So with engagement season here, or as someone called it, "engagement Christmas", I have been receiving a lot of inquiries for our services. Oh, I am not complaining, but as I sit here sipping on my green tea, I read some of these requests and am shocked by how many people still do not know the difference between a hired wedding coordinator and a site coordinator.
One of the requests I received asked if they could hire me on an hourly basis and split my time. The example given was start in the morning to make sure things get done properly, take a 4 hour break while the church ceremony and photographs happen, and then start again at the reception site. At the reception site they just wanted me there until all the fun happens and then I could leave. Granted that is typically when a coordinators job is done, unless hired for the entire night, when all the planned events are done. The crazy thing is, when I asked them why would they want to that, they replied "the church has a coordinator". Another one said "well the venue has a coordinator so, I don't need you for everything".
I guess I could of just said "yes" and get paid to do what they asked for, or say "no, it's not a right fit". Whatever the case maybe I chose to explain to them the difference.
A ceremony site or church coordinator makes sure that everyone and everything involved with the ceremony site runs smoothly. Basically, they are there to make sure the priest is their on time (unless you are out sourcing an officiant), lights are on, speakers and microphones all work, usher, and that the church or site gets cleaned before and after, If you are lucky they will help coordinate your bridal party's entrance and exit.
A venue coordinator will ensure that the meals gets served on time, lights are dimmed when necessary, ensure the cleaning of before and after the event. They are basically managing the venue not your event.
Most of these site coordinators do not work one on one with your other vendors to create a timeline for your wedding. If your florist is late or the baker still has not delivered your cake, the site manager will not handle these type situations. Again, I am not saying that all of them are this way. I have met very professional site managers that help you any way they can.
When you hire a professional wedding coordinator they are there for you throughout every event you plan for your wedding. To be honest, there is no such thing as Day of Coordinators. Our work starts at least one month before, but if you can give all your vendor information before that, than our work starts earlier. We create a timeline with the couple in mind. We make sure everything is where they need to be and when they need to be there. We not only manage at your ceremony site but at the venue as well. Personally, I work very close with all site managers. I communicate with vendors early on so that I can build a relationship with them. This way, on the day of I have already learned a little bit about them and assess their personalities. In doing so, I learn early on how to best communicate with everyone.
People also forget about everything else. While the couples get ready who will make sure the venue and the ceremony site is setup how you want it, or that your ride to these sites will be on time or make sure your DJ or the MC calls out the right name to the bridal party or that you transition smoothly from the bouquet and the garter toss to cake cutting and last call. After your first dance what's next? Are you planning to enjoy your wedding or work during your wedding? Leave the stress behind and hire a professional coordinator to facilitate your wedding. A wedding should be a celebration not a stressful job. So, please, when you hire your coordinator make sure you are not asking them to split their time. Their is so much to do in between!
I hope this has helped or at least entertained you. If you have any questions or suggestions please share them. I can only learn if I know what to do or not to do next.