Monthly installment - YAWA! We’re doing 5 listener questions this time! Should a wedding planner include a timeline in her contract? How soon is too soon to send out Save-the-Dates?? We got you.
We LOVE getting listener emails with questions! And if you want our attention for a full two hours of one-on-one consulting, hit us up and we can schedule a video chat meeting. 2 hours, $200. Easy peasy! So valuable and fun.
Modern Love Event
- Modern Love is a Wedding Showcase (like you've never seen before!)
- Sunday, December 2, 2018. The Cordelle in Nashville, TN
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- Code for 50% off tickets for TBWPP Listeners! - BigWedding
1 Email - “No timeline?”
Ask: Should mention of a timeline should be mentioned in my contract with my wedding planner. We haven't signed with her yet but we definitely want to work with her, but I was sure if this is something that should be in writing or is just assumed. She says in her contract she coordinates everything, including day-of, but there wasn't an explicit mention of a timeline.
2 Email - “Our planner just dumped us!”
Ask: After receiving a polite email saying that the planner will know longer be working for them and the full deposit will be refunded, this bride was left feeling very anxious and confused! “In your world of wedding planning, is this a common or regular thing to do? Should I reach back out to them and try to figure out what's going on? Could we have been too demanding in asking for regular updates? Should we just cut bait and look for new planners??”
Answer: Yikes - this is not an email you want to get! But, I don't think it's personal, and I definitely don't think you have asked for too much. (My guess is they took on too many weddings, or had some sort of life change that they are dealing with). Things happen, and although this is not common by any means, it's a waste of your time to consider the why here...they are doing the 'right' thing in the event of a cancelation like this and giving you your full refund back. If you don't receive that in a timely manner, I suggest you email and keep copies of everything in case you have to threaten litigation later. But it shouldn't come to that.
Yes, take the deposit and find a new planner. And I think you should be very forthcoming with the next planner you interview. Tell them the position you are in, and tell them what you expect. You still have time, this isn't a disaster!
Email #3 “Save The Dates”
Ask: Hi ladies!
My name is Grace and I'm from Newcastle, Australia - I'm OBSESSED with your podcast! I found it about a month ago and I've already binged most of the episodes - love love love!
I'm getting married in Oct 17 2020 and I'm just wondering how soon is too soon to send save the dates?!
Thank you for doing what you do xx
Answer: I would suggest not sending them more than 15 months out - and even then, you'll need to plan for a second reminder, ideally. Something like an email blast announcing new info, or sharing the wedding website if you are going to have one. Just to keep people in the loop, since 15 months out is a long time to plan for a wedding guest! But I know you are excited - so I don't want to hold you back too much!
Email #4 “Equal Opportunity Photography”
Ask: We had our engagement shoot a month and some ago and the photos turned out beautifully except for one snafu. I feel like they focused a lot on me. I felt they were centred a lot on him staring adoringly at me with me staring in the camera. I am a huge feminist so I'm not sure if I'm being oversensitive. My FS is not as concerned as I am but he does see to what I am referring. I guess I would like to execute more gender balance in our photos and less of the stereotypical reinforcement of those gender roles if that makes sense. I was already planning to talk to our photographer about spending equal amounts of time with us prior to the ceremony (he was to get 30 min and I was to get an hour) but how do I broach this subject? I don't want to tell her which poses to do or disrespect her professional expertise but it is important to me. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Answer: The way your worded it to us it totally appropriate! You don't want the photos of the wedding day to be 'all about you' - definitely talk to her about it and be direct. You don't need to tell her what to shoot, or how, but just that you want the photos represent both of your experiences of the day, and of course, your partnership at it's finest. Your equal partnership. She should be responsive and encouraging!
Email #5 “Do we really NEED a wedding planner?”
Ask: We're both really really type A. He said, "Why should we hire a wedding planner if we're going to double-check all of the vendors she recommends and also research our own vendors?" Also, his father negotiates contracts for a living, so there's no way any contract we would receive wouldn't be gone through with a fine-tooth comb by the three of us. So actually, what do we need a wedding planner for? I'm still feeling like we need one, but I can't actually think of tangible reasons for needing one outside month-of coordination. We want an outdoor wedding, probably at a place that isn't normally a wedding venue (think ostrich or alpaca farm). I was thinking a wedding planner would know to check up for AV things for the DJ? I'm worried we're too ignorant to even know what to look for! Maybe we should plan it ourselves, hire someone for a few hours of consulting, and then hire a month-of coordinator?
Answer: I like your compromise. Get started on your own - the big things like date, venue and overall budget and size should be decided on so that you can get the most out of some consulting before you start the rest of the planning. Then for sure hire a GREAT month-of planner to double check all of your work, dot the i's, cross the t's...you know. I agree with you and your fiancé that 2 super type A 'doers' don't really need a planner in your situation. The clients who get the most out of working with me, for full planning, are the super busy people that basically want to just tell me what they like, give me their credit cards and then have a couple meetings along the way. OR - the bride/groom that has plenty of time and wants to sort of 'partner up' with me to plan the wedding. If you know you are going to want a say in everything, and that you would be double checking the planners work - you'll actually be doing double-work, and probably won't have a positive overall experience in the planning process.
“We are creating a wedding day schedule, we are creating a budget spreadsheet. Those things do need to be listed...the schedule, the ceremony layout...it needs to be listed in the contract.” - Michelle, on contracts
“Contracts are super important, not just because it is going to protect you. But it also speaks to professionalism and how seriously this professional takes the business.” - Christy, on contracts
“I’ve had to write those emails and they suck. They’re very professional and curt because you’re covering your own ass.” - Christy, on breaking contracts
“Sidenote: Professional photographers do not like it when you tell them how or exactly what to shoot on your wedding day.” - Christy
“You do want to end result to be something you feel good about.” - Michelle, on a vendor’s product commitment
“The right month-of planner, who takes that job very seriously, it’s extremely comprehensive. It’s not just taking the contracts, creating a timeline and then showing up on the day-of. There’s a ton of value in a great month-of coordinator.” - Christy
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