Wedding planners and venue coordinators – and the difference is?

Kate Nielen Photography -24-2

We are often asked this question by students, those we mentor and indeed by clients.

Sometimes couples can be led to believe there is no need for a wedding planner if their venue has a decent in house coordinator.

We have come across incidences of in house event coordinators being quite anti the idea of an independent planner, but in fact the two roles are very distinct and very much complementary.

We recently recorded this short video explaining the difference as succinctly as we could.

A venue coordinator is employed by the venue and is an expert on every element of a client’s wedding which has to do with the venue itself.

For example they will coordinate the in-house team, show couples room layouts, menu options, wine packages etc.

They will meet with the couple, and ideally with the planner if there is one, a number of times over the planning period and should ensure all venue staff have the information they need to run the wedding.

venue coordinatorsAn independent wedding planner is of course employed by the client and is there specifically to guide, support, recommend venues and suppliers, problem solve in every area and manage the run up and the day. He or she will be the couple’s go-to person for anything and everything.

The great venue coordinators work together with independent planners and a good in house coordinator or manager is worth their weight in gold to the independent planner.

 venue coordinators

However turnover amongst in house venue coordinators can be high, albeit this varies from venue to venue. On occasion the coordinator might change more than once over a client’s planning period, which can be quite upsetting.

Another issue which can arise is that the coordinator isn’t the individual who will oversee the client’s big day from the venue’s perspective.

This role is often handed over to a banqueting manager a few days prior to the wedding which, if not explained in advance, can be disconcerting for clients, who want the person to whom they’ve explained all their very specific wishes to be there for them on the day.

Wedding planners generally work for themselves or in small teams, thus clients have an individual who will hold their hand throughout and, if they own the company, won’t leave for another job.

We hope this gives some clarity to an understandably often asked question. There are great coordinators and great planners, but their roles are quite different.

Image Credits: Kate Nielen

Related Tag: Professional Wedding Supplier

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