Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Planner vs. On-Site Coordinator Part ONE

What is the difference you say? Well its like Hiring your Caterer to perform your ceremony. A planner and a Coordinator have two very different "jobs." Your Planner is to do just that PLAN and help your ideas, hopes, and dreams come to fruition. A Coordinator is with you on "W-DAY" make sure your DJ has arrived, your center pieces are in place, that the Bridesmaids are all accounted for and to keep you calm if any unforeseen crisis' arrive.

Me, I have done all the planning myself, I am a little OCD and I need complete control of my ideas and make sure that who I have hired is who I want. I am able to do this becuase I know lots of people, and have been to 30+ wedding in my life time. As far as Coordination goes, I want to RELAX as much as I can on wedding day, so I have a coordinator to be there for the rehearsal and start to finish on wedding day. She will make sure all my and D's needs are met and the day goes off without a hitch.

Make sure you have outlined the duties and responsibilities for both the coordinator and the planner so you don't have any miscommunications or incidents. Make sure its in writing or a clear verbal understanding of who is doing WHAT!!!

Here is a great article from "A Delightful Day Event Planning" on the differences between a Planner and an On-Site Coordinator:

So many times I have had a bride in a consultation say, "My location has an on-site coordinator that will take care of me the day of." But do consider, will the on-site coordinator do all for you that your wedding planner will? From many, many weddings and past experiences, as wedding planners we have done a variety of things for brides, each wedding being out of the ordinary, and to this day I haven't met an on-site coordinator that will do any of the following. Before you make the statement above, think about if your on-site coordinator will go above and beyond for you.

  1. Your bridesmaid's are wearing strands of pearls and pearl earrings. 3 of your 6 bridesmaid's didn't get that memo and now we are 3 short, meaning we make a run to the nearest location that would have that item and pick up those 3 sets you need for a complete look. Would your on-site coordinator do that?
  2. You have a gorgeous Monique Lhuillier wedding dress, your dream design, that has an incredible French bustle, and before you and your new husband step out onto the dancefloor, you need the incredibly difficult ribbon system decoded to create this one of a kind bustle you spent months, and many dollars, designing. To create this, your wedding planner is tucked between your legs :) to make this incredible design happen.
  3. Unfortunately, one of your dear guests didn't RSVP for themselves and their wonderful boyfriend and now we're in a seating dilemma for your plated dinner. They don't see an escort card for them as a couple and now we need to make rearrangements for your guests to join the party.
  4. Your DJ has made a terrible mistake on the song choices and is completely screwing up. He or she most definitely needs some redirection and we are there to put them back on track!
  5. Your petticoat to give your dress the extra umph that it needs was left at home, as you discover 15 minutes before your pictures begin. Many calls later, a petticoat is found close by at a bridal shop and is purchased just in time for pictures!
  6. Last minute, after months of deliberation, you decide that you would like to have that makeup artist come in and treat you to your own personal beautifing application, 3 days before your wedding. Will the on-site coordinator swoop in as the wedding hero and track down a makeup artist to not only do your makeup on the day of, but will also do a makeup application for your mother for free as well, and will come to you?
  7. Will your on-site coordinator come over to the ceremony site and make sure that your ceremony runs smoothly, bridal party gets down the aisle, and you become the Mrs. that you have dreamed of for so long?

There are many things to consider in planning a wedding, one of which should definitely be, Should I hire a wedding planner? With the times that we are in with the economy, even if hiring a full service wedding planner isn't within the reach of your newly engaged hand, do definitely consider the benefits of hiring a planner for your month of service. So many times we hear, you're so thorough, you're so organized, this has been the most relaxing day of the whole experience, I'm going to recommend you to all of my friends, etc., we truly feel that our jobs are complete if you and your groom are married, happy and enjoying yourselves at your once in a lifetime event.

So, the next time that your on-site coordinator mentions having all of the bases covered at the location, truly question as to whether he or she will do any of the above, and beyond, for you! Happy Planning!

~ Mary Alice, Nashville Wedding Planner
A Delightful Day


  1. So...... My petticoat WAS left at home. :) I laughed when I read that.

  2. Thanks for sharing this useful information. I like it.
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