Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner?

January 2, 2020

Do I really need a Wedding Planner if I have a Venue Coordinator?

This is a question we heard hundreds of times when we worked at venues. So, do you need a wedding planner if you have a venue coordinator? Because both of our careers started off working for Hotels and Venues as coordinators and Catering Sales Managers, we know first hand how these roles differ from a Wedding Planner.

We love our industry venue coordinator colleagues and work well alongside them, but it’s important to know how they offer a different role to your wedding than we do as Wedding Planners.

Your Wedding Planner works for YOU. The Venue Coordinator works for the venue.

The most important thing to consider is just this. At the end of the day, the venue coordinator works for the venue and has the venue’s best interest first and foremost. A Wedding Planner is a hired professional who works with your best interest at heart.

For venue coordinators on wedding days some of their main focus is making sure that their staff doesn’t go into overtime, making sure the kitchen is meeting entree serve times, and making sure vendors load in on time and don’t cause property damage. Whereas, when you hire us for Wedding Planning or Wedding Management, we have a strong handle on every aspect and detail of your wedding and ensure that everything we’ve discussed is executed to your expectations.

In addition to this, some Venues or Hotels have strict union rules about handling anything that isn’t the venue’s. This means that they may not be able to put out your guest book, or escort cards, or personal decor items. Because your Wedding Planner works for you, they are able to handle all of those things. We typically ask our couples to bring their personal items to us on their rehearsal, and we handle bringing them to the venue and setting everything up.

The Venue Coordinator you book with may not be the Venue Coordinator who is at your wedding.

We’ve seen this happen so many times! A couple books a venue because they feel a connection with the venue coordinator, but a few months later, that person leaves the property, and the couple gets assigned to another coordinator. The things that may have been discussed or verbally promised from the initial venue coordinator may not even be communicated or honored by the new venue coordinator. In addition to that, sometimes you develop a good rapport with the person you book with, but the new person is someone you don’t mesh well with.

For this reason, we, as your hired professionals, can serve as your middle-man and ensure a seamless transition as you switch hands on the venue side. We are there for you from the moment you book with us, to your big day!

A Venue Coordinator can’t commit their time to you exclusively.

We’ve had weddings in large Hotels or Venues that have 3-5 weddings at the same time. Sometimes your venue coordinator will have more than just your wedding to supervise. For this reason, the venue coordinator will spend large chunks of time away from the most important parts of your wedding. This means you may not have them available to help facilitate your ceremony or help cue your Maid of Honor for speeches. Since your wedding planner will commit their day to only your wedding, they will be present and available for all of the important parts of your wedding day.

Often times, a venue coordinator will arrive a short time before your wedding and leave after entrees are down or when the cake is served. As wedding planners, we are always the first ones at the venue and the last ones to leave. We ensure we have ample time to supervise vendor setup, we set up your personal items, and pack everything up and load it in a car for you at the end of the night. Even websites like The Knot can confirm that it is not the responsibility of the venue coordinator to set up personal items.

A Venue Coordinator won’t make a detailed timeline of your wedding weekend.

If your venue coordinator offers to make a timeline for you, it’ll include only the information pertinent to them such as service times for courses. As Wedding Planners, we will focus on all the important details that should be laid out. Just a few of the important details we like to include in our AEP timelines are:

  • Ceremony rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner information
  • Timing, location, and Hotel Room number for your hair and makeup team
  • Arrival times for all of your vendors
  • Important photo details
  • Ceremony processional, special customs, recessional, and music
  • Time to take you away for sunset photos outside
  • Noting how you would like your MC to introduce you and your wedding party
  • Dinner course serve times, speeches, and special dances
  • Person designated to take your gifts and personal items at the end of the night

In addition to creating the timeline, we go over everything in great detail with you weeks before the wedding and find out what is most important for you. We don’t just follow the timeline that’s on paper, but we will make sure that your parents are in the room when you have your first dance, or you get the picture with your grandma that you really wanted. We hope we clarified some key differences between a venue coordinator and wedding planner.


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