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    Thursday
    Jul192012

    The Problem Planner – Vendor Management 101

    Today on Huffington Post Weddings, BB wrote about the “problem guest” and what to do about it. But what if the problem isn’t the guest? What if you, bridey, don’t like the assigned wedding planner from the hotel or venue? Let me clarify, this is NOT the person YOU hire to help you plan your entire wedding. This person is hired by the fancy hotel or venue to walk you through the menu, floor plan, logistics (taking place at their establishment), etc. Basically your wedding is happening in their “house”, and this is the assigned manager you are going to be working with on the details. But, what if you don’t like them? What should you do?

    Having held this position in my past, I suggest that you cut the cord. And soon. And bridey, you don’t have to be an asshole; just ask if there is anybody else you can work with… And tell the truth. If you don’t feel as though the two of you are the best fit, then say just that. Don’t beat around the bush, and don’t go into too much detail. But remember, this is your wedding, there is a lot to accomplish, so if it’s not “love at first sight” or you just don’t “feel it” with this person, now is not the time to suck it up. Be straightforward, be honest and move on.

    BUT… there is one item I’d like to focus on before you are so quick jump ship. I have worked with plenty of planners who are incredible at their job, super detail oriented, but lack the “bedside manner” that most of you brideys desire (and might need) to get you through such an intense time in your life. However, that does not mean that this person is not good at their job or that your wedding will suck. It just means that they are not going to give you the sugar and fluff. And if it’s the sugar and fluff you are after, then ask to switch. But, if you want a well-organized, well-planned day, then get over the fluff and stick it out. Because while they won’t sugarcoat the bullshit, they are excellent planners, and oftentimes this can be misconstrued as rude. 

    So, bottom line? THINK before you make the switch. If you truly aren’t feeling the love, then of course, move on. But, if this isn’t a fluffy kind of person, but comes across as put together and sharp, you might be missing out on a fantastic planner. 

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    Reader Comments (5)

    AMEN!! I work at a five star resort, most brides expect on top of planning and executing their wedding properly for you to be a freakin shrink!! I dont get paid to talk to you about everything you are feeling or a shoulder to cry on! Isn't that what your bridal party is for? I have things to get accomplished... like you plus 6 other brides weddings!! You will still have the wedding of your dreams, but for me its work... I dont go into your (brides) place of work and expect you to care about every little detail of my life... I care about the details of your wedding and thats it.

    July 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLady V

    Lady V,

    Seriously! I completely understand! Although, I am one of the rare breeds who doesn't mind a few stories, or playing shrink, there is a fucking line. In a previous post, I wrote about how I KNEW one of my brides cheated on her husband.... SERIOUSLY? That was a tough one...

    Anyway, keep rocking... do your job, and fake it 'til you make it Lady V...

    XO,
    BB

    July 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Okay, so I was traveling when you did this post and I have to say...I almost fell out of my hotel bed - yes I read you every night before I go to sleep.

    I am a wedding planner/coordinator. I have been in the industry 20 years and had my own business for 5. Got engaged 2 years ago (we wanted a long engagement - so as to be as "bitchless" as possible).

    Here's the breakdown (longer than you probably want to read but bear with me) destination wedding has equaled BEATING!!! We are going to a 5 star resort in Jamaica and it has been nothing but frustrating since the initial quote and site visit (yes, we went to see it in person to make sure we loved it). Not only were we initially misquoted by $495 per head...yup, got a quote in writing for $200pp inclusive of everything, food, alcohol, photog, band, etc.....all of it. We take our vacation, visit it, love it, come home, agreed to proceed and when I got the contract the total due for 30 guests was an astounding $20,850 - when we initially were told $6000. That's a pretty big fuck up. So I very politely (against my initial knee jerk reaction) said what's the deal? Only to find out that the stateside sales person accidently "misquoted" me the wrong amount. Ugh, frustrating but not the end of the world - again, in the industry so I get it...shit happens. So we declined to proceed and hung up. The next day they call back and offer to honor the price...less a few of the expensive items that we said we didn't need. I said "you really don't have to do that", they pushed, I accepted. Everyone's happy...right??? NOPE.

    I get assigned a wedding planner who has the title "Master Wedding Planner" and is suppose to be one of the best on the property. Not only does it take her anywhere from 4-6 weeks to respond to a simple email but she has managed to screw up a variety of details. Okay, so I let all the little stuff go, because at the end of the day, no one sees that stuff but me and because again, I agree with the message you're delivering above.

    It took me 2 months to get a quote for the rehearsal dinner and when I spoke to her at the beginning of July (beating to schedule that call) she informed me that she "thought" the rehearsal dinner was on the Friday FOLLOWING our wedding, which is on a Thursday...who has the rehearsal dinner AFTER the wedding. Even though the quote had the right info, in her head it was another day. So the RD location she promised us...not available, and when she finally emailed me 10 days later with the solution....it was going to cost me an additional $800 for set-up and no band, no bar and I was losing half of my menu to accommodate the set-up from the chef..WTF??? "That was the best they could do"...or so she said. Anyway, I finally lost my shit...called the department manager, explained the list of crap that's gone wrong (politely...I am a lady after all), it finally all got handled. She now returns emails within a few days...but I have to cc her manager on the emails for her to do so.

    I know I should cut her loose but I'm unfamiliar with destination weddings and so afraid I'll piss her off and end up paying in the end. When I do talk to her, only 2x in 12 months (I've not bugged her with questions, I usually reserve those until I have multiple questions) she is super sweet and sounds like it's all covered...but it doesn't feel like it is with her follow through. I'm worried I'll have to watch everything she does to make sure all goes smoothly...and that's not what I wanted for a relaxing destination wedding. Because I do weddings, I wanted ours to be super mellow....hello Jamaica.

    So after this long ass story...should I ask for another planner or have the onsite meeting with her when we arrive (3 days before the wedding) and if it's still not good, ask for a change? Bear in mind, I don't need warm fuzzies....just for her to do her fucking job!

    Thoughts?

    August 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

    Hey Kathy,

    WOW! That is just terrible service. I HATE terrible service and I am feeling especially bitchy today so here is what I'd do...

    Find out who her boss is or who the general manager of the property is, send an email to your contact and cc the boss, the GM, or both. Tell her that you don't feel confident in her ability to provide basic customer service, and that you are concerned about your hosting your wedding at their venue. Ask her to prove you wrong.

    Keep it short though... You'd be amazed how fast you will get a response.

    Keep BB posted.

    XO,
    BB

    August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBitchless Bride

    Thanks! I have NO problem being direct for everyone else's wedding but for mine...I have no balls till I get pushed past the point of no return...the then the BITCH shows up.

    I'll definitely let you know how this turns out :)

    August 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

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