I'm finding that most of us go into the planning process not fully understanding who plays what roles. When the lines are blurred and you're not quite sure what vendors handle what tasks, you become unsatisfied with the service you hired them for. Unless it's explicitly expressed it can't be assumed that a certain vendor will take care of whatever you need. I’m going to clarify what doesn’t happen when you hire your event manager. If you're not sure what an event manager (formerly and incorrectly known as DOC) is, you can read about it here.
When you hire a event manager or planner you’re not hiring a personal assistant. You’re hiring an expert with years of experience in handling stress gracefully, dealing with bickering vendors, assigning duties, managing expectations, logistically coordinating requests and most of all troubleshooting in an event emergency. None of which can be done on the fly nor without some level of experience. And because we are handling All The Things, there are certain things we don't do because we're busy doing what you hired us to do.
Here are the top 15 things wedding event managers ARE NOT.
We’re not cake cutters, that's what your caterer is for.
We’re not bar backs; bar fixings need to be labored by the bartending service.
We’re not ladies in waiting (although that is a service that may be purchased).
We’re not bussers, that’s what service staff is for.
We’re not servers with a food handlers card to safely handle food.
We’re not wait staff ready to fill empty drinks and cups.
We’re not maintenance and some of us don't have the muscles to carry out heavy trash bags filled with bottles and food.
We’re not housekeeping nor have the time to vacuum at the end of the night while we’re packing up your personal items. We may not be out on time and you'll be charged extra.
We’re not babysitters so we can’t chase around the ring bearer or flower girl.
We’re not there to cut off the drunk uncle, which is why you hire a professional bartender.
We’re not there to make announcements nor play DJ. Someone has to manage the day and the announcements- we can’t do them both.
We’re not taxi drivers and wouldn’t dare get into a vehicle where we’re not insured.
Most of us aren’t body builders and can’t carry heavy boxes and crates full of your decor items 3 miles to the venue.
We’re not a setup crew so tables and chairs need to be taken care of by the venue.
We’re not electricians so outlets, power sources and generators need to be arranged by the host.
It’s not that we don’t want to do these things- I'm the type of person that will drop anything to make you happy on your wedding day- it’s just that we have a BIG job to do already. Wedding days go by in a flash and we usually have something scheduled every single minute. We’re busy making sure transportation arrives on time, setting up the bridal party for the processional, gathering personal items so they make it to the reception, assisting vendors, guiding guests, ensuring that your dreams come true etc.
While we are happy to assist you in arranging services to cover tasks and duties outside our line of work, we simply cannot be in 15 different places at once. A good planner knows what they are doing minute-by-minute. Expecting us to cover a job that someone else is skilled at means you’ll get less out of what you paid for.
There have been times when I have to step in and assist other vendors in these areas but there is usually a hefty fee tacked on for it. If you hire a planner most of these emergency moments won't happen. But if you just hire an event manager, you can count on us charging fees for something that wasn’t accounted for during the planning process.