I’ve heard it SO many times- “Oh the venue coordinator will handle everything, I don’t need a wedding planner/coordinator.”
What most brides don’t quite understand is that the venue coordinator is just there for the VENUE, not you. (Nothing against venue coordinators- I love them and they’ve helped me out a lot before!) If they tell you they can handle things on the day of your wedding, it’s true- they can, but it’s only within a certain scope. And so, since I’m kind of the person who says things about planning weddings that not many other bloggers will, let’s chat a little more about this…
A venue coordinator is looking out for the best interest of the venue. A wedding coordinator looks out for the best interest of YOU, the bride. The venue coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue- food, setup, etc. A wedding coordinator will deal with aspects of the venue, such as setup, and will make sure everything is to your specifications.
If your ceremony is at a location other than the venue, your wedding coordinator will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony.
A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, toasts, etc. When I was planning, I stayed until the very end of the wedding, until all of the guests were gone. A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after. Some may stay until the cake is cut and served. He or she will not be by your side throughout the day or night. Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be involved if your bustle breaks, when it comes time to load up your gifts, or tracking down your lipgloss.
A wedding coordinator contacts your vendors before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving. A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, but it’s not common. Other vendors, like your photographer or hair and makeup, would not be contacted by your venue coordinator.
Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/sales positions. The person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes time for your wedding a year, year and a half later. Your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere (unless, God forbid, something horrible happens!).
These are just a few things to inspire some thinking when it comes to deciding whether or not you need a wedding coordinator. This is in no way meant to be bad towards venue coordinators… as I said before, I LOVE venue coordinators- it’s always awesome to work with them! I just want you all to be aware of the differences between the two so you can make the best decision!
If you have any questions about wedding coordinator vs venue coordinators, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments!
A version of this post was originally published in June 2010.