Author Topic: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding? UPDATE #88!  (Read 16333 times)

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Lindee

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2012, 07:29:14 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.

SoCalVal

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #31 on: December 21, 2012, 07:38:41 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.



cheyne

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2012, 08:58:42 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.

blarg314

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #33 on: December 21, 2012, 09:01:53 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.

guihong

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #34 on: December 21, 2012, 10:06:25 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). 



doodlemor

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #35 on: December 21, 2012, 11:42:26 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. 

PastryGoddess

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #36 on: December 21, 2012, 11:50:07 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

JoyinVirginia

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #37 on: December 21, 2012, 11:56:20 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.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 12:01:28 AM by JoyinVirginia »

AmethystAnne

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2012, 07:55:42 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.


peaches

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2012, 07:59:56 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!)

AmethystAnne

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2012, 08:16:45 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).

RegionMom

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2012, 09:53:36 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.
 :)


Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

buvezdevin

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2012, 10:01:01 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."
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

GeauxTigers

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2012, 10:35:03 AM »
"Friend, there are people who do this. They're called wedding coordinators. Yes, they cost money. There's a reason for that."

PastryGoddess

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Re: serve as a receptionist coordinator for a wedding?
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2012, 10:54:06 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.