My Opinion: Paying Commission Without Our Clients Knowing Should Stop


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Dear Readers:

Let me tell you a little story.  Not too long ago, I interviewed a lovely young bride who mentioned that she had a “huge” celebration that she loved–until she learned of her planners deceit. She explained that the party was a lot of fun. There was great decor, food and wonderful music. The only huge disappointment was that this New York-based planner (who shall remain nameless) charged the floral designer, lighting designer, invitation designer, band, and all the other vendors a 20 percent kick back in addition to the already hefty fee the bride had paid her. My client was furious not only because she felt deceived, but that she was left to feel that she received 20 percent less than what she had paid for.

I make no secret about the fact the fact that I am completely against the practice of paying and receiving commissions without the consent of clients. For the first time, I am going to put it out there and pose some very provocative questions.

Why is it that planners feel the need to collect commissions? Is it because most planners feel that they can not survive on the they are being paid? I want to add that a lot of clients have a hard time paying for the many hours and services provided by planners.

Could it also be that because this is such a general practice in their areas that they feel entitled to it? I have been told that this is the norm in many cities and countries. The thought is, “If I get you a job, you give me a cut.”

Or is simply because some planners are greedy. At the end of a job after collecting so many commissions, they end up making more of a profit than all of the other vendors?

What do you think?