Author Topic: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!  (Read 15717 times)

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deadbody

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2012, 11:27:09 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).

PastryGoddess

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2012, 11:36:59 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
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amylouky

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 11:39:00 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.

Yvaine

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 11:48:58 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.

cicero

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2012, 01:12:23 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."

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BarensMom

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2012, 01:32:31 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.

Hmmmmm

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2012, 01:51:23 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. 

Amara

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2012, 02:06:29 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.

doodlemor

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2012, 02:07:16 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. 


Acadianna

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2012, 02:08:01 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.

jpcher

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2012, 02:40:42 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.

Thuringwethyl

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2012, 02:41:37 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.

siamesecat2965

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2012, 02:48:30 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.

SoCalVal

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2012, 04:08:30 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.



GreenBird

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2012, 07:00:49 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."