What is the difference between a wedding venue coordinator and a wedding planner? This is something I get asked all the time. Having worked for wedding venues for over a decade I know the differences between the venue role and a wedding planner and I cover 5 of the main differences here for you.
A wedding venue coordinator will inform you of the venue hire charges and they may advise you on some potential costs for key suppliers such as catering.
A wedding planner will work through your whole budget with you, advising you on charges for your choice of venue, photographer, catering, furniture, floristry, lighting, stationery, cake, transportation, entertainment etc. Not only will a wedding planner determine the whole wedding budget with you, but they will also manage that budget for you. They will keep it updated throughout the whole planning process and they will even schedule with you when your deposits and payments are due to go to your suppliers.
A wedding venue coordinator will give you a supplier list or some recommendations on suppliers that have worked well in their venue before or that they have a relationship with.
A wedding planner will discuss with you your likes, dislikes, your budget, your style and they will recommend suppliers that they trust and know will suit your budget, style and requirements.
A wedding venue coordinator may advise you on the design ideas that have been delivered at their venue before.
A wedding planner will brainstorm with you the design ideas that you like and dislike, they will propose to you some options that fit within your style, that also fit within your venue and importantly that can be achieved within your budget. They too will consider designs that have been delivered at the venue before along with new designs that you will like that they know (based on their experience) will work.
A wedding venue coordinator will liaise with you on the details concerning the venue (this could be regarding suppliers that you’ve chosen, the schedule for the day and the requirements you have for the venue itself).
A wedding planner will liaise with every supplier on every detail. The average wedding takes 300 hours to plan and your wedding planner will undertake this for you. They will send the emails, attend the supplier and venue meetings, make the phone calls and be available to you outside of office hours to plan with you and support you as needed.
A wedding venue coordinator will ask you for your wedding day timeline/schedule, some may advise you on timings based on their experience, but often they will not have an understanding of your entire wedding (having not planned it) and so this advice sometimes misses key details or considerations.
A wedding planner, having organised your wedding with you in its entirety will be able to put the timeline together for you. They will be able to advise from their experience on details such as how long to leave to allow guests to take to their seats or move between spaces or how long to leave for the meal and speeches. They will not only devise the timeline for your wedding but they will also liaise with suppliers to ensure that the set up and pack down time allowed is sufficient and that their details such as the catering, entertainment etc. is allocated the time as expected. Your planner will then circulate the timelines to all suppliers - each and every version of it (as there may be tweaks in the lead up to the day).
A venue coordinator can of course advise you on suppliers they work with and how to use their venue in the best way, but they work for the venue and are employed to make sure you are happy with the venue.
In contrast a wedding planner works for you, they are employed by you to make sure all of the elements of your wedding are as you want from the planning and contracting stage to the celebration itself.