Two Heads Are Better Than One
Our Special Moments Event Planning team hears from couples all the time that “our venue told us we didn’t need to hire a wedding planner.”
Unfortunately, too often when they are telling us this they have been struggling with wedding planning for months on end, and sometimes from out of state.
The truth is that having both a venue coordinator (sometimes called a catering sales manager) and an independent wedding planner has enormous benefits.
Breaking down some of the terminology and roles might make it easier for you to understand.
This is a person, as the name implies that works for your wedding venue. They are typically selling event spaces and handle your booking and scheduling for the wedding facility.
You’ll often find them at a historic home, museum, or venue which allows you to bring in your own catering.
A venue coordinator might also be onsite the day of your wedding, they are the facility’s representative. Unlocking the venue, checking heat, air, lights, and bathrooms.
A CSM or Catering Sales Manager might be the person you are working with at a venue that also provides in-house catering (like a private club or hotel). They may also be in addition to having a Venue Coordinator if you are bringing in an outside caterer.
Their primary function is related to, as the name implies, catering. Menu selection, tastings, the timing of the reception – mostly around the schedule of food service, service and sometimes linen and other rentals.
Typically, either of these people can make recommendations for wedding vendors. Keep in mind it might be geared toward people who have worked at the venue, done a good job, and were easy to work with. This is NOT a bad thing!
However, they might not know specific details of their packages, pricing, and scope of their work, only what they have experienced working with them.
Additionally, there are pieces of wedding planning that go beyond the scope of either of these two job descriptions.
Wedding gown shopping, wording and proper etiquette for wedding invitations, a rehearsal dinner or welcome reception at another venue, and wedding favors, just to name a few.
Independent Wedding Planner
An independent wedding planner, whether for full-service planning or wedding day coordination is like a general contractor.
We tie all of the pieces together working with the venue coordinator and catering sales manager. We work with the venue coordinator to ensure that any special needs or requests you might have of the facility are taken care of. We’ll work with the catering sales manager on timing that weaves around the service of food like introductions, special dances, and toast.
Beyond those people we interact, confirm and connect all of the other wedding professionals, so your photographer and videographer know what the entire day looks like for the day, with your DJ or band, so everyone is on the same page with timing.
A wedding planner looks at the big picture, this is especially valuable when your wedding ceremony is not held in the same location as your wedding reception and involves additional vendors and possibly transportation.
So, if your wedding venue coordinator has told you that you don’t need a wedding planner be sure to ask them specifically about the scope of their work.
We are happy to work with them because two heads are better than one.
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