Archive for May 5th, 2010

Why you need a co-ordinator

Okay, just a little blog to toot my own horn and to hopefully have anyone who is on the fence about hiring a co-ordinator if they don’t have to, realise they do.

We are your allies on the day.  We are there to ensure that everything you are anticipating or expecting to be provided or done by any of the vendors you have hired is.  This way you get to relax and  enjoy, not sit there dealing with problems or wondering what is going on.

I had a wedding recently where we had a sales person we dealt with, but on the day a totally different person took over the event.  Now this is normally what happens at hotels, but the difference is with the 5 star hotels you must have a co-ordinator so if you are respectful your way goes, for the 3-4 star hotels the banquet captains will normally do whatever you say needs to be done.  In this situation we had walked the area with the sales person and this bride was particular about things being in certain places and would be expecting those things to be as we were told.  I did not get a revised beo from the sales person which I requested so I could be sure that everything from our walk through was covered, so note to self when dealing with this location again, I will be adamant and get a revision.  After the guests were at the dining tables I went to the courtyard to get something and noticed the bar and bartender were there, I asked him when he was moving inside (where he was supposed to be going and to a very specific area), he said he was not going inside and was staying outside all night.  Now, this couple had a 4 hour bar package, and I can tell you, if this bar stayed where it was, not one person would have thought to go all the way out to this side courtyard not visible to anything and look for the bar, they would have just assumed there was no longer a bar, or we would have had to keep having the dj announce that the bar was still in the courtyard.  I went to the day of banquet manager who knew nothing of the bar being moved, argued with me, I told him to contact the sales person, and told him the bride would be expecting the bar to be in this special room/area.  Within 30 minutes it was in there, but without me noticing and putting my foot down, wouldn’t have happened.

Next situation, we had talked about the cake being in a certain area, sales person agreed it would work.  Banquet captain on the day was again adamant it would not fit.  I asked him to humor me and try the tables in the way we had discussed with the sales manager, and if it didn’t work he could go back to his ‘normal’ way.  Of course my way worked, looked fabulous, and the bride when she saw the room for the first time, cried, ‘Lisa it all looks so beautiful and just as we talked about’.

This wedding started mid afternoon, so their ending time was early at 9pm, based on the normal hours this location books the rooms for.  This couple was concerned that they wouldn’t be ready to leave this early, so the detailed timeline had variations of ending times on it, based on them extending, all overtime for the location and any vendors was shown, so there would be no suprises on the night if they decided to extend.  Of course I had to ask the sales manager what the overtime would be, otherwise how would I know, and also to ensure it was even possible.  Banquet manager on the day knew nothing and was quite perturbed that we were even considering this.  He left an hour before the original ending time and we did go another 1/2 hour with his 2nd in charge finishing things up.  If I had not been there, this wedding would have ended at the contracted ending time, but they would not have been ready to end and it would have been quite depressing.  The time we ended meant the right amount of time, and it ended on a high note.

Lastly, the bar, I mentioned earlier they had a 4 hour bar package.  The arrangement we made with the sales person was that when the guests left cocktails to come to the tables, and then grand entrance/first dance/toasts etc, for that time, around 1 hour, the bar would be closed (giving time to move it, yes these are all the things that related to each other, so I know I wasn’t going crazy), but we could keep this hour and add it on for when we reopened the bar at dinner service.  So if we extended the bar was good until 9:30pm, if we ended at the contracted time, the location got 1/2 hour of bar we never used.  The banquet manager came to me just before he left to suggest that at 8:20pm we do a last call for the bar as it would be closing at 8:30pm.  I told him we had the bar until 9:30pm due to the arrangement with the sales manager.  He knew nothing of this and was quite upset about it and caused quite a scene infront of the other vendors where I was when he came to make the suggestion.  Needless to say, I held my ground, showed him the detailed timeline that gave this info, and the bar stayed open until 9:30pm.  If I had not been there the bar would have closed at 8:30pm, guests would have been none the wiser but just not been able to get drinks, and as my couple was not drinking, just dancing a lot, they would have had no idea that their guests were not able to get drinks for the last hour.

Now everything I mentioned above, was on a very detailed timeline/order of events I had supplied a draft and then final to the sales manager, reiterating that if something was not correct to let me know so I could tweak my timeline.  Everything on it had been verbally confirmed at meetings with vendors and were details and items that were important to the bride.  I made sure it all happened.  Without me, I feel sure, the couple would have realised some things were not happening as they were supposed to, there would have been quite a damper put on their event (as she was a bride that was quite into the details), she would have had to start working the event to have it be as she wanted, and probably they would have spent their honeymoon working out what their complaint letter was going to say to the location, and the location would have ended up refunding the couple for all the things that they did not follow through on that then ‘ruined the couples wedding’.

That, my friends, is why you need me/us.  There will be no letter to the location, the bride & groom don’t even know half of what I was dealing with with the location on the night to get things right, and that is how it is supposed to be.  We are your eyes and ears and protector of the dream/vision.  Now for the next time I have a bride who has picked this location, or I decide it is a good fit for a bride who needs a location, we will go in with a much more educated mind when it comes to dealing with them, and I will not need to be doing all that extra work/babysitting.  Whew.

Let me help you enjoy your day!!!

Till next time


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