As a wedding planner I cannot begin to tell you how often I hear the words "Oh we don't need a planner, our venue comes with a coordinator." The millisecond I hear this statement, I instantly get nervous and break a sweat for the person. Not because a venue coordinator is inadequate, but because this potential client is under the impression that a wedding planner and venue coordinator have the same roles when it comes to their wedding
Hiring of Wedding Vendors
A venue coordinator is only responsible for giving you a list of preferred vendors that the venue has chosen. Which is helpful because you have an idea of where to start as far as choosing vendors goes. This should put you at ease since these vendors are already familiar with the venue's rules. This is the extent of the vendor selection process for venue coordinators.
As a wedding planner, one of our major responsibilities is to assist our clients in finding vendors that best suit their style and budget. We have a whole network filled with preferred vendors that we have worked with in the past or know personally. When hiring a planner you gain access to our preferred list of vendors, which is an extremely helpful starting point. Wedding planners schedule meetings with vendors in each category and will also attend the meeting with you. We will look through their contracts before you sign them. Generally if we have worked with a vendor continuously, we will already know what their contracts say. A lot of the times a wedding planner will even have discounts with the vendors they work closely with on a regular basis which will help allocate your extra money elsewhere if need be.
Accessibility During The Planning Process and During Your Event
A venue coordinator is employed by the venue which means, most times, they will have multiple events going on in the same day. If this is the case, that means you are not their number one priority. This means that if something goes wrong then it could take the venue coordinator awhile to get back to you.
A wedding planner is hired by you. This means the wedding planner's priority is YOU. The planner will constantly check in with you throughout your event day and will be attached to their phones in case you need to get a hold of this person. Since you are their one and only priority that day, it helps make things a lot less stressful.
Designing Your Event
If you are looking for someone to assist you in designing your event, then a wedding planner is the person you will want. A venue coordinator is not responsible for getting down to the nitty gritty details and designing of your event. When you hire a wedding planner, you are hiring him/her to be there with you every step of the way throughout your planning process.
Responsibility of Vendors and Service Providers
A venue coordinator is responsible for the staff that is directly associated with their venue. They are not responsible for when the external vendors are supposed to arrive or when they are supposed to leave. They are also not responsible for making sure that these external vendors don't mess up your order by not bringing what you ordered or bringing the wrong thing.
A wedding planner confirms your orders with all vendors prior to event day. Since you have had this planner throughout the process, they should know exactly what you ordered and will know if it is incorrect come event day. The wedding planner will also make sure all vendors, both venue and external, have arrived when they are supposed to and leave when they are scheduled to.
Creating and Managing Event Timeline
A venue coordinator will most likely create a timeline for your event day. However, the timeline that a venue coordinator creates will only have in depth details for the venue staff. For example, if the venue is responsible for the food they will have the information on their timeline regarding what time the food is going to be served and what type of food is being served. The venue coordinator's timeline will not have any information regarding external vendors such as who the vendor's point of contact is, when they are supposed to arrive and what the vendor is responsible for bringing.
A wedding planner will have a very detailed event timeline that includes all of the venue information as well as all of the external vendor information. The planner will send this detailed timeline out to all vendors prior to event day to see if any changes need to be made, and then send out a final timeline after they have all confirmed.
Knowing Who is in Charge on Event Day
Since the venue coordinator is employed by the venue, unfortunately there is not guarantee that this person will still be employed by this company by the time your event rolls around. There is also a possibility that they could get sick, then pass the event to another venue coordinator. This unknown can add a lot of unneeded stress onto your shoulders.
Since you hired the wedding planner, you can rest assured knowing exactly who is in charge of your event. A planner will only schedule the one event for the day and will do EVERYTHING in their power to be at your event no matter what situation arises. There is a very unlikely chance that your wedding planner won't show up to your event, so knowing who your go to person is will help alleviate a lot of stress.