What’s the difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner? I get asked this question a lot. It’s not always clear to couples at the outset of their planning journey, so let me try and provide some clarity about the 2 different roles.
A venue coordinator is employed by a wedding venue and therefore works in the best interest of that venue. They know everything about the venue. They will advise you on what you can and can’t do there.
Whilst the venue may have preferred suppliers who they will tell you about, that’s as far as it goes. They won’t liaise with those suppliers on your behalf.
I’m sure we’ve covered this before but you may find it quite restrictive using their recommended suppliers. There are lots of amazing suppliers out there so don’t feel like you have to use those being recommended.
You will find that some venue coordinators are not present on your wedding day. In many cases, the on the day management is handed over to another member of their team before your wedding.
This can be quite a blow when you’ve worked with someone to create your perfect day. So make sure you ask well in advance who will be there to help on the big day.
There is often a high turn over of staff in these roles too so it’s not uncommon to find your coordinator changes during your planning.
If your venue has a coordinator and you’re confident in managing your wedding plans then you probably have less need for a planner.
What about venues that don’t have a coordinator?
If your venue is a blank canvas that you can dress in your own style, then this is when a planner is worth their weight in gold.
These types of venues usually don’t have a coordinator. If you need to source all the usual wedding suppliers plus extra items like tables, chairs, linen, lighting, toilets etc, etc this can be a real challenge to bring everything together.
Remember it’s not just about finding trustworthy suppliers and booking them. You’ll need to work with them all to coordinate plans and make sure everything is going to work together.
You’ll also need someone available on the day (and maybe the day before as well) to work with them all to ensure everything is set up exactly how you wanted it and deal with any hitches (which do happen.) A good planner will take all that in her stride.
What else will a planner do?
An independent planner is employed by you. She is there to guide, support and help you from the outset to the end of your wedding day.
A wedding planner will help you find the best venue and suppliers to meet your needs and budget. They’ll liaise with the suppliers to make sure they’re all clear on the finer details and the schedule for the day.
As most wedding planners work on their own (or with a small team) you are guaranteed the continuity of working with the same person throughout. They will literally hold your hand and will support your whole wedding party.
A wedding planner will always be present on your wedding day bringing your vision to life. They’ll be there from early morning right through to your first dance (and often beyond that) to make sure you have the day you dreamt of.
Can planners and coordinators work together?
Yes of course. We can (and do) work well together regularly. But to be honest, there are some venues who are not very supportive of independent planners. However, the 2 roles should be compatible and having a planner on board will usually lighten the load for the coordinator.
So if even if your chosen venue has a coordinator, don’t be put off having a planner as well. I’ve worked on weddings with a coordinator and our roles were really clear and distinct. Our couples got the best level of support and the day of their dreams.
I hope this has helped to make things clearer for you. You can find out more about my planning services here.