Kathy Romero, Director of Event Planning at Preston Bailey Design does a great job of clarifying the roles of the reception venue/ banquet manager and wedding planner. A planner is the thread that will sew every moment and element of your wedding together so everything flows seamlessly. I often hear that the reception venue manager will take care of coordinating the entire reception, therefore, why is a planner necessary? This article defines the role of the reception manager – as being just that – managing the reception. As a planner I am grateful for these amazing folks! They know every nook and cranny of their venue, what is possible with regard to floor plans, food options, etc. They manage their serving staff, making sure everyone from the bartenders to the bus boys are doing their job. This is their focus, and what I, as a planner, so appreciate them for. However, receptions have many moving parts, i.e. photographer, videographer, Dj or band, possibly a photo booth, family, bridal party, etc. Each of these elements are integral elements that need orchestrating. A planner’s role, will be to make sure that all of these facets will play their part seamlessly and according to the bride and groom’s wishes.
In my experience, when venue/banquet managers work harmoniously with wedding planners, the results are nothing short of spectacular! Each is focusing on performing their roles to the fullest, ultimately creating an amazing experience for the couple!
The Biggest Differences Between a Manager and a Planner
April 25, 2013
One of the things I love most about working in the wedding industry is that it is filled with unbelievable talent and people with remarkable dedication. That said, experience has shown me that most of our talents are not interchangeable. Personally, I find it interesting–and also disappointing– when I hear a prospective bride call in and say she has booked a venue that “comes with a planner”. While I understand that the role of a banquet manager is a very important one, there is a significant difference between a manager and a planner, one that must be well defined.
I find it misleading when roles are not clarified, and the word “planner” is used so loosely. In the spirit of total transparency, I want to use today’s post to help clarify a few misconceptions:
A Planner Works For You, a Banquet Manager Does Not: It’s important for couples to understand that when banquet managers or site coordinators tells them that the venue comes with a coordinator/planner, it’s certainly not a lie, but it’s often very misleading. It’s especially easy to get these confused when you are not in the industry. Most couples do not know the different responsibilities associated with the different job titles. The number one misconception is that banquet managers work for you. The reality is that they are hired by the venue to perform tasks that allow them to make sure that the event runs smoothly on behalf of the venue, but they are not there to assist you in your overall wedding decision process.
Responsibilities Are Different: A site coordinator’s main responsibilities involve keeping track of time during your events, ensuring proper set up as established by the bride or planner, managing the wait staff, catering liaison, and other venue-elated tasks that are pivotal to the success of the event. Planners on the other hand, are there with you every step of the way. From the moment we meet to the moment you walk down the aisle. We orchestrate all of your details, manage your vendors, create and manage budgets and timelines, assist with contract negotiations, manage the venue selection process, and other countless important details.
So many of us give our lives to this industry because we are passionate, but our desire to help or to secure a client ‘s business should never be greater than understanding our limitations. So when faced with the question, what do you bring to the table, it’s better to come from a place of honesty. We will not only be doing the right thing, but we will also be able to set client expectations as well as protect them from disappointments.
We are all unique and valuable in our own way. Let’s use our talents to shine in our areas of expertise.
Please share your own thoughts about this topic below. I am eager to read your replies.
With a happy heart,
Kathy Romero is the Director of Event Planning for Preston Bailey Designs. She shares her thoughts and advice on Preston’s Blog every Thursday.
(Photo Courtesy of Christian Oth)
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This little video snippet is from the June 9, 2012 wedding of Sara Hawley and Daniel Graciaa. The ceremony took place in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, the reception was held on the lawn of the historic Tippecanoe Place in South Bend, Indiana. The brides father, Dr. Phil Hawley completely caught me off guard when he directed his comments toward me. Here is what he had to say:
Cyndi Basker Rocks! from Keith Anderson Films on Vimeo.
Special thanks to Keith Anderson, Keith Anderson Films for sending this and allowing me to relive this sweet moment.
The South Bend wedding of Nicole Rash and Grant Cook is a featured weddings in the current issue of Wedding Day Magazine! We were privileged to work with Nicole and Grant who described each other as his ‘Grace Kelly’ and her ‘Prince Charming’. Nicole, a former Miss Indiana wanted a classic fairly tale feel with touches of old Hollywood glamour. Take a look!
Wedding Planner: Cynthia Basker
Church: St. Pauls United Methodist
Reception: Palais Royale
Decor: Carey Albert
Photographer: Lifetime Photography
Videographer: Essence Photo & Video
Hair: Eric Woolridge
Reception Band: High Society Orchestra
To see the article click here
Laura and Bill envisioned their mid December wedding to be elegant and sophisticated, yet full of creative touches that gave their guests an idea of who they were as a couple. Characterizing the look and feel they wanted to achieve as ‘winter glamour’ with just a touch of vintage, they decided on a color palette of burnished gold, platinum and the softest blush pink. Bringing their guests to the Midwest in December is a gamble with the weather, but they could not see themselves marry any other place than the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The couple met at an MBA Welcome Weekend event on campus, at the Eck Center, which is where guests gathered between the ceremony and the reception for champagne and holiday music provided by family members. The reception was held at the historic Palais Royale in downtown, South Bend, IN. The evening was full of personal details such as the use of the brides’ parents’ cake topper to a customized gingerbread house on the candy buffet.
Wedding Consulting – Cynthia Basker, Celebrated Events
Ceremony – Basilica of the Sacred Heart, University of Notre Dame
Reception – The Palais Royale
Floral/ Decor- MichaelAngelos “The Event Company”
Photography - Josef Samuel
DJ – In Tune DJ
Papery – Christina Duthie/ Cloud Nine Invitation Design
Cake – C’est La Vie
Transportation: Ambiance Limousine, Cardinal Buses
Hair Styling – Nicholas J Salon
Makeup – Camellia’s Cosmetics
Host hotel – Doubletree by Hilton
For most people, March 4, 2013 will be an ordinary, back to work Monday. But for those brides, grooms and families who are hoping to secure a date for their 2014 Notre Dame wedding at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, it is so much more! Its been called things like ‘Basilica Monday’ and ‘Basilica Lottery Day’, but according to Amy Huber, who is the Wedding and Baptism Coordinator at the Basilica, it doesn’t have a name, it is simply the day the Basilica of the Sacred Heart opens their calendar for brides to reserve their wedding dates for 2014. Amy will begin taking calls at 8:00 am, EST and stop at 4:30 pm, EST. When dialing the Basilica, you will not get put on hold, just keep dialing until you get through. If you hear a busy signal, hang up and try again, Amy is on the line with another caller. Can you plan a strategy to try and up your chances of getting the day and time you are hoping for? I think you can. These suggestions may not help you get through to Amy faster, but they will help you to be prepared to make a decision with confidence, once you do get through. The last thing you want to have happen, is to get through to the Basilica, but not be able to accept an available date. You’ll have to hang up, then go through the whole process all over again.
1.) First and foremost, have five to ten, dates and times chosen that would be acceptable choices. Discuss this in advance with all involved parties until you can all agree on a list of acceptable dates/times.
2.) Have multiple folks calling in on your behalf.
3.) If you are having multiple folks calling in, make SURE they have your list of acceptable dates and times, and that they are authorized to make a decision on your behalf.
4.) This may seem like it goes without saying, but remember that the calls are being taken on Eastern Standard Time – if you are on the west coast, that means calls will begin being taken at 5:00 am and end at 1:30 pm your time.
5.) Be patient, just keep dialing.
Lastly – remember to breathe!
Good Luck Everybody!! Once you secure your 2014 date, give Celebrated Events a call! We will take all of your hopes and dreams for your Basilica wedding, and make them come true. If you can dream it, we can do it! We can be reached at 574-287-1423.
Celebrated Events was featured on Junebug Weddings. You can check it out here!
Sara and Daniel married on June 9, 2012 in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. The wedding reception that followed was on the lawn of the historic Tippecanoe Place in South Bend, IN. Sara envisioned a ‘Great Gatsby’ influenced lawn party feel for her wedding. The grounds surrounding Tippecanoe Place proved to be the perfect setting. Cocktails took place on the north lawn under a sprawling tree where guests sat shaded from the summer sun. As a nod to the grooms Cuban heritage, servers passed hors d’oeuvres made from family recipe’s provided by his mother.
The peony’s that were used throughout the wedding were simply stunning. Full, fluffy and so fragrant that they almost didn’t look real!
We were granted permission to take images inside the Notre Dame Stadium – Sara kept this a secret from Daniel, surprising him with the news just after their ceremony.
Sara and Daniel walking toward St. Mary’s Lake on the Notre Dame campus. The summer sun shimmering on the water is just gorgeous!
Pew markers were re-purposed as decor for the chair backs at the head table – so pretty!
Wedding Ceremony: Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre dame
Wedding Reception: Tippacanoe Place, South Bend
Wedding Planner: Celebrated Events
Wedding Photography: Browne Photography
Wedding Video: Wedding Day Cinema, Chicago
DJ: Music Machine South Bend
Wedding Decor & Floral: MichaelAngelos “The Event Company”
Wedding Cake: Sugar Rush, Elkhart
American Expresso Coffee & Catering
Papery: Cloud Nine Invitation Design
Rentals: Burns Rent-Alls
Transportation: Cardinal Busses & First Class Limousine
Bride’s Hairstylist: Eric Woolridge
Bride’s Makeup: Daniel / Emerald Salon
Take a look at just a few of the wedding video highlights from Sara & Daniel’s amazing wedding day! As graduates of the University of Notre Dame, Sara & Daniel knew there was no other place they would have their wedding, other than the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The wedding reception followed on the lawn of the historic Studebaker mansion, Tippecanoe Place, in South Bend, IN. Thank you to Wedding Day Cinema for providing us with this trailer – we can’t wait to see the rest! Wedding planning with this couple was such a pleasure!
Wedding Planning: Celebrated Events
Wedding Ceremony: Basilica of The Sacred Heart
Wedding Recepton: Tippecanoe Place
Floral: MichaelAngelos The Event Company
On a perfectly clear and crisp fall day, Greg Rogers and Danielle Patzner married in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Danielle envisioned, a chic, sophisticated color palette of ruby and charcoal for her late autumn wedding. Not wanting to use conventional fall elements, the bride chose to pair thistle and succulents with orchid and mini callas, the results of which were nothing short of stunning! Watch for these motifs throughout this beautiful Notre Dame wedding!
Bridesmaids bouquets – gorgeous orchid with thistle – love it!
The campus of Notre Dame in all its golden, fall glory!
The cocktail reception took place in the gorgeous lobby of the Morris Performing Arts, followed by dinner and dancing in the historic Palais Royale ballroomm in South Bend.
Vintage postcards depicting the campus of Notre Dame (on the reverse side) served as escort cards. Gift envelopes were gathered in this darling vintage suitcase provided by the mother of the bride.
We, at Celebrated Events were thrilled to be chosen to help Danielle & Greg plan their wedding, in Notre Dame, IN and South Bend, IN.