Tuesday, September 2, 2008

STOP IT!!!

For the most part, I am a fairly laid-back, chilled out kinda gal. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you the same thing. Not much ruffles my feathers, I don't take myself that seriously and I generally walk around with a smile on my face. Life is good - so why not??

However, today - my sunny disposition just got annihilated.

So here's my simple remedy to getting back to the Linnyette I know and love:
I'm going to need ALL of the non-professional, "wannabe", think-you-are wedding planners/coordinators/producers/directors (take your pick here!) to step aside and let the true blue pros handle all of this matrimonial/wedding planning/coordination stuff. If you don't know what you're doing - just step away from the bouquet!

This is a topic that has come up before, not only for me, but for my colleagues also. Honestly, I'm sick and tired (and I'm sure that I speak for my "professional" brethren also) of these shenanigans. What part of "there are no do-overs" don't you get? What part of "you need a business plan" don't you understand? What part of "you need to know what the heck you are doing before you open up shop and say " I am a wedding planner" do you need me to explain to you?

Folks - cheap is what it says it is. Cheap. Really. So don't just base this important decision on price alone. ASK for references, ASK to see previous work, ASK about payment plans/policies, ASK what their wedding planning philsophy is, ASK how much EXPERIENCE they have under the belt!!

Does this automatically disqualify a new-to-the-industry planner? No - it doesn't. There's some great, fresh, new talent that's coming on the horizon, but the valid difference between these people and the "wannabes" is that the newly minted professional planners are taking the time, energy and effort that is needed in order to start their business off on the RIGHT foot. They are getting educated, they are interning with seasoned planners, they are managing their new enteprises the way it should be done. In short - they are running a business and their actions speak to that.

I've been in the game a minute - so I know what goes on. I am also painfully aware that there are so many brides and grooms out there who've gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to hiring the "planner". They didn't do their homework - which is so important. You have to know what you are getting, and you want to make sure that all of your ducks are lined up in a row. Don't settle for anything less - you deserve a wonderful occasion and you deserve to work with someone who has your best interest at heart and who will produce a magnificent event that you'll remember always.......

To all of the "planners/coordinators/directors, etc. who fit the description I started this post with..you know who you are. And you should be really, really ashamed of yourselves. But, somehow - I know you're not. So before you decide to "blow" up this blog entry or my email with your negative responses...think. Think about what you are not doing - and more importantly, think about how you can improve what you should be doing. I don't want or need to bash anyone incessantly - but I love my industry and there are many others like me who view the planning of a wedding as an honorable profession - one that we are so proud to be a part of.

I am not afraid to get up on the veritable soapbox and speak my mind. Wedding planners are now literally a dime a dozen...but when you hook up with one who knows their stuff, it's like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Trust me on this one.

Now...back to our regularly scheduled programming :)

20 comments:

Candice @ Jubilee Events said...

Well said! And I agree 1000%!!

Erin @ Bride Design said...

I think that's a much needed wakeup call for many. Thanks Linnyette!

saundra, event engineer said...

Oh my. GREAT post!

Rashana of The Bridal Party LLC said...

This will surely ruffle a feather or two, but you're speaking 100% truth.

At the end of the day though, there are always going to be poor service providers out there...in catering, photography, wedding planning and even stationary. All the rest of us can do is stay true to our standards and hope/believe it'll shine through.

About 2 months ago a banquet manager told me I took my job too seriously (because I was diligent about every detail). At first I was offended but quickly realized I should take his comment as a compliment. Like you said, THERE ARE NO DO-OVERS and I refuse to be lax when I have a client's once in a lifetime in my hands. So, if that means I'm taking my job too seriously, sobeit! ;-)

Affairs With Elegance said...

Linnyette, excellent post. Wedding Planner seems to be the new "it" job and they think it's as easy as it looks on tv. They don't realize the amount of work that's required until it's too late and the couple is the one that gets the short end of the stick. Hopefully, they'll get the point after reading enough of these posts from professional wedding planners.

Tish @TPTR said...

This is a "real" comment that must be shared no matter how blunt it is. In my area, there are a few ladies proclaim to be wedding planners but don't follow up with their brides or the bride's chosen vendors.

I've been enlisted a time or two to pick up missing pieces that surely shouldn't have been dropped to begin with. Besides, that I get emails from ladies saying that they have their own businesses but want to intern with me. How can that be?! You want to intern and you already "say" you have a business?

Anyway, thanks Linnyette. Thanks for being real.

Deidre Gray said...

Amen!! Nothing more needs to be said. Thanks Linnyette as you have spoken for us all.

Deidre

Jennifer Ramirez-Jasiczek said...

preach it! Although, I am curious for the back story that prompted this post.
-jennifer

The Queen of Hearts said...

Oooooooooooooooooooooooh!

Step away from Ms. Linnyette - I think she's liable to combust.

I know you can't be more right....

Now breathe, grab a pepsi and check your blood pressure

Isis said...

You already know I'm so with you on this one. Thanks for the not to subtle reminder, hopefully you've just saved another couple's wedding.

Melissa DiStefano said...

It's about time someone said this with such honesty!

Thank you and Amen!!!

soireebliss! Events and Wedding said...

As always, you have a tremendous gift for speaking openly with a firm smack of honesty.

Well said......

Keisha said...

Linnyette - This post makes me respect you even more! I fell in love with your work while watching you help a former classmate on "Who's Wedding Is It Anyway?" I was even more excited to see you were representing the hometown in such a wonderful, professional, thorough way! One day I hope to become a client! Keep doing what you do!

Linnyette Richardson-Hall said...

Thanks Keisha - from one hometown girl to another, I appreciate the LUV!

P.S. What is your friend's name that was on the show??

Keisha said...

Hi Linnyette - her name was Doreen Pettigrew (sp?)...I know her from college. I was so excited to see Baltimore being represented so well on the show...it gets such a bad rap.

Linnyette Richardson-Hall said...

Ah yes - I do remember them! Lovely couple and a fantastic wedding to boot. The Lyric Opera House is a wonderful place to host a wedding celebration!!!!

King of Prussia Local said...

Agree 101%. I am a new planner breaking into the business. Same on anyone who doesn't seek out internship and learning opportunities. The one thing I will add though is there are a lot of seasoned planners who do not share their time and knowledge easily and those who are often willing to take on intern really don't provide exposure for the interns.

Amy said...

Oh my gosh - I wish this could be posted on TheKnot chat boards - do you know how many of these knotties turned wannabes we're dealing with out there?

Thanks for the slap upside the head - just wish I could figure out a way to spread the love...

Serena Wilson-Archie said...

Hello Linnyette,

I have been following you and holding all of your advice close to my heart because I am just entering into this business and want to increase the professional image of wedding planners in my local area.

Keep the truth coming because those of us that are serious do not take offense, we appreciate the honesty!

Thank you very much and keep providing assistance to us newbies that want to keep the industry going strong in the future years.

DJ-RJ said...

"How much do you charge for 4 hours?"

Do you get that question a lot too???

We have to keep educating our clients about why we are worth more than the low-end vendors in our markets...