Wedding planner communication problems?

madqueen

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
I was wondering if anyone went through a similar issue with any of their Disney wedding planners or if it was just me... I send my wedding planner emails and she doesn't get back to me for days, if at all. I also include her assistant's email address when I send, as the first time she didn't get back to me for a week and I followed up and she said to make sure to cc her assistant on all emails in case she's away, but it doesn't seem to help. It's not like I'm emailing them everyday with bridezilla nonsense, or even every week. Like once a month I'll have an important question, or want to drop/add something to my B.E.O. but they don't acknowledge. Is this just me? Am I doing something wrong/ not adhering to some protocol I don't know about? Has anyone else experienced this? I always get those "nudge" reminders from gmail saying "sent 5 days ago, follow up?" I don't want to be demanding as I know their time is valuable but planning a wedding is extremely stressful and having budgetary questions go unanswered isn't helping lol.
 

lurkyloo

The Attic was just perfect!
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
This is a common complaint. How far out are you? Each planner is assigned numerous weddings, so communication usually doesn't start to pick up until you're about 4 or 5 months out from your date (because they are currently dealing with all their other weddings that are happening in the next few days, weeks and months).
 

madqueen

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
This is a common complaint. How far out are you? Each planner is assigned numerous weddings, so communication usually doesn't start to pick up until you're about 4 or 5 months out from your date (because they are currently dealing with all their other weddings that are happening in the next few days, weeks and months).
Well I am glad to hear it's not just me! I'm under 4 months out though, so I hope the communication starts picking up with me soon! Thank you for your podcast is all I can say, it has been SO valuable to navigate this all! Do you find other brides getting a bit disappointed somewhere along the way in this process? I have to admit, dealing with Disney, and with all the money we're paying, I thought it would be a lot less stress. My planner did get back to me today, and she let me know that because we upped our estimated guest count to 100, we have to pay for 75 of those people for a minimum food expenditure no matter what. After getting our RSVPs back, we only have a guest count of 74, and 12 of those people are children. I originally only had an estimated guest count of 70, but when I'd mentioned that I was inviting 179 people, I was strongly urged to up the estimated guest count to 100, because Disney has a "higher than usual acceptance rate for a destination wedding", even though I said that most of the invitees were my fiancees extended family that he has no relationship with and were extremely unlikely to make the trip. No one ever told me that doing so would give me a higher food and beverage minimum, I thought the minimum was just $140 per person regardless of how many people I had. I have found so much of the process to be needlessly confusing and complicated (especially the room blocking). Please tell me that this disenchanment is only temporary and I will get back to being excited again! I know I will love my wedding day in the end and it will all be worth it, but right now between this, plus guests ignoring me, "maybe" RSVPs, and bridal party drama, I am beginning to feel less my usual Tigger self and more like Eeyore, lol.
 
  • lurkyloo

    The Attic was just perfect!
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2006
    Do you find other brides getting a bit disappointed somewhere along the way in this process? I have to admit, dealing with Disney, and with all the money we're paying, I thought it would be a lot less stress.
    Yes, unfortunately, I hear this a lot! Sometimes it has to do with expectations, but sometimes the planner really is dropping the ball. I think mostly, though, because they do this stuff every day and couples have NEVER done this before, there is a wide gulf in the sense of urgency they have and the sense of urgency we have.

    My planner did get back to me today, and she let me know that because we upped our estimated guest count to 100, we have to pay for 75 of those people for a minimum food expenditure no matter what. After getting our RSVPs back, we only have a guest count of 74, and 12 of those people are children. I originally only had an estimated guest count of 70, but when I'd mentioned that I was inviting 179 people, I was strongly urged to up the estimated guest count to 100, because Disney has a "higher than usual acceptance rate for a destination wedding", even though I said that most of the invitees were my fiancees extended family that he has no relationship with and were extremely unlikely to make the trip. No one ever told me that doing so would give me a higher food and beverage minimum, I thought the minimum was just $140 per person regardless of how many people I had.
    I am so sorry this happened to you! I do mention this rule on page 49 of my guidebook, but perhaps I need to discuss it on an episode of the podcast. And I can't believe they pressured you into raising your guest count officially. If more of your guests had accepted, they would still have gotten that money whether the count was raised or not. But now they've pressured you into paying for more than you need.

    I have found so much of the process to be needlessly confusing and complicated (especially the room blocking). Please tell me that this disenchantment is only temporary and I will get back to being excited again! I know I will love my wedding day in the end and it will all be worth it, but right now between this, plus guests ignoring me, "maybe" RSVPs, and bridal party drama, I am beginning to feel less my usual Tigger self and more like Eeyore, lol.
    Yes, based on hearing the experience of other brides for 13 years, I can pretty confidently say that you will love your wedding day in the end and it will all be worth it. But if you want to enjoy the process, it sounds like you might need to schedule a call with your planner and talk about your expectations vs. how she sees the process and where you two can meet in the middle. I was so terrified of upsetting the apple cart that I didn't say anything when I had issues, but now I think we could have cleared the air with just a chat.
     

    madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    Yes, unfortunately, I hear this a lot! Sometimes it has to do with expectations, but sometimes the planner really is dropping the ball. I think mostly, though, because they do this stuff every day and couples have NEVER done this before, there is a wide gulf in the sense of urgency they have and the sense of urgency we have.



    I am so sorry this happened to you! I do mention this rule on page 49 of my guidebook, but perhaps I need to discuss it on an episode of the podcast. And I can't believe they pressured you into raising your guest count officially. If more of your guests had accepted, they would still have gotten that money whether the count was raised or not. But now they've pressured you into paying for more than you need.



    Yes, based on hearing the experience of other brides for 13 years, I can pretty confidently say that you will love your wedding day in the end and it will all be worth it. But if you want to enjoy the process, it sounds like you might need to schedule a call with your planner and talk about your expectations vs. how she sees the process and where you two can meet in the middle. I was so terrified of upsetting the apple cart that I didn't say anything when I had issues, but now I think we could have cleared the air with just a chat.
    Thanks Lurkyloo! I actually never raised my guest count officially, I am still contracted for an estimated guest count of 70. I think she was just mistaken or confused and so her confusion confused me, and for a while I was thinking that just because I agreed to raise the estimate orally I would be held to that. I wouldn't even have agreed to it orally if she told me there would be any higher minimum guarantee for doing so, so I don't think I can be held to a higher guarantee than what I signed for.

    I am so glad to hear that this is just a temporary blip along the way and in the end it will all be worth it! I think the stress is just getting to me and I need to take a break from wedding planning for a day!
     

    FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    I had that issue with both my wedding planners, first one transferred to a different department close to my wedding. It was frustrating and I felt for the money we were spending they should be more responsive. I had hoped closer to the date it would get better, but it never did. I asked other Disney brides my questions and would call if it was something urgent and the planner hadn’t gotten back to me.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    This really scares me. DD is determined to have a destination wedding in Disney World. With us living in Connecticut, it will be much smaller than yours.

    My daughter and I are control freaks, and after reading this thread, I am very concerned about how we will deal with the lack of communication. It’s not as if we can just pop on over to meet with her wedding planner whenever we have an issue.

    I hope that your wedding is perfect, and all of your dreams come true.
     
  • FSU Girl

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2016
    This really scares me. DD is determined to have a destination wedding in Disney World. With us living in Connecticut, it will be much smaller than yours.

    My daughter and I are control freaks, and after reading this thread, I am very concerned about how we will deal with the lack of communication. It’s not as if we can just pop on over to meet with her wedding planner whenever we have an issue.

    I hope that your wedding is perfect, and all of your dreams come true.
    I think your daughter will be okay. Although I live in Florida I only met with my planner at the planning session. Communication is definitely lacking, but I was still able to get everything I wanted at my wedding. I found tracking her down by phone was more successful than email. I’d never trade my Disney wedding for anywhere else
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    I agree with @FSU Girl , grab the phone.
    I think this is a modern issue. The biggest benefit of an e-mail is that you can write it at a time that is convenient for you and have put your request out there. You go on with your life. I believe the amount of e-mail increased, but also got worse due to apps like Whatsapp. You get so used to writing a short message and send it. Including the "Have you read my e-mail yet"-e-mails.

    And because we've gotten used to written communication only, the response time for this channel gets slower and slower due to more and more e-mails coming in.
    At a service center they have the capacity to fight this, but I can imagine a relatively small department like Weddings, doesn't have the manpower to control this.

    I used to work for the service centers of the airline I work for and we see a huge decrease in phone calls coming in and a rise in e-mails (and other written channels).
    Leading to situations like people encountering website-problems when booking their ticket, and sending an e-mail. When we get to answering, which sometimes takes a few days, the fare the person saw, is gone. Leading to other complaints. While when that person had called immediately, we could have solved it on the spot.

    Yes, you may encounter waiting times on the phone, or you have to leave a message, but you will get a quicker answer by using the phone.
     

    madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    I had that issue with both my wedding planners, first one transferred to a different department close to my wedding. It was frustrating and I felt for the money we were spending they should be more responsive. I had hoped closer to the date it would get better, but it never did. I asked other Disney brides my questions and would call if it was something urgent and the planner hadn’t gotten back to me.
    Thanks FSU Girl, it is disappointing with how much money we're paying that they can't take two minutes to at least acknowledge receiving our emails, even if they can't answer our questions right away!
     

    madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    This really scares me. DD is determined to have a destination wedding in Disney World. With us living in Connecticut, it will be much smaller than yours.

    My daughter and I are control freaks, and after reading this thread, I am very concerned about how we will deal with the lack of communication. It’s not as if we can just pop on over to meet with her wedding planner whenever we have an issue.

    I hope that your wedding is perfect, and all of your dreams come true.
    Thank you for your good vibes! I too am a TOTAL control freak too, and that's why this is particularly frustrating! But, why shouldn't we be? We are spending a boat load of money on this, after all! It's frustrating because the majority of the questions have been important money questions, and it's just pretty much impossible to plan and budget the other elements of my wedding without knowing what I'm going to be spending with Disney. I still think it will be worth it. I wish I had known to expect this poor communication more from the beginning, so at least you guys know what you're getting into with it (but hopefully you get lucky and have a more responsive wedding planner!) I have spent the last few months looking at my email spam folder to make sure their replies didn't get sent to spam and checking my sent folder to make sure I actually pressed send! In business nowadays, I have gotten used to my emails being answered within 1-2 business days, so this has been an odd experience for me!
     
  • madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    I agree with @FSU Girl , grab the phone.
    I think this is a modern issue. The biggest benefit of an e-mail is that you can write it at a time that is convenient for you and have put your request out there. You go on with your life. I believe the amount of e-mail increased, but also got worse due to apps like Whatsapp. You get so used to writing a short message and send it. Including the "Have you read my e-mail yet"-e-mails.

    And because we've gotten used to written communication only, the response time for this channel gets slower and slower due to more and more e-mails coming in.
    At a service center they have the capacity to fight this, but I can imagine a relatively small department like Weddings, doesn't have the manpower to control this.

    I used to work for the service centers of the airline I work for and we see a huge decrease in phone calls coming in and a rise in e-mails (and other written channels).
    Leading to situations like people encountering website-problems when booking their ticket, and sending an e-mail. When we get to answering, which sometimes takes a few days, the fare the person saw, is gone. Leading to other complaints. While when that person had called immediately, we could have solved it on the spot.

    Yes, you may encounter waiting times on the phone, or you have to leave a message, but you will get a quicker answer by using the phone.
    I have tried calling a couple of times, but when I have done so she is usually out of the office (I don't believe they actually spend that much time there) and I've had to leave a message. The reason why I hate calling people in general is because I really hate phone tag. People usually don't answer their phone anymore, and so I end up leaving a message, and then I will become super anxious until they call back because I have to keep looking at my phone and listening to my phone at all times so I don't miss their call back. To further complicate it, I'm on the west coast, so people from the east coast will call me super early in the morning while I'm still asleep. I HATE that feeling when I've left someone a message and have been anxiously awaiting their call for two or three days, and I take a shower or something and come out to find I missed their call, and then I call back and get their voicemail and it starts all over again! I don't mind phone calls, but messages are just pure anxiety for me! I totally get what you're saying, and I totally agree it's better, as long as you can get a hold of the person! The problem is getting hold of them. I do prefer email, because I can respond to people when it's convenient for me, and they can respond when it's convenient for them, but I probably don't get as many emails as wedding planners do!
     

    Barbara Smith

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2018
    Our wedding planner has been wonderful. She or her assistant are always quick to get back to us either by phone or email. We have even gotten a few unsolicited emails just checking in on us seeing if we need anything. We love ours. We have Kristie Pederson and her assistant is Nick, who is also great. And our floral person is also a gem. We have Laura Kidd. Our room block person is Mara and she has been so helpful with making any and all adjustments, and we’ve had a lot. Seems everybody wants to come to a Disney wedding. I feel like them have all held our hand through the whole process. My daughter’s wedding is 9/8/19.
     

    AnnaS

    DIS Sponsoor/Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2001
    We have been lucky too with my dd's wedding planner and assistant. When she needed to speak to her in person/phone - they set up a day/time via emails.

    No complaints so far. We will actually have a different planner for the wedding since she will be out on maternity leave. In the early stages, it was all a bit overwhelming for me as the mom. My dd has done most of the planning and communicating. I am also on the contract and we have communicated once or twice and we met at the planning session.

    I am feeling more confident that it will all be great and work out. They have been reassuring and I have received lot's of positive feedback from brides/parents.

    Good luck to everyone. We are 4 months away. I can't wait. Excited, anxious and can't wait for it to be over. I do hope we enjoy every moment that day of course.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    Our wedding planner has been wonderful. She or her assistant are always quick to get back to us either by phone or email. We have even gotten a few unsolicited emails just checking in on us seeing if we need anything. We love ours. We have Kristie Pederson and her assistant is Nick, who is also great. And our floral person is also a gem. We have Laura Kidd. Our room block person is Mara and she has been so helpful with making any and all adjustments, and we’ve had a lot. Seems everybody wants to come to a Disney wedding. I feel like them have all held our hand through the whole process. My daughter’s wedding is 9/8/19.
    I’m so happy to read this. I hope my daughter has a similar experience.

    Enjoy your daughter’s special day.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    We have been lucky too with my dd's wedding planner and assistant. When she needed to speak to her in person/phone - they set up a day/time via emails.

    No complaints so far. We will actually have a different planner for the wedding since she will be out on maternity leave. In the early stages, it was all a bit overwhelming for me as the mom. My dd has done most of the planning and communicating. I am also on the contract and we have communicated once or twice and we met at the planning session.

    I am feeling more confident that it will all be great and work out. They have been reassuring and I have received lot's of positive feedback from brides/parents.

    Good luck to everyone. We are 4 months away. I can't wait. Excited, anxious and can't wait for it to be over. I do hope we enjoy every moment that day of course.
    Good news.

    Have a great time at your daughter’s wedding.
     

    madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    An update: With encouragement from Lurkyloo (THANK YOU AGAIN!) we have switched our wedding planner. The difference between the new planner and the other one is like night and day, so I'm so happy I went with my gut on this! The new planner (her name is Carol) gets back to me either the same day or the next business day, no more week long waiting, wondering if they received my message at all, and then my questions or concerns going unanswered. I am so glad I spoke up and voiced all my concerns about everything that was happening with my previous planner, because Disney went above and beyond to correct those concerns and now I am no longer stressed that something will be wrong on my wedding day, my confidence has been restored. Though I was really reluctant to rock the boat and complain, the thing that ultimately made me do it was an article I read where a fellow Dis bride lamented not going with her gut and switching her planner the moment she felt the relationship was off, because she ended up having many things go wrong on her wedding day. It's hard to have confidence someone will be on the ball for your wedding day if you don't feel like they're on the ball during planning, so I guess the overall lesson learned reiterates what that other disbride unfortunately had to learn the hard way- if the relationship feels off with your planner, GO WITH YOUR GUT AND SPEAK UP! Planning a wedding is stressful enough without adding these problems into the mix, especially because we're paying Disney a great deal of money to take care of things for us.
     

    madqueen

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2013
    We have been lucky too with my dd's wedding planner and assistant. When she needed to speak to her in person/phone - they set up a day/time via emails.

    No complaints so far. We will actually have a different planner for the wedding since she will be out on maternity leave. In the early stages, it was all a bit overwhelming for me as the mom. My dd has done most of the planning and communicating. I am also on the contract and we have communicated once or twice and we met at the planning session.

    I am feeling more confident that it will all be great and work out. They have been reassuring and I have received lot's of positive feedback from brides/parents.

    Good luck to everyone. We are 4 months away. I can't wait. Excited, anxious and can't wait for it to be over. I do hope we enjoy every moment that day of course.
    So happy to hear this! I think the majority of the planners are really great, so it doesn't surprise me! Actually I read a few good reviews for my previous planner, the one that I switched. She was super nice, no complaints there, but the communication thing was a huge issue for us. Maybe she just had too many brides on her plate or maybe we just didn't "click". Anyway, I share your sentiments, we can't wait for it to be over, excited, anxious, etc. Part of me doesn't know what I'll do once it is over though, I feel like this wedding has literally consumed my life for the last year LOL! I hope you and your daughter enjoy the remaining months of planning and enjoy the wedding day even more!
     

    Brittany Fata

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2018
    An update: With encouragement from Lurkyloo (THANK YOU AGAIN!) we have switched our wedding planner. The difference between the new planner and the other one is like night and day, so I'm so happy I went with my gut on this! The new planner (her name is Carol) gets back to me either the same day or the next business day, no more week long waiting, wondering if they received my message at all, and then my questions or concerns going unanswered. I am so glad I spoke up and voiced all my concerns about everything that was happening with my previous planner, because Disney went above and beyond to correct those concerns and now I am no longer stressed that something will be wrong on my wedding day, my confidence has been restored. Though I was really reluctant to rock the boat and complain, the thing that ultimately made me do it was an article I read where a fellow Dis bride lamented not going with her gut and switching her planner the moment she felt the relationship was off, because she ended up having many things go wrong on her wedding day. It's hard to have confidence someone will be on the ball for your wedding day if you don't feel like they're on the ball during planning, so I guess the overall lesson learned reiterates what that other disbride unfortunately had to learn the hard way- if the relationship feels off with your planner, GO WITH YOUR GUT AND SPEAK UP! Planning a wedding is stressful enough without adding these problems into the mix, especially because we're paying Disney a great deal of money to take care of things for us.
    Out of curiosity how do you go about switching your planner? Who did you contact at Disney to do so?

    Thanks!
     

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