Weddings Planners and On the Day Coordinators vs Venue Coordinators – what’s the difference?

This is an often asked question by couples when embarking on the wedding planning labyrinth. The two roles are distinct from each other. The Wedding Planner provides a professional service to you and your partner (usually from the commencement of your wedding planning journey) and assists you with the introduction to Venues, Suppliers and Vendors who will form the team that your Wedding Planner will coordinate for you to deliver your unforgettable day. He or she works for you and your partner from the start of your planning process through to the farewells on your wedding day. The Venue Coordinator works for the Venue exclusively.

Pink red roses - A venue coordinator will ensure the decorations at your venue are as they should be

What confuses most couples is that the Venue Coordinator is specifically there for the VENUE – not you and your complete journey. This is not a criticism – merely a fact. If the Venue Coordinator informs you they can handle “things” on the day of your wedding it’s true – they can and will but only as it relates to the Venue’s contractual components. A Venue Coordinator is looking out for the best interest of the Venue – that is his or her role. A Wedding Planner and On the Day Coordinator is there across the planning, the day’s prep, the ceremony and reception timeline – pace and flow in your best interest. The Venue Coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue – food and beverage, basic setup, etc. An On the Day Wedding Coordinator will deal with all aspects of the venue such as setup, installations, musicians etc., and will make sure everything is to your specifications across all suppliers and vendors.

If your ceremony is at a different location than the venue, which is common, your On the Day Wedding Coordinator will be there with you to ensure everything goes according to the timeline that you have agreed and as you wish it to be across all the supplier elements including hair and makeup, photographer and videographer, transport and your bridal party too.  A Venue Coordinator will not be at the offsite ceremony and will have had no involvement in the critical supplier coordination process. If the ceremony is at the venue, then and only then will the Venue Coordinator be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony but not usually any third party supplier that has not been facilitated through the Venue.

Weddings Rings - More likely to be looked after by your wedding planner, rather than the venue coordinator

An On the Day Wedding Coordinator is with you throughout the day and night. They are there to ensure the agreed timeline stays on track and makes sure every element that should occur will occur throughout the ceremony and reception appropriately, so that you and your partner can have the unforgettable day and night of your life without having to stress over the coordination elements. An On the Day Wedding Coordinator is usually the last person to leave the Venue – long after the last guest has departed to ensure that not only the third party supplier pack down goes off without a hitch but to make sure that no gifts or personal belongings etc. have been left behind – it happens.

The Venue Coordinator usually only remains at the venue site until the main meal is served then leaves – some may stay until the cake is cut and served but this varies greatly from Venue to Venue. Always confirm in your Venue contract the specifics of exactly what your ‘Venue Coordinator’ has guaranteed will happen for you and exactly what ‘services’ will be performed by the Venue Coordinator on the day – this way there is no room for misunderstanding or disappointment as it is not uncommon for the Venue Coordinator (on the actual day) to be a different person than the one you have been dealing with through the booking and function development phases.  Although the Venue Coordinator is there for you to make sure that the Venue functions and elements are to your satisfaction, he or she is not likely to be involved if a crisis with your dress occurs, or Uncle Johnny has had too much cheer before the speeches – or when it comes time to pack up the gifts or the wishing well ensuring all valuables are secured for transport.

A venue coordinator is only responsible for a specific venue, Wedding Planners are with you throughout your journey

An On the Day Wedding Coordinator contacts your Venue and all your suppliers and vendors before your wedding to make sure everything is confirmed. All will know exactly how they fit into the timeline that will be distributed by your On the Day Wedding Coordinator a few days prior the event and followed up the day before to make sure its all as it should be for you and your partner. Generally, unless it’s in your Venue contract, third party suppliers and or vendors such as your photographer, hair and makeup artists or musicians et al would not be contacted by the Venue Coordinator.

Hopefully you now are clearer as to the two roles – both of which have a valuable part in delivering your day – your way – without fuss, but the scope of each role is vastly different.

Cheers for now,

Xo