Venue Coordinator vs Wedding Planner: Understanding what and who you’ve booked.

I cannot tell you how many times I have had couples who have turned down wedding planning services because their venue has an in-house coordinator and then regretted it. The simple fact is that they are not the same thing. Your venue coordinator is there in the venue’s interest, not necessarily for you. This isn’t a dig at venue coordinators as they are honestly the most useful people for planners, but the roles are totally  different!

Your venue coordinator and wedding planner work perfectly together to ensure your wedding day is stress-free, fun, in your complete vision, and better than your hopes and dreams. Understanding the difference between a wedding planner & a venue coordinator can help avoid a lot of disappointment and frustration.

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What your Venue Coordinator is responsible for:

  • Liasing between the venue and the venue professionals (for example if you are using the in-house caterers/waiting staff)
  • Making sure the basic amenities are available for you to use if you have booked them (cutlery, tables, chairs etc. or any extra rooms)
  • Making sure no outside professionals break the contract rules of the venue (causing damage to the property/lighting open fires/anything that violates health and safety regulations/breaking predetermined drinks limits at the bar)
  • Making sure that you also adhere to the contract rules and limitations

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What your Venue Coordinator is not responsible for:

  • Being there for your entire wedding. It’s safe to say Venue Coordinators often have more than one wedding booked over the weekend and need to oversee other couples’ details.
  • Answering all your calls/emails/texts in the lead-up to the big day. Wedding Planners are there to source your suppliers, organise contracts, attend and set up viewings/fittings, help design and orchestrate your decor theme, and take all those late night panic calls!
  • Setting up your decor. They are not responsible for making sure those are the right table cloths you wanted, and that those votives are in the correct shade of blush, or that all the cute favours that you wanted are put out exactly as you visioned. Wedding Planners are expected to and are responsible for this job, as well as coordinating with your suppliers (for example, making sure the florist and cake maker are both there in the morning to arrange your fresh flowers of choice on the cake)
  • Making sure your suppliers and wedding professionals do their job to the best of their ability on your big day. Making sure your DJ or musicians play the right music as you first walk in as a married couple, or that your photographer even turns up at all is the job of the planner.
  • Personal Assistance. I do a lot of personal work that can be easily overlooked that Venue Coordinators do not do: putting boutonnieres on the groomsmen, arranging dress fittings, sourcing decor accessories, making sure I have asked the MUA what shade and make of lipstick you’re wearing so that I can make sure I have bought one to put in my Mary Poppins bag for when yours fades, checking over the DJ playlist so that explicit song you didn’t want Nana to hear isn’t on there, or making sure the ladies are all in the right place for the bouquet toss.
  • Fixing any non-venue related issues that arise on the day. If you have a guest who’s a bit worse-for-wear and needs some fresh air, if you get your zip caught in your dress, if you desperately need a pair of flats. (I know a lot of people have family that are super supportive but it is also emotionally taxing for them on the day to be running around trying to problem-solve. I’ve been there first-hand)

Of course, every situation will be different, and you must ask your Venue Coordinator exactly what they offer, and what they expect from you as clients. Having a wedding planner isn’t important for all couples, but I have seen the difference in weddings that are fully managed and organised- resulting in happy guests and a chilled couple, to weddings that don’t have a planner.

Get in touch today for your bespoke quoting. I am happy to work with many different budgets, and my Wedding Tasking can allow you to give me up to 3 different wedding tasks to plan and coordinate for £150. Similarly, you can just hire me for your Day-Of-Coordination for up to 15hours on the day! 

From Karen, with Love x

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