Making the decision to fire your wedding planner, or any wedding vendor, is a difficult one. It's important that you try every possible avenue to get what you want from the vendor before you make the decision to cut the cord. If the vendor is your planner, you have to be sure you have all the following information before you sever ties: Names and contact information for all of your vendors, copies of all of your executed contracts, and deadline for payments due on contracts facilitated by the planner.
If you don't know how to get in touch with your DJ or your pastry chef, you're in a real pickle if you lose your temper and burn bridges with the planner when you fire her. Unless her contract explicitly states what she'll provide to you in the case of early termination of her contract, you have no guarantee that she'll behave professionally and make it easy for you. If you've exchanged a lot of nasty words, she's not going to go the extra mile. So before you jump the gun and fire somebody too close to your wedding date, take a step back and re-evaluate the situation.
Write a professional, detailed email to the planner and tell her what you're upset about, why you're disappointed with her services, etc. Be specific, but don't be nasty. Ask her how she can satisfy you and clear up your concerns about your wedding planning.
Sometimes, you don't have a choice. The planner has done something so egregious that you don't even want her at your wedding, much less in charge of it. In that case, you do need to fire her. But first, you have to get your wedding ducks in a row and make sure you have all of the information about all of your vendors.
It's okay to be a little sneaky and try to figure out who all of your vendors are on your own, ahead of severing your relationship with the planner. If any of your vendors have been subcontracted through the planner, you'll have to find out what the policies are regarding the transferring of contracts. The planner may have the right to cancel everybody on you if you've played it too nasty with her. Even if you get your deposits back, you won't have the vendors you need on your big day.
Firing your wedding planner isn't a decision to be taken lightly. But if your gut tells you it's the right thing to do, trust your instincts. I fired my wedding planner 12 years ago!
Sandy Malone is the owner of Sandy Malone Weddings & Events, a full-service traditional and destination wedding planning company and Do-It-Yourself wedding planning consulting service for DIY brides and grooms based in the Washington, DC area. Sandy is the star of TLC's reality show "Wedding Island," about her destination wedding planning company, Weddings in Vieques. Sandy's book "How to Plan Your Own Destination Wedding: Do-It-Yourself Tips from an Experienced Professional," will be released on March 1st, but is available online for pre-orders now where books are sold.