This question has many answers, let me explain.
What makes hiring an independent planner favorable when the resort already provides a coordinator?
First, let me say that the resorts have coordinators that are employed at the resorts and that is their job. I am not saying that they do not do a great job but there is a difference. Individuals employed at a resort WORK for the RESORT. As an outside/off resort planner, I WORK for YOU! I am not going to be replaced or leave my job, I am self-employed.
As an independent planner we will be in touch with each other from the day your contract is signed, and most likely days or even weeks before the contract is signed. Depending on what we are hired for, it will be as little or as much as you require. A coordinator from the resort will make initial contact, have the contract signed, and then their contact will resume approximately 3 months before your wedding day. That is usually the standard for most of the resorts and the norm.
That of course does not mean that you cannot contact your onsite coordinator, you will just not be considered a priority if your wedding is more than 3 months out. As an independent planner, we will assist in reaching out/visiting the resort if your questions or concerns are not answered. That is one of the benefits of “actually” being local.
As an independent planner, we offer additional services that the resorts frequently do not offer. We help you design a budget and stick to it and assist in venue & vendor selection. We will spend the entire day with you on the day of your wedding – from the very beginning to the very end if that is what we have agreed to. Making sure that the resort, their coordinator, and any other services are delivering what has been contracted.
A Resort Coordinator Nightmare
Here is a story and why I know hiring an outside/offsite coordinator is your best plan for a stress-free beautiful wedding.
A bride, planning her destination wedding on her own with only the assistance of the onsite coordinator, had contacted a resort 18 months prior to her wedding day and decided this was the venue she wanted. The contract was signed, and the coordinator assured her she would keep in contact throughout the next 18 months. Although the coordinator did keep her word and made some communication, ultimately 6 weeks prior to the wedding day she was no longer with the resort.
The bride was devastated, as it turned out their telephone conversations had not been documented, there were no notes on the file. The bride had to start fresh with a new coordinator just 6 weeks away from her big day. After a few weeks, the bride again tried to reach out to the coordinator. Here is where the story gets worse. That new coordinator had also been replaced; the bride was 2 weeks away from her wedding with no idea as to what her wedding was going to look like. This could have been avoided by hiring an outside planner.
This is just one example of what could happen. I am in no way stating that resort coordinators are not capable and that you will always have a problem. This is just the true reality of what can happen to you when you are dealing with an individual that holds the "position of coordinator" as opposed to an individual that has a "career" they love and most times own their business.
Let me know if you have experienced this. How did you deal with it? Maybe it was the other way, and you had an outside planner that was not as committed to your needs? Maybe your onsite coordinator was amazing!!! Share the blog, it may help someone along the way.