Posts Tagged ‘wedding planner’

Insurance for Weddings and Events (…in an imperfect world)

In “A Perfect World” – far, far away – weddings are always blissful, and parties evermore spectacular. Vendors perform flawlessly, thievery is non-existent and nobody ever slips on the dance floor after too much champagne. Ne’er a rain drop falls, nor the winds whistle, only glorious blue skies by day and twinkling stars at night!


It’s time for me to sit down with you and have “the talk”. It sucks that we live in an imperfect world, and it’s no fun for me when I have to talk about this stuff – I feel like “Debbie Downer” – but I owe it to you. An important part of a wedding planner|event planner‘s job is to mitigate risk, and help our clients protect their investment as well as themselves.  Planners bring a wide array of experiences to the table, and the ability to spot potential risks and liabilities in particular is an extremely valuable benefit of our services.

You may be relying on contracts to protect your interests and ensure services are rendered, but how closely are you paying attention?  What liabilities are you assuming by signing an agreement with a venue or vendor?  Read carefully and you will likely see terms and conditions such as these:

Renter assumes all liability of damages from candles including, damage from waxes, fire, or personal injury.” 

“…the host will be responsible for any and all injury to persons or damage to property during your use of the premises…” 

“The event host is liable for any damages…” “Damages includes physical damage to any part of The Premises, personal injury to any person attending the Wedding/Reception Event, any unpaid balances to third­‐party vendors, and  any other physical, financial, or personal damage sustained as a result of this function.”

“(the venue) is not responsible for items lost, stolen or left by hosts, members of a wedding party, or guests”

Not to mention that it’s becoming more common for venues and public facilities to request (require) you provide them with a certificate of liability insurance.  Sounds a little scary – doesn’t it?

Forget the venue… Let’s just celebrate in the backyard

Nope, you are not off the hook if you throw a party or event at home.  For instance: If you host a party are you liable for injuries to a guest? Does it make a difference if you provide alcohol for your guests?  What if they bring their own alcohol?  Are you responsible for your guests after they leave?   Wait, there’s more: Special caution needs to be applied when certain activities, such as swim/pool parties or boat outings, in conjunction with drinking actually increase the danger of the activity itself as well as the liability of the provider.

wedding couple car in ditch

Fortunately for all, there is insurance for weddings and events – because in situations where things don’t go as planned, it can be a real life saver!  Here are a few examples of wedding related mishaps:

  •     Unexpected illness, injury or death of people who play an important part in the wedding
  •     Dangerous and severe weather conditions that prevent the reception site from opening or impede guests from attending (hurricanes, blizzards, etc.)
  •     Bridal shop closed down (Priscilla of Boston)
  •     Stolen or lost gifts
  •     Rented table linens accidentally thrown away
  •     If the bride’s gown is lost, stolen or damaged
  •     The bride or groom has to unexpectedly relocate for a job/active military duty

How much does it cost?

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), wedding insurance can cost between $125 to $400, depending on the amount of coverage you buy (options, costs and limitations vary widely). When comparing policies, read the fine print carefully (…before you sign!).  Pay attention to maximum coverage limits, exclusions and deadlines for purchasing various options.  Additionally, some policies have deductibles you must pay before insurance kicks in.

Liability insurance for short-term special events provides important protection for a variety of organized events – such as family reunions, weddings, business meetings, and community events. Some events are one day only, while others may take place over a weekend or a few days. Fees vary based on the amount of insurance needed, number of attendees and the nature of the event, and a number of other factors. For example, a family reunion for 100p. will be assessed differently than a multi-day chili cook-off event for 1200p.

Ultimately, the overall cost of insurance often works out to be a small percentage of the total cost of the event (except in the case of free, no-budget, fund-raising type events). Whether you’re investing 15k or 115k, and receive a quote equal to roughly 1.5% to 5% (possibly more, as events vary), you literally can’t afford NOT to have insurance.

tented reception weathers sever storm

Oxford Hills Sun Journal (c) 2010

Last yet not least, it is widely advised to consult your insurance agent before buying additional liability coverage.  Your agent can check how much coverage your homeowner’s insurance provides and whether it applies to wedding events; you may need a special rider or want to buy additional coverage through an umbrella policy.  For example, if a guest stumbles and falls during your event, that may be covered…. But what if a guest smashes a light fixture at the hotel and the owner holds you responsible – will your home insurance pay for the damage?

The benefits of working with a planner are clear:  Planners want to help you protect your investment and create a safe experience for your guests. By directing you to reputable facilities and vendors who carry appropriate insurance, and helping you make informed decisions, you can be confident you’re well prepared to handle unforeseen occurrences and properly covered for circumstances beyond your control.


Additional Articles and Resources:

Should you buy wedding insurance for the big day? By JASON ALDERMAN , Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Why You Might Need Wedding Insurance ,

Links to major wedding and event insurance providers:

WEDSURE (Firemans Fund)RVNA




More! Secrets to Success from Wedding Industry Experts

wedding industry expert 2012In a previous post, I introduced  Wedding Industry Experts  as a phenomenal resource for information pertaining to the wedding and event industry – especially for novice planners and aspiring event pros.  Much of the information is presented in reports featuring a panel of experts providing candid answers to a series of questions.

I’d like to share links to the most recent reports.  For a few questions below, I included my response – although by clicking through to the full report, you will see a very interesting and insightful array of answers.

Report #11. What marketing method has proven the most effective for you in attracting new clients?
Report #12. What do you consider as the most important skill a Wedding Planner or Wedding Designer should have and why?
Report #13. Please name some vendors you love working with.

Quince Lighting

A Flair for Affairs + Encore Creations

A: Tough question because the list is l-o-n-g!  It’s important to preface my answer by stating that every client deserves a tailored list of vendor referrals based on their needs and expectations.  

However, when I have the opportunity to bring together my fave “dream team” vendors, is always on my list.  I also reach out to Encore Creations for weddings and events with an elevated level of production due to theming, entertainment or both. 

What makes them, as well as more than a dozen other unnamed “dream team-ers” so great?  For starters, they all share these characteristics: high level of professionalism, quick response time and follow-up, respect for me and my role as project manager/team leader, drama-free, excellent quality equipment/service/product, dependable, consistent, pleasant personality, always prepared and willing to over-deliver.

Report #14. What is a random interesting fact about you or your business?
Report #15. How did you determine pricing for your services when you first started out and what advice can you give new planners/designers?
Report #16. What’s your favorite part of the entire wedding planning process?
Report #17. If you could give only one piece of advice to a bride/groom, what would that be?
A: Recently I completed an elaborate wedding for a very detail oriented bride. The venue manager said to me (while we were loading in and setting up) “I was surprised she hired a planner”.

Considering our team of three was on-site for 12 hours overseeing every imaginable aspect and occurrence, I don’t dare think what that wedding would have been like without us! A member of the venue team approached me at midpoint during the event and complimented our work; it was obvious from her comments and the actions of the staff they were somewhat out of their element.  My advice: Hire a planner… Even if others think/tell you that you don’t need one.

Report #18. What trends are your seeing this year?
Report #19. Fill in the blanks: I love working with a couple that …
A: I love working with a couple that is excited by trying new things – especially if they’re willing to entertain a few wild suggestions and unconventional ideas. Pair that up with a decent budget and I am in heaven!
Report #20. What is the biggest strength that you bring to your clients?
A: The number one benefit that comes to mind is experience… Twenty-something years in the industry translates into literally hundreds of events that I have either planned, coordinated, attended or collaborated on.An investment in experience is far wiser than savings gambled on inexperience.

The second major benefit is my network – consisting of seasoned, connected, like-minded professionals, who are driven to satisfy and succeed!

. . . .

To learn more about the how Elisa is differentiated from other Wedding Planners and Coordinators, please click on over to HIRE ME for additional information.

. . . .

If you are interested in receiving future reports, simply click to subscribe.



10 2012

Top Wedding Industry Experts Share Secrets to Success


Finally!! Someone (Vanessa Kiely) had the stellar idea to approach established wedding planners and designers from around the globe for the purpose of gathering information that is not readily available from any other source.


Questions are presented to the panel of experts and answers are shared in weekly reports via the WEDDING INDUSTRY EXPERTS website and email newsletters. (Why didn’t I think of this?!?)

Wedding Industry Expert logo
Suffice it to say I was beyond honored to be welcomed to the 2012 International Panel alongside such notables as Saundra Hadley, Lindsay Pitt, Kelly McWilliams, Bernadette Coveney Smith and numerous additional international planners and designers!

In a mere few short months the site is blossoming and recent additions include panels comprised of photographers, invitation designers, and more!

For a sampling of the original questions posed to our panel (the wedding planners and designers) just click the links below… Happy reading!

REPORT #1: Why did you become a Wedding Event Planner or Wedding Designer?

REPORT #2: What advice would you give someone thinking about becoming a Wedding Planner or Wedding Designer?

REPORT #3: Before you built your reputation as a leading Wedding Planner or Designer, how did …?

REPORT #4: When you first started your business, if you could have done one thing differently, what would it have been?

REPORT #5: What is the name of your business and why did you choose it? Do you have any advice for people trying to …?

REPORT #6: What type of people make the best Wedding Event Planners?

REPORT #7: What is the worst thing that has happened at a wedding and how did you deal with it?

REPORT #8: What do you do to prepare for a first meeting with a client?

REPORT #9: In your professional life, what are you most proud of?

REPORT #10: What is the most unexpected thing that has happened on the day of a client’s wedding?

Don’t miss upcoming reports! SUBSCRIBE to WEDDING INDUSTRY EXPERTS!

To learn more about the how Elisa is differentiated from other Wedding Planners and Coordinators, please click on over to HIRE ME for additional information.

Planner vs. Coordinator: A Discussion of Definitions

wedding planner wedding coordinator | by E Delgardio (c) 2012

Today I’m sharing an article by  Amanda Peterson, PBC, a fellow member of the  Association of Bridal Consultants and owner of Ocean Breeze Weddings and Events, LLC  based in Destin, FL.  (Hi Amanda!)

This article appeared in our ABC Florida newsletter and I was motivated to share it here on my blog for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, it centers on an important question that often comes up for discussion and debate: What is the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator?   Years ago – which could be defined as subsequent to the invention of TV but prior to the release of the movie “The Wedding Planner“, these terms were seen by most as interchangeable.  (And while you’re at it, you may as well throw into the mix: Wedding Consultant, Bridal Consultant and Wedding Specialist plus any other variations that may be familiar to you.)  So, while the topic is not new, it remains a hot-button issue among industry pros.   However, the good news is that as a result of all this talk, we – the event professionals – realize the true benefits of clarifying our roles so that we can align ourselves correctly with the duties and responsibilities of our chosen title.

The wedding industry has grown substantially over the past few years which says great things about the industry. However, with so many people entering this field, education and standardized verbiage becomes more of a necessity. This is especially true when it comes to titles to describe your duties or what services you provide. Several years ago, the Convention Industry Council started to ask the entire event industry to standardize many of their activities and verbiage so customers could more easily tell the difference in services. Most areas of the event industry have done so, but many in the wedding industry have no knowledge of this and confusion has arisen between services actually being provided. When titles are standardized, it helps stop the confusion of the brides wishing to purchase services. They can better ascertain the differences between wedding planning companies as well as venues with all inclusive packages. I have also noticed this confusion roll over when vendors in the industry do not understand the duties pertaining to particular titles. For instance, there was a DJ who insisted that a planner was to only coordinate the ceremony and not actually have anything to do with the reception. This DJ refused to discuss the reception timeline with the planner and insisted in only speaking with the bride since a DJ is the only one to coordinate a reception. This confusion about titles and duties of vendors could have easily been avoided if standardized titles were better known. Many people in the industry believe that the titles “planner” and “coordinator” mean the same thing and they use them interchangeably.

To help in this area, the below definitions are based on the same recognized standard titles and duties in the corporate world. The only difference is the added term “wedding” in front of the title and the definition tweaked to describe the duties for a wedding.

Wedding Planner: This is someone who helps the bride and groom with all aspects of planning their wedding and the exact duties will differ from company to company and package to package. However, in essence, a planner is someone who will oversee all aspects of the wedding as required including finding needed vendors such as a photographer or DJ, set up site visits for ceremony and reception sites, set up tastings for cake and catering, negotiate vendor contracts, organize and manage room blocks, works with the bride to formulate the wedding day timeline, coordinate the actual wedding ceremony, reception and the farewell of the bride and groom. The planners are there to oversee all vendors, set up, break down and essentially make sure everything the bride and groom have ordered is provided and they take care of any unforeseen tasks on the wedding day. The planner does the actual coordinating of all aspects of the wedding day – not only the ceremony. (In the corporate world a planner is the person whose job it is to arrange every aspect of planning and conducting a meeting or event. – The Convention Industry Manual – 7th Edition)

Wedding Coordinator: This is actually what many venue and smaller wedding companies with preplanned packages provide and call it a “wedding planner”. A wedding coordinator runs the rehearsal and makes sure everyone knows where to go and what to do for the ceremony. On the wedding day, they will line up the processional and get the wedding party down the aisle then make sure the recessional is organized. They sometimes also line up the wedding party for the reception entrance. That is usually it because a coordinator works only on the ceremony. Church representatives will also fit into this category of coordinator instead of actual planner. (In the corporate event world, a coordinator is the assistant to the planner.)

I hope this gets everyone in the wedding industry discussing different titles and their duties so we can join the other organizations with standardization. Once we can agree on duties of provider’s titles, maybe we can discuss how wedding companies and venues can show how their services differ. This way we can help each other with business instead of having brides think that a hotel wedding planner provides the same service as a wedding planning company.

~Amanda Peterson, PBC


“Did you say chosen title ?”  Yes.  The wedding and special events industry is somewhat unique in this respect:  People are free to call themselves whatever they choose.   This is certainly a contributing factor to the overall confusion, and it’s quite unfortunate that most consumers are unaware of this.   I give tremendous credit to professional associations such as ABC for creating and trademarking terminology to designate levels of achievement (i.e., Professional Bridal Consultant, Master Bridal Consultant).  Advancements of this type are very important, as they set the bar.   Personally, I hope to see more of this type of credentialing in the future.  How about you?

(c) 2012 E. Delgardio


06 2012