If we’ve learned anything during all these years in Wedding World, we have learned that a seamless, smoothly organized wedding is like a well-oiled machine, composed of multiple moving parts. All of those ‘moving parts’ are people, part of a team where each team member plays a vital role and has a distinct craft and skill. All those moving parts combine to produce beautiful and memorable weddings. But we are sometimes asked if those moving parts can overlap – can one team member duplicate or attempt to copy the work of another? And should they? Good question.
All we can do is draw upon our own experience, which has shown us over and over that the well-oiled wedding machine works best when each team player sticks to their own area of expertise. Sometimes this is obvious. But sometimes there can be grey areas where the lines are blurred, and couples can justifiably become confused over where the line is drawn between different vendors. Especially when the budget is tight, and the temptation to have vendors overlap their skills is great. We get it. We understand. So we hope dear readers, that these few words of advice drawn from our years of experience, will be helpful.
Where are the lines clearly delineated? When is it obvious that one team member can never, or should never, attempt to duplicate the work and craft of another? Photographers. DJs. Live musicians. Catering. Florists. Cake makers…..these are all very specialized areas best left to the experts, and we, as planners, will never offer to take photographs, work a sound system, cook and serve a meal for a hundred (or even ten), bake a fantastic cake (are you kidding, that would be a sight for sore eyes!) or attempt to construct beautiful bouquets. But in other areas, the lines can be less distinct.
For example, what is the difference between a wedding planner, and a wedding venue coordinator? Can one do the work of the other? In a word – no. As planners, we represent our couples and we do it all. We know how to create a masterful time line for the entire day (and rehearsal) that encompasses such variables as timing of hair and make-up, and even when the wedding party will eat lunch or snacks; we usually pick up and deliver the florals to the bridal suite; we mastermind the timing of the ‘first look’; we know how to bustle and un-bustle the wedding gown for the walk down the aisle or for dancing, and we are experts at pinning boutonnieres; we arrive early for set-up of the ceremony and reception, and we are the last to leave in the early hours of the morning; we can be relied upon to have a bride’s box which includes everything from sewing kit to Advil to Kleenex to tampons; we thrive on logistics for the entire day from start to finish. We’ve got your back for every single second.
The venue coordinator represents the venue. They do not and cannot represent the couple. And oh boy, they are wonderful….We LOVE our wedding venue coordinators, they make our lives so much easier because they are our go-to guys and gals for everything at the venue from tables and chairs to linens, food and wait-staff. They lend us duct tape when we discover we ran out, they produce candle lighters when ours suddenly don’t work, they are our trusty experts on the precise timing of cocktail hour, food prep, and serving, they know exactly where the DJ is best located for access to power points, and we have lost count of the times when these wonderful people, unasked, have pitched in to help tear down the decor. But we don’t attempt to do their job, and they don’t attempt to do ours.
What about wedding officiants? Those guys play a critical – in some ways the most critical – role in your wedding day. After all, isn’t the ceremony the reason we have weddings? Otherwise it’s just all an excuse for a great party, right? Here in the Sea to Sky corridor we are blessed with an incredible roster of wonderful officiants. Their expert task is to meet and chat with the couple to find out what makes them tick, what kind of ceremony they want; they can suggest readings and personalized vows; they know everything there is to know about special symbols and unity ceremonies; they are a soothing, comforting and familiar presence at the end of that suddenly-very-long aisle. We love our officiants too, because we know we can trust them to produce pitch-perfect ceremonies that leave no dry eye in the house (including ours). And again, we would never attempt to do their job, and we trust they would never attempt to do ours.
So if, as a couple, you are searching for ways to maximize your budget, while we say ‘go for it’ we also say ‘buyer beware’ in those areas where the lines can become blurred and it is tempting to have one ‘moving part’ overlap and try to duplicate the task of another. Believe us, it never, ever works.