We get this question from newly engaged couples all the time! To be honest, some clients actually decide not to move forward with a wedding planner because their venue offers a venue coordinator. Couples tend to believe a venue coordinator and wedding planner share the same roles and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I want to start by saying, we’re not here to throw anyone under the bus! In fact, wedding planners work in tandem with venue coordinators for just about the same amount of time we work alongside our couples. Depending on the venue, your coordinator can also be responsible for your catering and bar services. This is a lot of responsibility and it is our jobs as planners to confirm your venue coordinator has everything they need to produce a successful event! We could not do our job without them. This blog post will give you the inside scoop as you prepare to sift through one of many decisions over the course of your planning process.
Your wedding day is arguably the most expensive day of your life. Wedding planners are usually booked early on in your engagement (depending on the service) to support you through allocating your budget, developing your design, sourcing vendors, managing your timeline and creating your floor plan. While wedding planners are a lot of things, we are not venue managers (or personal assistants). We typically start with working behind the scenes, helping you make important decisions that you likely don’t know you need to make; like booking a hotel suite the night before your wedding so you have a place to get ready in on wedding day! Closer to the big day, we’re available to oversee all of your contracted vendors. From communicating your final guest count and cake cutting time to your venue coordinator to making sure your engraved cake knife and champagne flute are returned to you end of the night while you party on the dance floor. Wedding planners ensure your wishes for the event are fulfilled.
Your venue coordinator is knowledgeable about the guidelines and venue restrictions. They can provide useful information about parking and estimate the flow of traffic around your wedding date and time. For example, if the traffic is usually chaotic at 5:00 pm on a Friday, your venue coordinator would be able to advise a different rehearsal day or time; this is information your planner may not be privy to. Venue coordinators can advise you on best practices and even speak to some of the more popular photo locations at or near the venue. Most importantly, they are there to ensure you abide by the agreements in your contract; like not using flash in a historic building where flash photography is prohibited. Venue coordinators want a successful event; which means starting on time and ending on time so they can manage the schedules of their staff and prepare for the next event. We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside some pretty awesome venue managers who go above and beyond which is nice but not always expected.
Together, your wedding planner and venue coordinator work together to ensure you, your vendors and your guests, don’t do anything that can jeopardize your refundable venue deposit!