Monday, June 25, 2007

Taming the Runaway Wedding Planner

From yesterday's New York Times a very interesting piece on the role of wedding planners in weddings!! We were of course thrilled to see our dear friend Marcy Blum pictured and quoted!!! Kathryn and I go way back with Marcy, who has been one of our biggest supporters in this business - Kathryn worked with her in NYC for 2 years on all sorts of fabulous weddings (including Tom Clancy's at The St. Regis and also Jennifer Philbin - daughter of Regis & Joy when she married Michael Schur at The Pierre) and we both had the honor of working with her on the amazing wedding for Billy Joel when he married Katie Lee almost three years ago!!!

We love to see Marcy in the news...there is no one like her. Anywhere. A legend!

[Also check out this piece from the NY Sun a few years back - is a most perfect spotlight on who Marcy really is!!!]

Taming the Runaway Wedding Planner

Published: June 24, 2007

Saying “I do” to a wedding planner can be the second most important vow a newly engaged couple makes.

With people marrying later, more women working and weddings growing ever splashier, many couples are hiring planners to help sort through the dizzying choices concerning the location, invitations, flowers, photographers, color schemes, D.J.’s, bands, lighting, place cards, centerpieces, cakes and fog machines, to name a dozen.

But as the wedding planning field expands, some couples are finding that planners, like a broken engagement, can cause heartache.

David Mandel of Los Angeles, an executive producer of the HBO program “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and his bride, Dr. Rebecca Whitney, hired and dismissed two consultants because they were “planzillas.”

“It was like we had this mutual enemy — our wedding planner,” Mr. Mandel recalled. “We were not sleeping well. It was beyond miserable.”

The first, who Mr. Mandel said was “very well known in Los Angeles,” dropped out of sight for a month after the first meeting with the couple. The second tried to steer them to a hotel in Palm Springs with which she frequently did business.

The proposed wedding approached $1 million, “hundreds of thousands of dollars more than we originally thought,” Mr. Mandel said. “She was getting 20 percent of whatever our wedding was going to cost, so she was negotiating in her best interest, not ours.”

Finally, Mr. Mandel and his bride, a pediatrician, found a third planner they liked. They were happily wed last New Year’s Eve in New York, at Cipriani 42nd Street.

The couple’s experience was not all that rare, as even some wedding planners acknowledge.

“I’ve been doing this my whole life, long enough to know that some of us in this business are a little full of ourselves,” said
Marcy Blum, a New York planner who got in on the ground floor of the field in 1986, when the number of planners nationwide was fewer than a thousand.

“In fact,” she said, “a lot of wedding planners are entering the field with no training, so buyer beware.”

Read entire article

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