What is the difference between a wedding planner and a venue co-ordinator?
That is a good question and one I really feel the need to answer today, having read on one venues website
“There is no Service Charge nor hidden extras. No need for Wedding Planners – we can run the day for you free”.
Also having a prospective bride told by her venue that they have an in house wedding planner and another venue I have to work with this year (I didn’t choose it) say they don’t work with wedding planners.
Let me get something straight right now. My job as a full time wedding planner is much more involved than an event manager at a venue. They DO NOT PLAN weddings, they co-ordinate weddings. What is the difference?
A wedding planner works for their couples, very closely, building a strong bond over the months they are working together. They start the wedding planning journey with their clients helping them with every aspect of their day. Sourcing suppliers, finding the venue or location, managing their budgets and their RSVP’s. Basically your wedding planner, will help and guide you and take away all the stress and time that is associated with planning the biggest day of your life. They will become your friend, work colleague, confidant and sounding board. They will plan the day that you want and then be there on the day to make sure your wedding happens as you planned. It’s all about you with a wedding planner.
A venue co-ordinator works first and foremost for the venue and not you, the couple. They are paid by the venue and so their priority is managing their venue, not planning your wedding. Yes, they will give you advice on what you can do at their venue, they won’t source your suppliers, they will most likely give you their preferred suppliers list, but don’t get me started on those!!! they will sell you their venue, book your date and send you off to plan your day yourself. You will be one of many, many brides they are dealing with. A planner may only have a handful of brides they are working with. Their prime concern at all times is their clients. A venue’s concern is making sure you have a good day, but as I said their venue is their priority, not you. You are one of many couples getting married there.
They will help with the timeline for your day, but remember this will be the timeline they want you to have, the schedule that suits them and their venue, one they always do. It won’t necessarily be the right timeline or schedule for your wedding.
On the day, they will make sure everything happens when it should. It’s unlikely they will set up anything for you on the day, although some venues have staff that will do that, you would have to check. Often by the first dance they will head off home and a member of the banqueting staff will take over. Sometimes the co-ordinator you have worked with for months, might not even be there on your day as they work Monday to Friday 9-5. How on earth you can work Monday to Friday in the wedding industry, absolutely amazes me.
That said, I have worked with some of the best venue managers and co-ordinators in the business. The ones that really care about their brides and the ones, that like a wedding planner, will go the extra mile. It is my job as a wedding planner to build a relationship with my venue manager and let her or him know that we are a team, that our final goal is to make sure our couple have the best day ever. I have, sadly encountered small minded venue managers and co-ordinators that don’t see the value in what we do. My guess is that these are the frustrated wedding planners, that would love to leave their job and plan weddings full time and work for themselves. A little jealously I feel.
So, my advice is do not let a venue tell you that you don’t need a wedding planner or that they will plan your wedding for you. (They don’t plan weddings, did I say that already) If you are busy and want professional advice and help planning your big day, then hire a decent, professional wedding planner. Thanks to James Davidson, Ellie Gillard and AL Photography