Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner or Day of Coordinator

Unfortunately I get asked this question a lot and I’d like to open the door to other planners, venues and vendors for commentary here. I think it’s a huge
misconception among brides.

“Why do I need to hire a wedding planner or
day-of coordinator  my venue has an on-site coordinator”

It’s true the venue may provide someone to oversee and coordinate your event, but that doesn’t mean you should eliminate a wedding planner or day-of coordinator. Both are equally important, and both do completely different jobs. Some venues can have more than one reception going at a time, and the on-site coordinator might be overseeing multiple events. Most of the time after dinner is served, their portion of the evening is done and you might not see them again. Another issue you might run into is having a different coordinator at your event than the one you spent all your time planning with. Turnover is high in the industry, and it’s definitely possible that could happen (been there, dealt with that, several times.)

The biggest difference is that the venue coordinator is there to handle anything
with regards to the venue. A wedding planner is there to handle anything
pertaining to YOU and your wedding, both ceremony and reception. We work for YOU! The duties will overlap a bit in some areas, but for the most part they will do different jobs. For example, an on-site coordinator won’t run home for you if you forgot the ring bearer pillow or your grandmother locket that was to be attached to your bouquet, or track down a missing limo, or take back tuxedo rentals after the wedding.

Things an On-Site Coordinator will provide:

  • Menu planning and tasting
  • Provide a list of recommended vendors who have worked in the venue before
  • Assist with a room diagram and suggest setup options, and possibly create a reception timeline
  • Oversee the setup of the event (tables, chairs, linens, china, glassware,flatware, etc…)
  • Oversee the catering staff and make sure dinner is correct and served on time
  • Set out favors, escort cards or place cards you dropped off (ask first,
    because some don’t include this)
  • Line you up outside the reception and help you with your entrance (ask
    first, because some don’t include this)

Things a Wedding Planner or Day-Of Coordinator willprovide:

  • A master timeline of the entire day to share with everyone involved in thewedding, in which you help create and and have final say.
  • Set up and/or pick up any of your personal items
  • Review all vendor contracts and ensure they are carried out accordingly on wedding day
  • Double check important details; wedding bands, marriage certificate,guestbook & pen,etc…
  • Handle vendor issues; cake issues, late limo, late florist etc…
  • Direct and assist your guests at the ceremony and reception
  • Emergency kit available throughout the day for aspirin, tape, pins, clearnail polish, band aids, scissors, thread & needle, hairspray, mints, etc…
  • Cue musicians, ceremony processional, reception grand entrance
  • Offer etiquette advice
  • Pin boutonnieres and corsages
  • Make a trip home for something you forgot, or to the store for something you need
  • Handle any special needs of the bridal party and family
  • Setup and direct a ceremony rehearsal
  • Assist with ceremony details; handing out programs & bubbles, rollingthe aisle runner, etc…
  • And much, much more….

It seems lately I’ve heard this statement from brides more than in the past. Many say venues are telling them there’s no need to hire a wedding planner or coordinator. I have also heard that some venues are charging the bride & groom an extra fee if they bring in an outside planner or coordinator, and a few just outright ban it. Isn’t that a little over the top? To ban a bride from enlisting extra help for what is surely one of the most important days of her life? I think maybe the venues should be educated or informed about what we do differently, and why we’re an asset instead of a hurdle. A successful event, whether it be a wedding, party or corporate event relies on all of the wedding professionals working TOGETHER to fulfill the wishes of their client.  It is a TEAM effort,  and the most successful events are successful because of that very reason, the wedding professionals worked together as a TEAM!

I hope this post, helps to better explain the difference.

 I welcome your thoughts on the topic…

Inspirationally Yours,


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