{Wedding Planning 101} | Is a Wedding Venue Coordinator the same as a Wedding Coordinator?

 

Understanding the difference between a wedding venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator will help you avoid a lot of unnecessary frustration. Many couples assume a wedding coordinator and a venue coordinator is the same thing…which could not be farther from the truth!

Let me just start by saying, “We LOVE venue coordinators”, but when it comes down to it, a venue coordinator offers a completely different service from that of a wedding coordinator! Oftentimes, couples just assume, because the word “coordinator” is in the title name, the title is the same, therefore assuming the job description is the same, leading them to believe they don’t need a wedding coordinator.

So, what exactly does a venue coordinator do? The short answer: A venue coordinator will coordinate anything, and everything related to the venue only. Your venue coordinator works for the venue, not you, the couple. At the end of the day, you as the couple are not signing their paycheck, the venue signs their check. The long answer will require a more detailed answer. So here is a checklist of what you should expect from your venue coordinator.

Your venue coordinator will serve as the point of contact between you and the venue staff.

Your venue coordinator ensures venue facilities are available to you and your guests, as agreed upon via contractual agreement {catering details – if offered by your venue, bar packages, set-up of rentals such as tables and chairs}.

Depending on your venue, it is a possibility your venue coordinator will be managing more than one event on your BIG day. While I’m sure your venue coordinator is successful in their job, their attention will not be devoted to you 100%.

Your venue coordinator ensures they honor your agreement in terms of the venue, which also means they will be protecting the interests of the venue. Your venue coordinator will ensure you receive all the deliverables according to your agreement, and in turn, ensure you are adhering to agreement guidelines. If your venue is providing catering and/or bar services, your venue coordinator will ensure your food and beverages are served on the agreed times.

Confirming all third-party vendors to abide by the venue policies as noted in your agreement, oftentimes requiring all vendors to sign separate agreements is something to expect from your venue coordinator. A couple of examples may include ensuring no damages are made when décor companies are looking to suspend or attach décor installations, ensure parameters of any additional outdoor installations meet venue requirements.

What will a venue coordinator NOT do?

Coordinate between your vendors ensuring they are executing the agreements you have in place with them. If your cake is not the same design as agreed upon, your venue coordinator will not be there to ensure this detail is corrected or resolved.

You are responsible in setting up wedding décor, whether that is done through your décor vendor or a family member, bottom line, your venue coordinator will not be responsible to ensure this gets taken care of. While a venue coordinator will ensure the space is accessible to you and your vendors, unless the venue is providing these services under their agreement, they will not be setting out chair covers, centerpieces or desserts.

Your venue coordinator will not assist you with any final dress fittings, drafting of ceremony programs or menu cards. On the day of your wedding, if there is any damage to your wedding dress, your venue coordinator will not work to resolve this issue.

When it comes to timelines, the only timeline they are concerned about will be in reference to the venue, what time will food be served {if providing catering services}, what times will the bar be open, as well as when the event is over. If your ceremony will take place in the same space, their responsibilities lie on anything related to the venue space. If your hair and make-up artist took longer than expected, they will not be there to manage your time. If you are running behind schedule they will not be there to direct. Now you may think, well, my maid of honor/best man will take on this role, but again, are they experienced enough to know who to call if the photographer is a no-show or running severely late due to traffic? Wouldn’t you want this important person close to you, enjoying these moments and making memories? Unforeseen issues arising on your BIG day are not the responsibility of your venue coordinator.

So, let’s do a bulleted checklist of what is and isn’t expected of a Wedding Venue Coordinator:

  • WILL PROVIDE: A tour of their venue space.

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: Assistance with décor setup from third-party vendors

  • WILL PROVIDE: Arrange any menu tastings, as well as discuss alcoholic/non-alcoholic options {assuming the venue will be providing one or both services}

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: Assistance with set up of any desserts provided by third-party vendors

  • WILL PROVIDE: Act as a point of contact between you and the venue staff

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: A full day appearance, especially if they are managing multiple events on your BIG day, where it is a strong possibility they can manage at least two events simultaneously {if your selected venue offers more than one event space area}.

  • WILL PROVIDE: Ensure all on-site food and beverages are served on time and as agreed upon in your contract {if venue is providing these services}.

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: A full presence at your event. Once the meals have been served, your Venue Coordinator will leave, with the responsibility falling onto their assistant and/or Banquet Captain.

  • WILL PROVIDE: An inspection of the venue space, ensuring no damages have been made to the space by guests and/or third-party vendors.

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: Liaison services between you and your vendors to ensure everything is running smoothly and on time.

  • WILL PROVIDE: A timeline of when food and beverage services begin and end, as well as managing when event needs to end. In the event you decide to extend your event, communication between you and banquet manager takes place.

  • WILL NOT PROVIDE: Management of your wedding DAY timeline {ie: getting ready, photography opportunities, ceremony start time, etc.}

Keep in mind, this is not reflective of EVERY SINGLE VENUE COORDINATOR. Some venues actually have some venue coordinators who will go above and beyond, but in reality, they are still limited to what they can offer. If you don’t plan on hiring a wedding coordinator who will look out for YOU, please be sure to have detailed conversations and understand what will and will not be provided to you from your venue coordinator.