Have you ever witnessed Aunt Suzy the wedding coordinator, Uncle Tom the DJ or the bride’s friend’s, cousin’s sister Mary the caterer? Unfortunately, most of us probably have.
From an outsider’s perspective, caterer’s are companies who cook, DJ’s are people pressing play on an Ipod, and coordinators are detail oriented friends that only actually work the “day-of” the wedding and put pretty things on your tables.
We are here to tell you that they are so much more. As a coordinator, I cannot stress enough the value of a good vendor. Vendors are specialized, trained, experienced and passionate about their jobs! The good ones are so, so, so good.
When we have a bride come to us requesting referrals for vendors, we are incredibly happy to recommend some. For our own sanity, working with a top notch vendor saves a lot of headache and frustration for everyone involved. For our clients sake, it ensures that their day will go smoothly and if something unexpected happens, that vendor will react appropriately, professionally and find a solution.
Every planner can give you ten examples of a vendor gone wrong. Uptown has some of the most bizarre, frustrating, hilarious and shocking stories about bad “vendors”. I once left a wedding covered in mud because of a unprofessional vendor. My wedding shoes never recovered from that night!
To clarify the thought process, I’d like to break down a few vendors.
What do clients see that a DJ does?
-Make a playlist
-Announce events during the night
Photo from: DJTechTools.com
What does a DJ actually do?
-Get to know the bride and groom well enough to read what type of music he/she should play
-Communicate with the couple months prior to discuss song preferences
-Work directly with the coordinator on a smooth and effective timeline
-Make a custom playlist based upon your personalized specifications
-Read the crowd’s energy and change songs appropriately
-Liven up even the most boring, non-dancing guests- Yes even grandma Jane!
-Eloquently get guests’ attention during announcements and guide them throughout the events of the evening
What do clients see that a caterer does?
Photo from: parisapartment.wordpress.com
What does a caterer actually do?
-Communicate with the bride and groom months in advance to discuss your menu selection, venue requirements, your expectations, etc.
-Work with the coordinator to determine how long setting up, cooking/serving on-site, cleaning up and loading up will take
-Prep days in advance with a loaded truck of silverware, glassware, plates, forks, knives, spoons, napkins
-Prep food the day before and morning of the event in very, very large quantities
-Cook and present food that looks nice and tastes even better at the event
-Serve food to all guests
-Ensure no guest with allergies receives the wrong food
-Consistently refill food trays and beverage containers
-Clean up after guests- don’t think your cousin Jonny will actually put his plate in the trash, because he won’t!
-Take out the trash and leave with it at the end of the night if the venue requires
-Bus all tables including the messy cake plates smeared with icing from your 4 year old niece and Aunt Jodie’s 8 wine glasses
-Load back up all of their cooking supplies, serving trays, plates and silverware, and glassware
What do clients see that a photographer does?
Photo from: The Mac Observer
What does a photographer actually do?
-Get to know a client so well that they know what photos are important to them
-Run around for 10+ hours taking photos of every detail of a very long day
-Carry around heavy equipment to ensure the best lighting, lens and flash is always used
-Deal with your 15 bridesmaids and the 175 pictures they want in a 45 minute window during your cocktail hour
-Stand in the sun/rain/snow/sparkler tunnel to get the very best shot
-Spend days and days editing your photos to make sure they are the highest quality
-Send the client the photos and hope they love them
Also keep in mind that all of these fantastic vendors spend 8-12 hours the day-of your wedding standing on hard floors and missing all of their families special events to make your day special, all while keeping a smile on their face and providing you with the very best service.
The lists created are just the tip of the iceberg into all the work a vendor does the day of an event, behind the scenes before the event, and the work that is put in after.
From the Uptown team, THANK YOU to all the amazing vendors out there. We could not be more appreciative, and we know the value of what you do. To future clients- please consider your vendors carefully and ask us for suggestions. We are not recommending vendors for any other reason than to make sure your event is the very best it could be!