Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is it ok to sort of fire my wedding planner?

Dear ESB,

When we first started planning our wedding (2 years ago) we hired a wedding planner to ONLY help us find a venue. This was supposed to be a trial because we want a "day-of" planner. A friend of a friend recommended us to their friend. We started working with her and basically, she was no help AT ALL. We found the venue by ourselves.

Our wedding is coming up in 8 months and for months at a time she won't even respond to a "how are you?" sort of email. I've even asked her where we should send a check to pay for the venue "help" she gave us and she still hasn't told me. Sometimes she'll message me, wanting to meet. I meet with her, she promises to help with setting up appointments with caterers or florists but then falls through. She hasn't done anything that's helped us! But she still totally expects to be our "day-of" planner!

She just messaged me this week that she fell through because her aunt just passed away. I also found out (through the friend of a friend) that her boyfriend of over 5 years broke up with her. I understand that it must be a REALLY hard time for her and I've emailed her my condolences. I'm a BIG family person so I totally understand that family comes first.

But at the same time... I need someone that I feel is dependable to help us on the day of our wedding!

Is it ok to sort of let her go? How do you politely fire someone after they've told you that they're having such a hard time? I don't want to be a diva-bride-bitch. I feel really bad for her. Also, her prices are pretty much the same as anyone else and we haven't signed a contract. It was simply implied that we would use her. I had previously tried to tell her that we would no longer need her services but she didn't get the hint even though I was pretty blunt. So whatever way I try to fire her (if I even should) needs to be nice but still painfully obvious what's going on.

Thanks for the help,
The Lone Planner


A wedding planner needs to respond to your email BEFORE YOU EVEN SEND IT.

Sorry, but come on.

Tell her you're seeing someone else. That's the only thing that ever works with men who won't get the hint.

YSL Coat Dress by Teri Chung via because im addicted


  1. You didn't sign a contract. Problem solved. Like most wounds, it has to hurt before it gets better and really: it's your wedding day. Yours. You don't need to be cruel, but you do have to be firm. Good luck!

  2. i mean, she's not even YOUR friend; she's someone else's.

    "Hi, we've decided to go with someone else who is better suited to your needs."

    done deal.
    leave the personal stuff out. good for you for already addressing it, once. once is all that needs to happen.

  3. Hell, you never know, it could even be a load off her back. She might be sticking around because she feels obligated and needs the umbilical cord cut FOR her. Post-big breakup? I wouldn't be uber down to go balls deep into wedding stuff (even though I know you didn't ask her to). Cut the cord and it may be better for both of you.

  4. As a small business owner I can tell you it's all bull shit excuses. IDGAF, you find a way to deal. I come to work and I do my work when I'm supposed to, not when I want to. I do it regardless of the fact I found out I was someone's mistress, regardless of the fact that my mom was undergoing major surgery to remove cancer from her body, regardless of the fact she still is fighting it years later. Even now I'm in physical therapy for chronic back pain cause by me working too much/so hard (hopefully this all helps and I wont require surgery like docs are telling me I might, but even if I did I probably would find a way to work because no work = no money = no life). Bushiness/personal life are separate. If you want to run your own business you have to find a way to separate the two and not guilt your customers because you don't know how to. She has to learn it's not your problem at all and you've hired her for a service she obviously hasn't provided. Don't feel bad about firing her. She hasn't done her job.

    jfc I'm such a ruthless bitch, but oh well.

    1. But lol, I have become overwhelmed in the past b/c of being emotionally exhausted (mostly w/ the stuff with my mom), but I find a way to keep myself and my life together, just like the wedding planner has to do. Maybe stepping away from work/seek help for a while will be what's best for her in dealing with her personal situation.

    2. I am, and thank you for asking (especially now that I realize my comment is over-the-top D: D: D:). It's life.

      I guess just personal responsibility is all I'm arguing for when it comes down to it. Enough with the excuses, we're all grown ups here.

  5. Without a contract do you even need to pay her for her "help"? Sounds like she didn't do anything. I'd just stop responding to her, and then if she ever emails you, say, "thanks we signed with someone else."

    I guess you can pay her just because you personally sound nice and there's a connection to someone you know, but it seems to me like she didn't earn it, and I don't think she'd be able to prove she provided any services.

  6. Do the grown-up thing and tell her you've found someone else, like Allyson said. It will be a load off your mind and her back. No pay, either. You would be paying her for .... what? Your guilt that she didn't do anything? Why do you feel guilty?

    Miss Georgia gave you a list of reasons why she's not right for you. She's not serious about her business and certainly not serious about your wedding.

  7. Last night I had a conversation with my husband about the best money we spent and the worst money we spent on our wedding three months ago. Hands down the worst money was the wedding planner. Very similar situation to yours. I wrestled with firing her, but did not thinking she would come through the day of. Two hours before the wedding I got a call from the venue " your planner is not here." Had to send friends over, and they worked the wedding. She showed up late. Got my proofs - there she is doing the electric slide. Fire her -- now.

  8. don't mean to go off topic, just curious anon 7:34, what do you reckon was the best money you spent?

  9. You didn't sign a contract with her, and it seems like you didn't even ask her to be the DOC, she just assumed she would be. I think that you will be really worried about her follow-through for the rest of the planning process and any good planner/DOC is supposed to take stress away! Life is life, and you want to be a nice person but putting her ahead of your peace of mind is no good! I have had to "fire" vendors before who didn't respond to the couples I was working with and it is like a band-aid - do it quick and all at once! "I appreciate your offer to help with the wedding but we have decided to go in a different direction. I assume there is no balance due to you as the only fee we discussed was for venue assistance and we found it ourselves. I wish you the best."

    If she balks (or you give in to a soft heart) and wants to be paid, calculate how many hours you assume she worked on your wedding - my guess is not many - and pay her a low hourly rate to be done with it. But without a contract I don't think she can press anything. Good luck!

  10. Fire her ass. She's not a planner, she's a waste of time.