Hello you gorgeous people and welcome to another busy week on the blog. How are...
3 weeks ago I wrote a post about Wedding Planners and the value of our service! It got a huge response and to date 63 comments, so it was obviously a topic that a lot of you felt strongly about.
In that post I touched on the issue of wedding planners tacking commissions, it was too big a topic for that post, so I have decided to cover it in full today.
I really want to know what you lot think, both the wedding suppliers and the brides and grooms, so please do feel free to add your comments and join in the discussion.
When I first started out as a wedding planner I started with the very strong opinion that there was no way I would ever take a commission from any supplier, I always said (and still do) that any commission that was offered to me would be passed onto my couple in the form of a discount…….But why??
Well when I was getting married I hired a planner to cover the basic Ibiza part of the planning, she found me my venue, caterer and minister, she was also my rock and I must have bombarded her with emails every day for 18 months! She was there on the day, I really couldn’t have been without her. BUT one thing that made me uncomfortable was the fact that I knew she was tacking commissions from the suppliers she found me. Now on reflection this was no biggy. Some Ibiza planners don’t charge a huge amount, I did often question how my planner was actually making any money as her initial fee wasn’t huge…..well the commissions she was getting from the other suppliers were making up for it! €50 here, €400 there all adds up to quite a tidy package! It turns out everyone in Ibiza takes a commission; it’s just what they do over there. Now I’m planning weddings out there, they all seem to think it’s very odd that I don’t.
When I first started going to meet with suppliers in the business, one of the questions I got asked a lot was how do you work? The first few times I was asked this I admit I was a bit puzzled, but they meant would I expect a commission payment if I referred a bride to them. It seemed when I was doing my research that there was quite a stigma attached to taking commissions, and it really was quite frowned upon. So I knew I had made the right decision in going for the no commission rule.
Now 18 months down the line, I’m questioning that, the more people I meet that have ‘made it’ and are making ‘proper money’ all seem to take commissions, or offer commissions to planners and other suppliers that recommend them.
So why should I and why shouldn’t I?
The main reason I wouldn’t is that I still feel it’s unethical, I would never want any of my couples to think I was making money on them behind there back by recommending them a certain supplier just because they offer me some sort of payment for referring them. I made a pledge last year that I would get out and meet as many suppliers and venues as I could so I could always have a good choice of suppliers to be able to recommended to people. Every bride and groom is different and they all have different requirements. My job is to offer them the right choice for their taste, location and budget, and I can’t do that if I am only working with a handful of suppliers who offer me payment for recommendations.
So why would I change my mind? Well I guess it’s a question of economics, and as discussed in my past post. What we charge very rarely stretches for the amount of hours we work and how much time and effort goes into each wedding. In an ideal world I would be charging double what I do, but when the market value doesn’t allow this…what do you do? Do we then make up our salary with the odd bit of commission here and there?? Is it really that wrong?
But how do the bride and groom feel? Would they rather the fee they pay was a bit lower, but know that any discount I could get them I would pocket….or would they rather pay a slightly higher fee and know that any savings I could make would get passed onto them?
Now not every supplier I meet does offer me a commission, some ask, some don’t , some offer some don’t while others insist and think I’m mad if I don’t!!
My Husband has told me time and time again to take commissions payments, and to start asking for them, insisting on them in fact, but I have always told him no. It’s not the way the wedding world works, we all work on a series of referrals we meet a supplier we like they refer us, and we refer them…simple! Referrals make the wedding world go round.
So at this point I’m sticking to my ethics and not tacking on commissions, I feel it’s the right thing to do and better for my brides and grooms.
What do you think? I really want to hear your thoughts, especially from the brides and grooms, how do you feel? Do you care? Feel free to leave your comments.
Thanks Kelly xxxx