Friday, August 17, 2012

Wedding Planner/Designer/Coordinator.… is there a difference? Part 2

After last weeks post I know you’re all straight on the differences between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer right? This week we’re going to take on Wedding Coordinators and onsite Venue Coordinators/Event Managers and clarify those for you… I hope!
A day of Wedding Coordinator is generally not very involved with planning the wedding. The wedding coordinator is on site on the day of the wedding and helps to facilitate a smooth running event, making sure everything is coming together according to plan; that’s what their primary function is. They’re often hired a month, more or less, before the wedding to finalize last minute details, confirm vendor obligations, create a timeline, and oversee the set-up of the decor. Many wedding planners offer or include day of wedding coordination services to their clients as part of their overall service package, however you should know that wedding coordinators/day-of-coordinators are very different from wedding planners or wedding designers. Their responsibility for anything going wrong, or turning out brilliantly for that matter, can be limited, as for the most part they are there to oversee the plans that were made by somebody else. A wedding coordinator should also not be confused with a Venue Coordinator. Weddings Vallarta by Barbara
Weddings Vallarta by BarbaraAn onsite Venue Coordinator or Event Manager is hired by the venue, a hotel/resort for example, to ensure your wedding follows the rules and regulations of the space. They’ll look after coordinating your menu, supervise the set up of tables, chairs, china etc., make sure your bouquet gets to you and the staff puts the floral centerpieces on the tables, but may not be of any assistance when it comes to personalized details, décor or custom items that you want to include.  They also may be of little help when it comes to creating and executing your timeline; cueing you down the aisle; making sure the violinists are there and playing your processional music at the right time; readying you for the speeches, announcing your first dance or the cake cutting; and carrying out all the various other important moments of the day. Most significantly, a venue coordinator works for the venue; their job is to answer your questions about the venue and assist you with your venue layout. Their focus is to get the best revenue for the venue using items and resources owned by the venue and their job does not necessarily include all the other details that go into planning your wedding. Some venues can have more than one reception going on, very often at the same time and cannot allocate to you the personalized service you were expecting; and although on-site coordinators may be good at what they do and know what works well in the space, their capabilities can often be stretched out to cover many other responsibilities and job duties, besides just weddings… which can lead to frustrating communications and experiences, especially in a far off destination scenario.
If you want someone who will cue your bridal party, bustle your dress, set-up decor, let you know it’s time for the first dance and the cake cutting and announce it to your guests or assist with the hundred other details at a wedding, my suggestion would be that you hire a wedding professional not associated with your venue. They’ll work side-by-side with the venue coordinator to ensure everything and everyone flows smoothly and that everything you wanted has been looked after and done.
Weddings Vallarta by Barbara
Weddings Vallarta by BarbaraWeddings Vallarta by BarbaraAn independent Wedding Planner, Designer or Coordinator’s loyalty lies with you! A great wedding professional handles your stress, “talks you down” and in the process, makes you feel that everything is perfect, will be perfect or is going along perfectly, even (and most importantly) when it isn’t. They are there to fix what’s not working, what didn’t happen, what didn’t arrive and/or come up with solutions to make it all better…one way or another… so on the day of your wedding you can relax and enjoy your family and friends and the wonderful celebration you’ve created for yourselves and your loved ones! Weddings Vallarta by BarbaraPlanning a wedding can become extremely emotional and stressful; here is where an experienced wedding professional wears many hats!  They are your mediator, your stylist, your sounding board, your source for ideas and inspiration or simply a shoulder to cry on, happy or sad! So, when thinking about hiring a wedding planner, designer, coordinator or a 3 for 1 combo like we are here at Weddings Vallarta by Barbara, it’s important to get a good grasp on what your needs and desires are so you can focus on finding the right wedding professional to help you create the wedding you’ve dreaming of.

Happy Planning!
Weddings Vallarta by Barbara
**Photos courtesy of Josef Kandoll W. Photography

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