Wedding Planning 101 | Wedding Coordinator Vs. Venue Manager

Wedding Day Coordination

As a wedding planner, answering questions is a HUGE part of my job.. and I get a lot of them. Questions about etiquette, scheduling, family matters, menu choices, invitation designs…the list goes on and one. Some questions are outrageous, awkward, funny and some are just plain weird.

Here are some of my favorites from last summer:

“Can you take care of the stray dog that just wandered in?”

“Can you make sure the kids stay out of this room? We had our bachelorette last night and there are a lot of sex toys in there.”

“Can you wash the dishes for me?”

I swear to you these are all honest quotes of questions I was asked this summer.

I also get asked a lot of the same questions over and over again. One of the questions I get most often is this:

“My venue has a banquet manager that will be managing everything for me on the day of the wedding, why would I need to hire you?”

Today, I will explain to you the difference between the two roles and how the complement, not copy, one another. First, let’s look at the Venue Manager.

Venue Manager: The primary duty of the venue manager is to oversee all operations of the venue. They manage the venue staff, oversee procedures and troubleshoot any venue-related problems.

This being said, yes your venue manager will help you create a floor plan for the day of, they’ll also make sure the lighting is okay and the bar is open. The venue manager knows the ins and outs of the venue.

Wedding Day Coordinator: The primary duty of the wedding day coordinator is to oversee and manage all details of the wedding day. From the time the bride is getting her hair and make up done until the dance winds down, the wedding planner maintains the schedule, communicates between vendors and troubleshoots any wedding-related problems.

The wedding coordinator is an essential part of the wedding day. They will help you with the running around on the day of, assist with your ceremony and reception set up, manage your schedule and act as the main point of contact on the day of.

The big difference? While the venue manager works for the venue in question, the wedding coordinator works for YOU. Your venue manager will be looking out in the best interest of the venue, and will have many other things on their plate on the night of your wedding. Your wedding coordinators sole focus is you and your wedding! We work for you and hold everything up to your standards to make sure you have the day you have always wanted.

Your venue manger won’t be there to mist your bouquet or fix your gown before walking down the aisle. They won’t be able to drive over to your Mom’s house to pick up the guestbook you forgot. They certainly won’t have a back-up copy of your vows, readings, schedule and vendor contact information. There are many, many things that your venue manager won’t be able to do for you that your wedding coordinator can.

I hope this small post was able to clear some things up for you! Although there are some similarities between the two roles, the wedding coordinator is essential to the success of your big day. If you are thinking about hiring a Wedding Day Coordinator, please send me an email at info@frommenustovenues.com to see if we are available on your wedding date!

Wedding Photography | Engagement Photos

Engagement Photos - Mason Photography

We all know weddings are expensive. Wedding blogs, TV shows and magazines are always talking about how to save money on your big day: silk flowers, lower your guest count, host a cocktail reception etc. One thing that you for sure should not skip out on is the engagement photo session! I can not stress this enough.

The good thing is, most wedding photographers include an engagement session with their packages. If your photographer doesn’t, you should schedule one. Don’t schedule it with another photographer to cut costs – make sure you have an engagement session done with the exact same person who will be taking pictures of you on your wedding day.

Why are engagement photos so important?

Well, would you purchase a car without test driving it first? A car is a big investment that will last you a long time. Why should your wedding photography be any different? Your wedding pictures will be memories that last you a lifetime! They will be hung on the wall, saved in photo albums and in keepsake boxes – and chances are they will passed down to your children and maybe even their children. These are important pictures! So just like with a car, you should have a test run with your photographer too. Maybe you won’t get along. Maybe your fiancé will hate the way the photographer shoots. An engagement session will ultimately show you how you and your photographer will interact on your wedding day.

So you like your photographer, but hate your engagement photos – what should you do? Run! Well, not literally, but find another photographer. You may loose out on your deposit or the cost of the engagement session, but you will get a second chance to get wedding pictures that you love.

I have talked to so many couples who hate their wedding photos, some who even go as far as to re-stage their wedding to get some nice shots. The first thing I always ask them is if they had an engagement session. Some say yes, some say no. When a couple replies “yes”, I ask if they liked their engagement photos. I have not once had a couple answer yes to that question. Then I want to smack them on the head and say “WELL WASN’T THAT A WARNING SIGN?” (I don’t say that of course but I want to – so bad)

The bottom line is that your engagement photos will be a preview of your wedding day photos. If you don’t like them I can guarantee you won’t be happy with your wedding photos. Engagement sessions also allow you to get to know your photographer and make sure you get along. There is nothing worse that a couple and photographer with personality clashes, it can ruin your wedding day.

So when you are on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer, make sure you ask about engagement sessions. It may cost you an extra couple hundred dollars but I promise you it will be worth it!

Engagement Session - Mason Photography

 

Wedding Venues | Saint John Marina

Today I am going to share with you a fun, nautical venue that you might want to consider for your wedding venue.

Saint John Marina Wedding

Where? The Saint John Marina is located at 2050 Westfield Rd in Saint John New Brunswick. It is a beautiful, sea-side venue that is perfect for sailing enthusiasts or anyone who is looking for a casual, small venue by the water.

When? The Saint John Marina is a perfect venue for the Spring, Summer and Fall but I wouldn’t recommend it for the colder months of the year.

On The Plus Side…you have access to a large deck area right off the main reception area!

However…keep in mind that the venue isn’t huge. I wouldn’t recommend stuffing any more than 120 people inside.

Ceremony Options… At the Saint John Marina, there are two possible options for a ceremony. You can have the ceremony indoors in the main reception area. This is a good weather-safe option, but you do have to transform the room around for the reception while the guests are present. If you are lucky enough to have good weather on your wedding day, you can have the ceremony out on the deck. There is a big beautiful tree at the end of the deck where you can hang paper lanterns, pom pom balls, string lights etc.

Reception Options…You are really only given one area to have the reception – the upper level of the main building.

Here are some pictures!

Saint John Marina Weddings

Fixing up some loose chair ties for a ceremony on the deck.

Saint John Marina Weddings

Hanging paper lanterns in the tree outside prior to the outdoor ceremony.

Saint John Marina Weddings

Fashion Show | Inspire Collections & NWH Modeling

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I was lucky to have the chance to help set up for the big NWH Modeling Fashion Show on Wednesday evening in Market Square Saint John! It was such a fun night. The group was raising money for their annual trip to New York City.

The show featured fashions from the local Inspire Collections boutique. Their resort wear, Lisette L slimming pants and Michique handbags were the top items showcased at the show. The show also featured a variety of accessories such as costume jewelry, scarves, fascinators and more!

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Inspire Collections Fashion Show | NWH Modeling Fundraiser

I am totally looking forward to tonight’s big event! I will be helping out with a fundraiser event for NWH Modeling; they are raising money for a trip to the Big Apple! This event will feature both a silent and live auction, as well as a complete fashion show featuring resort wear and accessories from Inspire Collections.

Inspire Collections will be showcasing their line of resort wear and accessories along with new Lisette L slimming pants and ultra-fab Michqiue Handbags. You’ll get to see this season’s hottest trends in fashion jewelry, scarves, handbags and more!

Stop into Market Square in Saint John this evening for this show! Tickets are $15.

NWH Modeling

NWH Modeling

 

Wedding Venues | Camp Glenburn, Kingston, NB

Today I am going to share with you a fun, rustic wedding venue that you may have never considered for your wedding, Camp Glenburn.

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Photography by Genevieve Flynn

Where? Camp Glenburn is located in the middle of nowhere. Well, not really, but kind of. Camp Glenburn is located on the beautiful Kingston Peninsula on Route 850…there are plenty of signs to point you in the right direction so keep an eye open for them.

When? Unfortunately because it is a summer camp, the facility is only available during certain months (May, June, September)

On The Plus Side…when you rent the venue, you get everything for the weekend…including the beach, mess hall, boathouse and adorable little cabins. This makes it perfect for partiers who want a place for their guests to crash after having some drinks.

However…keep in mind this is a kids camp. Single beds in the cabin. Writing on the walls. Small bathrooms. Mis-matched cutlery and dishes… you get the picture.

Ceremony Options… Camp Glenburn has many great spots to have your ceremony. You can get married on the beach (probably the most popular option), in the forest surrounding the camp, in one of the many small grassy clearings, in the boathouse (small weddings only) or even in the mess hall.

Reception Options…The most popular dinner spot is in the mess hall, the same spot where the camp kids eat their meals. It is a very rustic, dark hall but has tons of character and with a little decoration can be super cute. There is even a big beautiful fireplace which makes for a great backdrop behind the head table. However, if you plan on having the meal here and the dance, be prepared to move around some tables and chairs. The room isn’t huge, that’s for sure.

Let me show you some pictures of a wedding I worked this fall at Camp Glenburn.

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The boathouse! I love this picture. As you can see, the boathouse is pretty small but it would make a great ceremony spot for intimate weddings.

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A sweet photograph of the ringer bearer and the flower girl making their entrance! Lovely.

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Jessica and Matt chose to get married on the beach. It’s hard to believe but the day was forecasted to pour rain all day long…it was foggy and rainy and gross right up until the ceremony was about to start. Just as the couple stood together at the altar, the sun began to shine. It was perfect!

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You can get some beautiful pictures on the beach.Image

Here is a picture from the reception. As you can see, the hall is very rustic. The burlap and birch bark decorations fit in perfectly!

So, what do you think? Would you ever consider having your big day at a venue like Camp Glenburn? Here is our conclusion on this venue:

  • Works best for small weddings. You have to keep it at under 100 guests to be comfortable. This wedding ended up with around 110-120 guests and it was way too crowded! Luckily, the weather cooperated and people were able to mingle outdoors and on the deck area. If it had rained and everyone was cramped into the small mess hall, it would have been terrible. Set on this venue but have a big guest list? Rent a tent.
  •  Hire a day-of wedding coordinator. Most wedding venues have an onsite venue coordinator to mange logistics, emergencies and housekeeping. Camp Glenburn does not. Do yourself (and your guests) a favour by hiring a day-of wedding coordinator to act as the main point of contact for the day.
  • Be prepared. Like I said, this venue is kind of in the middle of nowhere. You have to drive for almost a half hour to even find a convince store. Make sure you are prepared and bring everything you will need with you. If you hire a WPIC certified wedding planner to manage the day-of, he/she will provide a Wedding Day Emergency Kit which is super beneficial at a venue like this.
  • There is no cell phone service. Just giving you a heads up – don’t give any of your service providers your cell phone number to contact you on the day of the wedding…you won’t find signal at Camp Glenburn. Once again, another reason to consider a day-of wedding coordinator.
  • One of the best rustic wedding venues. All in all, Camp Glenburn is one of the best rustic wedding venues around the Saint John area. I say this because of the versatility (so many places to have the ceremony, have activities etc.), the accommodation (cabins) and the length of the rental agreement (weekend rental, not just one day). I wouldn’t recommend it for someone looking for a classy, elegant wedding but for a laid back, country party it is perfect!

Jessica and Matt Wedding

Let me know what you think of Camp Glenburn in your comments below!

Ever After Event | What a Success!

Yesterday I had a fabulous day at the Ever After Event! I want to say a special thanks to Lisa of Playful Moments Photography and Tricia of Alluring Affairs for putting together such a great event.

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This was my table set up – what do you think? I tried my best to go for a Spring feel…we are all sick of this winter!

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Here’s an up close and personal look at my Wedding Day Emergency Kit! Keep in mind this is only a small sample of what I bring with me to weddings…I have over $500 worth of supplies to handle anything that might come up. Everyone loved my emergency kit!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by yesterday. I met so many wonderful couples, it was a great day!