Sunday, September 9, 2018

Hustled by Your Wedding Planner? Probably.

A friend recently texted me and asked me where I had gotten my wedding flowers. She had seen a recent Facebook post of mine where I was shedding light on what had happened to me during my wedding planning process (more of that below) and she wanted to avoid that. She said that her wedding planner was really pushing a pricey florist and couldn’t figure out why… well I most likely have your answer. Below are three tips to being a smart bride and avoiding the wedding industry hustle.

(Don't like reading? Video version at the bottom)

1. Know how wedding planners operate
While every wedding planner operates differently, there are two major ways in which they make their mula. First, is they will charge a percentage of the amount you want to spend on the wedding. So let’s say you want to spend 30k on the wedding, their planning fee will be $3,000. Additionally, (now this is the part that I think gets murky) wedding planners will have a recommended list of vendors. What they usually won’t tell your straight out is that these vendors give them a referral fee for sending brides their way. So lets say you have a flower budget of 10k- Flowers R Us has a dealing with your wedding planner that every bride they send they will give the planner 5% of what they make. A kick back so to speak. So your wedding planner send you over to Flowers R Us, you spend 10k, and then Flowers R Us will give your planner 5% of that so $500. The problem is that is can incentivize your wedding planner to send you places that overprice their product since the more money you spend, the bigger kick back they will receive. Additionally, vendors will sometimes up their prices knowing that a wedding planner will expect a referral fee.

2. Never Give Away your budget
I watched a youtube video recently of a wedding photography couple explaining how their industry operates. Photographers, and other wedding vendors, are instructed to not put a price of their services on their website. Instead, get a meeting with the couple and get their budget and a feeling for how much their willing to spend- then price it. I think I had a similar experience to this personally and I did notice that not a single wedding vendor listed their prices. Therefore, my biggest tip is to just simply not reveal your budget. No matter how much they pry say, “I’d like to know your typical going rate.” America is the land of capitalist and hustling, which is why I don’t think it’s a bad thing that people in the industry do this- they’re just trying to make good money like every hard working person. That being said, YOU do not need to fall in this trap. Even if you have 5k to spend on photos, why not spend the typical 2k that same photo company will charge everyone else. Ya dig?

3. Explore your own options
This third pro-tip is one I can’t STRESS ENOUGH (all caps so you feel it in your soul). I strongly encourage to do your own research. I know that stinks because one of the reasons you probably got a wedding planner in the first place to avoid this. It’s important though to make sure you educated about the different in option in your area to make sure you aren’t getting quotes that are way over price. 

Personally, my wedding planner priced us at two different flower shops for 12k and TWENTY THOUSAND dollars for flowers- TWENTY THOUSAND PEOPLE. Because I had a quince 8 years previously, I just knew that flowers didn’t cost that much. I went to the florist that quoted us 12k anyways and the display was ugly (they included flowers I said I didn’t like) and there just weren’t many flowers to start with. I did my own research and found a florist in town that did my wedding for 5k and had twice the amount of flowers as the 12k/22k florists AND they threw in a beautiful flower wall.

It’s a no brainer! You have. to. do. your. own. research. 

So these are my three tips to try and avoid getting hustled by the wedding industry. I don’t blame anyone in the wedding biz because at the end of the day they are business people trying to get the most money for their company as possible, who wouldn’t? That does not mean that you have to waste your money for no good darn reason though! 

So stay smart ladies and ask if your planner makes commission from vendors, keep your budget private, and explore your own options to make sure the prices your planner is quoting you is actually what the going rate should be for your area.



  1. Glad that you shed the light on wedding planning. Finding a good planner is the challenging thing and this is why one should ask for the previous project proofs before hiring anyone for your big day. We got married two months ago and instead of a party planner, we simply bought the themed package offered by one of the local Seattle Wedding venues. It included custom décor, food, lighting and DJ.

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