Updated: May 10, 2021
I've heard it said so many times - "The venue we have booked has a coordinator so do we really need a wedding planner to look after things?". The answer, quite frankly, is yes if you want that extra help. What most couples don't understand is that a venue coordinator works for the venue, not for you.
Don't get me wrong I have absolutely nothing against venue coordinators, in fact a lot of the time it's really helpful from my point of view if the venue has a coordinator as it's one person to go through not 10 different people but they don't do what wedding planners do.
So what's the differences?
1. A venue coordinator looks out for the venues best interests. Your wedding planner looks out for your best interests.
2. The venue coordinator deals with everything that has to do with the venue - food, bathrooms, set up (to their standard, not particularly how you want it, although they will absolutely set it up beautifully), etc... Your wedding planner will deals with aspects of the venue that matters to you, and will make sure everything is to your specifications, a lot of the time working alongside the venue coordinator.
3. If your ceremony is at an offsite location other than the venue, your wedding planner will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony.
4. If your ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will be there to help you with the coordination of the ceremony, but if there is an issue with the venue itself, you may find that your coordinator will be looking after that issue and not next to you.
5. A venue coordinator won't create design and styling moodboards to help you visualise your day whereas your planner will help you put all your Pinterest ideas together.
6. Your wedding planner (well, maybe not all, but definitely me) will be there to answer the smallest of emails, even if it's a panic about your bridesmaids dresses not turning up or you can't find the right colour whereas, to put it in the politest way possible, your venue coordinator won't pick the phone up at 10pm to chat about bridesmaid dresses.
7. Your wedding planner will contact your suppliers before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving (or give them a recommended timeline if they're anything like me...). A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with the setup, but this is rare. They definitely don't contact your other suppliers like your photographer or hair and makeup.
8. Venues are known to have a high turnover rate with their coordinators/sales positions. The person you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes to your wedding 6 months, a year or two years down the line whereas your wedding planner is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU and won't be going anywhere.
* True Story: One of my brides who contacted me after postponing/cancelling/rebooking (long story) her wedding did so after finding out the hard way that her (it may be different for others!!!) venue coordinator didn't really doesn't 'care' about each and every wedding, she went off on maternity leave without giving my couple a warning, an email or a little "here is blah blah, she is taking over", resulting in them having to explain and go through their wedding plans with another one all over again. *
This blog is in no way written to be horrible towards venue coordinators. As I said before they are really helpful, in fact, we didn't have a planner for our wedding and our venue coordinator (thanks again Anna!!) was amazing, but she didn't check to see if all our suppliers knew where to be and when to be there, that was my job, she wasn't at our ceremony, she wasn't there to tell me what time it was and when to cut the cake and if I'm being perfectly honest I wish I had that person there on the run up to the day and on the day to just take any worries away (and the need to constantly be checking the time to see if we we're on time).
As a couple planning your wedding, I want you to be aware of the differences between the two so you can make the best decision!