Ask the Experts: Are Referral Fees Ethical?

Posted by Azure on February 4th, 2010
Ask the Experts is our weekly check in with a panel of wedding professionals. Each week the expert panel answers a question about wedding planning or wedding ideas.

If you have a question for this panel of planners, photographers, caterers and other specialists then write

This week a bride asks: Dear Ask the Experts,

I’m considering hiring a wedding planner for my wedding, but I read a lot of conflicting information about how they work. Some people say that all wedding planners charge referral fees (which sound like kickbacks to me) from vendors, and those fees wind up getting charged back to the couple. I’ve even heard of planners charging referral fees for vendors the bride and groom found on their own. Other articles say that reputable planners don’t charge referral fees, and that you should have in your contract that they won’t. Do ALL planners charge referral fees? Is it ok for them to do this? What’s a polite way to ask a wedding planner about their policy?


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