If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “I don’t need a planner. The venue comes with a venue coordinator,” I’d be a very rich planner who wouldn’t be planning weddings (but not really because I love them). Unfortunately, many people don’t know the difference between a planner and the venue coordinator. Don’t get me wrong. The venue coordinator is very important to the process, but their function is different from what wedding or event planner does.
Let’s see a side-by-side breakdown, shall we?
Venue Coordinator: Their job is to focus on making the venue look good and to make the venue money. Period. They maximize the number of functions they host because that’s where the business earns money. It’s not personal, it’s math.
Wedding Planner: Their job is to represent the client. They are double-checking and triple-checking that what you paid for is what you’re getting. If the venue tries to squeeze in a luncheon before your reception and takes away from your set-up time, your planner will negotiate with them to ensure it doesn’t jeopardize the success of your wedding.
Venue Coordinator: They do not review your vendor contracts or advise you on who is the best fit for your wedding based on your vision. The best you can hope for is a list of preferred vendors.
Wedding Planner: Not only do they know a variety of vendors in each category with different personalities, styles, and price points, but they negotiate your contracts for you on your behalf. They schedule and attend meetings to ensure your wedding has a cohesive look unique to you. Finally, they conduct walk-throughs with the appropriate vendors to minimize any issues and remedies them should they occur.
3. EVENT DESIGN
Venue Coordinator: They are not designing your wedding. End of story.
Wedding Planner: The planner works with you to design a one-of-a-kind guest experience from the moment everyone arrives. They help you personalize your invitations, review your ceremony program for flow and song choices, and read over your menus for typos. They visit the rentals provider to debate with you which shade of linen matches your décor and test which china doesn’t rattle against your charger.
Venue Coordinator: Venues are busy and the hours can be long, resulting in high turnover. It’s not uncommon to work with one person to book the venue, another person to plan the logistics, and still another person on the day of the wedding.
Wedding Planner: Once you hire the planner, they are with you from the beginning until the end and usually a little after. They know your event better than anyone else and work to exceed your expectations every step along the way.
5. DAY-OF SCHEDULE
Venue Coordinator: Unless you are staying at the venue or getting ready there, you do not see your venue coordinator until you arrive for the ceremony or the reception. And after the last meal has been served, they are most likely off the clock.
Wedding Planner: Your planner knows all your movements and orchestrates the vendors’ schedules throughout the day. They coordinate everyone’s load-in, arrival, set-up, and departure times. They are disbursing final payments, calling your bus drivers, cueing you for dances and toasts, putting away the gifts, and making sure your to-go meal is waiting in your get-away boat after putting out all the sparklers from your send-off. They are literally taking care of everything.
Brides, do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner. Let the venue focus on the venue and let the planner focus on you!
Find out how I can help you from going crazy when planning your big day and reach out! And don’t forget – I host monthly Ask a Planner chats on Instagram Live – for all things weddings and events. I hope to hear from you soon! Happy planning!