Wedding planners are frequently misunderstood. This is because there's no set industry norm when it comes to standard business practices
(PRWEB) August 22, 2011
For most people, planning a wedding can be a tremendous challenge. In addition to all the bookings, interviewings, and spending, there's also the emotional overlay. That's why many couples these days opt to hire the services of a professional wedding planner.
Unfortunately, wedding planners are frequently misunderstood. This is because there's no set industry norm when it comes to standard business practices. In North America alone, there are at least three different kinds of wedding planners who conduct business regularly in the wedding industry:
The Agent Planner
The client pays the planner a consultancy or agency fee in exchange for their wedding planning services. Based on the client's preferences, these planners assist in deciding which vendors to use. This is the most common and basic type of wedding planner.
Since there is an agency relationship between the client and the planner, the planner has a fiduciary duty to look out for their client's best interests. In most jurisdictions, the planner is not allowed to accept any additional compensation in the form of referral fees (also known as finder's fees) or kickbacks from vendors for their recommendations.
The All-In-One Package Planner
The planner charges the client one fee, which includes everything that will be used at the wedding. As far as the client is concerned, they sign one contract and only deal with the planner. The planner provides all the supplies, services, and venue(s) for the wedding. This is similar to the practice that is used in the events industry and these types of planners are quite common in certain Asian countries.
Sometimes, the planner cannot personally provide all of the products/services the client requires. When that is the case, the planner will subcontract outside vendors from time to time. The costs of using the subcontractor are paid by the planner, and in turn, the planner includes this cost as part of the package charged to the client.
It is important to note that some vendors will also include basic planning services as a complementary or add-on to other offerings, such as decor or venue.
The Referral-Fee Planner
This type of planner does not receive any compensation from the client planning the wedding. Instead, they suggest certain vendors to the client and these vendors pay the planner a finder's fee for referring business to them. The client then deals with the vendors directly. In this situation, the client saves money by not having to pay the planner; however it should be made clear that the planner's loyalty remains to the vendor and not to them.
We hope that by clarifying some important distinctions between the types of wedding planners the couple can meet with each planner with a better understanding of the industry and who to choose to best suit their needs.
Read more tips from Devoted to You Inc. on The Wedding Blog.
About Devoted to You Inc.
Devoted to You Inc. boutique style wedding planning company serving enamored couples in the Greater Toronto Area. Since its inception in 2006, Devoted to You has been interviewed and featured in many different publications, television shows, and radio programs. In early 2011, Devoted to You co-organized the highly publicized We Wed Bridal Show in Markham, Ontario.
About Carmen Luk
Carmen is the lead designer and planner for Devoted to You Inc. She's planned weddings, events, and managed multi-million dollar projects for major corporations.