Your Wedding Planner Ditches You for a Larger Wedding!
by Sharon Auld
So, you’ve hired a wedding planner, signed the contract months ago and now you are hearing for the first time that the wedding planner you chose to work with will no longer be handling your wedding. Instead, she has arranged to have an assistant take over for you (unfortunately this does happen). You hired her, not her assistant. What’s a bride to do?
Recently, I was reading one of my favorite wedding resources “The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide – Solutions to 150 of the Stickiest Dilemmas that Face a Bride-to-Be”, written by my favorite wedding author Sharon Naylor (www.sharonnaylor.net). Sharon is one of the most prolific wedding authors in the United States and has written dozens of wedding books. She is definitely considered an expert with all things related to weddings and I was quite intrigued when I came across this topic in the chapter: “Vendors with an Attitude”. In this chapter she talks about what to do when you encounter problems with vendors such as: creative differences, communication issues and negotiating with your vendor. Questions are posed and Sharon offers her expert opinion on the subject.
So, how does wedding expert Sharon Naylor suggest you handle this sticky situation? If I were to sum up the motto of the book, it would be that “a little diplomacy and grace go a long way in any wedding dilemma”. Sharon suggests that you communicate with your wedding planner and although its sometimes commonplace to have an assistant handle administrative tasks and other related duties in the early planning stages, the bride-to-be needs to state (without any attempts at manipulating or guilting the planner) and I am paraphrasing here: “While we are happy with the progress thus far, we are looking forward to working with you. When will you be working with us?”. Sharon suggests that if the planner tells you that your wedding has been assigned to the assistant, that you (the bride) have full right to turn down that arrangement as you interviewed and hired the planner.
To further, the response in the “Bride’s Diplomacy Guide”, Sharon points out that:
“If you signed on the dotted line to have her plan your wedding, she’s
in breach of contract and you should be able to get all of your money back.”
Of course, make sure you read the fine print in the contract to make sure that:
“…there’s nothing in there about agreeing to have an assistant handle your
wedding if the coordinator is unable to do so.”
Personally, I think this is all great advice! I also think it is important that the bride knows that not all wedding planners will have the aforementioned clause in their contract for the purpose of ditching a smaller wedding for a larger, more lucrative wedding. Some planners have adopted this clause in case of accident or injury to the planner. Not all planners are unscrupulous! In some larger wedding firms, it is quite common that you will be assigned an associate planner and not necessarily the company’s “celebrity planner”. In most cases, these companies are upfront and transparent; they will let you know who your planner will be before you sign on the dotted line.
It’s also a good idea to hire a planner that has been certified through a reputable association such as the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) or The Wedding Planner’s Institute of Canada (WPIC). These associations generally have a code of ethics that planners adhere to and usually encourage transparent communications with clients.
There’s nothing wrong with a bride asking that the contract be amended to reflect her wishes. If the company refuses to accommodate, then she is free to go elsewhere and is not locked into a contract she is unhappy with. Some companies will have set policies and will not change them, while others may be more flexible. There’s no harm in asking for what you want…and always read the fine print to avoid pre-wedding surprises. Bottom line? If you are not happy with a contract, don’t sign it. You have the freedom to work with whoever you want.
In honor of our new series, “Your Wedding Dilemmas” we are giving away a free copy of: “The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide – Solutions to 150 of the Stickiest Dilemmas that Face a Bride-to-Be” to one lucky bride. All you have to do is write a comment on this post and tell me you are a bride-to-be. Check back here to see who the lucky winner is. Check out Sharon Naylor’s site for many other fabulous wedding planning books. Feel free to send us your wedding dilemma questions and we’ll try and help. Happy Planning!
Kindly Note* Naturally Chic is not rendering legal advise in anyway. You are urged to contact professional legal representation if you are in need of legal advice.
GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*