We have been asked this question many times "Why do I need a day of wedding planner when my venue comes with a coordinator?" There are many answers to that question and I'm here to tell you the differences.
First, the venue coordinator is specifically to the venue, therefore, if you are getting married off site, they will not be there to wrangle your bridal party, help send people down the aisle, cue musicians and the officiant, coordinate photography and videography and then transportation to the reception site.
Second, venue coordinators typically leave right after the main course is served. That means they are not there to cue the toasts or gather all your personal items at the end of the night.
Third, we can handle your errands whereas the venue coordinator won't. For example, the girls ran out of champagne - we ran to the grocery store to get the specific kind they wanted. Or we had to run and pick up donuts for the donut wall - venue coordinators won't do that.
There is a great article by Summer McLane from HuffPost:
Here are some of the key differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner:
Venue Coordinator- They are responsible for everything that specifically deals with the venue. Tables, chairs, linens, food, etc. If the venue provides catering, their focus is to make sure that the kitchen and wait staff are scheduled according to their needs.
Wedding Planner- They are responsible for everything that comes with your venue AND making sure that your vendors know where and when they’re supposed to be. If the venue provides linens, it is the job of the wedding planner to choose the color based on the design of the wedding and to keep the quantities correct.
Venue Coordinator- The venue coordinator will most-likely provide a list of preferred vendors and that’s the extent of their involvement when it comes to interacting with the vendors.
Wedding Planner - Your wedding planner will schedule and attend your meetings with your vendors. They are the main point of contact between you and your vendors. If a vendor is lost or running late or is having an emergency, they’ll contact your wedding planner who will then put out the fire. Your wedding planner gives recommendations based on vendors they’ve worked with previously. They also review contracts; set up hotel room blocks, etc.
Venue Coordinator- Hotels that provide catering will have a timeline solely for their catering staff. Their timeline will center around when the food will be prepared and served. That’s it.
Wedding Planner - The wedding planner’s timeline details all aspects of the day from the time that the bride wakes up to the moment that the doors close. As a wedding planner, I have to know every single that is happening with every single person involved in the day. I schedule arrival times for all vendors, when the photos will be taken, what songs will be played for each dance, when the cake will be cut and when and where the sparkler send-off will be. We do it ALL.
Venue Coordinator - You’re most likely sharing your venue coordinator with at least 100 other brides. This means delayed responses to phone calls and emails. This also means that you have to try to catch them during business hours.
Wedding Planner – Fortunately (and unfortunately), wedding planners are available almost 24/7. Of course there are exceptions but if you’re having an emergency, you can pick up the phone and send a quick text message. Your venue coordinator isn’t giving you their personal cell phone number.
We work hand in hand with your venue coordinator - while they handle the venue items, we are handling everything else - all your vendors and all your personal needs. Having a team on your hands is the best way to ensure the success of your wedding.