Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator

We hear it all the time, “I don’t need a wedding planner.  The venue provides one.”  While venue coordinators are extremely helpful during the planning process, they have a different set of responsibilities.  The main difference:  the venue coordinator works for the venue, while a wedding planner works for you, the client.   

Venue Coordinator

A venue coordinator's responsibilities revolve around ensuring that your experience with the venue goes smoothly. They work for the venue, acting as a liaison between you and the venue staff.  Though responsibilities vary depending on whether catering is provided in house or not, typical duties include:

  • Contracting with you for necessary rooms and amenities
  • Providing catering menus and pricing
  • Arranging menu tastings and helping you decide on food and beverage choices
  • Assisting with space planning
  • Coordinating service staffing and security
  • Processing venue payments
  • On the day of your wedding, venue coordinators are there to turn on the lights, set out the tables and chairs, ensure the drinks are poured, and the space is cleaned up at the end of the night. 
  • They are not there, for example, to ensure the cake is delivered or that the DJ knows the run of events for the day. 

In fact, usually the venue coordinator you work with is often not on site the day of your wedding, leaving that responsibility to an event captain you likely will not have met.  If they are on site, they usually leave after the meal has been served. Contact with the venue coordinator usually cuts off once the contracts are signed, and they are not involved in the planning process again until about a month or two before the wedding. Although venue coordinators can provide catering and vendor referrals, these recommendations are not based on the style of wedding you are planning or your budget and the venue’s involvement often ends at the referral. Their main focus is to ensure that they provide all of the items outlined in the venue contract in a smooth, efficient manner, not to give feedback on how to best decorate the space.   

Wedding Planner

As a wedding planner, we are hired by, and works for, you as a consultant throughout the planning process. Of course, the level of planner involvement varies based on the services for which we were hired. However, typical responsibilities that we provide that are not provided by the venue coordinator include:

  • Regular consultations and guidance.
  • Budget and timeline development and management. This includes a final wedding timeline for the day of the event.
  • Vendor recommendations that are based on your specific budget and style. 
  • Guidance with selection of all visual elements of the wedding including décor, fashion, invites, favors, and cake.
  • Vendor management and scheduling of, and attendance at, all vendor appointments.
  • Arranging of hotel blocks and group transportation.
  • Final audit of all planning to ensure all the final details are in place.
  • Final calls with all vendors to ensure counts, timing and other details are accurate and confirmed.
  • On-site coordination from the very start of set-up, all the way until the end of tear down.

We work with you to ensure you get the wedding of your dreams, with minimal stress.  Then, day of, we do everything from keeping emergency kits on hand in case of tears or stains, to ensuring every vendor, including the venue, delivers an amazing experience for you and your guests. 

In our opinion, every bride {and her mother!} needs at least a day-of coordinator to take care of all the details on the wedding day.  We are offering 20% off for available 2017 dates for our day-of and week-of services.  To inquire, click here.  To learn more about other services a wedding planner can provide, click here.  Happy planning!

Melanie LanouxComment