Google Weddings in Spain and a whole host of websites will leap out at you.
Some are gruesome, some are OK, some are quite interesting and some are fab and exactly how you see your dream day in Andalucia.
The heart of Spain is a popular destination wedding area and many couples dream of a beautifully hot sunny wedding on the beach or inland in the olive groves of Andalucia.
However, for busy professional people, and perhaps, the not so busy, the thought of spending over 6 weeks, in total, planning your wedding abroad becomes an impossible task so having googled all the possibilities available to you, you finally email a few companies, not the gruesome ones! to see how much damage they will do to your already over stretched wedding budget.
(Note to most of our brides at this point H2B is normally breathing down your neck and this is usually the first potential row on the horizon as you throw your organised wedding planning role in)!
You have contemplated doing it yourself to save on money and have found enough information on the internet to book your dream day, but as the wedding planning progresses you hit a wall, run out of time and the actual thought of your mobile phone lodged firmly down the front of your wedding dress on your actual wedding day is not appealing.
Worse still the thought of your parents manning the phones is just not even thinkable let alone acceptable, if they are anything like mine they can barely text! I am not even going to go down the best mate or sister is great route this is truly not on the cards!
This is normally when the sleepless nights and nightmares start!
You have no idea whether the suppliers you have booked even exist, let alone are reliable, and of course you want to enjoy your day and not be worried and at your wits end by the time you say I do 🙂
Having had yet another sleepless, harrowing night you have been up early and narrowed down your top 5 websites so you throw caution to the wind and email them, you might have even been super organised and booked the venue so you google that as well to see who has worked there.
Lo and behold you get prices, information and feedback from 3 out of the 5 planners you have contacted, three super speedy and efficient planners have replied within 48 hours, tick a box, good start.
The other two will reply after your wedding whilst you are on honeymoon in the Maldives 4 months later.
We are in Spain after all said and done!
Some seem cheap, great news, some have planning added on as bolt on to their company, better still, kill two birds with one stone, well hopefully not at your wedding!
Others even offer free wedding websites, yipee yet another saving in the wild and rocky world of wedding budgets 🙂 H2B´s are normally impressed with this one!
But what do you really want, are you really interested in a free wedding website?
Let´s face it Google offer a whole host of wedding tools including websites to help you plan your wedding. Try googling free wedding websites and you would be amazed at what pops up, but that is a different blogpost!
So you want a run of the mill wedding, a venue or a church, or both as they are offered, that obviously churns out wedding after wedding or do you want something different, tailor made, created just for you?
I would hazard a guess that the majority of couples would shout yes please it is all about us and our day, it is special but we have a budget and want to use it to the maximum.
The 10K hotel conveyor belt is looking interesting and by now quite appealing, fitting within your budget and includes, if you are lucky, a free taxi to the church but is this really you?
Finally, thank the saving grace of Google, you have found the perfect planner, they have organised lots of weddings and only charge a few hundred euros, result!
Yet, apparently they will spend about 80 man hours running around for you and organising your dream day, they will be there for at least 10 hours on your actual wedding day, will recommend and organise suppliers, pay suppliers and all the things that tick the boxes. Heaven has just landed on your doorstep and you are sold.
But hold on a minute, think about it, are they really going to run around for you and devote their life and time to you for on an average of 90 hours for 800 euros? This is less than 10 euros an hour?
No of course they are not, many planners here in Spain only work with suppliers that will offer them a commission, it is normal apparently and makes good business practise?!
I quote this from a wedding planner here who was surprised when I stated I was not offering or accepting commissions. We have since parted company needless to say as I am not feathering their nest anymore. I also did not want to jump onto yet another conveyor belt wedding scenario belting out wedding after wedding at one particular venue as this is just not our style.
So they have charged you what you think is a fair fee but are you happy in the knowledge that they are probably raking in at least another 1000 euros from all the suppliers they book for your wedding? Normally without your knowledge or disclosing to you what they are being paid from the suppliers.
Do you think this is conducive to a close working relationship? Or are you left wondering how much that wedding cake would have really cost had you booked directly or how much the DJ really charges, how much the caterers, a large budget, hand over to the planner?
Are you confident that your planner is offering you the right choices of suppliers or is merely driven by how much commission they will get and perhaps not suggesting the right person for your wedding as they don´t pay commission?
I know planners that will not recommend photographers because they make such a huge commission from one particular one that is in my opinion rubbish, but this is all the client is offered. To be honest the stories I could tell are horrifying and it abhors me that this goes on in wedding world here.
I have two sides to my business, the design, decoration and floral business is fantastic and offers an amazing range of decorations and flowers and yet many planners will not recommend us because we do not pay commissions to them but why should we.
All it means is we cut the clients budget by 10% so they are not getting their true value spent, we would have to provide something that accommodated the price not what the client was actually paying, this for me is unacceptable.
Sad but true unfortunately and yet we are unique here in what we offer, there is no one else like us that provide such a great service and encompasses so many things from chair covers and sashes, linens, vintage furniture hire, flowers, stationery the list goes on and on.
But many planners will just recommend the florist down the road because they rake in yet another 10% commission from them. Is this right?
Our planning business charges a fee for our professional services, but we do not accept commissions from our suppliers so what does this mean to you?
For me personally it means we can develop a great relationship with you, we are not hiding anything from you. We are passionate about what we do and are strict when it comes to moral business ethics, we do not accept commissions from our suppliers. If we are paid a commission that is unavoidable from a hotel or caterer or gain a discount or get a commission we give it back to our clients.
We will offer you a supplier that fits your needs not based on our personal gain and if we can get something extra for you because of our relationship with that supplier then great.
I do hope next time you google wedding planners in Spain this will make you think before you leap and although some planners might seem slightly more expensive, really think about what you want from them rather than opt for the cheap version with the free website thrown in.
I will of course do a blog post on free wedding websites shortly as well but in the meantime just check out Google Weddings 🙂