WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WEDDING PLANNER AND A WEDDING COORDINATOR?
Something I often get asked is what the difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator is.
Is it not the same thing, you may now wonder, and I will carefully tell you: no, it’s not. There are some significant differences between the two and I will now let you know what they are.
Many couples will come in contact with venue coordinators during the planning of a wedding, and while very helpful and appreciated, their responsibilities and areas of concern are others than those to a wedding planner.
It is important to understand what each of them do as it can save you many headaches and unwelcome hardships.
So let’s start with explaining what a Venue Coordinator does.
Firstly they are hired by and work for a specific venue. They will have extensive knowledge of the place, but their interests also lie within the walls of the venue, and they will focus on your experience with them. Their job is to act as a liaison between you and the venue’s team.
A venue coordinator doesn’t necessarily get involved with the design of the event itself, instead, they are responsible for everything that deals specifically with the venue, like tables, chairs, linen, food and staff.
More often than not a venue is working with a list of suppliers and it is very likely these will be recommended to you. There may be an in-house kitchen or a catering team the venue prefers to partner with and the coordinator will work as much for their needs as for yours.
The coordinator is responsible for making sure all the details on site are taken care of and they are in charge of individual components to ensure the event goes smoothly and is executed in a timely manner.
Unfortunately it is not a given that the coordinator will be there in person on the day, and if they are it is likely they leave as soon as everything is set up. It is also common that a venue has more than one event per day and the coordinator may be busy dealing with other customers.
Having a coordinator can prove to be extremely valuable, they know the location well and are dedicated to the venue. It is in their interest to assign enough staff, ensure tasks are dealt with accordingly and that you experience a seamless service from their side.
However a venue coordinator is not to be confused with a wedding or day-of coordinator as these roles are more similar to a wedding planner’s, I will explain more further down.
So, to continue we will go on to what a wedding planner does.
A wedding planner works for you and is to be described as your personal consultant. You and your planner will function in a direct relationship with each other to determine your vision, needs and budget. You will discuss the intended tone of the wedding, the guest list and order of service.
The planner designs the ceremony and reception to wow you; together you will do everything from choosing a venue, deciding on type of entertainment and setting a menu to picking out colours, linens, flowers, table set-up and design. They focus on the big-picture items to create unforgettable moments and they also makes the critical decisions regarding the what, when, who and how.
A planner’s responsibility is to ensure you are happy and design an event that really fits your needs and expectations. It’s their job to orchestra the day so every detail is taken care of and you get your dream wedding.
They will be with you from the beginning; providing venue options, researching suppliers, handling vendors, organising delivery dates, overlooking logistical tasks, negotiating contracts and helping out with budgeting.
All the administrative work, such as timelines, checklists, floor-plans, seating charts and contact forms can be handed over to your planner. You will be able to trust them with organising rehearsals, confirming rentals and bookings as well as dealing with occurring problems.
On the wedding day itself, a planner will be there assuring the venue is set up and that each vendor shows up on time and performs appropriately. They will manage schedules and timelines, making your day come together flawlessly.
A full-service wedding planner is with you throughout the majority of your planning process and will take on the role of a wedding coordinator on the day of your wedding.
For couples doing the majority of the planning themselves it is recommended to hire a wedding or day-of coordinator.
Generally this is a person that comes in closer to the event and is personally hired by the couple, which means they work directly for you.
This role is to be separated from both wedding planner and venue coordinator, even if many planners also provide this service.
Take time to think over your options and consider your needs and concerns before going for only a venue coordinator as planners do drastically different things. It is much better to decide on hiring a planner in the beginning than ending up having to find one last minute.