(Editor's Note: Today's post was submitted by a repeat contributor to WeddingIQ: the wonderful Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services! Read more about Kevin at the end of the post!)
Communication is the key to the success of any event, not only between the couple and the vendors but among the wedding pros themselves. A team that operates like a well-oiled machine is the key to a couple’s dream wedding and can also prepare everyone for any risks related to the special day.
So how does one ensure proper vendor coordination as you head into the Big Day?
Keep in Contact
From the get-go, it’s essential to collect the necessary information from the venue: main point of contact, email address, and telephone number. In addition to an office number, make sure to get a day-of phone number in case you have any time sensitive needs on the event day. This would be a great time to have a discussion about the day-of contact as every venue varies; in some instances you’ll work with the same person throughout but with others, you may transition to a banquet captain the day of the event.
While couples may be crazy for the latest in technology, keep it simple among the wedding team. Of course some vendors may opt for the old-school group email chain to keep everyone in the loop, but there are also a number of simple apps for organization and project management. Collaborative software like Planning Pod, Aisle Planner, and Plan the Day are just the solution for teams that want to stay connected throughout the planning process, while apps like Social Tables and AllSeated are great programs for vendors to keep diagrams and seating plans organized.
See What You're Working With (and Where)
It’s always best to organize a site tour to the venue if you haven’t been there before. This will help you visualize the setup of the event day and how you fit into it. In fact, we require our clients to meet with us onsite, so we know exactly what we’re working with and whether we can accommodate their preferences before anyone signs on the dotted line. Whether it’s making sure everything fits through the doorways or checking on the amount of electricity available, take a mental walkthrough of an event in your head and be sure it can fit seamlessly into the venue.
As for day-of drop-off, the most important thing is to make sure everyone knows the best place to drop off their items. Whether it’s a loading dock or a parking lot, these spaces are designated for a reason. Nobody wants to carry the elaborate four-tier wedding cake all the way across the lawn in the middle of summer!
Remember that it’s not just about drop-off, either. Many times, people are quick to drop off their items for the wedding only to disappear until Monday. Oftentimes, venues require all wedding items to be picked up at the end of the night or else they’ll be disposed of – so always be sure to understand the policy of the wedding’s venue.
As event professionals, communication will always be a key tool. It’s up to you to be in contact with the venue and ensure that everything goes as smoothly as planned. A wedding is about a group of professionals working together to provide a couple with the best day of their life – get talking!
Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.