Location co-ordinators

June 8, 2013 lisasimpsonweddingcelebrations
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Do not be fooled. They are not the same/do the same as someone like me. When they work for a location, their goal is to ensure everything they are responsible for, ie food/beverage, any vendors they are providing is good to go for your day, but they don’t normally confirm your other vendors, or assist you in the planning months.

Here’s an example of two brides who had booked me for month of service (one because she had to have someone/but probably would have anyway, and the other because she was not feeling confidence with her full service hotel co-ordinator that everything was going to be handled and when she arrived after the church service would find all was well) just this week that I detailed. In going over/through everything with them, I came up with things they had not thought about or things that could have been a problem when the day came, such as:

A room layout that looked fine to me, but she commented that it wasn’t what she really wanted, I told her I had done in her room what she wanted about 3 times (hotel person was newish) and it could be done, she was so happy. Couple of other items in the layout I then questioned and she said she wasn’t given a choice.
She did not realise there was a charge of $250 for something she was offered and she accepted, so that would not have been a nice suprise for some.
She ordered some items to be used in a send off/exit, that hotel person commented how nice, but did not tell her she had to get fire dept approval. So she will be doing that and if it doesn’t work out (which I don’t think it will) we came up with a backup plan.
Had she notified her vendors they had to sign the code of conduct (more and more hotels are doing this now) and provided proof of liability insurance – ‘what?’ she said. I explained it, she then said, what say they don’t have it, I said they should if they are a business, and if they don’t they need to get day of insurance which they would probably pass charge onto her, if they will not get it, she is in a contract with them and this was not part of their contract with her from the beginning/a condition, so probably would not get a refund and be able to use someone else who has it, so as she has contracted with the hotel that her vendors will have it, she would then need to buy it and provide it on behalf of those vendors, it must be done as it only protects you the bride/couple from being sued by a guest if something goes wrong and a vendor/item causes some kind of damage to them/their life etc. I had one groom a couple of years ago book Pelican Resort, did not realise how serious they were about the insurance, none of his vendors had it, so where he had saved money in hiring inexpensive vendors, he now had to spend over 1k on liability insurance for all of them.

For the other I was looking thru her paperwork from the hotel (wedding in two weeks), I noticed that there was no food ordered for cocktail hour, I questioned hotel person they said bride had declined. I emailed bride & said not being sure if guests are going to eat lunch after church cere/late morning before things begin at hotel at 6pm, she needs to have something there or people will be complaining or get tipsy due to open bar but no food. Bride thought she had ordered hors d’oevures, so bit of a miscommunication there. On the day that would not have been fun as she would have heard about it later that night from guests, when there was nothing she could do.
She emailed me she was changing her florals to be more candelly. Great, except I read on hotel paperwork any candles by florist have to be signed off on by the local fire dept. I have worked with her florist before and this would be a first for them to do, not even sure if they would/it would pass, but now she is telling florist this has to happen. If I had not noticed that, her florist would have arrived on the day and been setting up her candle centerpieces and she would be told nothing could be lit, which would ruin/defeat the vision bride had. Disaster and disappointment when bride comes into ballroom averted.
All her vendors need clearance through the hotel prior to wedding day to even be able to get to loading dock on the day, or be on property. Most brides have this in their hotel contract & forget about it, her wedding is in a week, I am now contacting the vendors they booked so they get on this and it will be fine, again without me I believe none of this would have been caught and it would have been chaos and disappointment. Very similar to what you hear after weddings when people don’t hire someone to oversee everything on their behalf, we are the professionals and know what to look for/catch. She emailed me yesterday saying ‘what would I do without you’. Her wedding is coming up so soon, and I hate for her having to hear about/work on these things now rather than months ago when they should have been done, but better now than the day before when/if someone realises or on the wedding date when it is too late.

Sometimes what you are paying an outside co-ordinator can be offset by the vendors they recommend who have the insurance and can offer the product/look you want for less than you may be paying someone you found online or through friends. We don’t only recommend the high-end/expensive vendors. I have florists that work out of their home and photographers etc who don’t have studios or start with expensive packages, and they all have the liability insurance and know how to work/come prepared at the locations I work at. You may never have found these people on your own, they can do whatever whoever you googled can do, most of the time better for same or less price, and no headaches/lack of confidence attached. Sometimes even if the co-ordinator fee does not save you any $$, you are saved by the time you don’t waste sourcing vendors (not knowing who they are or how reputable they are, or are you getting value for money or on the day the product is not up to your expectations but from what I can see you got what you paid the low $ for), frustration of the unknown, and confidence in knowing that you have someone at your event who is overseeing everything with YOUR best interest/expectations in mind, so you can relax and be a guest at your own wedding. Price of that, hmmmm, priceless.

Till next time

714 305 7112

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June 2013

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