Wedding at The Dorchester London / Photographer David Pullum

Wedding Planners & Commission: A Couple’s Guide

Jimmy Choo Wedding shoes / Natalie Pluck Photography

When it comes to wedding planners and commission, the topic gets somewhat thorny within the wedding industry.

As an engaged couple you may not even be aware of the common practices around it or how it affects you.

As you might have noticed by now, honesty and transparency are extremely important to me as your wedding planner. One of the (many) things I will always be upfront about is how I handle commission And the implications this has for you.

Allow me to demystify the subject so you know exactly what’s what, and where you stand.

Wedding Planners & Commission – Why Does It Impact You?

The reason it’s so important for you to be aware of this subject is so you can be fully informed & in control of the spend on your wedding.

Sometimes, wedding planners or other suppliers accepting commissions can affect your bottom line.  With extra costs incurred to you to be able to provide that commission.

Importantly, this is not always the case and in some instances suppliers build in commission for the wedding planner without increasing your fee as a couple.

Every wedding planner has their own views, beliefs and ways of working when it comes to commission. There is no ‘rule’ about how it should be handled.

The reason I’m bringing it to your attention is so you’re aware it exists and that some planners do accept it.  As long as you, the couple, are in the know and happy with the arrangement then there’s no problem.

However, many couples I speak to had no idea this was ‘a thing’!

Weddings by Mary- Essex wedding planner
Kew Gardens Wedding / Natalie Pluck Photography
Le Beuvallon, South of France - Charles Seguy

Destination Weddings Vs. UK Weddings and Commission

Commission for wedding planners is quite commonplace overseas.  As in some instances wedding planners charge lower fees. Making up their fee from the commissions.

In the UK it’s less common, with planners usually charging a set or minimum fee and not accepting commissions as part of their business model.  It’s so important to note that there are always exceptions.

No two planners run their businesses the same way. Frank and transparent conversations to find these things out are always key.

The recently disbanded UKAWP (UK Alliance of Wedding Planners), of which I was an Elite Member for many years, strongly advocated that their members would not accept commission.

It was an ethos ingrained in the core of the alliance and its members. Centred around the belief that planners should always work with suppliers based on their suitability for their couple. Not the possibility of commission. And one I stand by still.

This brings me nicely onto my personal standpoint on the subject of wedding planners and commission.

Recently I’ve had a few suppliers asking whether I will be seeking commission before they provide a quotation for my couples. And my answer is usually ‘no’, especially if it will impact my couple’s bottom line.

I am already being paid a fee for the wedding planning service, and personally don’t accept commission. For destination weddings this may look different, as it is a more widely accepted practice overseas.

So long as the cost to my couple is no different, it may be accepted.

There’s no need to tiptoe around the subject of commission. I’m hopeful therefore that this has given you an insight into the need-to-knows.

Weddings by Mary-Essex Marquee Wedding planner
Mary Briscoe of Weddings by Mary

SUMMARY

There is no right or wrong answer. You as a couple need to ensure you are aware of it and happy with your chosen wedding planner’s arrangement.

You’ll find the answers to more of your questions about my wedding planning approach on my FAQ page.

Or why not find out if we’re a great fit by reading this Journal piece?

For more honest and upfront conversations about wedding planning keep following Weddings By Mary.

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Find out more about the Weddings by Mary Experience

Hello

I’ve spent most of my life in the wedding & events industry. Helping couples in love to celebrate in style is something I adore and am hugely proud of being able to do.

At the very heart of my job is a love of people. A chance to connect with couples is one of my favourite parts. Being a wedding planner means being able to balance the detail-focused organisation and expert problem solving with the chance to have a good chat and a laugh with couples over a cuppa or a glass of fizz.

Mary x