Do you need a coordinator if your venue has a venue coordinator?
Is there a difference between the two and does it matter if I only have a venue coordinator?
What most couples don’t quite understand is this:
A VENUE COORDINATOR WORKS FOR THE VENUE, NOT YOU.
SO THE ANSWER IS YES, IT DOES MATTER!
(Nothing against venue coordinators- I love them and they’ve helped me out a lot before. I personally love working with great venue coordinator and there are quite a few locally!) If a venue coordinator tell you they can handle things on the day of your wedding, it’s true- they can, but it’s only within a certain scope. And, since I’m kind of the person, if you know me I am pretty honest and blunt, who will say what others won't, let’s chat a little more about this…
What is the main differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator?
A venue coordinator is looking out for the venue’s best interests and focuses on what is important to the venue. A wedding coordinator is looking out for YOUR best interests.
The venue coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue- food, setup, bathrooms, etc. A wedding coordinator will deal with all aspects of the venue that pertain to you, such as setup, and will make sure everything is to your specifications along with working with your vendors and you on coordinating your day.
Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/sales positions. The person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes time for your wedding 6 months, a year, or a year and a half later. As much as you may have connected with that venue coordinator, she (or he) will have no qualms moving on to greener pastures before your wedding day occurs.
Your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere!
If your ceremony is off-site (at a location other than the venue), your wedding coordinator will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony, as it does not pertain to the venue. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will (ideally) be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony. But if there’s an issue happening with the venue itself, you may find that your venue coordinator is nowhere to be found.
Story time: A friend of mine was told by her venue coordinator that she would be there for the ceremony to help coordinate, line up the bridal party, tell people where and when to go, fluff her dress, etc. The bride was waiting in the getting ready room and ten minutes prior to the ceremony, and the coordinator was nowhere to be found. Guess what? SHE WENT HOME FOR THE NIGHT. When the bride asked why, the staff said because everything for the wedding was setup and ready for the night. Thank goodness, I was attending as a guest and was on site. One of our friends came running out to me as I was sitting at the ceremony (ready to sit back and enjoy the one and only wedding I was able to go to for a friend that year...LOL) They were a "destination wedding" so I was there for the rehearsal and I knew the brides plans, she wanted me to enjoy the wedding as a guest and not "work" it, but we had walked through all of her details. I jumped in to run the ceremony and get everyone down the aisle. But not everyone will have someone attending their wedding who is a wedding planner, so plan accordingly!
Day of with a wedding coordinator vs. a venue coordinator
A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, such as the cake cutting, toasts, special dances, etc. As a wedding planner, I stay until the very end of most weddings (depending on the package), myself and my team are usually the last ones to leave, way after all of the guests are gone.
A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after that. Some may stay until the cake is cut and served. He or she will not be by your side throughout the day or night. Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he/she likely will not be helping fix your bustle if it breaks, loading up your gifts and personal items, or helping you hold your dress while you pee (ask almost any of our brides, we are usually right there in the stall with them holding their dress, wedding coordinator life LOL).
Timeline & Communication
A wedding coordinator communicates with your vendors before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving, and creates a cohesive timeline based on all of the information your vendors provide them with. They also will share the completed timeline and any important details about your day with all of your vendors.
A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, so they know when they will arrive. Other vendors, like your photographer or hair and makeup, would not be contacted by your venue coordinator unless you are getting ready on site.