Archive for the ‘Choosing a Wedding Planner’ Category

Wedding planners generally offer between one and four different service packages.

  1. All inclusive: for want of a better term, the ‘all inclusive’ wedding service includes the consultation, conception, planning, execution and follow up of your wedding.
  2. À la carte: an ‘à la carte’ service would be for those seeking a wedding planner simply to access a few different weddings suppliers. In general, a couple seeking this kind of service would intend to take care of the overall organisation of their wedding themselves but the wedding planner would be their one point of contact for all suppliers booked through the wedding planner.
  3. Coordination only: in this instance, the wedding planner would be employed to be on-site for the day of your wedding (usually with a support team) to ensure that your wedding runs smoothly. They would request a list of the suppliers that you have hired to work on your wedding with contact details in advance of the wedding to be able to formulate and manage an appropriate schedule for deliveries, set-up and de-rig.
  4. Consultation only: for a consultation-only service, a wedding planner may share a list of recommended suppliers, wedding planning tools and local knowledge with a client during a face to face meeting. It would then be up to the couple to contact suppliers and take care of the organisation of their event.

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.


Read Full Post »

Wedding planner billing methods can vary greatly as with a wedding planner’s fee structure. You may either be invoiced directly with the individual supplier that you select with the help of your wedding planner, or alternatively all billing may pass through the wedding planner. On one hand some believe that it is more practical to pay only one bill to one company (the wedding planner) or on the other hand others feel more comfortable settling with the supplier directly so that costs are controlled more easily.

In the case that a wedding planner charges a management fee, for time spent or earns their fee through commissions, your wedding planner could give you the option either to pay suppliers directly or to pay one bill to the wedding planner who will in turn settle with suppliers.

If the wedding planner is using the ‘mark-up’ method, it is highly unlikely that they will give you the option to pay suppliers directly.

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »

Wedding planners on the French Riviera, as anywhere in the world for that matter, can generate their income in a number of different ways. Detailed below are four of the most common fee structures employed by wedding planners. Be aware that it is possible that a wedding planner may use a combination of all of the below methods or they may operate using one or two only. Make sure you are aware of your wedding planner’s fee structure and billing process from the beginning so that there will be no nasty surprises.

  1. Management fee: a fixed percentage of the total cost of the wedding. The total cost being sum of the purchase prices from all suppliers.
  2. Margin / mark-up: some wedding planners mark up on each item purchased from a supplier therefore the price presented to you will include a hidden mark-up charged either as a percentage or a fixed amount.
  3. Time spent: many wedding planners charge for the time they spend on the preparation in advance of the wedding and the time spent with the client on site during the actual wedding celebrations. Usually the cost for onsite time is greater than the preparation time and time is charged either per day or per hour. Each wedding planner sets their own rate depending on the fixed charges they need to cover in order to make a profit (office rental, salaries of employees, taxes and social charges etc.).
  4. Commissions (AKA Kick-backs): revenue from commissions is a real phenomenon in the South of France in a range of different sectors. By commission I mean being given a golden “thank you” for the referral of business to a supplier in a similar way to how an estate agent takes a commission as a percentage of the overall sale price of a given property. If you are either going to be billed directly by a wedding supplier or if a wedding planner bills you for any given service, either way there may be a commission for the “business bringer” integrated into the price which will be billed back after the payment of the service. This can be a rather strange concept for Anglo-Saxons as referrals usually do not come with a price tag in the UK or US, however this is very common business practice on the Cote d’Azur so don’t be alarmed

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »

The French Riviera is not the cheapest place in the world by any stretch of the imagination and wedding planner rates are no exception to the rule. However, since the economic crisis, the weddings and events sector in the South of France has become much more competitive and wedding planners have learned that they must in turn be competitive in terms of price to win business.

The amount earned by a wedding planner in fees can equate to between 10 and 30% of a total wedding budget. I have however heard of some cases where this amount has been much higher! It is worth keeping in mind that self-employed, independent wedding planners may work out cheaper than larger wedding planning companies due to the fact that they do not have as many fixed costs. Governmental charges for business are extremely high in France as is office space rent in the towns along the Cote d’Azur. An independent, freelance wedding planner on the Cote d’Azur will most likely work from home or in an office share situation and will certainly has a great deal less charges to pay.

By obtaining quotes from a few different wedding planners, you will be able to compare prices and make sure that you are getting maximum value for money.

To find out about my wedding planning services and rates, please contact me by email on kerry@kerrybrackenweddings.com or visit my website www.kerrybrackenweddings.com.

Read Full Post »

Choosing a wedding planner that is right for you is absolutely crucial to the success of your special day. You will be connecting with your wedding planner on both a professional and a personal level so you need to feel 100% comfortable with the person you choose to work with. If you know other people that have got married on the French Riviera then choosing a wedding planner by recommendation is an excellent way to find someone reliable and efficient. However, just keep in mind that everyone is different and you may not have the same level of complicity with a particular wedding planner that your friend had. Many venues will be more than happy to recommend wedding planners in the area if you contact them expressing an interest to hold your celebrations in their venue.

Many brides contact several different agencies which they have come across either by recommendation or from searching the internet. Shopping around is not a bad way to find the right wedding planner, however it is always a good idea to let all companies know they are in competition for your business. The Cote d’Azur is a very small place and many wedding planners will contact the same suppliers for a quote so they prefer to be informed in advance. Also by letting a wedding planner know they are in competition will more often than not encourage them to go that extra mile to produce a winning initial proposal superior in both creativity and value for money.

Putting a truly complete tailor-made wedding proposal together takes a considerable amount time, and necessitates a good deal of communication between the client and the wedding planner. Due to the amount of time you will most likely need to dedicate to communicating your requirements in detail to a wedding planner, I would advise you to try if possible to choose only two agencies maximum to go through to the stage where a complete budgeted proposal is put together. By speaking at length, by asking to see photographs of weddings they have organised in the past, examining the company’s website, and through your sense of intuition it should be clear to you which wedding planner will be best for you.

By determining the fee structure beforehand and giving the wedding planner a precise budget, you will be able to make sure that costs do not become more than you anticipated. There is nothing to stop you negotiating at various points down the line and the chances are that if you have built up an open relationship of trust from the beginning that your wedding planner will play the game.

To find out about the wedding planning services I offer, please contact me by email on kerry@my-riviera-wedding.com.

Read Full Post »