Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wedding Coordinator vs Venue Coordinator

Why do you need a wedding coordinator if your venue already provides one? You deserve to know THE TRUTH.

Before you hire an independent coordinator like myself, or entrust your day to your "venue coordinator", I want you to know the difference between the two and what services they actually provide.

  • WHO DOES THE "VENUE COORDINATOR" WORK FOR? They work for the venue. The venue is their fulll time employer and their loyalty is to them first and foremost.

    WHO DOES AN "INDEPENDENT WEDDING COORDINATOR" WORK FOR? YOU. My full time job is to design, plan and coordinate weddings. 
  • WHAT SERVICES DOES THE "VENUE COORDINATOR" PROVIDE? They are responsible for ensuring you pay your deposit, choose your menu by a specified date, oversee your menu tasting, receive your guest count on the day required, and obtain your vendor insurance certificates. On wedding day, they arrive early to oversee their staff has set up your ceremony & reception areas as required, catering staff is handling food and beverage services, including meal service, bar and beverage service and wedding cake service. They will set up your personal items such as place cards, menu cards, favors etc.

    WHAT SERVICES DOES THE "INDEPENDENT WEDDING COORDINATOR PROVIDE? My basic "month of" package ensures overseeing every element of your wedding. I contact all of your vendors to go over their contracted services,ensure all of your final payments have been made, and required documentation and guest counts have been turned in to the venue coordinator. We work with the venue coordinator to ensure the ceremony and reception areas have been set up CORRECTLY, based on the layout provided. We greet all of your vendors and troubleshoot any problems they may have. All of your personal items are entrusted to us...we put out your place cards, menu cards, favors, etc. You simply give them to us at your rehearsal and we take the worry off of your hands. We are the first to arrive and last to leave in order to assure you, your family and your guests are taken care of.
  • DOES THE "VENUE COORDINATOR" STAY THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE EVENT? In most cases no. Once dinner has begun or the cake has been cut, they leave and turn your event over to your banquet captain.

    DOES THE "INDEPENDENT COORDINATOR" STAY THROUGHOUT MY ENTIRE EVENT? I do. It's part of my package. I'm the first one to arrive and the last one to leave. We literally pack up your personal items and wedding gifts and ensure they go home with a trusted friend or family member. We are there to handle any emergency, or crisis that happens, even after your venue coordinator's shift is over. If your bustle rips after dinner, I'm there to stitch it up.
  • DOES THE 'VENUE COORDINATOR" MAKE A TIMELINE? Only as it relates to the responsibilities of the venue and catering staff.

    DOES THE "INDEPENDENT COORDINATOR" MAKE A TIMELINE? Do we ever. It's a detailed roadmap of your entire day. From the time your hair and make-up is being done, to the time your final song is played and your vendors are breaking down. It's all in there. Everyone knows their job. That timeline is sent to the venue coordinator, photographer, videographer and DJ/MC. We go over it with a fine tooth comb to make sure every person involved in your wedding knows their duties and are on time.
In no way am I discounting what a "venue coordinator" does. I love them, and work with them on a daily basis. You may find in your venue search, that a large number of venues now require you to have your own "independent" wedding coordinator. More and more venue coordinators are finally recoginizing what an independent planner does. We take great care of you and allow them to do their jobs more effectively. It's a win win situation for you.

Case in point...will your venue coordinator attend your final gown fitting to learn how your gown is bustled? No way! But I do. It's in my "month of" package.

This post is written for you THE BRIDE, as a public service announcement. I want you to make an informed decision.

There is high turnover rate of venue coordinators. Don't expect that the coordinator you originally met will be the one who is there on your wedding day. On a recent wedding in November, our venue coordinator changed three times before the wedding day. Thank goodness I was there with copies of everything to help the new venue coordinator who was there for five days prior to our client's wedding.

When you secure your venue, ask the questions I have posted here. Know what their services include. If you decide you want an Independent Coordinator, give me a call. I'm excited to work with you.


  1. This is a must read for every bride-to-be!!! Thanks for writing this :)
    Annette Hoegner
    A Classic Touch Events

  2. This is a well written article with really great points, every bride should seriously invest in a wedding coordinator. I have seen so many wedding disasters and the venue coordinators were nowhere to be found. Good job Jeannie!!

  3. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I have talked and written about this until I am blue in the face. As to your comment about the turnover- I had a bride recently that went through 3 on site coordinators. And, if it hadn't been for me, she WOULD NOT HAVE had a wedding- literally!!! This is such an important fact for brides to know. And, one that on site coordinators should respect and understand.

  4. Couldn't agree more! A professional Independent coordinator means the difference between a good event and a GREAT event! Goes hand in hand with my thoughts on the need for an independent coordinator at

  5. Excellent read, I just now passed this onto a colleague who has been carrying out a little research on that. Anf the husband actually bought me lunch because I stumbled upon it for him smile So ok , i’ll rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!
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