True story …. It was my last wedding of 2020. Everything was going great, bride-beaming, and bridesmaids all in a row. Then out of nowhere, the groom suddenly approaches me and utters a potentially terrifying statement, “I have something to confess.” Ready for anything, (after all I am an event planner, I ask him what’s going on and after a subtle pause, he said, “In the beginning, I really thought it was a waste of money to hire a wedding planner. I mean I knew we already had a “kickass” onsite venue wedding coordinator, but I look at my wife’s smile and think all you have done for us and I gotta say, I was so wrong!”
Many brides and grooms have asked us the same question, so let me share with you my experience, having worked both as an in-house planner and as an outside planner, and explain the differences and the values in both.
I had the opportunity to work in Hotels for a long time, before becoming a part of Amy Abbott Events. My job was onsite venue wedding coordinator, working side by side with many amazing wedding planners. I can now safely tell you, there’s a huge difference between the two positions and you don`t necessarily have to choose between one or the other. The truth is that you need both and you need to work with a planner who is experienced in working with the venue and has a strong understanding of the event planning as well as someone who supports not only the hotel but also has the goals of the coordinator and of course the client as a top priority. Teamwork between the hotel planner and the event planner is essential for the event to be a success.
There are different roles, ie differences between the hotel coordinator and the event planner and I am happy to share the differences with you.
The main difference is the scope of services. As an onsite venue wedding coordinator, you’re in charge of selling the venue and coordinating every happening or room reservation onsite. You’re the go-to person at the venue for everything and anything the bride and groom, and their guests need with respect to room reservations, food and beverage, and anything hotel /venue related. However, the moment the clients ask the onsite planner for something outside of the venue, they don’t have the leeway to go the extra mile for them. The reason for this is not because they don’t want to assist, but because they may have several events, site tours, and many other contracts and weddings and groups to assist with. For example, a venue may do 50 more weddings or corporate events a year, and those events are usually handled by one or two onsite planners. That translates to a full-time commitment to the venue and limited time to take care of the actual event details big or small. Don’t worry, that is where your offsite planner comes in and we are the ones that handle the endless details of the full weekend.
As a wedding planner, I am first and foremost an advocate for my happy couple. There’s a stronger bond between the bride and groom because you want to make sure their dreams become a reality for their special day. The really fun part is getting to know them and their personal style and finding options for curating their event to their specifications. We are by their side, step by step through the planning entire process, turning their wedding vision board into amazing moments and life-long memories. Flowers, place settings, music, food, stationary, and even little things that are not part of the original plan. We’re in charge of the big-picture logistics and looking after all the details from beginning to end. We are fiercely devoted to our clients.
Another important thing to mention is the vendors that each person chooses to work with. Generally, a venue has a preferred vendor list that they provide to the couple. This list can include everyone from photographers to florists. However, that list will only have a limited number of vendors and not necessarily the ones that are the fit best for you.
As wedding planners, we maintain relationships with a multitude of vendors and make it a point to match couples with vendors that meet their style and budget. We put extra effort to find the perfect photographer that will take the right pictures for our couples or the right band for them to dance to the entire night.
During the actual wedding day, we also have different roles; while as an onsite wedding coordinator you are focused on the performance of the venue -and depending on the venue this can mean juggling multiple weddings on the same day-; we as planners make sure to follow the wedding timeline we have worked during the planning process, ensure that the vendors arrive on time and that they execute what our clients expect, make sure the design looks as planned, we attend last minute changes or requests but most important we focus on you and on making sure you enjoy one of the most important days of your life.
In conclusion, I would say that having a venue onsite coordinator is super helpful they are the liaison with the venue at which the wedding is taking place and a great addition to your wedding day, as they understand the ins and outs of the venue itself; in the perfect world having both would be ideal so my best advice would be this, you should only be in charge of having the best time of your life, working as a team with the hotel planner we’ll handle everything else!
Till the next one