What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator and Wedding Planner?

As a wedding planner, when I speak to couples, I often hear “I don’t need a wedding planner, my venue has a coordinator”.  At this moment I cringe because I don’t think most couples know the difference between a venue coordinator and wedding planner.  I spoke with a local venue coordinator recently who told me about an experience she had with a couple who thought that since she was the coordinator for the venue, she would help with the timeline throughout the day and inform people of when they are needed for events.  Clearly they didn’t understand what the venue offers and what more we bring to the table, so now it is my job to explain to these couples how little the venue partakes in the entire planning of the day and all the details we help with.  Let me break it down for you…

What Can You Expect From Your Venue Coordinator

  • They are a salesperson and liaison for the venue
  • They are solely responsible for wedding details that concern the venue such as the banquet event order, menu tasting and the room setup.
  • They are responsible for making sure all vendors abide by all venue rules and regulations.
  • Their job concludes once the dinner and cake has been served, whereas a wedding planner will be by your side the entire night.
  • The venue coordinator that you start working with may or may not be the onsite contact for your wedding day.
  • They will provide a list of preferred vendors but that is the extent of their interaction with those vendors.
  • They will provide a timeline that is solely for the catering staff, that focuses on when the food will be prepared and served.
  • You will be sharing your venue coordinator with about 100 other Brides.  This could mean delayed responses and working around their business hours.

What Can you Expect From a Wedding Planner

  • A wedding planner acts as a liaison between you and your vendors and attends all meetings.
  • A wedding planner will customize a timeline for all the vendors arrivals and pickup times also including details of the day from when you wake up in the morning to when the doors close.
  • When your ceremony is in a different location, a wedding planner will be with you at your ceremony location and reception venue to ensure all details are taken care of.
  • A wedding planner will assist in etiquette, family matters and decor ideas just to name a few.
  • A wedding planner is the stage manager for all parties involved including the bridal party, family, vendors and guests.
  • A wedding planner takes responsibility for setting up all of your personal items and collecting them along with your gifts at the end of the event.
  • A wedding planner will oversee time management including ceremony processions and recessional, cocktail hour transition, entrances, cake cutting, toasts, dances, prompting vendors and troubleshooting.
  • A wedding planner ensures all vendors setup and strike correctly.
  • A wedding planner is there until all vendors and guests have left.
  • A wedding planner is available almost 24/7.  If you are having an emergency you can pick up your phone and text your wedding planner.  Your venue coordinator will not give you their personal cell number.

The biggest difference: A venue coordinator works for the needs of the venue and a wedding planner works for you, ensuring every details is flawless and your day is orchestrated just as you planned.

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