October 2006

Published in The Association of Bridal Consultants

Defining the role of Banquet Manager/Bridal Consultant

When Toni DeLisi approached me to write an article on my role as a banquet manager, I took the time to really think about what I would write. I decided to define the role of “Banquet Manager” vs. “Bridal Consultant”.

Recently, I left my position of almost four years as a banquet manager of a New York based Country Club to further my career in the wedding planning industry as a bridal consultant. But what has lead me to bridal consulting was my experience as a banquet manager and my experience of working with bridal consultants as well as my work with over 200 couples.

Although I believe the roles differ in some ways, it all adds up to one defined role “producing a memorable affair” for your client. Where the roles differ, the banquet manager, consults only for the “reception part” of the wedding day. But, one must realize that it is the “most” expensive portion of the day which needs great attention and detail. On the other hand, the bridal consultant is with the client from conception to implementation, paying attention to every detail of the entire affair, not only the reception part.

In my years as a banquet manger, what I saw was the disrespect shown to the banquet manager as well as the bridal consultant. There is no reason for any person participating in the production of a wedding day to be authoritative, egotistical or territorial to another person (whether that person is a caterer, vendor, waiter, bridal attendant, etc.). Again, we are all there for one purpose: “producing a memorable affair”. Personally, I have always been a manager who looked forward to working with bridal consultants. I knew that the consultant was employed by the same client as I was. I knew we shared the same common goal. I knew the consultant would know much more about the client than I did. I knew with the consultant’s input, it would be beneficial in helping me ascertain the clients’ needs at the reception portion of the wedding day. But, I know that this same feeling is not felt among my former peers in the industry. I know it can be extremely difficult for the consultant to communicate with the banquet manager. My suggestion is open communication at the beginning of the venture experience of what is expected from both parties. Many times the dialogue is missing which leads to many confrontations, miscommunication, and disrespect. When one starts with open communication, it can only end in a friendship on both sides.

So, in closing, although the roles differ somewhat, it is the same goal wanted by all: “producing a memorable affair”.