Sunday, August 12, 2007

but I'm here to help

I was perusing the bridal boards this morning, and stumbled upon a thread that really got me going. It was a post started by a bride who had just fired her wedding planner. She (the planner) was horrible. She added more stress than she relieved, and some other sins against the bride. She deserves to go down in flames. At the end of the thread the original poster said that she's now considering starting her own weddidng planning business, just so she can offer brides in her area another alternative. Hmm...that sounds familiar...where, oh where did I hear that before? Oh, that's right! those very words came out of my mouth the day I decided to get into this business. You know that V8 commercial where the lady is sitting in the diner biting into a burger and her reflection in the mirror reaches out and smacks her in the head. I wish I had that experience the day I uttered those words.

My bad experience was a good friend's wedding. Her planner was distant. She did not return phone calls. Everything the bride asked her to do, she'd say "why don't you get your girls to help?" I wanted to scream: "She did! We're all planning the wedding for her and you're the one who's getting paid, you sucky planner." It was a year later that I learned that my friend had actually hired her wedding planner for day-of coordination, but she'd hired her like six months in advance of her wedding, and then proceeded to call and email her everyday for planning help. Here's the thing about day-of coordination, it is just that "day-of" (your wedding day). It is not a planning service. Sure, there are newbie planners out there who will do more, but any experienced planner, who values their time, knowledge, and expertise will not work for free.

That said, I don't know the planner being blasted on the boards, but I do know that all planners are not created equal, so I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt. However, if you've had a bad experience and have decided that brides need another alternative, here's my smack on the head to you:

A desire to help, to be an advocate for the bride, is a good thing. It is what drives me everyday, but do keep in mind that this business is a business, and you'd better start off treating it as such or it will chew you up and spit you out. Heck, it may even get you blasted on the boards.

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