When planning a wedding, it is very easy to become overwhelmed. Simply trying to understand the "wedding lingo" before planning a wedding is enough to have common folk running for the hills. Before becoming a professional planner if you would have asked me about an invitation suite or said DOC, I would have looked at you like you had 2 heads! (Let's see DOC Department of Corrections or a cute and sassy way to say, Doctor. I now know it stands for Day of Coordinator.) It's easy to forget what it's like to be the new kid in school. If you're reading this blog, it's probably because you may have decided you need a little help with planning your wedding. Today I wanted to cover the basics, we will discuss a few key differences between planners and coordinators.
#1: Venue Coordinator
A venue coordinator has a very important role. Once you selected a location to wed, your venue coordinator will be responsible for helping you manage venue-related details. Here are some examples of what your venue coordinator may do for you; set up tables and chairs, help you select your linen color, and they will oversee the staff working at the venue on the big day. Their primary focus will be on the food such as making sure everyone eats and the food is served in a timely fashion. Venue coordinators work for the venue which means they are going to do what is in the venue's best interest. They are responsible for enforcing the venue guidelines such as setup and breakdown times, etc.
Your venue coordinator will not take part in the planning of your wedding outside of your venue needs.
#2: Wedding Coordinator
Wedding coordinators will assist you with pulling together all of your pre-made wedding arrangements. Their service usually begins 30-60 days before the big day. For example, let's say you hired a photographer, videographer, make-up artist, and transportation for the big day. Your wedding coordinator will get all of your vendors on the same page along with your venue coordinator. Your wedding coordinator will create a wedding day timeline and assist with the ceremony rehearsal.
The role of the wedding coordinator is considered high risk because the planner has not taken part in the "actual planning" of the wedding details. So, if the planning was weak or lacked details the execution will be weak or lack details too. This poses reputational risks for the wedding coordinator some planners may not choose to offer DOC services.
#3: Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is more involved in the overall planning process. They offer guidance and advice for everything from vendor and venue recommendations to budget management and wedding etiquette. Some planners will take part in the wedding design process to ensure your wedding is beautiful and reflects your vision. A lot of couples may know how they want their wedding to look and feel but may have difficulty putting it all together.
The main reasons couples opt for a wedding planner are convenience and professional guidance. A wedding planner will advocate on your behalf so you can avoid having uncomfortable conversations about things you may want or need from other vendors.
Pros and Cons
Venue coordinators are included in the cost of the venue rental fee, more often than not they will set up the tables and chairs free of charge. Most venues offer a standard selection of linens for you to choose from.
Wedding planners and wedding coordinators are focused on the big picture of your wedding day and can handle the smallest details such as pinning the corsage on the groomsmen. Planners and coordinators will work with you throughout the entire day, making sure your make-up and hair vendors have arrived, and will work all day until your grand exit.
Venue coordinators are limited in what they are willing to do for you. Most venue coordinators will not decorate your wedding tables, but they will do the place settings. They will not assist with breaking down your decor once your event is over and they will not manage your vendors or shell out tips or manage your timeline.
Wedding planners and coordinators are an additional expense to add to your overall planning budget. All planners are not created equally, it's important to hire a planner who understands your wedding vision.
#5 The Final Score
Depending on your personal preferences you can decide what type of service best fits your needs. If it's in your budget, I highly recommend hiring a professional planner. I often hear clients state that they have a venue coordinator so there is no need to hire a professional planner.
A venue coordinator is NOT a substitute for a wedding coordinator, but they will work closely together to ensure your wedding vision is achieved. Having both will ensure the best possible outcome for your special day. To learn more about what you can expect your planner to do for you. Click here.