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Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner

We know it can be overwhelming to decide which vendors to invest in on your big day. With it being such a personal day, you want to make sure you have hired on the best team and have the piece of mind that you’re in good hands.

That being said, we want to walk you through the difference between two important roles on your vendor lineup – wedding planners vs. venue coordinators. These two roles are similar in theory, but actually very different in overall responsibility. We believe strongly in the importance of both roles and are here to break it down for you! 

The difference:

A venue coordinator is the person that will coordinate everything for you from the venue side of planning. This means they can provide a preferred vendor list, welcome your vendors day-of, help you coordinate the bar, and often times set up and tear down your event if it involves the venue’s furniture. Basically, whatever the VENUE provides, they are responsible for. They are your go-to person when it comes to logistics of the venue itself. They have seen wedding after wedding done in their space, and oftentimes provide the best advice for how an event flows best in the venue. There is no doubt that they play a vital role in the planning process and overall success of your day. 

However, a wedding planner is the person that is with you through it all. Wedding planners are who you can run all of your ideas by, who will provide reassurance when the planning becomes stressful, and the person that knows you and your day in and out.

They are the people that help you piece together your vendor team, pick the best design for you and your future spouse, and coordinate all of the behind the scenes details. Wedding planners are the people that communicate all of your wedding day needs to your vendor team and the people in charge of running your special day, and have YOUR best interest in mind.

One other thing to factor in is if there are multiple events at your venue on the same day, it is the venue coordinator’s job to check in on each of the events, meaning you may not get a dedicated person to have full coverage of your wedding day from beginning to end. They, of course, will make sure you are all set, but not every venue promises a coordinator through 10pm.

If you happen to have a venue coordinator who does something similar to day-of coordination, just know they’re going over and beyond! You may be lucky and have someone who is able to have some time to dedicate to you as you get ready or if you need a quick errand, but it should never be an expectation of your venue coordinator to be your planner, personal attendant, or the one running the show. It’s simply not their job, and they have a lot of other moving parts to manage, especially if they provide a lot of in-house services.

Let’s talk why you need more than a venue coordinator:

To put it simply, your wedding planner should know your wedding day like the back of their hand. They have been working with you months (sometimes years!) ahead of time, you have built a relationship together and they know exactly what you want from your wedding day.

Wedding planners have truly seen it all beyond your venue and are well-versed and equipped to know how to handle wedding day emergencies. The are the calm to the storm, and the team that will do everything in their power to make sure your day is exactly what YOU want it to be. 

Don’t underestimate the power of a calm presence! While each vendor has their specific job in mind, it’s a wedding planner’s job to make sure all the moving parts and people work together seamlessly. It’s like a giant puzzle – the planner is the one that makes sure all 1,000 pieces result in a complete project! (And let’s admit, we LOVE nothing more than seeing something we’ve all been working so hard on actually come to life with no missing pieces!)

Your wedding planner is on your side. Throughout the wedding planning process, your planner serves as your advocate! Planners have your best interest in mind with every decision that is made in the process. They are there to serve you, celebrate with you and have fun while doing it – and that’s why so many planners love their jobs! 

The mission: deliver umbrellas to guests standing in line in the rain! 🙂 Photo credit: Molly Jo Collection

Bottom line: 

There is no question that weddings are a massive undertaking, and your venue coordinator and wedding planner work side-by-side throughout the whole process. Wedding planners rely on venue coordinators for venue logistics, to lay ground rules for event days, and to provide a day-of team able to run the venue itself. Venue coordinators rely on planners to keep the event running on time, to assist the couple and their loved ones, and run all of the behind the scenes details. It really does take a village!

Bottom line, your planner is here for YOU. They are the ones running around holding your lip gloss, bustling your dress, and packing your car at the end of the night – serving you is their number one priority. And believe us when we say nothing makes us happier than being that person for you!