Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: RegionMom on December 21, 2012, 08:44:10 AM

Title: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!
Post by: RegionMom on December 21, 2012, 08:44:10 AM
A friend of mine, Mary, mother of seven with her youngest the age of my teens, has asked me to serve as a wedding reception coordinator at one of her DD's wedding a few months from now.

bg- 
I have been to a couple of weddings in this family, and they are a BIG DEAL.  Full Catholic ceremony, then sit down dinner.  One reception was a few hours after the ceremony, so guests had a couple of hours to kill in between.

The upcoming wedding is only  ;) 150-165 guests, and the reception is dry- no alcohol.  The site is a western barn/rustic pavillion, and the caterer is a local BBQ joint.  They will have to carry out all their trash because of wild animals.

I have been asked to be the contact person, and to bring ice, and make sure all is cleaned up, and to tell guests to stay close by, and corral potentially unruly children, and to tupperware the wedding cake after, and meet with the site owner beforehand, and maybe help coordinate carpooling since there is not really a parking lot.  I am sure there will be more.

Now, the mom is a sweet friend of mine, will talk your ear off, does not like problems even though she has had a few (sick husband, hospitalized child, work issues, moving into a house that had a broken foundation so had an apt. with a bad landlord while waiting for the house to be fixed, and then having plumbing issues, etc...)

so she was asked by the owner of the reception site for a reception coordinator.  Mary knew she would need an organized and strong personality to keep all this together, and said my name to Cici, the owner, before asking me. 

When Mary did ask me, I wrote down 30 minutes of her rambling notes to determine my responsibilities, as I listed above a bit.

Question-
I do not know if I am getting paid.  I have never done a job like this before.  Am I over my head?  Wedding is still a few months away, and I was "officially asked" two nights ago. 

Help?!?
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: PurpleFrog on December 21, 2012, 08:53:14 AM
Honestly, that sounds like a huge amount of work for one person. It's more than a day of coordinator would do, I would think hard if you are prepared to do all of this (probably unpaid), taking on all the responsibility, if you are capable, able to organise, deal with problems and recriminations, with resenting the huge task set for you by your friend.

Personally in general I don't think I could do it apart from for a very select few people, and even then I'd want a huge amount of help. I'd worry about recriminations if something went wrong.

Maybe go to your friend and clarify the situation, and find out if you'd have any back up.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 21, 2012, 08:57:24 AM
This really sounds like something the bride needs to figure out for herself or they need to hire someone.  This is a LOT to ask of a friend of the bride's mother who is not getting paid. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 21, 2012, 09:01:35 AM
Either ask if you will be getting paid or mentally write it off as a gift to the family.  In my experience in the party industry what you have described would span about 6-8 hours (assuming a standard 5 hour reception) and would run $200-2,000 in wages (as some one with experience I would personally consider this to be a $1k job... but then I know what I won't do).  The 'job' will also require you to wear an outfit that is both appropriate for the event and yet appropriate for doing lifting and possibly getting dirty. (I'd recommend nice but affordable black pants, loafers, and a machine washable but nice looking top, accessorize with costume jewelry, short nails, hair up.)

Its the kind of work that comes easy to some people and is borderline nervous-breakdown inducing for others.  From your past posts I think you would do well insofar as your teaching experience and attention to detail but would also be overly stressed due to your perfection tendencies - this is very much a 'go with the flow' and 'improvise' type job.

If you do take it on, here is the best piece of advice I can give: remember, the guests don't know what the plan was.  So long as they are happy and comfortable and things look nice, they don't know that everything isn't going as planned. (Because something always goes off-plan!)
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 21, 2012, 09:07:38 AM
Oldest dd is getting married in spring. She is organized and has taken the classes to be a certified wedding planner. She has hired another planner she knows to be the wedding day point person, as you described the duties. Basically, if there are any glitches on wedding day, dd and I will not have to handle it, we will ask planner to fix it, chase down person, fix problem, etc.
Dd is meeting with planner once or twice before wedding. She is paying her, I think, $600.
Dd did similar duties for a friend who got married last year, she did not get paid, it was her gift to her friend.
Talk to your friend and tell her this will require significant time on your part, is it possible you can be paid. Our you could say this is what a wedding planner would do on the day of, it would cost money, let this be my gift to your daughter. See what she says.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: peaches on December 21, 2012, 09:08:53 AM
That is a tremendous amount of responsibility IMO - and that's just what the mother-of-the-bride has thought of so far. There may be other things which come up.

I honestly think this is too much to ask of one person. And I would never ask a friend to do this.

IF you want to help your friend, you might agree to perform one or two of the jobs she has mentioned - not the whole enchilada! That's a job for a professional IMO.

I think she is being very presumptuous, friend or not.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 21, 2012, 09:16:57 AM
I think this is a tremendous favor to ask someone, and your friend may be better off hiring a professional wedding coordinator to do it or suggest that she spread the responsibility out between two or three people.  You will not be able to really enjoy the wedding at all because you will be working. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: RegionMom on December 21, 2012, 09:38:32 AM
OP here-
see, that's the thing-even though I know the family, this one child has been out of the house so long that I do not know her, and would not be invited to the wedding, anyway.  I did check on the schedule during our phone call, trying to find out if I would help at the rehearsal/dinner and wedding.  Mary said that I would only need to be at the reception site during the wedding, prepping, so I would NOT be attending the rehearsal/wedding.  Which is fine with me, but definitely made me realize it is a  job and not a favor.

Aside from how I come across on my posts, I can "go with the flow" and am very creative.  ;D  Teaching preschool for almost two decades has led me to believe that organization leads to creativity.  When you know what needs to get done, and what supplies you have, then you know how far you can go with it. 

As for this job, I may not have the experience, but I do think I could do it.  I have a strong voice and enough random volunteer experience that I can cobble together the know-how.  Mary said that property owner Cici is southern and sweet, but strong as steel and she is the one that asked/demanded that the reception coordinator meet with her beforehand, like a few weeks before.  This is Cici's home and business, and she likes things done well.

So, I would be working with a professional.  With high expectations.  And a non-confrontational mother who is a friend of mine and trusting me to keep her stress free. 

Eep!!

I am about to head out for a few hours, but I would appreciate more advice and stories. 

I do think I could do this (ego) but I do not want to goof and hurt Mary and her daughter.  What is the worst that could happen??  Would it be better if I was paid? 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Queen of Clubs on December 21, 2012, 09:43:21 AM
I have been asked to be the contact person, and to bring ice, and make sure all is cleaned up, and to tell guests to stay close by, and corral potentially unruly children, and to tupperware the wedding cake after, and meet with the site owner beforehand, and maybe help coordinate carpooling since there is not really a parking lot.  I am sure there will be more.

And you're doing all this with up to 165 people?  How good is this friend of yours?  It sounds to me like you're not getting paid (wouldn't she have already said if you were?), you're going to spend days/weeks beforehand fielding calls and the day itself being run ragged before cleaning up.  This is a huge task, and that's before Mary thinks of more jobs to add to your plate.

It's nice that she's so sweet, but she's dumping all of this organisation into your lap.  If the happy couple want a wedding coordinator, they need to hire a professional who knows what to do and which jobs to farm out to *other* professionals.  Not rely on a friend of the bride's mother's to cover the whole lot.

I think you need to tell Mary it's not possible for you to do all that.  If you're feeling kind, pick out one or two jobs you don't mind being responsible for but leave the rest to the happy couple to sort out.  It's not your wedding, not your kid either, so why should you be made responsible?
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: YummyMummy66 on December 21, 2012, 09:46:43 AM
She may be a friend, but in all that she is expecting you to do, she should be paying you.

It is up to you to decide if you are willing to take payment or not or ask for payment or not.   Since you are dear friends, it sounds like she is not inviting you to the wedding, (because with all of your responsibilities), you will not be able to enjoy the weddding/reception. 

What Mary is asking you to do is the job of any wedding planner, who gets paid for their job. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: onyonryngs on December 21, 2012, 09:47:38 AM
I think it'd be rude if she didn't offer to pay.   She's asking you to do this as a friend, but you're not friendly enough to go to the wedding too?   How does the daughter feel about you doing this job?  It's her wedding, after all.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Yvaine on December 21, 2012, 09:50:55 AM
OP here-
see, that's the thing-even though I know the family, this one child has been out of the house so long that I do not know her, and would not be invited to the wedding, anyway.  I did check on the schedule during our phone call, trying to find out if I would help at the rehearsal/dinner and wedding.  Mary said that I would only need to be at the reception site during the wedding, prepping, so I would NOT be attending the rehearsal/wedding.  Which is fine with me, but definitely made me realize it is a  job and not a favor.

So you're not even invited? This service would be a really huge gift to give to someone who's not even inviting you. I think you're being taken advantage of, though she may be doing it out of naivete rather than malice.

Honestly, this seems to fall into the same theme as how you were taken advantage of at the school where you worked. People seem to see you as someone to get to organize things and then not to appreciate after. You don't have to do this.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 21, 2012, 09:51:04 AM
I, personally, would not want to do a "favor" of this sort under these circumstances, paid or not.

As you are willing to consider it, I suggest contacting *Cici* as she is the one requiring that there be a coordinator, and is the one who would be able to say, from experience, what the coordinator will likely need to do - which might be more or less than your friend expects.

If, after speaking with Cici, you are still willing to consider doing this, speak with your friend and go over detail of what you will do, and what costs or fees you would need to be paid for, if any.  Then - put it into writing - including details such as hours you will be available before and during the big day, how much ice you will bring, etc.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Queen of Clubs on December 21, 2012, 09:54:42 AM
I do think I could do this (ego) but I do not want to goof and hurt Mary and her daughter.  What is the worst that could happen??  Would it be better if I was paid?

The only thing pay would do is console you for all the work you're going to be putting in and maybe cover the costs you *will* be incurring.  As for what's the worst?  It all goes wrong and you get blamed.

Quote
I did check on the schedule during our phone call, trying to find out if I would help at the rehearsal/dinner and wedding.  Mary said that I would only need to be at the reception site during the wedding, prepping, so I would NOT be attending the rehearsal/wedding.  Which is fine with me, but definitely made me realize it is a  job and not a favor.

But it sounds like Mary is seeing it as a favour.  You're not a guest, not invited to the whole shindig - you're hired help and you'll be working for free.  Is that really what you want?

Quote
Aside from how I come across on my posts, I can "go with the flow" and am very creative.  ;D  Teaching preschool for almost two decades has led me to believe that organization leads to creativity.  When you know what needs to get done, and what supplies you have, then you know how far you can go with it. 

As for this job, I may not have the experience, but I do think I could do it.  I have a strong voice and enough random volunteer experience that I can cobble together the know-how.

Which is probably why Mary thinks it's okay to dump it all in your lap.  But just because someone thinks you're up to a task doesn't mean you *have* to do that task.

Quote
Mary said that property owner Cici is southern and sweet, but strong as steel and she is the one that asked/demanded that the reception coordinator meet with her beforehand, like a few weeks before.  This is Cici's home and business, and she likes things done well.

So, I would be working with a professional.  With high expectations.  And a non-confrontational mother who is a friend of mine and trusting me to keep her stress free.

So you'll be caught in the middle between the two.  This isn't going to be about you meeting Mary's expectations/the happy couple's expectations but also meeting Cici's.  To be quite frank, I'd run now before you get in too deep and it's too late for you to get out.

Look at the list of things Mary's already put on your job list.  Who's going to be covering your phone bill for all the calls you'll be making to get things organised?  Who's going to be covering your travel expenses for all the running around you'll be doing - let alone on the day itself?  You're not a guest, so your travel expenses should be covered.  Will they be?

I think there's too high a risk of this imploding and you getting caught in the blast.  Like I said in my other post, maybe pick out one or two things and offer to cover them but, as you're not even worthy of an invitation to this wedding, why are you expected to put yourself out so much?

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 21, 2012, 10:22:01 AM
I'm a bit confused over people's outrage the OP isn't invited.  This is not the type of thing one should ever, ever, ever think of asking a guest to do.  The OP being asked makes perfect sense to me - she's known to the family (so they know they like and trust her) but she's not someone who would be missing out on a guest experience because she would never be invited anyway.  I think it would have been insulting to ask an invited guest to do this job, not the other way around!

Region - why not meet with Cici and talk to her more about what the job entails before deciding to do it or not.  It will give you a much clearer idea of what is required, what the space is like (will you have to stand in a prickly field to direct parking?  Lug ice up or down stairs? Will the cake be brought into the kitchen for you to pack up, or will you have to try to do it gracefully in public view?), and what Cici (and working with her) will be like.

And I do reiterate - I did 10 years in the event industry, everything from catering, waitressing, event planning (personal, entertainment industry and corporate), on-site production coordination, etc - from what's written here as far as job description I would personally charge $1,000 (and dinner on-site) for up to 8 hours of my work. Whether you do get paid or not, know the value of what's being asked of you.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: esteban on December 21, 2012, 10:27:09 AM
I'm a bit confused over people's outrage the OP isn't invited.  This is not the type of thing one should ever, ever, ever think of asking a guest to do.  The OP being asked makes perfect sense to me - she's known to the family (so they know they like and trust her) but she's not someone who would be missing out on a guest experience because she would never be invited anyway.  I think it would have been insulting to ask an invited guest to do this job, not the other way around!

Region - why not meet with Cici and talk to her more about what the job entails before deciding to do it or not.  It will give you a much clearer idea of what is required, what the space is like (will you have to stand in a prickly field to direct parking?  Lug ice up or down stairs? Will the cake be brought into the kitchen for you to pack up, or will you have to try to do it gracefully in public view?), and what Cici (and working with her) will be like.

And I do reiterate - I did 10 years in the event industry, everything from catering, waitressing, event planning (personal, entertainment industry and corporate), on-site production coordination, etc - from what's written here as far as job description I would personally charge $1,000 (and dinner on-site) for up to 8 hours of my work. Whether you do get paid or not, know the value of what's being asked of you.

I think everyone is offended on OP's behalf because we all realize how huge of a job this likely is for someone who she is by her own admission not close enough to have been expected to be invited to the wedding for.  There has been no mention of payment, and that to me says the family was expecting OP to just do it without payment (they don't want to pay someone to do this).
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 21, 2012, 10:36:59 AM
I just restarted my meeting planning business after a hiatus.  My day of event fee is between $500-$1000.  This includes me taking over from the B/G or person in charge of the event starting two weeks before the event. 

It is not just about meeting once with Cici and showing up on the day of the wedding. Even though you will technically only be the reception coordinator, you will need to be in constant contact with the family, vendors, and Cici in the weeks leading up to the wedding.  So you are probably looking at anywhere from 10-20 hours a week dealing with all of the little details before the wedding.

I would also say that you should NOT take on the responsibility of unruly children.  That is their parents job not yours.  You don't have time to watch over children with all of the detail that goes into running an event
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: amylouky on December 21, 2012, 10:39:00 AM
That is a LOT of responsibility, even if you are getting paid.
We hired a wedding/reception coordinator, whose responsibilities pretty much included making sure that the wedding party was in the right place at the right time, making sure the chairs were set up, the aisle runner was set, etc. At the reception, the caterer handled all the food issues, the coordinator just made sure that we stuck to the schedule for things like cake cutting, toasts, etc. No corralling unruly children involved. We paid $750 for her service, and she was one of the less expensive ones out there. We do NOT live in a high cost of living area, either.
I guess, if this is something that sounds like it would be fun/manageable for you to do, go ahead. But, if you don't ask for payment, you're essentially giving them a ~$1000 wedding present. I would probably respectfully decline.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Yvaine on December 21, 2012, 10:48:58 AM
But, if you don't ask for payment, you're essentially giving them a ~$1000 wedding present.

This.

WillyNilly, this is why her not being invited bothers us--because she's someone who's not close enough to invite, but somehow still close enough to ask for a $1K gift from. No, you don't ask an invited guest to do this--but you certainly also don't ask an uninvited person to give this huge gift for free. You hire someone.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: cicero on December 21, 2012, 12:12:23 PM
OP here-
see, that's the thing-even though I know the family, this one child has been out of the house so long that I do not know her, and would not be invited to the wedding, anyway.  I did check on the schedule during our phone call, trying to find out if I would help at the rehearsal/dinner and wedding.  Mary said that I would only need to be at the reception site during the wedding, prepping, so I would NOT be attending the rehearsal/wedding.  Which is fine with me, but definitely made me realize it is a  job and not a favor.

Aside from how I come across on my posts, I can "go with the flow" and am very creative.  ;D  Teaching preschool for almost two decades has led me to believe that organization leads to creativity.  When you know what needs to get done, and what supplies you have, then you know how far you can go with it. 

As for this job, I may not have the experience, but I do think I could do it.  I have a strong voice and enough random volunteer experience that I can cobble together the know-how.  Mary said that property owner Cici is southern and sweet, but strong as steel and she is the one that asked/demanded that the reception coordinator meet with her beforehand, like a few weeks before.  This is Cici's home and business, and she likes things done well.

So, I would be working with a professional.  With high expectations.  And a non-confrontational mother who is a friend of mine and trusting me to keep her stress free. 

Eep!!

I am about to head out for a few hours, but I would appreciate more advice and stories. 

I do think I could do this (ego) but I do not want to goof and hurt Mary and her daughter.  What is the worst that could happen??  Would it be better if I was paid?

Do you WANT to do this? paid or not - is this something that you want to do?

I can't see myself doing this - paid or not, friend or not. I don't see any of my friends asking me to do this - it's a *huge* amount of work and responsibility.

If you are OK about doing this, and you would prefer to get paid (which i think you should), then you should talk to your friend. "Mary, I thought about this and will be happy to do this for you. Based on the parameters you mentioned [and here you should list the parameters] i will meet with CiCi X times, i will take care of X and Y in the days leading up to the wedding and I will be a the wedding from o'clock to o'clock. This will amount to approximately 40 hours - I would like to receive 400$, you can pay me half upfront and the rest on the day"

Or - maybe you are ok not to be paid but you think this is too much for one person (which i think is valid). then you can say "Mary, I thought about this and I think that I will be fine doing X and Y between these hours but I won't be able to do A and B."
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: BarensMom on December 21, 2012, 12:32:31 PM
OP, run like hades from this mess.  This has the potential to become a huge disaster, with you holding the bag.  It will probably spell the end of your friendship with the bride's mother.  Don't touch this with a ten-foot pole.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Hmmmmm on December 21, 2012, 12:51:23 PM
I think you need to get clarification on what ISN"T expected of you on the day of the wedding.

Are you responsible for coordinating with the caterers, making sure flowers are delivered, making sure cake arrives, dealing with the timing of the reception activities, coordinating with the photographer or DJ, providing directions to the guests who get lost on their way to the site, figuring out what to do with the presents after the reception, and possibly worse realizing that you are left to do all of the clean up on your own.

Things like corraling unruly kids, making sure left over cake was dealt with, and doing a walk through at evening's end to make sure all details are handled I'd be willing to do for a good friend. 

Arranging carpooling, dealing with caterers and lost photographers, and being responsible for all end of night clean up is not things I'd be willing to take on for anyone other than a sister/brother or one of my very best friends unless I was bing paid. 

...And I don't know why you'd be responsible for getting ice to site for 150 guests.  Why isn't that the job of the caterer or why aren't they having it delivered?  That's a ton of ice. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Amara on December 21, 2012, 01:06:29 PM
I agree with everyone here, OP, but especially with BarensMom who stated this has the potential to ruin your friendship with Mary. It does, it really does because at least one thing will always go wrong at a big event. And given the tensions surrounding the expectations of a wedding someone is going to have to be the fall guy. That will likely be you.

But if you do want to do this, I believe you should make it a professional situation between you and Mary--in other words, take your friendship out of it--and draw up a contract specifying the duties and fees. Personally, I'd refuse to play keeper of children (that's a full-time job on its own) and charge a minimum of $1,500, half in advance.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: doodlemor on December 21, 2012, 01:07:16 PM
OP, run like hades from this mess.  This has the potential to become a huge disaster, with you holding the bag.  It will probably spell the end of your friendship with the bride's mother.  Don't touch this with a ten-foot pole.

Podditty pod pod.

You are bright, creative, and organized OP.  However, I do think that the key to something like this is *experience.*  There are too many weird things that could happen here, especially in a rural venue.

One of my friends went to a wedding that has similarities a few years ago that was also in a rural setting.  There was a whole security *staff,* not just a wedding planner.  It does sound like this is a job for more than one person, especially given the parking supervision needed.

As for chasing errant children, that may be a job onto itself, too.  If your friend is already thinking about this, there may be some real rascals on the guest list.

I don't think that your friend knows what a huge favor/job she is asking you to do.  She doesn't need just a planner, she needs a staff.  I don't think this would end well. 

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Acadianna on December 21, 2012, 01:08:01 PM
The main problem I see is that it's a mix of friendship and business -- and you'll probably get the short end of both.  If you agree to do this for your friend, I'd keep it on a very business level (even if she's not paying you).  Make sure all your responsibilities are spelled out in advance -- in writing -- to the smallest detail.  Otherwise, you may end up failing to meet her expectations, and be minus one friend.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: jpcher on December 21, 2012, 01:40:42 PM
Question-
I do not know if I am getting paid.  I have never done a job like this before.  Am I over my head?  Wedding is still a few months away, and I was "officially asked" two nights ago.

I'm curious as to what you said when you were "officially asked."

Please tell me that you responded with an "I'll think about it" instead of already accepting the job.

It is a tremendous favor to do for a friend. I say favor because most likely it will be unpaid. I'm betting that they asked you instead of hiring a professional coordinator because, well, you'll do the work for free.

Which is fine with me, but definitely made me realize it is a  job and not a favor.

It's not a job unless you get paid.

Do you WANT to do this? paid or not - is this something that you want to do?

I think that cicero's question is the most important question you need to answer for yourself.

You have received great advice. It might be a fun, exciting, different thing for you to do.

I might suggest a contract sort of thing. Write down all the tasks and get precise information from Mary for what you are expected to do.

Especially talk to the site owner prior to making your decision. It's probable that site owner has requirements of her own that Mary is unaware of. Maybe, as the wedding coordinator, you might be responsible for any damages done to the property (far-fetched, but you never know unless you ask.)

Good luck!

In the end . . . is this something that you WANT to do?




POD to Acadianna who posted while I was typing.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Thuringwethyl on December 21, 2012, 01:41:37 PM
OP, run like hades from this mess.  This has the potential to become a huge disaster, with you holding the bag.  It will probably spell the end of your friendship with the bride's mother.  Don't touch this with a ten-foot pole.

This. So much this!
I really don't like how your friend volunteered you without asking first, either.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on December 21, 2012, 01:48:30 PM
i agree with all who say run! i would also add, that since you're asking here, you have doubts. which means you aren't quite sure if you want to do this, are up to doing this, and so on. I'd either pass, if you haven't already committed, or if you have, politely say that once you thought things through, you realized you wouldn't be able to do the kind of job right that needs to be done.

I also agree they need to be hiring a professional, someone who does this for a living, and not relying on a friend, no matter how well organized, for this huge task. it sounds like it has the potential for a big disaster, not saying the OP can't handle it, but it really sounds like the owner specifically requiring someone to handle things means its a huge job, and she has very specific expectations that will need to be met.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 21, 2012, 03:08:30 PM
I just restarted my meeting planning business after a hiatus.  My day of event fee is between $500-$1000.  This includes me taking over from the B/G or person in charge of the event starting two weeks before the event. 

It is not just about meeting once with Cici and showing up on the day of the wedding. Even though you will technically only be the reception coordinator, you will need to be in constant contact with the family, vendors, and Cici in the weeks leading up to the wedding.  So you are probably looking at anywhere from 10-20 hours a week dealing with all of the little details before the wedding.

I would also say that you should NOT take on the responsibility of unruly children.  That is their parents job not yours.  You don't have time to watch over children with all of the detail that goes into running an event

Pod.  I'm no event planner, but I have been handling the bulk of the planning for my own wedding and reception, and even in these last few months, the planning has been a ton of work.  In fact, DF even got a stern talking-to from me the other day because he's been acting put-upon for being expected to do anything for his own wedding (the wedding HE wants; I just wanted us, a priest and two witnesses).  I understand that Mary doesn't like problems, but this is her DD and her DD's wedding.  Either Mary needs to hire an actual wedding coordinator or the HC does.  Whichever, you really would be doing a ton of work for free if you do it as an unpaid favor.  If I were to plan someone else's wedding like I've been doing mine, I'd expect no less than $1,000 for the amount of work I've done (and this doesn't include the hours of website design, hours of making the favors, hours of designing save-the-dates and invites -- if I were to include those things, my price would triple or quadruple), and I would expect to be able to hire people for the day-of to do things like bring ice, clean up, wrangle guests, direct parking (parents are responsible for wrangling their own unruly children though, unless the HC wants to hire a babysitter).  The $1,000 would only cover finding the people who would do the tasks with which Mary needs assistance and overseeing event execution day of.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: GreenBird on December 21, 2012, 06:00:49 PM
Do NOT get involved in this - it will absolutely blow up on you as other posters are saying.  I think your reply should be "I'm sorry, that won't be possible.  There is so much involved in coordinating a reception I really think you need to hire a professional to make sure your event goes smoothly." 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Lindee on December 21, 2012, 06:29:14 PM
I agree.  Do not do this. You are being taken advantage of.  You are not close enough to be invited to the wedding you but you are close enough to be told ("I already gave your name") to do a major, long, tiring, stressful, thankless task for free?  Run.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 21, 2012, 06:38:41 PM
I agree.  Do not do this. You are being taken advantage of.  You are not close enough to be invited to the wedding you but you are close enough to be told ("I already gave your name") to do a major, long, tiring, stressful, thankless task for free?  Run.

This sounds like a foretelling of things to come.  She didn't even ask you before giving out your name; maybe I'm jumping to an "interesting assumption," but I think someone who does that is used to the other person giving in.  I'd have to agree that it's questionable that she and the HC don't feel you are close enough to invite to the wedding but that Mary feels you are close enough to ask for such a huge favor.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: cheyne on December 21, 2012, 07:58:42 PM
Please don't do this.  This request has nothing to do with etiquette, except the poor etiquette shown by Mary giving your name to Cici without even asking you first.  This isn't a favor, this is slave labor disquised as a favor to the MOB, not even the Bride as you don't know her.

If you are still thinking of doing it, let's take a look at the [partial] list you provided in your OP after Mary rambling for 30 minutes:

1.  Weddings are a BIG DEAL for Mary and family.  This means they will expect it to go perfectly according to plan.

2.  You are to be the contact person for Mary, Bride, and Cici as of right now.  This means at least 3-4 weeks before the wedding of phone calls, person to person meetings, changes in planning etc..

3.  You are to bring ice for 150 guests?  Are you to pay for it too?  At 3 lbs. per person that's 450 lbs. of ice.  Do you own a refrigerator truck so that's why Mary is asking you this?  What are you to do with the ice once it's on-site? 

4.  You are in charge of clean-up.  Is there a staff at the venue that will be cleaning and you are only there to supervise?  Or are you going to be doing the majority of the clean-up with a few friend/family invited guest volunteers?

5.  How are you going to tell invited guests to "stay close" to the reception venue?  With a megaphone?  What if a guest decides to wander off and hurts themselves?  Will you be responsible?

6.  Corral unruly children?  How are you to do this?  This is a separate job unto itself. 

7.  Tupperware the cake.  How big is said cake?  How many people are getting leftover cake?  Is the tupperware going to be provided with names on it, or are you supposed to just make a bunch of separate containers that folks will grab at the end of the night?

8.  Coordinate carpooling.  Plan on several weeks of phone calls before the wedding.  Also plan on at least an hour at the end of the evening coordinating rides home.

9.  Carry out the trash/wild animals.  Dear God, really?  Are you going to be chucking full trash bags into the back of a pick-up or flatbed truck?  Who is going to drive the trash to the dump and unload it?  What wild animals are we talking about?  Coyotes, skunks, badgers, dingos? 

Pretty exhaustive list so far and I am sure Mary had a lot more to say.  You haven't even spoken to Cici yet and this job is already enough for 4 people.  Please, please think about this before you accept.  If things don't go smoothly I believe your friendship with Mary will be over.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: blarg314 on December 21, 2012, 08:01:53 PM
Personally, I'd run away as fast as I could. Agreeing to do it will kill the friendship in resentment, anyways.

It would be a little different if your friend had come at this properly - researched the cost and duties of reception coordinator come to talk to you, mentioned that she needed someone to do this, had a detailed list of what was involved and time estimates, offered a fee, and asked if you were interested - she thought of you because she knew you were so good at things like this. You could think about it, look at the details of the job, and accept or decline as you wanted.

However, what she had done is essentially sign you up for major but nebulous responsibilities at her daughter's wedding and then told you about it, *after* she's told the venue you'll be doing this.  She also hasn't said anything about payment, and I'd be willing to bet large amounts of money that she's expecting you to do this for free, with maybe a gift as thanks. This is not a job - it's a favour.

At a minimum you will be handling all the phone calls and communications from the venue, *and* 150 guests before the wedding, coordinating carpooling, giving out driving  directions and organizing guests at the wedding (not to mention directing traffic), babysitting the badly behaved children, helping with setup, bringing enough ice for 150 guests, doing the site clean-up and packaging up leftovers, transporting and disposing of the garbage produced by 150 people.

I would also expect you to be expected to do things like shopping for supplies and running errands before and the day of the wedding, possibly arranging for the transportation of gifts, setting tables before the wedding, etc.

If the other guests don't stick around to clean up and transport garbage (in their wedding finery, with their carpools and no real parking) it will be solely your job. You will also expect to be doing several jobs at the same time - babysitting, directing people, set-up/clean-up *and* coordinating with the venue. Plus, your number will be given to *everyone* who needs to communicate abou the wedding - all 150 guests, plus the venue, plus the caterers, plus the florists, plus the photographer....

You are also doing this for someone who 'doesn't like problems' so if anything goes wrong it will be solely up to you to fix it.

So - I'd plan on 12-16 hours of work on the day of the wedding itself, plus 8-10 hours the day before, and a few the day after (going to the dump, delivering presents and leftovers).  Count in 10-20 hours a week for a few weeks before the event, much of which will be spent on email or the phone. So expect 1-2 weeks of full time work equivalent, or 50-80 work hours.

I would charge at least $30 an hour, and track your hours. That would be somewhere between $1500 and $3000 for the event. I would also insist on hiring at least one babysitter for the children during the event, because you're not going to be able to corall  kids with everything else you're doing, plus at least one other person for the cleanup phase. I would also insist on the rental of an appropriate vehicle for the wedding and the day before and after - a covered pickup truck or equivalent, so you aren't doing dump-truck duty in your own vehicle.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: guihong on December 21, 2012, 09:06:25 PM
"Doesn't like problems"= you will be doing all the scut work, and it is scut with a capital S.  If something goes wrong (scratch: when something goes wrong), you will be handling it.  And if this wedding doesn't go off like the Royal Wedding, your friendship is hurt at best; at worst, you're in Judge Judy land.

What, exactly, is "a few months"?  March?  June?  Even if it's six months out, so in the summer, you're still looking at 10-20 hours a week minimum on this wedding.  Firstly, can you even fit that in with your family life, work, and other obligations?  As time goes by, this will mushroom into a full time job.  Things always take more time than you think.

I wouldn't agree to a thing until you have a contract, with every responsibility spelled out, your hours, and your PAY.  For a pro to take on a sit-down dinner for 180 (I'm adding some, which is inevitable), you're probably talking $1000 for a bargain, $3000 isn't unheard of.   That's a mighty generous "gift".   Who pays for all that ice, your gas, the rental fee when you find you have to rent a 4x4 just to get out there; a Honda won't cut it.

You don't know anything about Cici or have seen the venue; is this place a lawsuit waiting to happen should one of the kids get away from you? Is Cici a nightmare or someone you can work with very closely for many meetings and a very long day? 

You need to ask a ton of questions and get answers that aren't rambling, but if it were me, I would get out now.  They need a professional (not that you wouldn't be, but wedding coordinators do this, and bigger, for a living). 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: doodlemor on December 21, 2012, 10:42:26 PM
What is the worst that could happen??  Would it be better if I was paid?

PP's have done an excellent job suggesting some of the worst things that could happen, particularly cheyne and blarg314. 

A problem area that hasn't been fully discussed is the wildlife thing.  Suppose the critters decide not to wait for the trash, and come to snack when you're setting up.  Or, suppose that they are there already.  My mother had a scary story about going on a group picnic to a forest park, and finding a rattlesnake under the table - luckily before they sat down.

You didn't say who is paying for the wedding.  I suspect that your friend was surprised when she was told that there had to be a coordinator at the reception site, and no one has budgeted for this.  I doubt that she is planning to pay you, much less the number of people who would be actually needed to do the job that she wants done.

If you do accept pay, this might give you "independent contractor" status, depending on the state where you live.  If such is the case, then you would need your own personal insurance to protect yourself from any possible lawsuits. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 21, 2012, 10:50:07 PM
The threshold for filing a W-9 is $600.  This is both for individuals and businesses.  You will still have to declare any income no matter what, but you HAVE to file a W-9 if anyone pays you an amount over $600
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 21, 2012, 10:56:20 PM
I had a thought, what if Cici suggested wedding planners or asked who the planner was, as she has a requirement for the venue that the wedding planner comes to coordinate things. The trucking the ice should be handled by the caterer, or is there an ice company that will deliver?
I agree with others, in order to preserve the friendship, everything should be written out as precisely as possible, specific timeline and specific plans. Where is the bride in all this?, she may have very definite plans. This will be a lot of work, at the time you list the specific plans you should suggest a price.
I think Cici the property owner knows exactly what will be required and will be able to give you a better idea if this is something you really want to do.
edited to add: if wedding is two or three months away, that is SOON and you will need to hustle to get up to speed. Fast.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: AmethystAnne on December 22, 2012, 06:55:42 AM
I wrote most of the below last night, set it aside to think about posting it, and it's now morning. I thought about what the PP's have suggested and I think this is important for me to say:

Please don't do this, Region, as she has listed how you should do it. I don't want you to have this major stress, and it sounds like it'll be all your fault when (not if) something/anything goes wrong.

I think the MOTB is delusional if she thinks one person can do all that she wants done perfectly in the time frame she laid out. She is asking for a big part of your life for free for something that you would normally only do for love of your child or a beloved close family member. And you would not be expected to do all of this by yourself.

I coordinated for 4 wedding receptions that my 3 DD's had, and had a lot of help. I also helped at a dear friend's DD's wedding reception last year with 5 other women.

My suggestion? How much moxie do you have? .......... this is only just slightly said in jest....call MOTB and tell her that you will take on this job for $2000 pay, she pays all expenses, and $$$ for each of your 5 assistants for the day of the wedding.

What do you think she will say? If she says "no", call CiCi immediately and tell her that you will not be the coordinator. I'm cynical, and think that maybe MOTB will forget to inform CiCi. It's better to know for sure that CiCi knows that you've declined.

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: peaches on December 22, 2012, 06:59:56 AM
After reading over the OP again, I am even more convinced that this is a trainwreck.

You can assume this is not a paid position. If it were, MOB would have said "of course we'll pay you for your time/assistance". She didn't.

I have volunteered my help to close family members at their weddings - supervising the cake cutting or helping with gifts or decorating the church, for example. But I was never asked to do more than one thing. When the list is as long as the one you've been given, that's a professional job IMO.

(While I was typing, AmethystAnne posted - and I agree with everything she has said!)
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: AmethystAnne on December 22, 2012, 07:16:45 AM
(Thank you, peaches)

This is a nightmare waiting to happen.

I still get a little nervous just thinking back on each the DD's receptions (1996, 2003, 2008, 2010).
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: RegionMom on December 22, 2012, 08:53:36 AM
OP here, and back after a fun-filled day of carpooling teens to movies and parties and then getting to hang out myself with friends! 

I talked it over with DH, and he, of zero experience with anything like this, said it does not seem that hard. 
 :P ::) ??? :o
That is like the perspective of a non-music person saying, "how hard can it be to play a few notes?"

So, oh-wise ehellions, I am going to call Mary this weekend and let her know that since this is her daughter's special day (in March) that she should have only the best; my "giving it a whirl" at this venue would be a disservice to the family. 

Also, due to her moving out to (broken but being fixed house) and both of us changing jobs, I rarely see her anymore, but we do share mutual friends and talk on the phone.  She is a sweet lady, very gentle.

Anyone want to help me draft a few phrases?  The patented, "I am afraid that will not be possible" is always good, and "No." 

I know she will stroke my ego and tell me it is not that big a deal, "anyone can do it, and you would do it so well!  I have seen you with other kids and in the classroom and meetings and you are so strong and communicate so well and I trust you!" and that is why I need to let her find "anyone" else.
 :)


Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: buvezdevin on December 22, 2012, 09:01:01 AM
"after thinking it over, and knowing how important the day is to you and your family, I believe this would best be handled by a professional wedding coordinator.  While I appreciate your confidence in my capabilities, i offer this suggestion in your best interests.  Whether or not you choose to hire a professional will not change my decision to decline, so please do not try to persuade me otherwise."
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: GeauxTigers on December 22, 2012, 09:35:03 AM
"Friend, there are people who do this. They're called wedding coordinators. Yes, they cost money. There's a reason for that."
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 22, 2012, 09:54:06 AM
"after thinking it over, and knowing how important the day is to you and your family, I believe this would best be handled by a professional wedding coordinator.  While I appreciate your confidence in my capabilities, I'm afraid it won't be possible for me to accept and I offer this suggestion in your best interests.  Whether or not you choose to hire a professional will not change my decision to decline, so please do not try to persuade me otherwise."

I'd go with the above, then throw out I'm afraid it won't be possible to her every response.  Sending titanium your way, you'll need it for that spine of yours.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 22, 2012, 10:02:16 AM
"Thank you for thinking of me, but I am not an experienced wedding coordinator, and I feel that you would be better served by someone who is.  I looked up the names of a few professional wedding coordinators for you in case you are interested."

I would then email her a list of a few professionals in your area.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: JenJay on December 22, 2012, 10:06:07 AM
"Thank you for thinking of me, but I am not an experienced wedding coordinator, and I feel that you would be better served by someone who is.  I looked up the names of a few professional wedding coordinators for you in case you are interested."

I would then email her a list of a few professionals in your area.

I'd go with that!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: AmethystAnne on December 22, 2012, 10:14:39 AM
/\ /\
I agree.

Also, call CiCi and tell her that you have declined.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 22, 2012, 10:31:12 AM
"Thank you for thinking of me, but I am not an experienced wedding coordinator, and I feel that you would be better served by someone who is.  I looked up the names of a few professional wedding coordinators for you in case you are interested."

I would then email her a list of a few professionals in your area.

I wouldn't go that far because she might blame you if she chooses one who screws up.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 22, 2012, 10:43:41 AM
"Thank you for thinking of me, but I am not an experienced wedding coordinator, and I feel that you would be better served by someone who is.  I looked up the names of a few professional wedding coordinators for you in case you are interested."

I would then email her a list of a few professionals in your area.

I wouldn't go that far because she might blame you if she chooses one who screws up.

I suggested this because I think if she sees what a professional charges, and it may give her an idea of the huge favor she is asking of the OP. 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Carotte on December 22, 2012, 10:52:12 AM
OP, it's your friend so you will know if you have to do it, but if you have the slightest hint that she could, in a few months, turn back on you and twist what you said I'd also send a mail to have a paper trail, something reiterating "sorry I will not be able to do this, don't forget to inform Cici.. etc.."

And while I was typing the 'don't forget to inform Cici' it just occurred to me that your friend could ask Cici if she has some professionals to recommend, she probably has worked with a few already and they would know the place already.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Amara on December 22, 2012, 12:26:51 PM
I'm heaving a big sigh of relief in reading that you won't take this on, OP. And I think other posters' suggestions of what to say are good. Me? I'd probably be more blunt and use the simple, ever effective, and un-arguable e-Hell phrase "It's just not possible." I wouldn't want my friend to have anything to grasp onto nor would I want her to think my spine was softer than it was.

Congratulations on your decision. Very wise.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: siamesecat2965 on December 22, 2012, 12:42:40 PM
I'm heaving a big sigh of relief in reading that you won't take this on, OP. And I think other posters' suggestions of what to say are good. Me? I'd probably be more blunt and use the simple, ever effective, and un-arguable e-Hell phrase "It's just not possible." I wouldn't want my friend to have anything to grasp onto nor would I want her to think my spine was softer than it was.

Congratulations on your decision. Very wise.

POD - as I've said before on ehell, I'm a firm believer in the less said, the better. if she does try and convince you by telling you you're so organized ,etc., I'd simply point out that yes, but in completely different sitatuations, and that you've NEVER handled something like a wedding, and therefore, she needs to go with someone who has experience in that area.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Queen of Clubs on December 22, 2012, 01:06:00 PM
/\ /\
I agree.

Also, call CiCi and tell her that you have declined.

Yes, definitely do this too!  Let Cici know there's no point in contacting you as you've got *nothing* to do with the wedding!

Good luck, OP.  I hope Mary accepts your no gracefully and that her daughter's wedding turns out beautifully.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: JoieGirl7 on December 22, 2012, 01:07:26 PM
I think you should tell her that you dont have time to take on a project like this and that she should hire a professional.

Her giving someone else your name as a contact before asking you is a huge red flag.

This should be about you and why you will not do it, not about why she shouldn't want you to do it.

And when all else fails, remember that "no" is a complete sentence and it can be repeated as often as necessary without being rude.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: ChiGirl on December 22, 2012, 06:12:46 PM
"I think this requires the services of a professional; I'd hate to mess anything up.  I bet Cici can suggest someone!"
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 22, 2012, 07:02:20 PM
"I think this requires the services of a professional; I'd hate to mess anything up.  I bet Cici can suggest someone!"

I'd change it to "You need the service of a professional.  When I call Cici to let her know not to contact me, I'll suggest she call you with names of professionals."  Gives Mary no room to argue, "Oh, I think you'll be fine; you wouldn't mess anything up!"
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on December 22, 2012, 08:46:19 PM
"I think this requires the services of a professional; I'd hate to mess anything up.  I bet Cici can suggest someone!"

I'd change it to "You need the service of a professional.  When I call Cici to let her know not to contact me, I'll suggest she call you with names of professionals."  Gives Mary no room to argue, "Oh, I think you'll be fine; you wouldn't mess anything up!"

This. . Keep it simple and don't JADE or give her holes to exploit.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: PastryGoddess on December 22, 2012, 11:07:33 PM
"I think this requires the services of a professional; I'd hate to mess anything up.  I bet Cici can suggest someone!"

I'd change it to "You need the service of a professional.  When I call Cici to let her know not to contact me, I'll suggest she call you with names of professionals."  Gives Mary no room to argue, "Oh, I think you'll be fine; you wouldn't mess anything up!"


How about...


I already called Cici and let her know I wouldn't be the point of contact and I'm sure she has some names of professionals for you. I told her I'd speak to you on [date] so she's expecting your call.


Then bean dip, hang up, or run like the wind
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 22, 2012, 11:26:51 PM
"I think this requires the services of a professional; I'd hate to mess anything up.  I bet Cici can suggest someone!"

I'd change it to "You need the service of a professional.  When I call Cici to let her know not to contact me, I'll suggest she call you with names of professionals."  Gives Mary no room to argue, "Oh, I think you'll be fine; you wouldn't mess anything up!"


How about...


I already called Cici and let her know I wouldn't be the point of contact and I'm sure she has some names of professionals for you. I told her I'd speak to you on [date] so she's expecting your call.


Then bean dip, hang up, or run like the wind

Or even...

First call Cici, "I'm sorry, but Mary was mistaken.  I will not be the reception coordinator AND WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE AT ALL FOR ANY ASSISTANCE; Mary will contact you shortly for further direction."

Then call Mary, "I let Cici know that I am not the reception coordinator and not to contact me for anything.  I let her know to expect your call shortly for how to proceed" then run like the wind (if necessary, have a member of your family standing by to immediately start calling for you so you have no choice but to hang up the phone immediately, "Gotta go, John Boy said the cat's on fire!"
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: nonesuch4 on December 23, 2012, 11:56:50 AM
I've skimmed all four pages and am relieved you're not taking this on.

I helped cater a wedding this spring as a favor to a friend (bride was a friend of a friend.)  The wedding was about the same number of people, too.  At the end of eight hours, Bride's BFF and I were exhausted, and we still had to clean the venue, and prepare the rented dishes and silver to be returned.  The ice situation alone was a shambles, as there was nothing to put it in. 

I'm in favor of vague excuses. [I'm sorry, that's not possible]

Specific excuses generate specific rebuttals.

I agree you should call Cici and tell her to lose your number you will not be available to help.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Minmom3 on December 23, 2012, 12:11:56 PM
I've skimmed all four pages and am relieved you're not taking this on.

I helped cater a wedding this spring as a favor to a friend (bride was a friend of a friend.)  The wedding was about the same number of people, too.  At the end of eight hours, Bride's BFF and I were exhausted, and we still had to clean the venue, and prepare the rented dishes and silver to be returned.  The ice situation alone was a shambles, as there was nothing to put it in. 

I'm in favor of vague excuses. [I'm sorry, that's not possible]

Specific excuses generate specific rebuttals.

I agree you should call Cici and tell her to lose your number you will not be available to help.

Snicker.  I wonder how many times Cici has heard that from somebody voluntold to DO something for the bride...  Bet OP wouldn't be the first to say it!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: RegionMom on December 23, 2012, 02:25:33 PM
OP here, posting from android phone.

I called Mary Saturday afternoon, but she is sick and has a sore throat so could not talk.
I will try again after Christmas Day.  Have not told her anything.

Also, I do not have Cici's number.  I guess that is another red flag?  That Mary rambled reception duties and stories but never gave me a number?

The devil is in the details and if I am missing huge chunks of info already (payment, phone number, duty list) I can only imagine how crazy it would be as time goes on...

I will tell e-hell after I really talk with Mary.  Do not want to disturb her Christmas!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: LeveeWoman on December 23, 2012, 02:37:01 PM
OP here, posting from android phone.

I called Mary Saturday afternoon, but she is sick and has a sore throat so could not talk.
I will try again after Christmas Day.  Have not told her anything.

Also, I do not have Cici's number.  I guess that is another red flag?  That Mary rambled reception duties and stories but never gave me a number?

The devil is in the details and if I am missing huge chunks of info already (payment, phone number, duty list) I can only imagine how crazy it would be as time goes on...

I will tell e-hell after I really talk with Mary.  Do not want to disturb her Christmas!

Can't you find the number in the phone book or on the Internet?
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: RegionMom on December 23, 2012, 03:36:53 PM
All I know is Cici's first name.  Not the name of the place she owns.

Like I said, Mary rambles.  I was so busy typing out what she was telling me that I was not truly listening and preparing questions.  I knew I would need to read over my notes.  Once I read them over, I wrote e-hell.
 ;D
Best I could do is call the BBQ joint (a local chain, but I could figure the closet one I can guess based on the cross road intersection Mary told me the venue is near) and ask them the location of the March reception on this day at at 3pm.  I know the bride's last name, but not the groom's.  If they can tell me where it is, then I can look it up and call for Cici. 

I mean, yes, I can ask Mary, but with her being sick now and it so close till Christmas, I will wait a few days.



Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: FauxFoodist on December 23, 2012, 06:40:03 PM
Also, I do not have Cici's number.  I guess that is another red flag?  That Mary rambled reception duties and stories but never gave me a number?

To me, this is a HUGE red flag.  She can think to volunteer your name and remember to give you a list of duties that require the assistance of others, including that this venue has virtually no parking AND has wild animals close by, and she doesn't give you Cici's venue name, location or contact number???  Yeah, whether or not you reach Cici, the answer should remain "I'm afraid this won't be possible; contact a professional.  I will NOT be responding to any inquiries from Cici."  It's very considerate of you to not want to affect her Christmas, but, I gotta say, this reminds me of a Roseanne episode when Roseanne kept trying to call the mom of a kid who gave DJ (Roseanne's son) a dog.  The mom was oddly NEVER available for one reason or another.  I hope that, after Christmas, you lay your response on her, sick or not.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: JoyinVirginia on December 24, 2012, 12:04:30 AM
The more you share the specifics, the more I can envision the owner CiCi talking to your friend, asking who us the coordinator because otherwise 1) there will be additional charge for each task her staff takes on or 2) showed your friend a list of planners who have worked with the venue before and recommended she pick one. Your friend may be trying to save money, or she may have been flustered at three prospect of interviewing and hiring a coordinator. After all, like your dh said, how hard can it be? That may be what friend was thinking when she blurted out your name.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: AmethystAnne on December 24, 2012, 10:30:30 AM
The phrase "How hard can it be?" , is usually said by someone who won't be doing the task that is being discussed. I hate that phrase.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: humbleonion on December 24, 2012, 02:36:03 PM
OP here, posting from android phone.

I called Mary Saturday afternoon, but she is sick and has a sore throat so could not talk.
I will try again after Christmas Day.  Have not told her anything.

Also, I do not have Cici's number.  I guess that is another red flag?  That Mary rambled reception duties and stories but never gave me a number?

The devil is in the details and if I am missing huge chunks of info already (payment, phone number, duty list) I can only imagine how crazy it would be as time goes on...

I will tell e-hell after I really talk with Mary.  Do not want to disturb her Christmas!

Well it sounds like that was the perfect time to tell her, since she couldn't try to talk you out of it!  >:D

Good for you for deciding against this. It's in everyone's best interest, especially the bride's!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on December 25, 2012, 05:32:57 PM

Also, I do not have Cici's number.  I guess that is another red flag?  That Mary rambled reception duties and stories but never gave me a number?


It's a semaphoring red flag in a chorus line! She could talk for 30 minutes and not give you something that basic? Very bad sign.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: lowspark on December 26, 2012, 03:31:43 PM
Posting in agreement that you should decline this honor and also to see the updates.

I'd say something to the effect that although I'm honored that she asked me, I won't be able to accept the responsibility and suggest that a professional wedding coordinator might be more appropriate.

Keep it simple and don't make any excuses. Just thanks but no thanks in so many words.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Sophia on December 26, 2012, 03:56:28 PM
This sounds like a friendship ruining landmine
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Poppea on December 27, 2012, 03:33:50 PM
I agree with all the other posters that wyou should not take on this "honor".  I am amused at how it was presented though.  If you break down the tasks:

Will you bring 150+ pounds of ice to a far location?  And run out for more if necessary?

Will you stay till the end of my party and then make sure its cleaned up, if not stay until the 2-3 am cleaning it?

Will you make sure the garbage is removed?  You may need to bring a pickup truck to ensure this happens.

Will you tell my guests to keep close in?  And corral their children.  I'm sure no one will be offended when you parent their kids.

Will you coordinate the carpooling?  This means you need to stay until the end and make a few round trips for the stray guests that missed their rides.

Will you tupperware the cake?  Make sure you completely empty your home fridge because I'm not going to answer your call the next day and will be too busy with relatives to pick up the cake right away. 

I(f she had asked just one or two of these items any sane person would have said no.  But by wrapping it up in a pretty "wedding coordinator" ribbon it becomes an honor.

I predict the MOB will plead with the OP to take the job because she cannot trust anyone else.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: blarg314 on December 27, 2012, 08:30:02 PM

I'm curious about what Mary did for previous weddings for her daughters? Because surely she knows what it takes to arrange a wedding reception for 150 people with a sit down dinner.

I think that if you're planning an event like this, and you're thinking of asking someone for a favour, it's worth considering

1) Is this favour in line with the kind of thing you'd normally ask that person for?

2) How important is it that the favour be done with a high level of competence? 

3) What would it cost to get a professional to do this job? Why does a professional charge this much?

So for 1), asking your sister to pick up the flowers the morning of the wedding is a reasonable request. Asking a casual friend to be your wedding coordinator is not. For 2) if having really good pictures is important to you, maybe getting your friend's kid who loves taking pictures to do all the photos is pretty risky. And for 3) if a professional wedding coordinator charges $3000 for the job, think hard about everything that's involved in the job, and how long it takes to do.

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: ------ on December 27, 2012, 09:30:03 PM
Region,

I'm so relieved to read that you are not going to do this. I am amazed and appalled that this lady had the nerve to ask a casual friend to volunteer her time, money and resources to this extent for someone she barely knows. It would be a heck of a lot to even ask a best friend or beloved, close family member - much less a friendly acquaintance. (!)

That said, I'm a little concerned that Mary might be avoiding your phone call, knowing that you're likely calling to back out. I think she knows exactly what she's asking of you, but she's hoping that you're going to be too nice to "let her down." As in - if she avoids you long enough (and avoids getting you in touch with Cici), it will be "too late" for you to decline, and since you're such a nice person, you'll just go ahead and do it for her.

I can see her coming from a mile away. Sure, she may be sick - but she doesn't have to talk - just listen. Heck, I had to go to the emergency room Christmas night with a sinus infection from the depths of Hades, but I still wasn't too sick to pick up the phone to find out the wait time. She can pick up the phone to hear you say "no." She just doesn't want to.

So, I strongly recommend that you avoid the phone call altogether, and email her a polite "I'm sorry, but it just won't be possible for me to coordinate your daughter's wedding. I couldn't get in touch with you by phone, so I wanted to make sure to let you know as soon as possible. I hope your daughter has a beautiful wedding and that you feel better soon. Best wishes, Region."

That way, you also have an email trail that you DID contact her by such-and-such date in case she wants to turn around and blame you for anything. I know it doesn't seem like she would, but trust me, I've seen it happen. The nicest people in the world can surprise you the most with their nastiness...I know from harsh experience that the one person I thought would never turn on me...did.

You can always make a follow-up phone call to ensure she got your message, of course. But in either case, I would strongly recommend that you send her something in writing, either via email or snail mail, just to cover your you-know-what.

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on December 28, 2012, 08:08:15 AM
I agree with Mrkitty. Put it in writing and send it off- besides, if she's too sick to talk, then she can't call to yell at you!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: cheyne on December 28, 2012, 10:49:04 AM
mrkitty is right on.  I am afraid that when you speak with Mary, she'll try to persuade you to take on "a couple" of the duties and it will just balloon from there. 

I understand that Mary has a cold, but a cold doesn't stop life from going on.  There is no reason she can't talk to you or receive an email from you.  If she was in a coma I would advise you differently...
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Hopefull on December 29, 2012, 11:26:47 PM


1)I have been asked to be the contact person,
2) and to bring ice,
3)and make sure all is cleaned up,
4)and to tell guests to stay close by,
5)and corral potentially unruly children,
6)and to Tupperware the wedding cake after,
7)and meet with the site owner beforehand,
8)and maybe help coordinate carpooling since there is not really a parking lot.
i know you aren't going to do this but I just had to comment!

OK each of these tasks will take  team of people.
Numbers 2-5 and number 8 would take at least 2 people. Even if you agreed to do this who is going to assist you in all the tasks?? I really would love to know what was going through this woman's mind!!!

Please update us :)
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Sara Crewe on December 30, 2012, 03:04:47 PM
You know, my mother gave up her job (was planning to retire shortly anyway) to run my sister's wedding.

Even so, she didn't try to do any of this stuff on the day.  As far as she was concerned, she was the organiser, it was up to paid staff to actually do the work.

I agree with PPs that this isn't something one person could do.  Even wedding coordinators see their job as directing the staff, not doing the work themselves.

I strongly agree with PPs - you should email/call MOB now so she can't try to use the delay to argue that she thought it was all covered (also, she may want to use time off over Christmas to make other arrangements).  Please don't let her guilt you into doing this.  This is hard work and far too great a favour for her to ask.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Thipu1 on December 30, 2012, 05:12:19 PM
Talk about red flags?  This one looks like a 1950s Moscow on May Day!

Can't you just see the wonderful sight?

RegionMom pulls up in the command center van and gives her teams their final briefing.  All team members are wearing black cat-suits and the sort of communication devices normally used only by those who protect Heads of State. 

'Team Car-pool' is sent out with reflective vests and paddles, pulling cars into parking spaces and herding guests into shuttles to get to the Reception venue.

'Team Kiddo' goes out in colorful shirts and broad, bright smiles to corral the obstreperous young-uns. 

'Team Critter' is issued night-vision glasses, camo vests and firearms as they patrol the perimeter to deal with wildlife of both the four and two-legged variety.

'Team Kitchen' gets issued nothing except plastic garbage bags and aprons.  They get no respect. Still, they have to do an awful lot of work.

At the end of the affair, when all the teams are back in the command van, the MOB is almost sure to complain that the van wasn't decorated in the Wedding colors. 

Seriously, how could anyone expect a single person to do all these tasks? 

'How hard could it be?' usually means that the task is too hard for the person doing the asking to
 contemplate. 





Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: ------ on December 30, 2012, 05:43:37 PM
Talk about red flags?  This one looks like a 1950s Moscow on May Day!

Can't you just see the wonderful sight?

RegionMom pulls up in the command center van and gives her teams their final briefing.  All team members are wearing black cat-suits and the sort of communication devices normally used only by those who protect Heads of State. 

'Team Car-pool' is sent out with reflective vests and paddles, pulling cars into parking spaces and herding guests into shuttles to get to the Reception venue.

'Team Kiddo' goes out in colorful shirts and broad, bright smiles to corral the obstreperous young-uns. 

'Team Critter' is issued night-vision glasses, camo vests and firearms as they patrol the perimeter to deal with wildlife of both the four and two-legged variety.

'Team Kitchen' gets issued nothing except plastic garbage bags and aprons.  They get no respect. Still, they have to do an awful lot of work.

At the end of the affair, when all the teams are back in the command van, the MOB is almost sure to complain that the van wasn't decorated in the Wedding colors. 

Seriously, how could anyone expect a single person to do all these tasks? 

'How hard could it be?' usually means that the task is too hard for the person doing the asking to
 contemplate.

ROTFL! This is so true, Thipu1. I think I died laughing at the bolded. I hold you personally responsible for the injuries I sustained when I busted my guts.   ;D

Seriously, though, Regionmom. I hope you continue NOT doing this for your 'friend' (who my DH and I both feel isn't remotely acting like a friend). When I explained the background stuff to DH, his response on behalf of Regionmom was, well, not something I can repeat here.

The nerve of some people. Really. Why doesn't she just demand that someone else cater the entire affair while she's at it? How about making the wedding dress, too? Oh, and go ahead and purchase two first class tickets to Paris for a week as a honeymoon for the happy couple...    >:(

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: cheyne on December 30, 2012, 06:35:41 PM
Quote
'Team Critter' is issued night-vision glasses, camo vests and firearms as they patrol the perimeter to deal with wildlife of both the four and two-legged variety.

Pick me! Pick me!   >:D
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Phoebe on December 31, 2012, 07:33:56 PM
LOL!  Reminds me of the current commercial (for Geico?) featuring a lion on the hunt and a couple of antelopes wearing night vision goggles, taunting him:  "Ever think of becoming a vegetarian, Carl?"
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: BarensMom on January 01, 2013, 10:45:28 AM
LOL!  Reminds me of the current commercial (for Geico?) featuring a lion on the hunt and a couple of antelopes wearing night vision goggles, taunting him:  "Ever think of becoming a vegetarian, Carl?"

"We can totally see you, Carl."

Regionsmom, I am so glad that you decided not to do this.  For a non-professional, planning a reception is a nightmare of major proportions.  Stay strong on this and don't let Mary talk you into doing ANYTHING.

One day, I'll tell my Sheraton Palace story, when my eye stops twitching at the thought.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Morticia on January 05, 2013, 10:42:01 AM
Any update? OP, please tell us you are off the hook.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Poppea on January 08, 2013, 02:29:00 PM
Please come back and tell us you declined.
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: Morticia on January 08, 2013, 02:30:57 PM
In the meantime, can we please have Barensmom's Sheraton Palace story?
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
Post by: BarensMom on January 08, 2013, 05:16:20 PM
In the meantime, can we please have Barensmom's Sheraton Palace story?

CRUD MONKEYS!, I would have to sit and write the whole mess down before I even thought about posting it.  It was a godawful 4-5 day experience involving individuals from 5 continents.  It's been 7 years and it still gives me palpitations when I think about it.

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88
Post by: RegionMom on January 08, 2013, 05:40:55 PM
OP here-

sorry for the delays!  Neither of us are on facebook and texting is not our style, so with her being sick and then Christmas break, and then my travelling a bit and then getting sick (yeah for doctors and no flu!) it has been a quiet start to the New Year.

However,

I DO have an update, and I am free and clear and OFF the hook!  Basically, it was her idea, based on my hesitations...
and the fact that I am not bilingual, as the helper would need to be for the groom's family.

If not for my not speaking the language of the groom's family, she would still try to convince me to do it.  Seeing the "teams" all listed out really hit home with me.

Oh, and money was never mentioned.

I did receive an invitation to the wedding shower, even though I really do not know this daughter, one of seven children, the youngest being my oldest's age.

Unfortunately
I cannot attend, since I paid a deposit months ago for a get-away weekend that coincides with the shower.  Oh well!

So, thanks for helping me to say NO.

And I have never been so thankful that I am not multi-lingual!!!!

Baren'sMom-

feel free to add your story here.  We can continue with tales of reception horror!!
 
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!
Post by: ------ on January 08, 2013, 08:43:00 PM
Yay for RegionMom! Thank Goodness you got out of this - either by hook or by crook, at least you're off the hook!

Too bad you didn't have a chance to unsheath that sharpened, highly-polished spine of yours. But on the other hand, it's good you managed to avoid any unpleasantness in the process. I can almost feel your relief from over here.  ;D

So...let me just get this part straight, though. You got invited to the bridal shower, but NOT to the wedding?

Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!
Post by: doodlemor on January 08, 2013, 09:14:05 PM
Bravo, RegionMom!  I'm so glad that you are free and clear from this bizarre obligation!
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88
Post by: parrot_girl on January 09, 2013, 03:56:55 AM
OP here-

sorry for the delays!  Neither of us are on facebook and texting is not our style, so with her being sick and then Christmas break, and then my travelling a bit and then getting sick (yeah for doctors and no flu!) it has been a quiet start to the New Year.

However,

I DO have an update, and I am free and clear and OFF the hook!  Basically, it was her idea, based on my hesitations...
and the fact that I am not bilingual, as the helper would need to be for the groom's family.

If not for my not speaking the language of the groom's family, she would still try to convince me to do it.  Seeing the "teams" all listed out really hit home with me.

Oh, and money was never mentioned.

I did receive an invitation to the wedding shower, even though I really do not know this daughter, one of seven children, the youngest being my oldest's age.

Unfortunately
I cannot attend, since I paid a deposit months ago for a get-away weekend that coincides with the shower.  Oh well!

So, thanks for helping me to say NO.

And I have never been so thankful that I am not multi-lingual!!!!

Baren'sMom-

feel free to add your story here.  We can continue with tales of reception horror!!
Holy good gravy. She didn't think to mention that, the first time she contacted you? It only just occurred to her? Thank heavens it did! Imagine if you'd agreed after all and then turned up and realised you had to do charades along with everything else! I am so glad for your sake that you're off the hook. Now you can just send a lovely card wishing them all the best (I would not bother with a present, given you weren't actually invited to the wedding) and enjoy the stress-free weekend.
(any chance you could ring Mary after the wedding and find out how it went? I'd really love to know if she actually bit the bullet and hired someone, or if she managed to talk somebody else into running around like a headless chook all day.)
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!
Post by: PurpleFrog on January 09, 2013, 04:47:56 AM
A lucky escape.



Are you sure you couldn't learn a second language in time?  >:D
Title: Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!
Post by: JoyinVirginia on January 10, 2013, 10:40:42 AM
Color me amazed that the fact the grooms family does not speak English was one of those details she neglected to mention in that first phone call, along with not mentioning the number of the place and, ooh, that little detail about payment for all the work involved.
The closer we get to dds wedding, the happier I am she hired a wedding planner to be the problem solver on the wedding day!