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The Difference Between an Independent Wedding Planner and an On-Site Venue Coordinator

Like most brides, you may be wondering what the difference between an on-site venue coordinator and a wedding planner is. It’s common to initially think that hiring a wedding planner as well as a venue which supplies an onsite coordinator is essentially the same thing. If you think that you would be paying for two identical services, you are oh so wrong. So, to avoid all confusion, let us differentiate.

wedding planner

Long story short: A wedding planner works for you. They are there from day one, to assist you throughout your engagement and with many aspects of your wedding. A venue coordinator on the other hand works for the venue you have hired and is only in service for the day of the wedding.

The Wedding Planner

A Wedding Planner is hired by you. It is their job to keep everything running smoothly on your big day. Together, you will go through exactly what you wish your wedding to be, from start to finish. Planners offer a wide range of services, but the main point to remember is that they are there to assist in making your dream come to life. Depending on when in your engagement you hire a wedding planner, they know the ins and outs of what you want. This saves you time and stress, helping you to avoid worrying about your checklist. They will help you create and design your ceremony and reception to the last detail. They help you make all the important decisions which will shape the end result. There won’t be any need to panic with a wedding planner on hand, they are one of the first to arrive and the last to leave on your wedding day, with hands on help setting up and dismantling the stage of your nuptials. They make sure everybody and everything is running to schedule, so you can spend every last minute of your singlehood relaxing. They will double check all the details to make sure it’s how you discussed and keep an eye on the entire progression of the day.

From bridal emergency kits to backup plans, they are organized and proactive from concept to completion. It’s not necessary to hire a wedding planner from day one as most offer a range of packages. However, the earlier you do it, the more you get to know each other and the more involved and ‘in the know’ they can be. A planner has a far greater investment in your wedding, because they are working for you, not to mention that it’s fun to work together!

wedding planner

The Venue Coordinator

A venue coordinator however has a completely different focus. Of course everybody is working to make sure your day goes to plan, though, unlike a wedding planner, a venue coordinator is working for the venue. They will operate as a salesperson and representative of the venue. Most likely they will be the one to initially deal with your enquiry, show you around, quote you the rates and monitor your payments. Their responsibility revolves around what happens within the venue. They will act as the link between the onsite operations team and you, the couple. After you book their services, you are unlikely to have much contact with them until a few weeks before the event, mainly to talk about logistics. Coordinators ensure that whichever services you booked through their venue (often including the ‘wedding breakfast’) are completed as booked. They direct vendors and make sure set-up is executed appropriately. They do not however have any commitment to stay through the entire event.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of research and time you will need to dedicate to planning your own wedding, you should absolutely welcome a wedding planner into your life. Wedding planners take on board everything you want for your wedding and help fit all the pieces together. They will source vendors for you, accompany you to meet with them and make sure all the right questions get asked to fit your needs. They are more invested in accommodating your budget and your vision. A coordinator will most likely set you up with a vendor who is connected with their venue, so you may be presented with fewer options.

wedding planner

As mentioned in our previous blog (Your Dream Day without the Nightmare Price Tag) "hiring a Wedding Planner most often ends up saving you money, because they know the necessities of a wedding. Taking advantage of their input will serve you well, saving you money, time and stress. With connections and rapport with vendors, a planner can find something appropriate for you and your budget with a bit more ease then you could alone. Banking on the help of the Coordinator may seem like a ‘cheaper’ option, but remember where their responsibilities lie. They will make sure everything runs smoothly at the venue, but they will not be there along the way as a contact for you, or to help you to dream up and organize your day."

wedding planner

In conclusion, the roles of a "Wedding Planner" and a "Venue Coordinator" are completely different, but go hand in hand very nicely. They work well side by side and appreciate each other for all they do. Just don’t get them confused, because you will find out what the difference is on the day. Having both parties on your team will do wonders. They are both key components to the smooth-factor of your wedding. Have fun, relax and enjoy your engagement! A bit of help goes a long way.


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