Since this is most likely your first rodeo, you might not know the difference between the roles of a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator, and it’s often far too late that a couple realizes the difference and, therefore, the role they were expecting is not at all fulfilling.
The common misconception is that if your wedding venue provides a venue coordinator, then you do not need to hire a wedding coordinator. Even though the roles might sound similar, they are very different regarding who their services are aimed at and what their duties towards the venue and the couple are.
Let me start by saying that the role of a venue coordinator is crucial for the wedding day and for us, as a wedding coordinator, because they are our connection with the venue, our go-to human resource within a venue. Their jobs and ours are very different, especially regarding who we work for, and here is why.
The Role of the Venue Coordinator
A venue coordinator does exactly that: coordinates the venue.
1. The venue coordinator is the person who is giving you a tour of the property and their services are usually built into the cost of the venue’s fees. Their responsibility extends only to what’s happening inside their venue ranging from staffing to on-site services. They are not able to assist you outside so if you’re getting ready someplace else or your ceremony is taking place off-site, they will not have a role in those events.
2. They are also responsible for managing the rentals, only if the venue is providing them. Usually, venue coordinators give you a list of preferred vendors who have worked with them before and had an overall positive experience with them. Keep in mind that some lists include paid vendors and they are wide-ranging, not customized to your specific needs. It is a good starting point if, and only if, the vendors have genuinely worked with the venue in advance.
3. Venue coordinators will be present on the day of the event, but they will not be exclusively dedicated to the specific needs or details; they will overlook other responsibilities for the venue like catering services, room setups, logistics, etc.
4. They typically arrive 1-2 hours before the first scheduled event and leave as dinner service is completed, basically to manage the staff and fulfill other duties for the venue.
5. After the event concludes, some venue coordinators or the person in charge will oversee the cleanup process and ensure that the venue is returned to its original state.
The Role of the Wedding Coordinator
Wedding coordinators are there to coordinate your wedding. Unlike venue coordinators, who work for the venue, wedding coordinators work for you, the couple.
1. We are responsible for ALL of the events happening on your wedding day, including off-site events like your Church ceremony, photos at the local park, or any other activity that does not take place in the venue.
2. We develop a detailed timeline for the wedding day, outlining when each event (ceremony, reception, speeches, etc.) will occur. This timeline ensures that everyone involved is on the same page and that the day flows smoothly.
3. We work with the chosen venue to ensure that it meets the couple's needs and that all logistical details are addressed. This includes coordinating setup and teardown, managing the flow of events, and ensuring that the venue aligns with the couple's vision.
4. Wedding coordinators are responsible for setting up your small personal items such as menus, place cards, programs, favors, etc.
5. Most importantly, the wedding coordinator will oversee every single aspect and coordinate all moving parts throughout the process. They will answer your questions and guide you through decisions.
Because our work as wedding coordinators is organic and time-consuming, we are only able to work with a limited number of weddings per year which gives you exclusivity as a client and allows more dedicated attention during your engagement. As wedding coordinators will advocate for the couple and make sure no corners are cut since “good enough” is not good enough. We aim for perfection. On the wedding day, things move so fast for the couple and their families that they can forget the little extras, well wedding coordinators will not forget. We are on it!
How these roles should work together
“Teamwork makes the dream work.” Indeed true. When the roles of venue coordinators and wedding coordinators come together and work towards the common goal of having a successful event for the client, every aspect of your celebration flows seamlessly. Since each will focus on their respective roles, both will be able to manage their team more efficiently. The venue coordinator will ensure that the venue is prepared, on time, and ready; while the wedding coordinator will take care of the photographer, videographer, DJ, tabletops, rentals, first dance, toasts, and the list goes on. The venue coordinator oversees the big picture and the wedding coordinator focuses on the details and the personal aspects that are unique to your wedding. Both, working together, are the power force that assures that, even when there is a mishap, your wedding will be flawless.
Why you should still consider hiring your dedicated Wedding Coordinator
If you are this far in, you understand the difference between a venue and a wedding coordinator. The answer is easy: having your independent wedding coordinator on your team means that you have a dedicated professional overseeing every single detail, from beginning to end, with the same goal in mind as you. They will take care of everything, from building a timeline to representing you, negotiating on your behalf, coordinating you and your guests, and putting together a curated team of wedding pros customized to meet your specific needs. Your wedding planner will be the first to arrive and the last person to leave. And most importantly, you get to enjoy the ride as much as you possibly can knowing that your wedding planner is taking care of everything for you. Undoubtedly, a win-win.