First, I want to begin by saying that I have nothing against venue coordinators- I love them and they’ve are a great asset for the day of and even the wedding planning process! That being said, If they tell you they can handle EVERYTHING on the day of your wedding, know that this is definitely too good to be true. This is in no way is meant to be ill spirited towards venue coordinators. But as a couple planning a wedding, I want you to be aware of the differences between a wedding coordinator and a venue coordinator, so you can make the best decision for your special day!
A venue coordinator is looking out for the venue’s best interests. They are hired by the venue to work for the venue. The venue coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue i.e- table and chair setup, bathrooms, etc. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will (ideally) be there to help with the ceremony- but this is not always the case. In my many years of experience, rarely has a venue coordinator attended a rehearsal and if there’s an issue happening with the venue itself on the wedding day you may find that your venue coordinator will be nowhere to be found (which is them doing their job).
The wedding planner or coordinator is looking out for YOUR best interests. You hired THEM, they are contracted for you and you alone. A wedding coordinator will deal with aspects of the venue that pertain to you, such as setup, and will make sure everything is to your specifications. They will also make sure all contracts from your vendors are being upheld. (This is HUGE)!
Venue vs. Wedding Coordinator
A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, troubleshooting problems before and during the wedding and making sure the timeline for ALL vendors is being followed. They are the also staying until the very end of the wedding, until all of the guests are gone. A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after or sneaks away to their office to work, although some may stay until the cake is cut and served.
Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be helping if your bustle breaks, when it comes time to load up your gifts, or tracking down your lipgloss.
A wedding coordinator contacts your vendors before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and has reviewed the timeline and layouts. A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, but it’s not common. Other vendors, like your photographer or hair and makeup, would not be contacted by your venue coordinator.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say your photographer is supposed to arrive at 2:00 pm and 2:30 rolls around and they are no where to be found. Well, your wedding coordinator is not only jumping on the phone and tracking them down, they are also making sure they give you the full contracted time you paid for. A great wedding coordinator is also going make sure they stay later to make up for the time missed OR give a reimbursement for the time not working for you.
Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/sales positions. The person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes time for your wedding 6 months, a year, or a year and a half later. As much as you may have connected with that venue coordinator, she (or he) will have no qualms moving on to greener pastures before your wedding day occurs.
But your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere- unless, God forbid, something horrible happens!
So, these notions are just a few things to think about when it comes to deciding whether or not you need a wedding coordinator. And in my professional opinion the answer is yes, you need a wedding coordinator! Some venues are now requiring it (Thank God)!
If you have any questions about wedding coordinator vs venue coordinators, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!