I have gotten many questions from potential clients about the role of site coordinators vs. wedding consultants – and why a couple would want or even need both.
I have alluded to the advantages of hiring private consultant in another blog entry, but here, I would like to touch on the advantages of having both the site coordinator and a wedding coordinator as part of your team. I always feel that having 2 people is better than 1, and three people better than 2. A thousand things can come up on your wedding day, and I feel it is always better to have more people rather than less to attend to those details and ensure your perfect day.
In this day and age where money is tight and time is not abundant, companies are attempting to become one stop shops. I have even witnessed some venues attempting to market only their coordinator by shutting out others – charging more money to have a coordinator, or not allowing private consultants at all. This is not good for anyone – the couple or the venue. I will be the first to admit that private consultants are not innocent all together. Inexperience in the industry is abundant. Not only venues, but other vendors, have had bad experiences with inexperienced planners/coordinators. I have experienced people being very reluctant and even hostile prior to working with me. Needless to say, the attitude changes after seeing how I work, but it doesn’t make it comfortable in the beginning.
Site coordinators are absolutely wonderful! More times than not, they have done hundreds of weddings at the venue and knows what works and what doesn’t. They give advice of a person with experience. They have a handle on the food (if the site has its own caterer) and can work with the consultant to coordinate the food and timeline. Often times, they can also handle rental deliver and pick up (if your caterer is not handling those details). On the other hand, private consultants can help you to plan/coordinate the day as a whole – and tend to those details which are not handled by a site coordinator, such as delivery of flowers, pick up and drop of times of limos and other transport, and arrangements with stylists, just to name a few.
There have been a few occasions where I am setting up the reception; something comes up where the Bride or Groom needs me at the ceremony site earlier than expected. I have gone to the site coordinator, gave her my set up list and asked her if she could continue while I tend to other details. Likewise, I am able, and have, picked up for the site coordinator when things have come up.
Often times, the ceremony is elsewhere, where site coordinator doesn’t have jurisdiction. Your private consultant can oversee your entire day, while the site coordinator and consultant oversee the success of the reception together.
In the event the ceremony and reception are in the same place, you have two people overseeing everything. Why should this be a bad thing? The couple is covered pre-ceremony by the consultant. The consultant will know all the details regarding flower delivery, photography schedules, and hair and make-up schedules. You will then have multiple people helping to line up wedding party members and cue musicians. The consultant and her/his team are tending to details and the site coordinator and his/her team can tend to other details. When everyone communicates and works together, everything runs smoothly.
The downfall of private consultants, especially inexperienced ones, is that they are intimated by venues with site coordinators (which happen to be almost all venues). They often feel that they have to “run the show” to the detriment of others. The downfall to site coordinators is that they have done hundreds of weddings at the site and know what works and what doesn’t. Often times a fresh perspective is exactly what’s needed. The ability to have confidence in both coordinators is paramount. The ability to be professional and work together is what will make the most perfect day for the Bride and Groom – which should be the ultimate goal.