Are Wedding Planners Responsible for Vendors’ Performance?

Let’s first start off with explaining the role of a Wedding Planner and a definition I particularly love, from Planner, Lindsay Landman, “An event or wedding planner is a logistical strategist and organizational mastermind.” 

Wedding Planners are hired to oversee the conceptualisation, planning, organizing, implementation and evaluation of a wedding. Arguably, in Trinidad and Tobago we rarely see this type of Planner and what we see more of, is a proliferation of “Wedding Co-ordinators” instead (i.e. those who are hired for the “day of”)

Wedding Planners can be “full-service” – dealing with every element and aspect of the wedding from start to finish, or they can be hired “a la carte” – chosen by the couple to handle a few select tasks or items. Wedding Co-ordinators (as opposed to Wedding Planners!) on the other hand, as mentioned above, are hired for the “day of” the wedding but will typically work with you two to four weeks beforehand, to ensure all is on schedule.

Some of the major items that Wedding Planners assist with are: examining vendor contracts, scheduling vendor meetings, short-listing vendors, arranging for delivery of items, arranging site visits, briefing the event/vendor team, getting any licenses or permits, managing your budget, compiling a wedding timeline, supervising your wedding rehearsal, giving you advice and progress reports and sometimes even accompanying you on shopping trips, if required.

The job of the Wedding Planner is essentially to “plan” and be the liaison between the vendors and the couple and to manage the wedding’s elements and deadlines to the best of his/her ability.

Once couples/clients select the wedding vendors of their choice, the service providers are responsible for their execution and their own business practices. As a result, the Wedding Planner cannot assume responsibility for negligent acts or under-performance of vendors’ duties.

Another reason that Wedding Planners cannot be held responsible is that contracts (Note: there may be some exceptions) are signed between the couple and the wedding vendors individually.

Planners also cannot control Acts of God, such as the weather, which in turn can affect the execution and timing of the DJ, band, photographer, videographer, cake artist and decorator, to name a few.

Planners are also limited by the rules of the venue, so despite some requests from the couple – certain things just may not be possible.

Another area where Planners may try and sometimes fail, is with the attitudes of the guests or the bridal party.

Whilst it’s the Planner’s job to have everything running on schedule; uncooperative bridal party members or tardy guests for instance, are some other elements that may be out of the Planner’s control.

A common misunderstanding is that the Wedding Planner “picks up the slack” when vendors don’t perform or when they “under-perform.”  Based on our years of experience, we can certainly spot discrepancies, dangers or omissions and can endeavour to fix them with vendors but ultimately, Planners “plan” and therefore cannot execute actual lighting, décor, rentals, catering and other services.

Whilst we do all in our power to ensure that the key elements are there for our clients and that health and safety requirements are met, Planners cannot be held accountable for any errors, changes or omissions made by wedding vendors.

However, it is our duty to evaluate the wedding and to follow through post-event, with vendors, in the event that the couple has to receive any compensation for items not provided by vendors, based on signed contracts.

Your thoughts?


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