Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator: Why you may need both

Thinking of hiring a wedding planner vs venue coordinator?  Do you need a wedding designer as well? What’s the difference, I thought they were all the same? Why do I need any of them on my wedding day?

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator

These two positions have very different responsibilities that compliment each other to create a perfect wedding. To avoid confusion and stress, we have listed the five main differences between a wedding planner vs venue coordinator, so you are best informed when finalizing the details for your special day.

Who is their client

Wedding Planner: A wedding planner is your best friend. They are there to listen and hold your hand throughout the process and ensure that your fairytale wedding goes off without a hitch. As a wedding planner, I am selective on the number of weddings I book per year, I do this to ensure all of my attention can go to my special couple on their day without any distractions. A wedding planner is there on the big day as a “swiss army knife” problem solver ready to tackle any and all problems.

Simply Brilliant Events is a luxury premium wedding planner.

Venue Coordinator: While a venue coordinator is there to help facilitate a perfect wedding, at the end of the day, they work for the venue and not for you. Their focus is their staff and the venue’s preparation to make sure it is spotless and ready for your wedding. If the venue has the potential for multiple spaces on-site, they will be working both your wedding and any other events on the property that day, so they may not be able to focus entirely on your wedding.

Often the person who gave you the venue tour is typically a sales person and will not be the person who will be your main contact throughout the planning at the venue.  There is often high staff turnover with venue coordinators at any venue.  So the contact you started to work with is not always the same person you will work with on the day of your wedding.

What are their responsibilities?

Wedding Planner: At the end of the day, a wedding planner’s responsibility checklist is filled with all things weddings. They are your go-to for any planning detail or issue that may occur. From vendors, venue details, the wedding party, everything falls under their jurisdiction. It is their job to make sure everything and everyone is in the right place at the right time, and they know what they need to do.

A wedding planner will be with you at your ceremony, coordinating how everyone walks down the aisle. Your wedding planner will fix a broken zipper, manage unruly guests, and take care of all the cleanup.

Before you have a wedding of your own, it is hard to anticipate what will happen on the big day. That is why we leave it to the professionals. Hair and makeup, your first look, photos with your bridal party photos, and getting everyone from point A to point B are just a few of the things that happen beforehand. As a wedding planner, I’m with my couples from the beginning to the end to oversee all parts of their wedding day.

server handing out champagne, from a luxury wedding in Detroit planned by wedding planner , simply brilliant events

Venue Coordinator: A venue coordinator’s main concern is the venue. Their job is to make sure the venue abides by your contract and manages the operations. If there are air conditioning problems, you need an extra awning put up, or a broken chair needs to be replaced, they have you covered.

If the venue is providing catering services, a venue coordinator oversees the kitchen staff, waitstaff, bar staff, and the meal service. They determine how many servers are needed and when to start prepping the food. Since a venue coordinator’s focus is on the operations, it’s not uncommon for them to leave after the meal service is complete.

Who manages the timeline?

Wedding Planner: The wedding planner will manage the overall timeline for you. This includes the arrival of the wedding party, vendors, guests, and the general flow of the day. Every minute is detailed from what time you wake up to what time you leave. They know when the florist is delivering the flowers and when the transportation for your guests arrives. A wedding planner reviews the timeline with the DJ to ensure they know when your first dance is and when toasts are happening. They know when to set out the confetti for your grand exit and when vendor cleanup ends.

two tier decorated luxury wedding cake, with white design luxury wedding planner, simply brilliant events, wedding at The Whitney, Detroit.  Whitney  wedding

Venue Coordinator: The venue coordinator is in charge of the kitchen if you are using on-site catering. They ensure food and drinks are prepared on time and correctly. They create a timeline for the kitchen staff to follow, so things flow out into the reception area. A venue coordinator knows how long it takes to transition your bar from cocktail hour to the reception and how long it takes to serve and clear each course.

Who handles the event styling?

Wedding Planner: Feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of decisions needed to make a wedding? We’ve got you covered as we can serve as a wedding designer. From color palettes, save the dates, centerpieces, décor, we are there to help you think through every small detail. Wedding planners provide guidance on bridesmaids’ dresses, what to put in your welcome gifts, how to create an outdoor seating area for your guests, anything you can think of.

luxury table setting, simply brilliant events, wedding planner, gold framed table number for luxury wedding at The Whitney Detroit.  Whitney wedding

Venue Coordinator: The aesthetic details are for the wedding planner, but the venue coordinator comes in handy for the more practical aspects. They know this space like the back of their hand and are ready to offer the best space to utilize the space best for your guest count and ideas. They can also assist with vendor recommendations.

How can you communicate with them?

Wedding Planner: Each planner is different, but open and direct communication is always key. A wedding planner may give you their personal cell number and have additional hours you can reach them outside of normal business hours.

Venue Coordinator: Communication with your venue coordinator usually happens during business hours. They are often busy individuals, so you will have to catch them between events and meetings, which can be challenging. To work around that, many venues will host open house events or group tastings that allow you to meet with the venue coordinator to talk about your wedding’s details during those events.

Do You Need to Hire a Wedding Planner?

To ensure your wedding day is executed seamlessly, you need a wedding planner (or a wedding coordinator) and a venue coordinator. It is an investment to save you mountains of stress and hours worrying that should be spent enjoying your day. It’s not wedding planner vs venue coordinator, they can work together for you.

For the day of, your venue coordinator knows your space better than anyone, so they will excel at managing the behind-the-scenes operations better than anyone else. For everything else, your wedding planner will be your go-to.

Everyone needs a different team for their wedding day, so it is important to learn both a wedding planner and venue coordinator’s responsibilities before choosing. Take the time to understand what the venue coordinator is handling and what you (or your wedding planner) is responsible for. Knowing what each one does alleviates a lot of stress and frustration on your wedding day. Having clear expectations about everyone’s responsibilities allows you to enlist the right help to make your dream wedding happen!

While some wedding planners just plan weddings and work with a wedding designer to create the design. Simply Brilliant Events is a luxury wedding planner that also creates a design for our couples. 

Photo Credit:

Simply Stunning Weddings & Events