This is one of my favorite topics because I actually used to be a venue coordinator. Some venues advertise that they provide a “day-of-coordinator” included with your venue rental. Many couples think that this means they do not need a wedding planner. The truth is, there are significant differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner.
Wedding planning is much more than just logistical coordination. I specialize in event planning AND design. My job is to make sure that ALL aspects of your wedding come together flawlessly from invitations to linens to floral to dessert to drinks and on and on. The venue coordinator does not help with any aspect of the overall aesthetic of your wedding but this is a huge part of your wedding.
A day-of-coordinator is just that. They are there to greet vendors and show them where to set up. They will typically coordinate the ceremony processional and this is absolutely important and helpful but outside of helping you on the day of your wedding, the coordinator is not going to be of assistance. A wedding planner works with you throughout the planning process and knows every aspect of your wedding day and what you want. A venue coordinator is an extension of the venue whereas a wedding planner is an extension of YOU. It is important to know that in any situation on your wedding day your planner will be able to answer questions according to YOUR likes and dislikes. The venue coordinator is simply now going to have the knowledge you would want someone to have to ensure a truly stress-free day.
You also want to be stress-free in the months leading up to your wedding. A coordinator is responsible for coordinating the details that you provide to them whereas a planner creates the details for you that need to be coordinated. The coordinator is not going to read contracts for you. The coordinator may know that a cake is being delivered at 2 pm. The planner knows that a 3 tiered semi-naked cake with blackberries and raspberries is being delivered and the planner knows the flavor of the cake. That’s just one example of even something on the wedding day that the planner just simply has more knowledge of because that’s their job.
Many times a venue coordinator does not need any experience with weddings at all. This is a job that is typically on the job training. A professional wedding planner will usually have years of experience as well as training and certification in planning. The planner will have several industry experts that they can recommend as vendors. Although some venues have a vendors list, the venue will not recommend vendors specifically designed for your budget and overall theme of your wedding. So if you have a venue coordinator and a planner that can only be better for you to have more hands-on-deck to help your day go as stress-free as possible.
Photography by Dear Olive Photography