Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator ☆ What The Heck Is The Difference, Anyway?

Okay! So you’ve have booked your amazing venue and it has everything you could possibly want. Not only is it gorgeous, but it has the amazing character you were after, not to mention ALL the amenities a girl could ask for, AND they’re telling you you have a Venue Coordinator INCLUDED! How amazing!! But do you actually know the difference between what your Wedding Planner does, and what your Venue Coordinator is responsible for?

Are they the same thing? Why pay for one, if one is included? Or is it?

Well, the fun news is I WAS a Venue Coordinator for five years before joining Maeck Weddings full time, and trust me, there is a huge difference! I’m here to help break it down and share all the insight on the roles.

Venue Coordinator (VC)

Most certainly this is an important person in the wedding community and for your big day! They are your main contact person for your venue and will ensure that you are following the rules and regulations while on the property of the venue that you booked.

Your VC is typically the person there the day of your wedding and will be the one who is communicating with the kitchen, ensuring the serving staff are on point, doors are unlocked for vendors to start set-up, and everything they promised you (and the reason why you booked them!) is being accomplished.

I did this for five years, I loved it. You meet great couples, network like crazy with other vendors, work hard, and manage your team to execute a flawless event– you have no idea how good it feels when you just know that you nailed that dinner service!! But here are my two main comments while working with your Venue Coordinator to remember. 

  • The venue pays their paycheck. This is sometimes a harsh reality for couples. They do not work FOR you, they work for the venue. So if there are issues with other vendors, or if you forgot something at the hotel, this is outside their job description. It’s not because they don’t want to help you, or try and keep any stress level down, but VC’s don’t have “extra” time to leave their job to go drive to the hotel for you; they are busy ensuring that everything you paid the venue for is being accomplished!
  • You have a contract with the Venue, not the Coordinator. I always loved when couples told me that I was a reason why they booked their wedding at my old venue! It was such a compliment! However, you have a contract with the venue. So if your Venue Coordinator goes on maternity/paternity leave, resigns, has a death in the family or a family emergency, they are not going to be there the day of the wedding, and you will have someone else to work with. This can be a let down when the person you have built this great relationship with is no longer with the company. But people move onto other jobs, thats life!

Wedding Coordinator or Wedding Planner (ok, or Magical Wedding Fairy, Organized New Best Friend – whatever you want to call us!)

So you’ve decided to hire a Wedding Coordinator for your big day because your best friend made you do everything at her wedding, and you just can’t live like that! Trust me, after having to be this person too many times, I get it! But you’re wanting to make sure that you are getting the value out of the services, and ensure your Wedding Coordinator and Venue Coordinator don’t “overlap”. 

Great! The good news is we work for YOU! We are there for the planning process as soon as you book us! We want to ensure that we are taking care of all the details and organizing what the day will look like. We care about the stationary, timeline (before and after dinner), who is cleaning up the items at the end of the night after you made your sparkler exit (love those!!). If you need your Venti Starbucks in the morning, we’ve got it, and also your timeline we worked so hard on is being followed! That’s a very small picture of the things we do. But here are a few things to note when working with your Wedding Coordinator:

  • Your Vision And Goals Are Our Number One Priority. When you are booking your Wedding Coordinator, we want to make sure we jive. I need to make sure that I can be that friend you didn’t know you needed until right now! Making sure that I fully understand your wedding vision, things that are special to you, and figure out how to implement all of the amazing personal touches. So when we are working with Venue Coordinators, our job is to take everything you want and figure out how to accomplish it within their rules and regulations that they have set. It can be tough when you don’t understand why you can’t just have it, or “change” one thing, but we cut out the middle man, and just talk all that lingo for you! It makes the process quick and painless, and your VC loves that everything is organized and we are prepared for the meetings we have booked. Also, when we have worked at the same venue before, we already know what to expect, making us an easy guide for you when curating all of your great ideas!
  • We Deal With All Those “Awkward Moments” & Make Sure It Won’t Happen To You! There is nothing more uncomfortable when your cousin and their Tinder date sit front row in reserved seating for the ceremony. You are at the back of the venue taking a few minutes before the ceremony, and someone will have to go tell them to move. Yes, this is a real story, because people were told to “sit where they’d like”, and that’s where they “wanted to sit” (insert eye roll emoji here). Making sure that they are asked politely and discreetly to move so when your parents get to the front row they have somewhere to sit, that’s on us! Okay so that’s only one example. But if other vendors forget something, or set something up incorrectly, that’s on your Wedding Coordinator to know these details and ensure it’s set up the way you wanted it. We would never want you to walk into your venue and think “this is not what I ordered”, but any problems or anything that comes up, ALL vendors turn to your Wedding Coordinator. And that’s fine! We are here to be your first line of defense and ensure that nothing is missed and if it is, you have no idea because it was corrected beforehand! 

The good news is many venues offer a service of a Venue Coordinator, and we LOVE working with them! They get to work on service, and managing their staff and focus on their job. They know that your Wedding Coordinator has everything else under wraps. I think there is this weird misunderstanding that we don’t get along, or one is more important than the other.

I have personally been on BOTH sides, and I can tell you, those are the most organized weddings. You have a TEAM of people who are all experts in their areas. I knew when working at my venue that when a Wedding Planner or Coordinator was hired, that they were also making my life easier because they knew EVERYTHING, and if there was a question not related to venue, I never had to bug the bride for information.

At the end of the day, that’s all any person you hire wants to do; make your life easier, create an unforgettable day for you, and see two people who love each other get married. Nothing wrong with having a team of people, just important to know where we all excel and how to use us!

Hope This Helped & Happy Planning!

Alysha xo

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