Saturday, December 13, 2008

Economic Crisis or Coincidence?

Alright my fellow Wedding Planners...have you been hit by the economic crunch?

I have.

But perhaps not in the way you would think. Inquiries are still coming in and I suspect that they will be heavy as usual as Christmas and New Year's and Valentine's proposals come in flurries over the next few months. Brides and grooms alike are still booking services for as far out as 2011!

However, I'm not getting paid. No, I haven't become a non-profit Wedding Planner or anything like that. I have had a very relaxed payment process with my clients. Half down is required to reserve their date and choice of services. The other half is due on or before the wedding date. I would say 90% of my clients choose to pay the day of. Until recently. The wedding date comes and goes and I get no payment. Which means I show up, do all of the required work, and leave without receiving the other half of the payment. Now, sometimes the check shows up in my mailbox immediately following because they either forgot the day of (understandably) or things were just too crazy busy to collect the payment. Other times once a week rolls by I send an invoice and typically I am paid right away.

Not these days. Right now I have 4 clients with outstanding balances for weddings I have already serviced. One of which is almost $500. All in all this Wedding Planner is missing out on $1000 worth of payments right now. That is not a comfortable place to be and a place that I have never been before. I have offered payment plans, made collection calls, sent multiple invoices that now include late name it.

So, coincidence with the economy or just pure dumb luck? Either way, my contracts now require that second half of the payment due within 3 business days of the event. It's not something I ever wanted to do, but unfortunately, that is what it has come to. I've talked to other wedding vendors and I know of 2 photographers and 3 DJ's that are waiting on much more money than I am. So, I am not alone, but it is just sad.

Brides & Grooms...if you know you aren't going to be able to pay your wedding vendors on the day of your wedding, please let us know. I'm sure most of us will be willing to work out a payment plan so that you can have the day you dreamed of. But trying to scam us, not returning our calls, and lying to us is not the way to get it done. It will more than likely end up in a collections or a small claims suit. That's not the type of reminder you want for your special day!

With that, I'm off to send more invoices and pray to the Wedding Vendor Gods.


Anonymous said...

That sucks! We have our clients pay their last payment usually the month before their wedding. I hope that you get your payments soon.

Kelly said...

That is so terrible! I'm so sorry to hear that happened.

however, I don't think the payment plan you put in place is unreasonable at all. most of our vendors required to be paid in full at least a week before the wedding.

good luck with getting your payments!

saundra, event engineer said...

Danica, I love your spunk and your blog. Please always remember that you are running a business, period. Yes, we love our brides. Yes, we connect with them and learn WAY to much information in most cases.

But bottom line this is a business. I will not perform my services unless I have been paid. I've had clients who were late with payments and I am firm, but understanding.

But never should you attend the event do everything you need to do to make their day go smooth and not be paid.

Business first. Always.

Nate said...

As the Catering & Events Director for a country club in Massachusetts I can tell you we're facing the same issue with not only a few weddings but also some golf tournaments. (we require 80% payment 10 days before the event and the rest is payed off the day of the event or within the week after) Recession = yikes! We are finding bookings for 2009 are much slower than 2010 as well. Hopefully we can get through this soon!!!!