Dear Preston: Is This Banquet Manager Telling The Truth?



Dear Preston:

I am having my wedding in May in one of the most beautiful hotels in the city. It’s a huge wedding, about 500, and I plan to have a sit-down dinner. I am working with the most amazing banquet manager at the hotel. She has been incredibly helpful with her advice and told me not to waste my money on a planner. She is able to make sure that my wedding will be perfect. My mother-in-law disagrees and is concerned about this. What do you really think?

New Bride

Dear New Bride:

What do I think?  I think that you should listen to your mother-in-law (I already like her). Your banquet manager clearly has no clue when it comes to the responsibilities of a planner. I would even go so far as to question how long she has been in the business to say something so stupid to a bride. Sorry, folks. This just makes me so angry because, in the end, the bride suffers.  I can think of many questions you should ask your manager, but here are just a few:

Are you going to manage the job of sending out invitations and collecting RSVP’s from 500 guests?

Are you going to stay with me while I interview all of my vendors?

Are you going to help me plan seating for my 500 guests?

Are you going to be with me when my bridesmaids have their fitting?

Are you going to be there for me when I feel overwhelmed (and believe me, all brides feel overwhelmed at one point or another).

Now, there is no questions in my mind that this lovely (but misinformed) banquet manager could effectively help you the day of (in her hotel), but to suggest that her abilities mean that you do not need a planner for your entire wedding tells me that she is out of her mind. Again, sorry for being so blunt, but this is very upsetting.

If this were a small wedding with 50 guests and you were trying to save money, I would tell you to listen to her. But this is a massive job and I will tell you that you definitely need a planner.

Question: What do you think? Can a hotel banquet manager handle a wedding this big (or of any size) without a planner?