When meeting with a new client, somehow this question always comes up:
"I have a banquet/catering coordinator that the hall said will be there on the day of the wedding who says I don’t ‘need’ a wedding coordinator. So why should I hire you?"
First of all, I have nothing against banquet or catering coordinators. I think the role is absolutely necessary and you definitely need one on the day of the wedding. They are our best partners on the wedding day.
However, there is a HUGELY distinct difference between what we do - as day-of coordinators, as wedding planners - and what banquet/catering coordinators do.
Banquet and catering coordinators are hired by the respective event venue to serve in the best interest of the venue and client.
All inquiries related to the hall, the layout, and the food are their responsibility. So this means anything to do with your guest count, what kind of champagne to serve, what meal selections to make, when the cocktail hour is - this is for them to help you decide. Logistically, they are the prime go-to for anything to do with the food and numbers side of your banquet.
They are also hired to make sure the policies of the venue are adhered to - so they will want to know drop off times and contact information of your outside vendors. However, that is where their involvement in the rest of your wedding ends.
We all know that weddings are not limited to just the food. There are a billion other little details that banquet coordinators are not responsible for, nor should they be. As in, what is your music selection for your first dance, how your wedding centerpieces are supposed to be set up (red flowers instead of blue flowers?!), who will be in charge of the money box after the reception has started, etc. etc..
Enter: Wedding coordinator.
While the venue coordinators take care of making sure your meal starts and ends on time, your guests have enough to drink, and extra place settings are provided for “unexpected” guests, a wedding coordinator’s job is to ensure that everything else happens the way that it should; from ensuring that your ceremony AND reception starts on time (and stays on time!), ensuring your vendors do what they should, payments are made, and everything in between.
We are the resilient, adaptive service people that make sure that even the littlest things are taken care of for the WHOLE day. This starts from the time the bride begins preparing for her big day, all the way up until the massively decadent sweets table is open at the end of the night.
And finally, coordinators take care of what they take care of best: EMERGENCIES (i.e. wedding dress rips, officiant is nowhere to be found, 1/2 of performance troupe is sick and cannot perform, DJ says the wrong name/plays the wrong song, guests want to switch seats, decor not quite right, bride’s evening gown wasn’t brought to the venue… the list goes on, and I don’t want to scare you).
So when considering hiring a wedding coordinator, think about the benefits that a venue coordinator can’t offer:
1 - Ensures your vision becomes a reality from beginning to end
2 - Ensures your whole day runs smoothly - not just the reception
3 - Maintains ORGANIZATION, starting from 2 weeks (or more) before your wedding
4 - Manages your vendors, guests and all the details
5 - Is a resource of knowledge, sounding board for decisions, a mediator, a therapist, a stress reducer, and a friend!
Until next time,