Many couples assume that they’re all set if their venue comes with a coordinator, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As an NYC wedding planner, I often see couples make this mistake. Just because there’s a venue coordinator, often known as a bridal attendant or banquet manager, doesn’t mean you don’t need a wedding planner! There are many differences between the two, and they’re all important. So today, I’m going to share the value of hiring a wedding planner, and why you need one even if your venue has a coordinator.
A venue coordinator is an employee of the venue. They serve as the liaison between couples and the venue. Venue coordinators are usually part of the venue package. Plus, if your ceremony and reception are at different venues, you might end up with two! These two coordinators don’t communicate or coordinate timelines. They are only responsible for their particular venue or section of the wedding. In fact, the person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes to your wedding six months to a year later.
A wedding planner or coordinator works for you! They serve as your personal planner, and you and your future spouse are their main priority. A wedding planner is someone who is going to plan every single aspect of your wedding day from start to finish (and everything in between). We are also there to help you budget your wedding, assist with your décor, and find the perfect vendors that fit your vision. We keep your planning in check and make sure vendors are booked properly.
Not to mention, wedding planners handle the biggest item of all: timeline! We make sure that every single detail is outlined from your hair and makeup to the grand exit. Your wedding planner is also there with you during the day to make sure everything goes on time. We will line up your bridal party for entrance, make sure cocktail hours go smoothly, be there for cake cutting, and work with all the vendors throughout the day. Whew! You can see how much there is to take care of.
Bottom line: a venue coordinator is looking out for the venue’s best interests; a wedding planner is looking out for your best interests.
Couples often assume that the venue coordinator is a day-of coordinator, but they’re really more of a banquet manager. You may think that this person is going to make the timeline, be with you before the wedding, handle the logistics, and manage the vendors. But they don’t! They are only there at the venue on the day of, and their job is to take care of the venue. They also won’t help with all the elements of your wedding, like helping you plan a rehearsal or after-party.
Many venues only offer a space, so as a couple, you have to find a caterer, florist, lighting designer, rental company, and linen company. So, that could mean you’re working with 10 to 15 vendors! The banquet manager isn’t going to handle all these moving pieces or work with you to make sure your big day is perfect.
After all, on top of the big stuff, there are so many little details to take care of. Your venue coordinator isn’t going to handle napkin folding and uplighting. That’s your planner’s job! We can make sure your décor matches your vision. From your bridesmaids’ dresses to invitations to displays to your cake to even your music, we can help with every single detail. Your venue coordinator isn’t thinking about how your colors connect throughout the wedding. Only a wedding planner can really handle all the details.
Just to reiterate: the venue coordinator represents the venue, not the couple. So, if the cake is late or the timeline is running behind, they are not going to help make sure things run smoothly. They are there to make sure the venue is taken care of.
A wedding planner typically starts working with their couples far earlier than venue coordinators. The venue coordinator is just there on the day of and will maybe start working with you a couple of weeks before the big day. However, wedding planners, depending on your package, can start anywhere up to fifteen months before. Wedding management typically kicks in eight weeks before the wedding, but full planning starts at the very beginning of the planning.
In the initial stages of planning, a wedding planner is essential. They can assist with all the different elements of putting your wedding together. This can include providing venue options, reviewing and negotiating contracts, recommending vendors, and assisting with design. Our Full Planning packages start at the very beginning, and we work with you every step of the way.
No matter what, your wedding planner is working at least eight weeks before your wedding, perfecting your timeline and making sure everything is perfect on the day of. This is something your venue coordinator can’t do.
Wedding planners can handle all the details, so you don’t have to. We can even do the makeup schedule, so everyone in the bridal party knows where to be and when. We call all the vendors to finalize every single detail. You’ll also have a complete timeline that you can give out to your wedding party and vendors. We even think about the music and work with the DJ to make sure the timeline matches the music selections.
Wedding planners can also go over after-party details, wedding weekends, and rehearsal dinner prep. Their job is to help you plan every single aspect, which is something a venue coordinator simply can’t do. Not to mention, we can handle any bumps along the way and greatly reduce the amount of stress on the day of the wedding.
For example, a few years ago, we did a wedding for which the bride ordered the most incredible cake. Her wedding was at a catering hall, and they were doing two weddings at once. They roll out the cake, and it’s definitely the wrong cake! Her wedding was all white, and this one was peach and cream! Turns out the wedding that happened two hours beforehand had used their cake – and the guests had eaten it! If my team and I were not there, we would have not been able to see this happening before the event started and alleviate the stress.
You can see all the big differences between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator! Wedding planners are really there for you through every stage, and they have your back on your wedding day. Simone Vega Events can guide you through the process and keep you from becoming overwhelmed. We have different packages from full planning to wedding management because each couple is different. If you’re looking to make sure your planning and wedding go smoothly, we would love to hear from you!