Trying To Understand Wedding Planner!

Business By __Jamie__ Updated 26 Feb 2009 , 4:56pm by indydebi

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 10:33pm
post #1 of 20

NOT edited for language....sorry!

So, had a great tasting event this past weekend. Really great. Get word from the planner that two of the three will be passing due to budget concerns. Kind of irks me, this planner clearly knows my prices, (and as ashamed as I am to admit this, knows that I drop down considerably in some instances).

I never got to see what the bride's designs are, don't even know how many servings each needs.....this pisses me right the heck off. Don't waste my time and money (fancy a$$ cake tasting I put together) with these girls that should already know dang good and well what to expect.

Who is helping them with their budgets anyways? icon_confused.gif (THe planner??) Are they getting prices from Walmart and the local shop in town and then coming to me? If that's the case, then I'm screwed, if they are firmly in the mindset of "it's just cake".

Isn't the cake a high priority when doing the budget??
Sorry, just sorta ticked off...not sorta, I am.

But, a few minutes ago I got confirmation on one heck of a cool and challenging cake for next month, that is paying appropriately! icon_biggrin.gif

19 replies
jlynnw Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 10:49pm
post #2 of 20

some planners just waste EVERYONES time, baker, florist, and the BRIDE as well. Some feel like they should take the bride to places they feel will give the bride the "full package" planning. I took you to 3 bakers for your cake, what's the problem while knowing full well you are out of her budget. icon_confused.gif Work on your consults. Find out their price range, design preference, flavors, etc. We have a pre-consult worksheet to help prevent some of these problems. Talk with the planner if this continues. Giving the discount to discount is, in MY opinion, bad business. She will always expect you to drop the price icon_twisted.gif and sets a bad precedent. I would be mad too! Good luck on the cake next month!

indydebi Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 11:49pm
post #3 of 20

Call the planner and have a one-on-one with her. Get to know her, let her get to know you, explain what you need to know to better serve HER clients, why you need it so you can provide them the cake design they are looking for. If she's a good planner, she will totally understand that. She will understand how you can't just shoot in the dark ... you HAVE to have some basic info.

If she doesn't get it ..... avoid her.

I had a planner that I had to shut out. She was just a mess.

__Jamie__ Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 11:54pm
post #4 of 20

Thanks guys. I know we can work things out, she's a great planner, really. It surprises me because I know her people are probably paying her a good amount of money for HER services, so like....don't ask me to be "El-cheapo". No way!

Deb_ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 12:21am
post #5 of 20

[quote="Jamie85364"]NOT edited for language....sorry!
Get word from the planner that two of the three will be passing due to budget concerns.

I never got to see what the bride's designs are, don't even know how many servings each needs.....this pisses me right the heck off.

/quote]

How do they know they can't afford you if you never even got to talk $$ with them?

This is what I hate about some wedding planners.........some of them are great, however some of them just get in the friggin way. I would have loved to have heard the conversation between the planner and these 2 couples that had to "pass because of budget concerns". ugghhhhh! icon_mad.gif

Sorry, but hey, at least 1 is still in the running, right?

__Jamie__ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:37am
post #6 of 20

Yeah, I talke to her a bit ago and said something to the effect of "let me see what their design ideas are in case there is something we can work out." It was well received.

You know, I may price differently than some others in here. I kind of like to err on the high side, so if there is a chance it's a simple design, then I can comfortably go a bit lower. I would rather do that then say "ohhhh, well if you want alllll that, no, it's gonna be this much more"....you know, trying not to charge more for this and that and this and that. I don't know. Maybe I need to rethink how I do things.

Which makes me think, no I am doing it just fine because the girls I get myself, the ones who come to me on their own, we work it out.....everytime. Are the chicks with planners usually more trouble?? Not trying to start guff if anyone is a planner....it's just an observation I've made, and a trend I am noticing. The chickies who are DIY weddings (but use me for the cake)....cool as cucumbers. Say what they want, aren't fussy, bing bang done! Planner girlies.....ummm, kinda diva's. Hmmm.

I think what I really need is to just figure out which ones I'm not willing to hang myself with. Or pimp myself out to for a dang job....lol. I really don't need to do some of the ones I may be contracted for. That's kind of when the obsession to create a cake kicks in, and pushes reason and the common sense to make a profit go out the window. icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:43am
post #7 of 20

I work with a few planners and except for the one I had to cut loose, they are all great to work with. They've been great about keeping the brides/couples on track and focused (had one couple that couldn't decide if they had to wear shoes in the snow, and their planner was great about helping guide them thru the process so we could get some decisions made).

The planners I encounter are realistic and down to earth. None aspire to be on any of the TV wedding shows as the planner wiht the most zillas to work with or anything! icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:46am
post #8 of 20

Hmmm, that sounded like I meant ones I was comitted to when I said "contracted" to. The ones I'm contracted to already, I'm totally fine with, they're great orders. I wouldn't be hedging on something I already agreed to, no way, bad business! It's the ones I'm working on with this planner that bug me.

step0nmi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:00am
post #9 of 20

it's funny that you bring up planners. I have never seen a planner thread before.

I think I know a kind of bad planner....well, she is not the planner I would be if I were one (which i would like to be!) She does not communicate well with me and I think she does weddings all over the state. I am not her "go to" person either since I have just moved out of my home to a smaller one.

I was curious:

How often do you communicate with your planners?
How much information do you need to give to your planners about your business?
Do you do any commission with the planner in order for them to bring you brides?

this is for when I rent a place...which I plan on doing this summer

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 11:30am
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

How often do you communicate with your planners?
How much information do you need to give to your planners about your business?
Do you do any commission with the planner in order for them to bring you brides?




I communicate with the bride .... and I cc the planner. So I would talk or email them (1) during the sampling appt (2) when I send out the quote (3) when I email receipts to the bride, so the planner knows what is paid. No more .... no less.

Business Info: The planner needs no more ... no less ... info than I give the bride.

No commission .. no way. They get paid by the bride, not in kickbacks by me.

step0nmi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 1:26pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

How often do you communicate with your planners?
How much information do you need to give to your planners about your business?
Do you do any commission with the planner in order for them to bring you brides?



I communicate with the bride .... and I cc the planner. So I would talk or email them (1) during the sampling appt (2) when I send out the quote (3) when I email receipts to the bride, so the planner knows what is paid. No more .... no less.

Business Info: The planner needs no more ... no less ... info than I give the bride.

No commission .. no way. They get paid by the bride, not in kickbacks by me.




Thanks Debi!

Yea...I think I kinda want to cut this one loose before I even get into some serious business. She doesn't communicate at ALL and it's like pulling teeth. but, I was starting to become worried that I was suppose to be giving her "kickbacks" because she's flaky with me...I will not do any of that now icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 2:39pm
post #12 of 20

So far, the communication has been with me to the bride, once the planner set us up to work together. Planner just knows what the design is, when $ is paid, and what time I'll be at event to set up. I couldn't imagine doing all details through planner. She would talk to them, then talk to me, I would respond to planner who pass it on to bride....yikes! Too many chances for miscommunication! And no, no kickbacks to planner, she's getting paid by bride for her services.

cakesdivine Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:40pm
post #13 of 20

Yeah what is up with these planners that expect a hefty percentage for sending their client your way? Isn't referral a 2 way street? I had a planner send me an invoice for 20% of my gross that I charged the client after I booked the client! I informed her quickly that my contract was with the client and not her, that I was under no obligation to pay her anything as the client is responsible for paying her for her services, not the vendors to whom she refers her clients. I was also upset about this because she had made no mention to me at all that she wanted any kind of referal fee prior to setting up the consultations!

She told me that when she took her wedding planner course that she was taught that when a planner is new, to build her business she should charge the vendors a referral fee up to 20% and give her services to the couple! I was shocked! I then told her that even the 20% referral fee would not be off the GROSS but off the profit if that was the case, but that I still was under no obligation to pay her a dime as we had no contract between the two of us, and that I could just as easily refer my clients to her as she could refer me to hers.

__Jamie__ Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:54pm
post #14 of 20

Yep....I refer to her, she refers to me, two waystreet. I would never ask her for a percentage for sending someone to her!

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 3:55pm
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

She told me that when she took her wedding planner course that she was taught that when a planner is new, to build her business she should charge the vendors a referral fee up to 20% and give her services to the couple!




Gosh, I would love to know what "course" she took to be told THAT one! no reputable planner I know would ever do that.

i know I've read articles that tell brides to go with a planner because "....they get discounts they can pass on to the bride". I don't know where they're getting discounts, but it's not from anyone I know.

step0nmi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 4:02pm
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Yeah what is up with these planners that expect a hefty percentage for sending their client your way? Isn't referral a 2 way street? I had a planner send me an invoice for 20% of my gross that I charged the client after I booked the client! I informed her quickly that my contract was with the client and not her, that I was under no obligation to pay her anything as the client is responsible for paying her for her services, not the vendors to whom she refers her clients. I was also upset about this because she had made no mention to me at all that she wanted any kind of referal fee prior to setting up the consultations!

She told me that when she took her wedding planner course that she was taught that when a planner is new, to build her business she should charge the vendors a referral fee up to 20% and give her services to the couple! I was shocked! I then told her that even the 20% referral fee would not be off the GROSS but off the profit if that was the case, but that I still was under no obligation to pay her a dime as we had no contract between the two of us, and that I could just as easily refer my clients to her as she could refer me to hers.




HOLY! that is a crock of #$%*! that just made me laugh so hard icon_lol.gif
I'm glad I was second guessing myself offering that up to her icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 7:34pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

..... she was taught that when a planner is new, to build her business she should charge the vendors a referral fee up to 20% and give her services to the couple!




And another thing ...... ! icon_mad.gif

In my contract, my bride is responsible for any add'l fees imposed (such as kitchen use fees). There is one place that requires I stay until midnight to clear off the last table. I flat out tell my brides, "I'm charging an extra $300 because the facility is charging me $300 to use the kitchen. I'm also charging you an extra $275 because the facility is requiring me to have staff remain at your event until the very end."

So in this case, I would be telling the bride, "I'm charging you an extra 20% because your planner is charging me 20% for this business."

And that's what she is doing ... CHARGING you for the business.

cakesdivine Posted 24 Feb 2009 , 9:42pm
post #18 of 20

Yep, but I didn't pay it... icon_smile.gif I told her no way!

cakedout Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 4:33pm
post #19 of 20

I love hearing about all this wedding planner stuff....especially since I am in the process of learning this whole side of the wedding industry!

As I was studying my course material (NOT worth the $$ I dished out for it! icon_mad.gif ), I had to wonder where all these "vendor discounts" were coming from as well! icon_confused.gif I have been in the wedding industry for 25 yrs + in a variety of capacities (20+ as cake designer) and not one business that I worked for-or in my own cake business-offered a discount to a planner! The price is what it is, honey....I don't care HOW many clients you send my way! icon_confused.gif It will be interesting to see if any of this stuff pans out once I really get into it!

And keep these wedding planner experiences coming! I want to make sure that I am NOT one of 'those' types! icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 26 Feb 2009 , 4:56pm
post #20 of 20

I shared the story with my best-friend-wedding-planner, who almost dropped the phone in shock! icon_surprised.gif She started laughing and wanted to know "where in the world did she hear THAT from?" icon_lol.gif

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