There are many, many venues out there, but something that can make or break your wedding is the Event Coordinator! You'd think it's pretty self explanatory what they should do: coordinate a successful event, but what exactly does that look like? And how can you tell from your initial meeting if they're going to be an asset or completely awful? The best advice I can give is to ask a lot of questions, carefully read the contract and read every single review available. Here are a few things to touch on with the venue's Event Coordinator in an initial meeting:
Set Up/Tear Down
In my personal opinion, I do not believe that any bride/groom/mother/father/aunt/cousin/etc. should have to set up or tear down for their wedding. That is a LOT of work, especially if this isn't something you do every day! Yes, DIY venues are sometimes necessary to stick within budgets, but think about it, do you really want to have to worry about that? Do you want to be dripping sweat the night before or maybe even the morning of your wedding? And then the day after when you're most likely slightly hungover and still on cloud 9 from an amazing wedding? This is something your Event Coordinator should do so you shouldn't have to lift a finger and can just enjoy every minute of your special day!
Let's be honest, there is a LOT that goes into wedding planning! There's so many vendors out there to look into and it can be completely overwhelming! A great Event Coordinator will sit down with you to discuss what you're looking for in vendors and what price point you want to stay within, not just give you a laundry list of options. I like to give 3 recommendations per vendor at a time. This way it's not completely overwhelming and causing you to feel stressed out right from the get-go.
Contact Vendors About Delivery Times
This seems like a no brainer, it's their "house" so they should be responsible for contacting vendors and giving them a window of time to deliver within, but there are many places that do not do this and it's put on the couple to contact vendors about delivery times. The best Event Coordinators not only contact vendors who are delivering/setting up, but also the photographer, videographer, etc. to give them the timeline early on in the week. This will help them plan and get everyone on the same page before they arrive at the venue.
Coordinate the Ceremony and Rehearsal
Again another no brainer, but you'd be surprised how many venues out there do not do this for you! Yes, you might have a bridesmaid/MOH/friend who got married last year and is offering to help, but they don't do this every day and a ceremony rehearsal can quickly turn into an all night event if you don't have a professional. Not only does an Event Coordinator help with getting everyone in order, cueing them and making sure it's moving along, but they have tips and tricks that will help ensure your photographer gets the best pictures!
Be At Your Event From Start To Finish
This might not be extremely important to you, but there aren't many places where the Event Coordinator is there the ENTIRE time. Most tend to leave after formalities/dinner service is done and that's ok, but don't you want one point of contact on one of the most special days of your life? Yes, there might be a banquet captain or staff member in charge after your Event Coordinator leaves, but you most likely just met them the day of your wedding and you might not feel as comfortable with this new person who is in control of the rest of your night.
Stick to the Timeline
Without an Event Coordinator, your timeline can really take a turn for the worst! If no one is in charge of moving everything along, it'll fall on the couple to make sure everything is going according to schedule. A great Event Coordinator will continuously check in with all vendors, especially photographer, to ensure everything is staying right on schedule. I tell my couples to approve the timeline and then they never have to worry about it again!
Be your Scapegoat/Sounding Board
In another blog post, you'll read all about how everyone will have an opinion or some "great idea" that they'll want you to incorporate in your wedding and you might not love it. A great Event Coordinator will let you use them as a scapegoat! Not only that, but your Event Coordinator should be the person you call when you're stressed out from wedding planning--let them talk you off the ledge! Stress happens, but talking to someone in the industry can really help!
Answer Your Emails Timely
You shouldn't have to wait 3-5 days to receive a reply from your Event Coordinator. Yes, everyone is busy and wedding season is crazy, but your email does deserve timely responses. A good rule of thumb is to inquire and look at how long it took them to respond to that. Generally, that should be one of the quickest replies, so if that already took a week, you can see a pattern of what to expect going forward.