When I tell people what I do, often people say “Oh, my venue is providing a wedding planner!” This is something that other professionals in the industry also sometimes get confused with (…astonishingly!). But a venue coordinator is simply just not the same as a wedding planner.
A venue coordinator or event manager can be a great asset to those couples who choose not to engage a professional wedding planner of their own, but their responsibilities and focus vary greatly from those of an outside professional.
♥ The Venue Coordinator
Venue coordinators are employees of the hotelier or other venue where they work. They act as a liaison between the couple and the venue’s operations team. Their responsibilities relate only to your experience with them: showcasing the venue, consulting your food and drink choices, finalising your catering needs, arranging menu tastings and processing the final invoice.
On the wedding day, their focus is exclusively on delivering their own contracted services: ensuring the venue set up is accurate [tables, chairs and place setting only – not the florals, the linens, the room dressings, seating plan and place cards, drapery, dance floor hire, positioning the DJ/photoboth and all the other things unique to your occasion ], that the meal is served on time and that the tables & chairs are cleared away and the bar closes up on time.
A key point is that a Venue Coordinator often departs once the meal is served. This may be a vital consideration if your are looking for support for the remainder of the wedding, or need any assistance with the dismantling or return of items that the venue is not responsible for.
And remember: while you may have worked with one individual throughout the planning process, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will be provided with that same individual on your big day! For us, this is one of the most valuable aspects of hiring your own wedding planner and one I also offer to a handful of prestige local venues myself. No matter how long the lead in time to your marriage, I guarantee every detail of a couple’s requirements will be personally dealt with by the same person.
The venue coordinator may also have two, three or sometimes more other events going on in the same venue on the same day, so their focus is not always 100% on your wedding.
♥ The Wedding Planner
A professional Wedding Planner is your personal consultant, with a wide ranging focus on every detail in curating your dream wedding.
From the initial planning stages [providing venue options, reviewing contracts, checking health & safety and risk assessment, researching and recommending suppliers] to wedding day preparation, [creating an itinerary/timeline, organizing your ceremony rehearsal, confirming details with all contracted vendors, liaising with your photographer to make sure everyone who is in your list of images is in front of the photographer at the agreed moment] your wedding planner is present for every decision.
Come your wedding day, they over-see time management [ceremony, processional, recessional, cocktail hour transition, grand entrance, speeches, dancing etc.], prompt the MC and manage the vendors, troubleshoot and ensure quality control of set up, including personalized details and decor.
In addition, a wedding planner will prepare valuable tools for you, such as vendor contact forms, budget planning schedules, time lines, seating and floor plans, guest list RSVP sheets, set up timetables and MC scripts. If you wish, we can take over the reins up to 6-4 weeks before, allowing you to be fully focused on being a bride to be or groom to be, enjoying a stressless and blissful last fews weeks together.
This also goes for our Day of Wedding Coordination service, which may mean we may start working with you closer to your wedding day, but we still work exclusively for you and offer a one-to-one bespoke service.
When it comes down to it………
The main difference is that venue coordinator works within the venue, carrying out the requirements of their contract with you in a smooth and timely manner. Whereas a wedding planner works exclusively for YOU, ensuring every detail of your day is flawless and orchestrated exactly as you’ve planned.
This is not meant to demean the role of on-site venue coordinators. They are an incredibly valuable asset to the wedding planning process and I love liaising with them. But it’s important that couples understand what they are getting into, avoiding unnecessary frustration and disappointment come crunch time! Take time to consider your needs and concerns and weigh your options accordingly.
Still have questions about the difference between an independent & professionally qualified wedding planning service such as Exquisite Weddings & Special Occasions and a venue coordinator? Contact us here for more information ♥