Wedding consultants vs On site coordinators

Weddings are constantly evolving and changing. There are more options, details, designs, and styles every day. A lot of couples desire original concepts and personal touches incorporated into their ceremony and reception.

Besides ceremonies and receptions, couples are making full weekends out of their wedding celebrations including elaborate rehearsal dinners, after parties, and a day after wedding breakfast or brunch.

With all these new options, it is getting harder and harder for couples to keep each wedding professional and task in order, thus, the use of a wedding coordinator is become less of a luxury and is quickly becoming a necessity.

The biggest question that couples seem to have is “What is the difference between an onsite wedding consultant (the person working at the venue) and contracted/hired (third party) wedding consultant?”

The truth is, we both have very different jobs. What you have to remember is that the onsite coordinator works for the VENUE (hotel, hall, park, etc) and third party consultants work for YOU. Although onsite coordinators usually go above and beyond to help make your day perfect, they do have limitations with their own crew to oversee and their own job to do. Here is a great summary of some of the differences that I received from the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay when I went to tour the facility earlier this year.
This is a great example of what to expect from each.

What does a Ritz-Carlton Wedding Specialist handle?
· Provide a list of special event professionals
· Act as a menu consultant for food and beverage selections
· Detail your banquet order and wedding resume outlining your entire event
· Create an estimate of charges outlining your financial commitment and payment schedule
· Create a floor plan of your function space to provide seating arrangements
· Oversee the details of the bride and groom’s room reservations (If applicable)
· Oversee the ceremony and reception room(s) set up, food preparations and other hotel operations
· Be the on-site liaison between your wedding consultant and hotel operations staff
· Ensure a seamless transition to the hotel’s banquet captain once the grand entrance has occurred.
· Review your banquet checks for accuracy prior to the completion of the final bill.
As you can see, the onsite coordinator handles a lot, but it all has to do with the hotel operations, staff and charges. This is true with almost every wedding venue. They have a business to run, and although they undoubtedly care very much about you and your event, their number one priority is their employer.

What does a contracted wedding coordinator/consultant handle?
· Assist with etiquette and protocol for invitations, family matters, ceremony and toasts.
· Create a timeline for your entire wedding day including the ceremony and reception.
· Work with you to organize and coordinate your ceremony rehearsal; remind bridal party of all pertinent “call times” and “don’t forgets” on your wedding day.
· Be the liaison with your family, bridal party, band/DJ, florist, photographer and other vendors to create a seamless operation.
· Assist the bride and bridal party with dressing.
· Ensure the ladies have corsages and bouquets and the pinning the boutonnieres.
· Deliver and arrange ceremony programs, escort cards, place cards, favors and any personal items.
· Coordinate the ceremony; line up bridal party, assist bride with dress, etc.
· Coordinate your reception; grand entrance, first dance, toasts, cake cutting, etc.
· Collect any personal items you may have brought at the conclusion of the reception.
· Assist you with full service coordinating from engagement to your honeymoon if needed.

The combination of a great on-site coordinator with a professionally trained wedding consultant means you won’t have to worry about a thing!


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