WPMCS: 009 Does your reception venue need a wedding planner?

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Back in the day I worked as an event manager holding conferences where high ranking political/social/economic business-types making the ‘big world decisions’ would be in attendance.

WAIT! Before you leave it was totally not as boring as it sounds and YES this will relate to your wedding, so read on.

Most of the time the topics were really interesting and I freakin’ loved it.

I won’t pretend that if it started to get technical enough that they needed to bring up a pie graph that I always understood what they were on about.

If I can’t eat it don’t show me your pie. 

Safe to say it was always clear that these events were about discussing the BIG.IDEAS.

Sometimes topics would bring up hot-under-the-collar-opinions. At one such event some random rushed the stage, interrupting the guest speaker and causing a bit of a ruckus.

Everyone in the room froze. No one knew quite what to do. This wasn’t how things were meant to go.

When you think about it, everyone who comes to an event (or a wedding - see I told you I was getting there) knows the part they’re meant to be playing.

Guests are there to mingle, sit when they’re told to, listen when people are speaking and enjoy the food and wine at their leisure.

Bridesmaids hold your dress up while you pee. (Yes, it’s totally a thing).

The weird uncle or crazy aunt that everyone hopes will be on his or her best behavior at some point lives up to the name.

We all know how weddings go. Everyone has his or her part to play.

When this person took over the stage and caused the unexpected, there was a bit of confusion as to who needed to manage the situation because noone was directly responsible for what needed to happen next.

What would you have done?

  • Find security
  • Turn off the mic at the AV desk
  • Go on stage and assist the speaker

Imagine if EVERYONE nervously sat around waiting for the person in charge to take over – but noone actually was in charge…

After some slight awkwardness it all petered out without anything really serious happening.

Naturally we were quick to make sure we were clear on our ‘parts’ should the unexpected occur again:

  1. The director owned the stage.
  2. The associate director owned the person speaking.
  3. The event manager owned the room.
  4. The event assistant owned security.

Owned = that’s mine b-tch. Or to put it nicely: it’s up to me to manage that.

I doubt you’ll deal with anything remotely as dicey at your wedding (unless that weird uncle or crazy aunt decides they have something to say!).

There are times when I work as an On the Day Coordinator that I wonder who would take responsibility for things if I weren’t there.

Would anyone else have picked up that the dance floor was in the wrong place?

Would anyone else have realized the bridal table was positioned off center to the symmetrical window?

Would anyone else have thought to direct staff to feed the guests who – despite it being pretty clear canapés and drinks were being served outside - had gone inside and sat at their tables?

That is what I do as an On the Day Coordinator. I oversee that things are going to plan; am responsible to make decisions when they’re not; and assign and/or take responsibility for things that have been overlooked.

In today’s Wedding Planning Masterclass Show I talk further about how I as your wedding planner can work with different types of venues.

It’s not like world peace is at risk with the type of things we’re talking about.

Yet when you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars for an event, I understand these are the things that you’d like to be just right.

While an On the Day Coordinator might be an expense you kind of hoped to do without, we’re the ones who take the reasonability to keep all your hard-wedding-planning-work from being undone.

If you have any wedding planning questions or comments for me, leave them below!

Because more joy in the world is a good thing.


Hi, I’m Amanda Vodic, principal planner at We Heart Events and founder of Wedding Planning Masterclass. I work with couples that are CRAZY EXCITED about creating beautiful, meaningful, all-kinds of wonderful weddings. I help you get more joy from the wedding planning experience - while making it feel like it’s so easy you could become one of the pros yourselves.

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