Is My Wedding Planner Bad?
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
My cousin just got married and being so close to him I was also there for all the pre-wedding stress. It was a bit ironic considering he hired a wedding planner. So many people use planners to handle their wedding, but as with everything, simple law of averages means there's bound to be a few bad ones. So I decided to research what makes a bad wedding planner.
So How do you know if you have a bad wedding planner?
If they're not calling you back within an hour,
Disappear for a few days,
Say they're "at an event,"
Not proactive about hitting milestones like decorator, hotel contract, etc..well...these are all bad signs.
Welcome to the club. We've all been there. Now let's understand how to know if it's just a bad week for them or you made the wrong choice, and in the worst case...if you should switch them out. (Very few do by the way).
Are they just busy and I'm bridezilla?
Chances are your planner is used to high stress brides and over analyzing, I mean...that's our whole industry right? So you shouldn't feel like your doing him or her a favor. If you sent a message or an email, I mean...we're all busy right? We also all have phones and faff in the Uber right?
1. They Don't Answer the Phone (or take more than 6 hours to call you back)
In this industry, considering you're working with someone on the biggest day of their life (or one of them), you need to be responsive.
YES we know you do this every week.
YES we know it will be fine at the end of the da, but customer service still counts for something.
There can be a million bridezillas who might call for every little trivial thing (that can also be frustrating), but you should be hearing from your planner/coordinator at least 4-5 times a week in the month leading up to your wedding.
2. They Say "Sorry I was at an event."
I'm glad you're working, but I'm paying you also to work mine. Isn't that work too?
It's fine to have many clients but you shouldn't make your bride or groom feel like they're not your top priority.
A good wedding planner will tell you he or she is busy with this or that event, and still be available to take your calls during lunch breaks and so on.
Or communicate her communication plan.
ALSO SEE: Destination Wedding Mistakes
3. They Wait for you to Initiate or are more REACTIVE than PROACTIVE.
Shall we meet the florist now?
What about picking out the food menus?
Is this a good price we're paying for the hotel?
Does a wedding DJ really cost THAT Much? (LOL Sorry, that's Us).
These are all things you're going to be asking yourself, and a good Indian wedding coordinator will take the charge on walking you through these items.
He or she should know the hotel should be booked six months before, the catering/food should be decided two months before (with time for changes), and much more. You shouldn't be asking, at least not all the time.
4. They Don't Draw the Lines of Responsibility (which they should)
Look, you're wedding planner isn't going to dress shopping with you, nor should she.
She also isn't going to argue with your parents about what customs to do, religious sensitives, and so on. That's your job.
But you should ask them "Hey what will you do during this next six month process but also WHAT WON'T YOU DO?" I think a good person in an any industry would draw those lines so you can best move forward.
A wedding planner will help you with gift selections (e.g. hangover pills, gatorade, snacks), maybe INVITES if you want them to, and so on. They'll also get the labor to do all the setups and tear downs.
But if some auntie is complaining that her room has no hot water, or the wifi is slow, or anything else...it's important you know what your planner's responsibilities are (and ideally they should tell you first.)
5. They Don't care about Social Media...Or They Care WAY TOO MUCH
We live in a digital age, and most brides and grooms will simply glance at your Instagram to be like "Yup, those are some gorgeous mandaps, love those flowers, oh is that a Sabya? Wow the Ritz in San Fran? Yeah lets go with her."
That being said, websites, blogs (like this one) and much more are all great, but your wedding planner should be proud of his or her work and try to be clever/creative on Social media.
On the flip side, don't get a wedding planner who always seems to be on the phone when you're with her, but then when you call, never seems to have it with them. What?!?!
1. How do I fire my wedding planner?
If you signed a contract, make sure it has clauses for expectations of responsibilities. They should have one built in. I would then slowly get evidence via email that you can point to where they went 9 days without replying to an email, didn't deliver on exclusive prices, etc...
2. What are signs of an excellent wedding planner?
The hotel already knows them by name
They have glowing reviews on sites like WeddingWire, theKnot, etc..
They come prepared and surprise you with how much they got done
They'll likely earn their fee with prices you couldn't find online
They trust and respect you because they know you'll refer them later
They don't check their phone constantly when you're talking, but will also get things done right then and there
Their team is big and shows up for meetings on time
They actively blog (like this) or have a podcast, YouTube channel, and take their social media seriously.
3. What do I do if my wedding wasn't what I wanted?
Bad weddings are very rarely the wedding planner's fault, unless the specific problem was tangible like everybody got the wrong food or the decorator didn't get the proper mood-boards. And in most cases, you'll have advanced warning based on everything above on if your planner was terrible that you probably saw it coming.
If your wedding was disappointing, I would suggest you wait a week to see how you really feel about it. It's very rarely any vendors fault and more about our own personal or family issues, BUT sometimes it is the vendors fault (e.g. if the power in the hotel ran out and the DJ couldn't play music...who handles that one?)
But if it is the wedding planners fault however, well, you have a balance due and you can try to negotiate that if it's a huge sum and worth potential litigation.
If you look at 100 pinterests for weddings, they all look the same after a while.
So make sure you get somebody happy/creative and proud of their stuff and gets excited talking about weddings, even if they've already done 100!
Comment below, we're always happy to answer based on 20 years of experience DJ'ing and Lighting up 1000 weddings across California.