We hear this question every so often: “why do I need a wedding planner if my venue provides a day-of coordinator?” The truth is, if you aren’t familiar with the wedding industry, this can be a very confusing grey area. Coming from someone who has been both on the venue side and the wedding planner side for weddings, hiring a wedding planner in addition to your venue coordinator will be the best money you spend on your big day.
Just last month, we received an inquiry from a bride whose wedding was in 2 weeks from the time she had called. She was a ball of emotions over the phone – confused, overwhelmed, upset. Apparently, her venue coordinator had asked her a slew of questions regarding her wedding day set-up. “Who is setting up your placecards? Who is rehearsing you the day before for your ceremony? Who will be breaking down at the end of the night and bringing your gifts and décor back to you? Who will be directing your guests to where they need to be?” Those were just a few questions. “I thought my venue was assisting with all that stuff!” she exclaimed. And this is where the grey area turns into black and white. Your venue coordinator is responsible for your venue and your wedding planner is responsible for the entire execution of your event.
Let’s quickly review the main differences:
Venue Coordinator vs Wedding Planner Responsibilities
As mentioned above, your Venue Coordinator is solely responsible for your venue. They are responsible for keeping food and beverage service on track (both kitchen and banquet staff), they are responsible for the items belonging to the venue (tables, chairs, linens, glassware), and that’s about where it ends. Your Wedding Planner is responsible for your timeline of the day, coordinating all vendors, ensuring décor is properly set out along with any miscellaneous items (sign-in book, placecards, memory table, etc), making sure everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there, and essentially taking all of the stress off of you, your family, and your venue.
Before Your Big Day
Leading up to your wedding day, your Venue Coordinator plays a minimal part in your preparation. Your venue will collect your final counts and final payments and have you sign off on your menu and set-up details. Your Wedding Planner (depending on their level of involvement as far as full planning, partial planning, month-of, or day-of) can be with you through the entire process – from the time they are hired until you leave the venue in wedded bliss following your big day. Your Wedding Planner will be in contact with all of your vendors in the weeks leading up to your wedding to ensure everyone will be on the same page as far as arrival/departure times, your timeline for the day, and to answer any questions they have leading up to your wedding day (so you don’t have to). Another thing to keep in mind, while Venue Coordinators are typically only available during normal business hours, Wedding Planners are accessible 24/7.
On Your Big Day
So, your wedding day is here! On this special day, your Venue Coordinator oversees the set-up of tables, chairs, and linens and keeps the catering and banquet staff on track to have your food served on schedule and in a timely fashion. Your Wedding Planner keeps track of the timeline for the entire day, sets-up any personal décor, oversees the set-up for all involved vendors, gets you down the aisle, and makes sure all gifts and items belonging to you are returned back to you at the end of the day. Your Wedding Planner will be that main-point-of-contact so that all you have to focus on is getting married and enjoying your wedding day!
Still searching for a wedding planner or wedding coordinator? Contact us today! We would love to chat with you and hear more about what you are looking for: