Now that Engagement Season is in full swing, we are meeting more and more couples who question the difference between their coordinator included by the venue and having an independent wedding planner / coordinator.
Is a Venue Coordinator not the same as Wedding Coordinator?
Understanding the difference between a wedding venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator (or wedding planner) can be vital to the success of your wedding weekend, as well as keep your stress and anxiety level low.
The Venue Coordinator
Venue Coordinators are employees of the venue in which they work. They act on behalf of and as a liaison between the couple and the venue’s operations team. Their main focus of responsibilities are those pertaining to your experience with them directly from showcasing the venue, consulting about your food and beverage choices and formalizing your catering needs (if caterer is onsite), arranging menu tastings and processing the final invoice.
On wedding day, their primary focus is delivering their contracted services, exclusively which may include ensuring the venue setup is accurate according to what the caterer instructs, the food gets served on time and that vendor breakdown happens seamlessly and without liability to the venue. In addition, a Venue Coordinator often departs once the meal is served. This may be an important consideration if you are looking for support for the remainder of the evening or would feel comfortable with someone to manage the breakdown of all vendors. Important note: while you may have worked with one individual throughout the planning process, there is no guarantee that you will be provided with that same individual on your big day.
The Wedding Coordinator / Planner
A professional Wedding Planner is your personal consultant, with a wide-stemmed focus on every detail in curating your dream wedding. From the initial planning stages [providing venue options, reviewing contracts, researching and recommending suppliers and recommending vendors who are perfectly paired to your personalities, budget and needs] to wedding day preparation, [creating an itinerary/timeline, organizing your ceremony rehearsal, confirming details with all contracted vendors] your wedding planner is able to be your guide for every option available to you and for every decision you need to make. They are, for all intents and purposes, your professional advocate in this process.
Come wedding day, the Wedding Coordinator will be with you from start to finish, ensuring your hair and makeup finishes on time for photographer arrival, ensure you arrive at ceremony on time, oversee time management for overall day from ceremony, recessional, cocktail hour transition, flow of timeline, speeches, dancing etc., prompt entertainers and vendors, ensuring that photographers are in place so a shot is never missed, instructing and managing everyone behind the scenes, while at the same time catering to you and your family. You may not need full-service assistance, so most Wedding Coordinators also offer partial services to accommodate your needs!
While the necessity of a venue coordinator is essential, there is simply no substitution for having your own planer / coordinator who ensures your every need and request is delivered, as well as can properly act on your behalf on wedding weekend!
Marrero Events strongly recommends that every couple consult with a professional wedding planner immediately upon becoming engaged. Whether you end up hiring a planner or not, the education, guidance and tips you can obtain through a professional consultation can be priceless and save you not only thousands of dollars, but limitless stress and anxiety!