When An Event Service Provider (Vendor) Says They Offer Wedding “Coordination”

What happens when an event partner such as a DJ or caterer says that they offer “wedding coordination”?

All of the event partners with whom we work are top notch in their field of expertise, and it’s why we love working in partnership with them. They know what they do best, and they excel at it.

Some other vendors, however, may offer various “pieces” of the puzzle of coordination on the day of the wedding and tempt you by saying that they can “coordinate” your wedding for a nominal upgrade fee. And that fee may be really tempting when you just received a quote from several professional wedding coordinators you have been interviewing. Besides the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, there are practical, behind-the-scenes, nuts-and-bolts services that you receive with a professional wedding coordinator that other service providers will not provide you. Sadly, you won’t know what was missed by a non-professional coordinator “coordinating” your wedding until the day-of, when one little missed item leads to a domino affect and avalanche. Think you’re ok with your perception of “sacrificing a few duties” to save a few dollars? Let me spell it out how that “little sacrifice” will translate on your wedding day:

A professional coordinator – even for “day-of” services- will offer, at minimum, full review of all your wedding planning and insist on seeing all your vendor contracts in advance. This is so he/she can review what every vendor needs and in the weeks preceding your wedding, act as a full advocate for you and also as an Ambassador to your event partners, making sure they have what they need for their contracted duties (electricity, rentals, linens, access for proper set up, break down) and much more. In fact, most professional wedding consultants also have a custom worksheet that knows all the questions to ask and details to give clients that are most commonly overlooked. A professional coordinator is not tied to any service but has the exclusive job of maintaining and implementing the client’s vision on the whole and helps to spot problems before they happen. They can only do this because they are not tied to a particular service.

DJ’s and caterers sometimes offer to help with a timeline for the reception and key events, and that is fine, but none offer to take the time to have vendors send every one of their individual contracts , review each one in detail, be the spokesperson and liaison between that vendor and the venue and/or client, do a detailed diagram and keep constant communication and lead the whole team of event partners in the weeks preceding and day of the wedding. Nor do they offer to be the main emergency contact for all vendors, the client, the client’s family, and the venue. Nor do they know proper ceremony order and etiquette on procession, recession, usher-duty and more. Why? Because their exclusive loyalty is their service/product (and it should be).

Some vendors say that they will contact all your vendors for you to find out what time they are arriving and put it on the timeline. Simply calling other vendors to ask what time they are arriving and striking for a loose “arrival and departure timeline” does nothing to actually benefit the event, its integrity, and most importantly: helping to spot problems in advance, because arrival and strike times are only 1% of the total picture and do nothing to show potential problems or overlap with other suppliers, etc.

For any event partner who offers to “coordinate” a wedding, they are not keeping their eyes on their own product and service, so how can you be sure that the service for which you hired them will meet or exceed your expectations? It is also poor for morale when other event partners feel “managed” by another service provider such as a DJ, caterer, photographer, etc. A professional coordinator is a paid, objective, and experienced leader who is respected by all to keep the good of the whole event going.

If you have been told by an event partner other than a professional coordinator that they will “coordinate” your wedding, we would be happy to review their proposal and give you a checklist of items that should be expected from your “coordinator” so you may compare apples with apples. Chances are, you are paying them a little extra cash to do hardly anything beneficial, which benefits them with a monetary bonus for maybe 10 minutes of extra “work”, but is not a wise use of precious (and often limited) wedding funds on the client’s end. Investing in a solid, objective and professional wedding coordinator is nothing short of solid wedding “insurance”.

Still have questions? Drop us an email. We’d love to hear from you and help!

About the author: Susie Tell

CEO and Founder of Tahoe Inspired Susie Tell brings a wealth of education, travel , life experience as well as years of professional expertise producing weddings, private events, fundraisers, galas, golf tournaments and more. Her passion for life is evident when one meets Susie and this enthusiasm and joy translates to events that are alive with soulful detail and energy.

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