Wedding Planner & Venue Co-ordinator The Difference Explained
Image Credit: Terri & Lori Fine Art Photography & Film
I have lost count how many times I am asked to explain the difference between a wedding planner and a venue co-ordinator.
With the roles being both similar and complementary, it’s easy to see where the confusion may lay, but as an independent wedding planner as well as a freelance venue co-ordinator, I’m in the perfect position to clarify the difference between the two roles.
In a nutshell, an independent wedding planner is employed by a couple to work for them in relation to planning their wedding, whilst a venue co-ordinator is employed by the venue in which a couple have chosen to host their wedding ceremony/reception.
So, let’s start with a wedding planners role – Depending on the service you choose, as well as the level of assistance you require an independent wedding planner will work with you from the beginning of your wedding planning journey until and including the big day itself.
They will assist, advise and support you with every aspect associated with planning your wedding including but not limited to, designing your wedding day concept, creating and allocating your budget, sourcing your venue, providing suitable supplier recommendations, creating your wedding day timeline, wedding admin duties as well as being with you on your wedding day working discreetly behind the scenes from morning set up until the last guest leaves.
A wedding planner will know every last detail about your wedding from your guests dietary requirements, your evening bands electricity needs right through to whether or not you would like to save the top tier of your wedding cake.
On your wedding day a planner will be aware of details that have been organised in advance, such as the time your car will be arriving to take you to your church or venue, where the ceremony florals will be positioned following your ceremony and what time your grandparents taxi will be arriving to take them home. They will also carry out duties such as keeping your bridal party gifts safely tucked away until speeches and having a bridal emergency kit on standby should a mini disaster occur. Basically they will have everything covered to ensure you can relax and enjoy your special day.
As mentioned above, the level of assistance you receive from a wedding planner will depend on the service you choose. If you have chosen a wedding planner’s On The Day Co-ordination service, you would have planned your own wedding and will begin working with a planner as your wedding day approaches, (normally 4-6 weeks beforehand). This service is popular with couples who have the time available to plan their own wedding and only require assistance with pulling their plans together as well as the running of their wedding day. This is normally because they have chosen a dry hire venue or a marquee reception, both of which would not have a venue co-ordinator.
The majority of independent planners who offer On The Day Co-ordination will include a planning meeting/site visit as well as administration support in the weeks leading up to your wedding within their co-ordination service. This is important as it will ensure they are familiar with your wedding plans, which in turn will help your day run smoothly.
On your wedding day a wedding co-ordinator will then provide the same level of service as they would if they had planned your wedding.
Now moving on to a venue/in house co-ordinator (and notice the difference in the job titles Wedding Co-ordinator & Venue Co-ordinator). As explained above, venue co-ordinators are employed by a venue, so they will be an expert on all things relating to the venue. They will make sure you are fully armed with an abundance of helpful information on your chosen venue to ensure you get the most from their venue on your wedding day.
Throughout the planning process a venue co-ordinator may be able to send you a list of recommended suppliers for you to shortlist. It will however be down to you to contact these suppliers to check their availability, request a quotation and also book their services. A venue co-ordinator will also be on hand to answer questions which are venue related such as, measurements for your florist, sample table plans, access timings for your suppliers as well as wedding day timings that work well at their venue. Basically any questions relating directly to their venue.
On your wedding day a venue co-ordinator will ensure your venue is open in time for your suppliers to begin setting up. However, unlike when you work with a planner, it will be down to you to arrange these timings and confirm they are acceptable with your venue. They will also make sure the venue is all set ready to host your wedding, which will include duties such as stocking the bar (if they are running the bar), ensuring the washrooms are well stocked, checking light bulbs, testing their PA system, setting up your ceremony seating and possibly your wedding breakfast tables (if they provide the catering) and generally making the venue wedding ready.
They will also run your day for you using a wedding day schedule which you will have agreed with them in the weeks leading up to your wedding.
As you will see from the above, the smooth running of your wedding day will require many hands, so if you are working with a wedding planner and your venue also provides a co-ordinator, then they will simply work alongside each other to ensure all runs smoothly. The venue co-ordinator would naturally deal with all tasks venue related whilst your wedding planner would generally deal with the finer details.
As a side note, if a couple have planned their own wedding (ie not worked with a planner throughout their wedding planning process) and are marrying within a venue that includes a venue/ in-house co-ordinator within their hire terms or wedding package, then generally (but not always) there would be no need to hire a wedding planner to provide their On The Day Co-ordination service. Instead a couple would share as much information with their venue co-ordinator as possible prior to their wedding and appoint a trusted family member or friend to assist with the running of the days events.
I hope this post has successfully highlighted the difference between the two roles and helped you decide whether or not you would benefit from the assistance of a wedding planner, or confirmed that the assistance provided by your venues co-ordinator is sufficient to ensure your day is just as you wish.
If you are considering working with a wedding planner then please do get in touch. I am based in Essex, adore everything about weddings and love to create elegant and classic celebrations. I primarily work throughout Essex and surrounding areas such as Suffolk, Kent, Hertfordshire & Cambridgeshire, however I am able to travel further afield if required.
Welcome to my Blog
With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.