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Wedding Planner Versus Venue Coordinator

Planning Tips

April 12, 2022


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 Welcome to the Soiree 99 blog, a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.



What is the difference and why do you need both?

It’s one of the most commonly confused elements in the realm of venues and wedding planning – what is the difference between wedding planners versus venue coordinators?

When you start your wedding planning adventure, it may seem like a too-good-to-be-true scenario when your dream venue gives you the added bonus of venue coordinator. It feels, at first glance, like a built-in wedding coordinator, possibly saving you the need to find a wedding planner. 

But let’s lay it all out and talk exactly about wedding planners versus venue coordinators, what they each do, and why, in a perfect world, you really do need both. 

Photography by Stella K Photography

What is a venue coordinator?

First off, let’s talk about what a venue coordinator is not. A venue coordinator is not a wedding planner or a day of coordinator. I think this is important to note because sometimes venues will sell a venue coordinator as having a larger role than they actually do and this is unfair to you.

And while every venue is different, from my experience, this is what is most common. 

In general, a venue coordinator is only concerned with the venue and with making sure that anything at the venue is taken care of. That’s it. They coordinate things in relation to the venue. 

Do you need a ladder? Ask the venue coordinator. 

Is there a door that needs to be unlocked?  Ask the venue coordinator. 

Do you have a question about venue regulations? Ask the venue coordinator.l 

They do not set up your decor or break it down. 

They don’t reach out to your vendors beforehand. 

A venue coordinator’s main job is to support the planner and the vendors in order for the couple to have the best experience. They answer questions and make sure everything at the venue is running smoothly. 

Photography: Orange Photographie

Another area of confusion that I see is thinking that day of coordinators and venue coordinators are the same. They are not.

As I have discussed in a prior blog, a day of coordinators really should be called month-of coordinators as our role really does begin about a month before the wedding.  We check in with vendors, create an organized timeline, and have a thorough understanding of all of the little details of the day. Venue coordinators do not do this. 

Let me repeat: venue coordinators do not do this. 

I do see different levels of venue coordinator involvement. Some venues help you leading up to the wedding but are not there the day of the wedding. Some stay until the last call and are always available but none are as involved as an actual planner (day of coordinatation or full planning). 

The best way to understand the level of involvement that your venue coordinator will have is to ask—or have your planner ask. Be clear and communicate thoroughly so there that expectations are set properly and there are no disappointments. 

Couple outside of Homestead on McVey
Photography by Jacilyn M

What does a wedding planner do?

I already have a great article already on the website about the different services of wedding planners. You can check it out HERE.

But basically, a wedding planner is the one who walks with you through the wedding planning process and, depending on the level of service, helps you find vendors, coordinates those vendors, creates the timeline, helps with themes, vision, decor, etc. There is a lot more to it than that but a wedding planner does so much more than just open the doors and makes sure things run smoothly. 

And not only that, but wedding planners are responsible for both the setup and the breakdown—making your experience  (and your family’s lives) SO much easier and more relaxing.

So:  Wedding planner versus venue coordinator, which is better? 

The answer?  Neither is better and you’ll find that you really do need both to orchestrate the wedding of your dreams. 

The biggest takeaway is to not confuse a venue coordinator for a wedding planner/day-of coordinator. This will only lead to disappointment when they do not fill the role you expect of them. 

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I'm Brittany and I'm so happy you're here. This blog is a journal about all things hosting, design, wedding planning and anything else that makes my heart flutter.

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