Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner?

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

This is a question I’ve heard many times when I worked as a venue coordinator. So, do you need a wedding planner if you have a venue coordinator? Because I have extensive experience in both roles I know how important it is to have a wedding planner. Yes, even if you have a phenomenal venue coordinator.

It’s important to know how venue coordinators offer a different role to your wedding experience than I do as a Wedding Planner.

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, their focus is on venue related concerns. Some of these are to make sure that their staff doesn’t go into overtime. Or, making sure the kitchen is meeting entree serve times, and ensuring vendors don’t cause property damage. When you hire me for Wedding Planning or Wedding Management, I have a strong handle on every detail of your wedding. It’s my job to ensure that everything we’ve discussed is executed to your expectations.

In addition to this, your venue coordinator won’t be setting out your personal items. This means that they may not be able to put out your guest book, signage, or other personal decor items. Even websites like The Knot advise that it is not the venue coordinator’s responsibility to set up personal items. Because your Wedding Planner works for you, we are able to handle personal decor and wedding day styling. I typically ask couples to bring their personal items to me on their rehearsal day. Then I bring the items to the venue and set everything up.

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

I’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 with the initial venue coordinator may not be communicated to 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.

I’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. As a wedding planner, I am always the first one at the venue and the last one to leave. I arrive with ample time to supervise vendor setup, set up your personal items, etc. At the end of the evening, I pack everything up and load it in a car for you at the end of the night.

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 a Wedding Planner, I will focus on all the important details that should be laid out. Just a few of the important details included 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, I go over everything in great detail with you weeks before the wedding. This is where we discuss what is most important to you. It’s so much more to me than just following a timeline. I’ll be the first to help you pop the champagne and help you combat the nerves before those big moments. I’ll make sure that your parents are in the room for your first dance and make sure you get the picture with your grandma that you really wanted.

I hope I clarified some key differences between a venue coordinator and wedding planner, but if you have any questions always feel free to reach out!

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