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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Venue Event Managers and Hiring Your Own Wedding Coordinator. Now, That is a Winning Team!

Maybe you have heard a bride say, “The Wedding Coordinator at the hotel is taking care of everything so I don’t need a Wedding Coordinator!”  These hard-working people who I will refer to as Event Managers, do a wonderful job of helping you plan the event, but on the day of the wedding, they cannot be there for you every minute of your wedding reception.  They will be looking at aspects of your reception from a somewhat different perspective than a Wedding Coordinator.  The Event Manager is going to be busy making sure that the venue staff are on target as to what they are supposed to do.  This person is a busy person and can be frequently called away to take care of another problem that might arise at the venue.  They have to take care of problems related to the venue itself because their regular job goes on.  
More often than not, I hear from venue and hotel event managers that they are relieved when a bride has hired a Wedding Coordinator and will often ask a bride if they have hired a coordinator.  That might come across as just the opposite of what you were expecting!  So why is this the case?  They like knowing that there is someone there who can be available for the bride at all times and a Wedding Coordinator will know who to talk to if problems arise.  For myself, I always get acquainted on some level with all the people involved with your wedding.  This is especially true with a Full-Planning Package and on a smaller scale with a Day-of Coordination Package.  I make sure that everyone you have hired as well as your wedding party are on the same page and has a clear picture of who is to be where and when.  If any changes come up, you don’t need to make all the phone calls, I do that.  If you want the DJ to turn the music down a little bit, I can relay that request for you. If you want the DJ to make an additional announcement, I will relay that on to the DJ.  Perhaps you want the DJ to be able to have a meal since he or she is going to be there for several hours, I can ask him or her what they would like to eat and at least bring them some food if that is what they want or need.  Individual vendors have their own opinion on the food issue.
Your guests will soon figure out that you have a Wedding Coordinator, and they feel that they have someone to talk to if they have a question or concern.  I personally love this part of my job and do not consider it a nuisance at all!  These are the people who are special to you and I remember that constantly.  At your wedding I become concerned for them as if they were my own friends and family.  I want them to be comfortable and have a liaison for them as well regarding the venue or anything else.  You can tell me ahead of time what or who you want me to pay some extra attention to.  I find that grandmothers really like to be doted on little bit.  There have been some cases where they have lost a spouse and it can be a day filled with so many mixed emotions for them.  They will often feel better if someone makes them feel special with a little hug or a bit of laughter.  Some people can feel very alone in a crowd and I can make sure you have something built into the whole plan to help those individuals out.  That’s another topic that I could dedicate a whole blog to that I refer to as the 6th sense called Quiet!  These people need to have a space to escape to at the venue where they can enjoy your wedding day, but away from the crowd without looking like they are standoffish.  
Venue Event Managers do a great job of making sure that everything looks the way you want it to, and that the food is as it should be.  A Wedding Coordinator will be looking at these things, too, but a Wedding Coordinator will be continually looking for expressions on your face that will look like you have a concern.  If you and your groom are dancing and your faces are dripping with sweat, I doubt that the Event Manager is going to be able to bring a water bottle to you along with a cloth to dab the sweat away from your face and ask how you doing.  
You might have no way of knowing at some venues if you are overpaying for something, or if there are questions you could ask that could make a big difference in the outcome regarding expenses of your wedding reception.  If you use a Wedding Coordinator you might even get a discount on your total reception costs.  Did you know that many venues will give a coordinator a percentage of the total event costs if a Wedding Coordinator has brought a client to them?  The same holds true for the other vendors involved with your wedding.  This is because they value those who bring them business.  It is advertising that they don’t have to do.  In most cases, a Wedding Coordinator will have a majority if not all of that savings passed along to you. 
 As Wedding Coordinators, we know a little bit of “Venue Speak”.   I let clients know that the word provide at a venue does not necessarily mean free!  Not that any particular request should be free, but are you aware of how much that extra something might cost you?  Sometimes these little extras might not come into your mind until the day of your wedding and you are not thinking of the costs at that moment.  Hopefully, a Wedding Coordinator will have thought of these details ahead of time so you don’t run into this situation.  
A Wedding Coordinator will have your reception on a timeline down to as little as every 5 minutes if need be and can help assure that you aren’t worrying about paying for an extra hour for the photographer, videographer, DJ or limo driver due to things not being on schedule.  We know where to build in cushions of time to allow for a few little surprises, but you as a bride will not have to be worrying about it.  However, if a bride and groom or their parents or say a sibling’s flight is delayed and they are a couple hours late causing an extreme unexpected delay, it might be up to the vendors to decide  how to handle their own situation.
There are at least two things that I think all Wedding Coordinators have in common.  They love people and they enjoy helping a bride and groom and their loved ones.  I guess I could add one more thing they have in common.  A minimum of one pair of comfortable shoes!
Wishing you the Greatest of Days!