Commissions: Greedy Money

preston bailey stop commissions wedding industry bad business practices

(Photo via Aaron W. Matthews)

It’s no secret that I don’t approve of planners and vendors who pay and receive commissions behind their clients’ backs. One way or another, the unsuspecting client always end up paying for it. Not to mention that commissions are just such an “old school” way of doing business.

Unfortunately, it’s still a common practice. Only a few months ago, a planner badmouthed me out of a design job when she learned I don’t pay commissions.

I told a friend about this incident, and, while we were talking, it finally hit home. These greedy vendors are the folks who are making “the big bucks” in the wedding and event planning industry!

My friend explained it like this:

Let’s say a bride is spending $100,000 for her wedding, and the planner is getting 15% (the going commission rate) from all the vendors — florist, venue, invitation designer, photographer, DJ, videographer, caterer etc… That planner is making an additional $15,000 of clear, easy profit.

That’s greedy money, plain and simple. The bride thinks she’s getting a $100,000 wedding. But, in reality, she’s being shortchanged. $15,000 is a lot of money and can make a big difference in the look and feel of an event. $15,000 buys a lot of gorgeous flowers!

The only way to stop commissions is to educate clients; they must get vendors to commit in writing that they are not receiving any commissions behind their clients’ backs.

Dear Readers, what are your thoughts on this loaded issue? I’m especially riled up because of losing that great design job. Have you ever lost a job because you don’t pay commissions?

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