FAQ: How does a Wedding Planner/Coordinator differ from a Catering Manager?

We (and other planners around the country) are frequently asked the difference in our role versus a Catering Manger's role on the day of your wedding. These differences were laid out in an article by Mary Dann-McNamee in the Spring issue of Inside Weddings. I though it would be useful to share that information here. I have added a few notes as well.

Your Catering Manager (usually) will:
+Provide a personalized tour of the venue (this may also be the responsibility of the venue sales manager if you are bringing in an outside caterer to an event space)
+Recommend special event professionals that have worked with them/at your venue previously that do a great job
+Act as a menu consultant for all food and beverage selections
+Detail your Banquet Event Order (BEO)/catering contract, outlining all of your event specifics and ensure that it is all communicated flawlessly to the operational team of the venue/caterer
+Create an estimate of charges outlining your financial commitments to the venue/caterer
+Create a floor plan of your function space in order for you to provide seating arrangements
+Oversee the ceremony and reception room(s) set up, food preparation and other venue/catering operations
+Act as the on-site liaison between your wedding planner and venue/catering operations staff
+Ensure a seamless transition to the venue/catering banquet captain once the grand entrance has occurred and dinner begins (this is typically when the Catering Manager leaves the reception)
+Review your banquet checks for accuracy, prior to the completion of the final bill

Your Wedding Planner/Consultant (usually) will:
+Provide a wide variety of professional referrals to suit your taste and budget
+Assist with etiquette and protocol for invitations, family matters, ceremony and toasts
+Create a comprehensive timeline for your rehearsal and wedding day including the ceremony and reception
+Work with you to organize and coordinate your ceremony rehearsal
+Remind bridal party of all pertinent call times
+Confirm call times and details with vendors several days prior to the wedding
+Act as a liaison between your family, bridal party, band/DJ, florist, photographer, videographer, caterer and other vendors to create a seamless operation
+Assist the bride with dressing
+Ensure the ladies have their corsages, bouquets, etc. and assist with the pinning of the boutonnieres before photos
+Deliver and arrange ceremony programs, escort cards, place cards, favors and any personal items (cake knives, toasting flutes, guest book, personal or family photos, etc....)
+Coordinate the ceremony (line up bridal party, assist with brides dress, etc.)
+Work with the venue and catering staff to ensure the reception room is set up properly with the appropriate number of tables (with table numbers or reserved signs placed correctly) and the proper number of seats at each table
+Coordinate the reception (bridal party/bride and groom's entrance, first dance + parent dances, toasts, cake cutting, grand exit, etc.)
+Collect personal items and gifts as the night goes on and put them in the assigned persons vehicle or hotel room

*I have included the information from the article that pertains to the role of your wedding planner/consultant/coordinator regardless of the level of service you have hired them for (Full Service or "Day of"). Some of the services offered by your planner that Mary talks about in the article may pertain only to a higher level of planning, so I have omitted those here. I hope this helps- I know it can be confusing who is responsible for what on the wedding day with so many vendors!

Up next on FAQ: There is no such thing as a "Day of" coordinator.

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