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Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator

Wedding Planning

March 6, 2017

Last week, I broke down one of the most common topics I’m asked about: Wedding Coordinators vs. Planners vs. Designers.

Today, I’m tackling another topic I am often questioned about: Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator.

While there are certainly some similarities, the difference between the two can play a huge part in having your day be as perfect as you envision it.  I’m not just saying this because I am one, but I highly recommend getting a wedding planner, even if your venue has an on-site coordinator.

Here’s why:


The on-site coordinator works for the venue, not for you. While they will try to make you happy, their ultimate responsibility and loyalty are with their employer – the venue. They often have a boss to report to and are usually tied to a very specific way of running their weddings and events. Because they likely have weddings most weekends of the year, a venue coordinator will likely have a lot of experience. But as a word of caution, the turnover rate for venue coordinators is usually pretty high. And remember – they do not work for you. This means you may not end up working with the same person that you started with, as they may have been moved to a new department, or moved on to another employer all together.

bridesmaids helping bride put shoes onA personal wedding planner works for the client – YOU. A planner’s first priority is always going to be you – your interests, your likes, your wants – no matter how vague, unique, or extravagant. There are no ulterior motives to anything a planner tells you other than to make you happy and to guide you in making decisions that are right for you and your wedding day, and maybe to help you save a little money along the way. A wedding planner reports to no one but the couple and will do whatever it takes to make sure your standards and expectations are met, and will be by your side from the minute they are hired until the last guest goes home at the end of the night.


A venue coordinator is responsible for helping you select your menu, receiving your final guest count, ensuring you pay your deposit and subsequent balance, and, if needed, referring you to certain vendors on their approved venue list. The day of your wedding, they are there to make sure the staff has set up the ceremony and reception as discussed and per the diagram they are given, that servers and bartenders are taking care of the food and beverage items as discussed, and to help keep those things on schedule. Some might help to ensure that a few décor items are in place, like menu cards, favors, table numbers, etc., but that is not often the case.

Your personal wedding planner oversees every single detail of your wedding day, not just the ones that relate to what happens at a certain venue. They not only work with you through the entire planning process, but will work with the venue coordinator to make sure everything is set up to YOUR liking and making sure that any problems are taken care of promptly and professionally. They’ll be there for you the morning of your wedding to greet you and make sure you’re the happy, excited, blushing, worry-free bride you deserve to be. Your planner will make sure your bouquet is exactly how you envisioned it, make sure your dress is bustled properly, and make sure that mascara hasn’t smudged under your eyes for your pictures. And before you take that important walk down the aisle, your planner will make sure you remember to take a deep breath and take it all in as you embark on one of the most important events of your life.


A venue coordinator will refer you to other vendors they have worked with before and trust, if you ask. They canivory and gold wedding place settingalso help with suggesting options for set up and décor, often having photos available of past events for you to reference. They are there to make sure any details relating to the venue, catering, and banquet staff are under control and running as discussed and outlined in your contract.

Your personal wedding planner is there to ensure that your entire day unfolds in the most perfect way imaginable from start to finish. They will work with both you and your vendors to create – and execute – a finely tuned timeline of your wedding day. You’ve hired your planner to make sure not a single detail is overlooked, and that’s what he/she is going to do.

While a venue coordinator is a great asset for the portion of your day taking place at their location, they aren’t going to be with you to ensure the rest of the day unfolds just the way you’ve been dreaming. That’s where your personal wedding planner comes in. Don’t skimp in this area. You won’t regret it!



Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator | Wedding Planners Birmingham Alabama

Christina Sloan Events is a Wedding and Event Planning and Design Studio, offering Full Service Planning, Design, Production, Management, and Month Of Coordination | Serving Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama and the surrounding Southeast region | Destination Services Available Worldwide

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