Posing as a Bride
Here at the UKAWP we understand trainee planners have to start somewhere which is why we devised our training courses. We know by teaching the basics our students are ready and able to start their businesses knowing the right path to follow. However, we realize not every course is like ours and not every planner decides to take training, they choose instead to conduct their own research into the industry before launching.
Some go down the unscrupulous path of posing as a potential bride and calling other wedding planners. This is so disrespectful and not the route anyone should take. And why? Well let’s break it down. Most planners run their own businesses; we have to split our time between working on the business and working in the business (see this post). Every enquiry we get is important in this competitive industry; we put time into talking or emailing them and do some initial research before meeting the ‘bride’ say approx. 2 hrs in total. The consultation should take between 1 ½ hours then of course the travel on top, it is usual to spend another couple of hours on the proposal before sending to the ‘bride’. So we could be talking 7 hours in total, therefore it is demoralizing to then discover it is a fake bride who just wants to see how you operate, get a copy of your proposal and if really lucky a copy of your contract. This is time we could have been in the office working on our sales & marketing, generating leads for our business, so not only does it cost us time it potentially could cost us money by conducting a ‘fake consultation’.
I remember once having an enquiry for a Hindu/Western wedding, I arranged a consultation at London Bridge which took me a couple of hours to get there from Essex. I did a lot of research before hand on traditions so I was prepared. Then when I arrived the British Groom turned into an Australian man who didn’t seem interested and said ‘I’m happy with whatever she wants’! it was then I knew it was a hoax, I cut the consultation short and refused to send the proposal. Not long after the same person called to book onto one of our courses but cancelled when she realised I was the training director through complete embarrassment!
The wedding planning industry is a close community and word will spread on anyone that conducts themselves in this manner. If you’re a planner yourself, we’d love to hear your views on this practise.
I loved this blog, simply for the fact that I’ve been a victim of the wannabe planner posing as a bride. I get at least 1 phone call and 4 emails a week from people trying to obtain information to become a planner. I have had 6 consultations end with a person confessing that they are only using me for info. I even had a reception hall ask me to come and explain my services so that we could cross-promote, just to find out that the owner was interested in paying someone minimum wage at his facility to do my job- and subsquently ban any couple using an outside planner.
I hate that this happens to other wedding professionals, but it feels good to know that I’m not alone.