I must admit that I don’t always do a great job of keeping my opinions to myself. When I’m designing, my enthusiasm for the job and my many years of experience make me want to contribute to every single aspect of the wedding.
Unfortunately, I often end up infringing on the planner’s responsibilities. I’ve been thinking about the delicate balance between planners and designers a lot lately; yesterday, I addressed the difficulties of being a designer and working with a planner.
Today, I’ll like to address the five occasions when designers should keep quiet and let planners take the lead:
1. A planner must keep the event’s finances under control. If a client insists on talking finances directly with you or the vendor, make sure you communicate to the planner everything that was discussed as soon as impossible.
2. Never, and I mean never, disagree with a planner’s advice in front of a client. Instead, address the issue with the planner privately after the client has left. It’s important for you and the planner to present a united front when meeting with the client. Clients should always feel that their planner and designer are working together. (Unfortunately, I’m guilty of this one. My apologies, planners!)
3. You, as the designer, have NOT been hired to handle seating, food, wine, music or any other logistics. If a client ever asks you to help with these arrangements, refrain from getting involved and quickly refer the client to the planner.
4. How much interaction you have with clients is at the discretion of the planner. As a vendor, you should be very respectful of the planner. Don’t call clients directly without the planner’s knowledge; it will create confusion and make it more difficult for the planner to do his or her job.
5. Last but certainly not least: On the day of the event, the planner is boss. It’s his or her show. You must understand as a designer that you’re only one part of a much larger picture. Be supportive, especially if the planner loses his or her cool. (You don’t have to condone bad behavior, but you should be an understanding presence.) Ultimately, it’s up to the planner to make the day a success.
Now, a few questions for all you planners: How can designers and other vendors best assist you to help ensure a triumphant event? What vendor issues have you had in the past when planning events? What is it that you bring to your clients that is unique and that your vendors cannot provide?