It’s All the Same Anyway, Right?

This is going to be a super-quick post.  This month is my busiest yet, and I’m knee-deep in designing, planning, and coordinating for events through next summer!  Unfortunately blogging isn’t essential at the moment, so it’s fallen sort of by the wayside.  That said, I have so many exciting things to blog about that I’m going to have to catch up soon!

What drove me to post today, though, was this: No matter how good your photographer, or florist, or DJ, or church coordinator, or catering manager is, they are not a wedding planner or coordinator.  Many other vendors have extensive experience with weddings, and can give you advice.  But none will be able to help you with the planning process, or to run every aspect of your wedding day, like a planner/coordinator.

In just the same way, your planner or coordinator could potentially make announcements at your wedding, or put together a vase of flowers and make it look passable, or take a decent photograph of you and your husband.  But having a professional DJ, or florist, or photographer at your wedding will ensure that the quality of your wedding music and announcements, floral arrangements, and photographs is top-notch.  Your planner/coordinator doesn’t emcee or put together florals or take photographs for a living.  She  plans and coordinates weddings.

Your DJ should be focusing on the music, the dancing, the party.  Your florist should be focusing on the florals (and typically will not stay throughout the day, as a planner/coordinator will, although many florists do provide event design/setup services).  Your photographer should be focusing on taking all the right photographs.  Your catering manager should be focused on getting the food out to your guests.  Your planner/coordinator sees the big picture.  She will be making sure that all of these parts work in concert with one another.  Your DJ, or florist, or photographer, or catering manager, cannot possibly get done their job and stand in for a planner or coordinator.

On a typical wedding day, as a simple Day-of-Wedding Coordinator, I will be onsite three to four hours before a wedding begins, or more.  I’ll meet every vendor as they arrive, check in to make sure that they have everything they need, make sure that they have the timeline you and I have worked on and distributed, set up all the details you’ve worked so hard on putting together, and check in with the bride and groom to make sure that they’re ready for the ceremony.  I’ve usually walked several miles back and forth between ceremony and reception (even if they’re on the same property) before the ceremony even begins.  I’ve got the whole day in my head, all questions come to me, and I have to be available at a moment’s notice to fix any problems that come up.  I also have to make sure that everything happens when it’s supposed to.

Imagine this scenario: Your ceremony starts late because Grandma got stuck in traffic, so your reception doesn’t get started on time, your father’s speech goes on forever, and you’ve only paid for six hours of photography.  Your DJ is spinning.  Your catering manager is getting people fed.  Your photographer is taking photos.  Your florist isn’t around at all by this time.  I make sure that your wedding reception schedule gets rearranged – on the fly – in a way that makes sense and still allows your photographer to capture your important wedding moments.

A great many people in the wedding industry say that part of their package is coordinating and planning.  From venues to vendors, it shows up a lot.

No matter how experienced a vendor is, or how many weddings a venue hosts per year, every person involved in your wedding has a very specific job on your wedding day.  You can’t replace a planner/coordinator with another vendor without quality suffering.  This isn’t a post in favor of increasing my own paycheck or business – I know that not everyone can afford even Day-of Coordination, and I’m not trying to talk anyone into anything.

But please know that if you forego the services of a planner/coordinator in favor of the “event planning and coordination” service of another wedding professional (DJ, florist, photographer, catering manager, or any other vendor), you will not be getting the same level of service, expertise, and quality that you would with a planning and coordination professional.

That’s all – I’m stepping off my soapbox now so I can go back to getting done the work I need to do!  Hopefully I’ll be able to check in some time next week with some pretty photos!

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