super high. I knew that we were going to upgrade chairs, linens, premium bar, etc and invited ~250ppl. So I expected the cost to be a little higher but prices that some people have listed on here for flowers have me just mind blown because we will end up spending over triple some of them and I don’t think the flowers I chose were super extravagant.
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  • Brittany
    Master April 2019
    Brittany ·
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    Well, do remember that there are many different avenues you could go down for things such as flowers - do it yourself or faux, for example, as opposed to hiring a florist. That would make the floral cheaper. Not only that but having a bigger guest list (250 is on the high side!) and a bigger bridal party will make the florals more costly as well; think - more centerpieces needed because more tables are needed, more bouquets and bouts needed if a larger bridal party = more money. Just some things to consider Smiley smile might sorta put things into perspective a little

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