Venue Coordinators vs. Wedding Planners

Let's talk about the differences between a venue coordinator and an independent planner.

Different venues offer different services and sometimes include multiple options for rental packages based on your needs. You may have seen that certain venues even offer a ceremony coordinator for your wedding or a "day-of" planner. Some might make the mistake of hearing that their venue provides a staff member to help coordinate the wedding and think a wedding planner is no longer needed. The truth is, there are quite a few important differences to note between these coordinators at venues and an independent wedding planner.

1.     Comprehensive event design

Evening planning, in many ways, is more than the logistical coordination. It’s also the design, look, and feel of the event. We specialize in event planning and event design – making sure all elements of your wedding come together as flawlessly and beautifully as possible. Event design is truly an incredibly important part of any wedding and is invaluable in shaping the overall aesthetic and guest experience. A coordinator from your venue is not going to have a part in helping to create the aesthetic and design of your event.

Nancy Ray Photography

Nancy Ray Photography

2.     Day-of coordination is just that – day-of.

An on-site coordinator is not actually a “planner.” This coordinator is someone who will greet your vendors the day of the wedding and aid in showing them exactly where and how to set up. Oftentimes this is someone who will coordinate your ceremony and direct your wedding party during the procession and recession. This is absolutely helpful, but outside of all this, an on-site coordinator is not going to have contact with your vendors prior to the wedding day. He or she will not have been a part of the planning process as a whole and will not have the context needed to make your day truly as special as it can be. When you work with a talented independent wedding planner from beginning to end, that planner will know every detail of your wedding. They will understand your likes, dislikes, and everything you want most for your day. It’s important for you to feel that, in any given situation, your wedding planner will act in accordance to what you want and essentially do the things that YOU would do and what YOU want. They also come with a plethora of professional knowledge regarding budgeting, vendor relations, services, and more.

Simply put, a day-of coordinator is just simply not going to have that knowledge and will not you as in depth as you will need for flawless and stress-free planning. 

Speaking of being stress-free…

3.     An independent planner will work hard to make sure your entire wedding process and the months leading up to it are as stress-free as possible.

A day-of coordinator at your venue is not going to be able to alleviate any stress during the planning process, because their job isn’t actually to help you plan, but rather to direct and coordinate details you’ve already taken care of prior to the day of the wedding. When you have a day-of coordinator, the responsibilities of finding your vendors, going over contracts, staying on a strict schedule, and pulling the elements of your wedding day into one cohesive picture all falls on you.  A day-of coordinator will help you coordinate things on the actual big day, but everything leading up to the weeding becomes your responsibility without an independent wedding planner.

Lauren Jolly Photography

Lauren Jolly Photography

4.     Cohesion of all elements of your event

Because a full-service wedding planner will be a part of your wedding process from the start, your planner will have all the knowledge and context necessary to make all individual elements of the day cohesive to one another.

5.     Professional Knowledge and Advice

I touched on this a bit before, but I feel like it’s important enough to deserve its own bullet point. An independent wedding planner is going to have years of expertise to bring to the table. They will be an industry expert on all other industry experts – suggesting the right vendors for you based on your needs and overall vision for your wedding. Masters of etiquette, trends, and industry knowledge, your independent wedding planner will have access to loads of industry information, vendor contacts, professional knowledge and experience that will be invaluable to you during your entire planning process.  

‘Til next time,