Engagement season is upon us and we’ve had a handful of couples mention that they didn’t know if they would need a planner because their venue has an on-site coordinator or they weren’t sure what the difference was. Well, we are here to help! While not every venue coordinator is the same, the following is true about MOST. I want to make a point to mention that we love working with venue coordinators and are so thankful for them because we fill different roles so please note that we have nothing against venue coordinators – we just want to clarify the different roles that each of us plays on a wedding day.
Awhile back, I came across a blog post that a retired wedding planner wrote on the difference between the two coordinators. While I definitely encourage you to read the post, the main point is THEY ARE DIFFERENT. To put it simply, a venue coordinator is looking out for the best interest of the venue while a wedding planner is looking out for the best interest of the bride and groom. Now, that doesn’t mean that venue coordinators don’t care about their couples because they absolutely do! But they are responsible for the building and everything that entails.
That being said, some of the roles that venue coordinators fill are setting up tables and chairs according to the specified floor plan, stocking the restrooms with toilet paper and paper towels, making sure the venue is clean before the rental period, that the water and air conditioning are working, and that everything is in good condition. If the venue and the catering company are one in the same, then the venue coordinator also oversees the catering. They know the ins and outs of the venue including secret passageways, rules and regulations, how to dim the lights and what to do if one of those random, pesky, Texas tornados is nearby. Often times, venue coordinators will leave after dinner is served and/or cake has been cut.
On the other hand, wedding planners are what I like to call the Ring Master of the day. They manage and coordinate all of the vendors before, during and even after the wedding by creating a timeline, checking setup times and reviewing contracts. They set up (and pack up) things you’ve given them like your great-grandmother’s cake cutting set, the guest book or your favorite engagement picture. They make sure that the bridal portrait is safely tucked away until after the ceremony then place it perfectly for all the guests to see. Wedding planners bring you water and/or drinks, make sure you’ve eaten, that your hair is still in place and the chairs are all straight when the guests arrive. They help bustle your dress and fill the toasting flutes before toasts. Wedding planners guide you through the evening like to the dance floor for the father/daughter dance, they pack up gifts and put your purse or overnight bag in the getaway car. They do things like make sure your parents are there for the cake cutting and help get out that little bit of salad dressing you dropped on your dress. A wedding planner is there until all of the guests and most of the vendors are gone at the end of the night.
Both coordinators are crucial and play a significant role in the execution of a wedding day. Of course, this post only reviews a portion of those roles so if you have a question about something specific, please feel free to shoot us an email.