March 20, 2018

What’s the Difference Between a Venue Coordinator & a Wedding Planner?

“My wedding venue comes with a coordinator! I don’t even have to hire a planner! Why does everyone else think they need one?”

This was a statement we overheard last week that made us nervous for someone we didn’t even know. But we get it—unless you’re in this industry, a venue coordinator and a wedding planner likely sound like the same thing, more or less, and if you can get one included with your wedding venue, so much the better for your budget, right?

Absolutely not.

While both are absolutely wonderful to have on hand, you need to understand the differences between the two before you opt out of hiring a planner. Below are just a few distinctions between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator.

(Photographer: Finding Eden Photo)

  1. While, of course, everyone involved in your big day has your best interests at heart, a wedding planner and an event coordinator have two very different sets of priorities. For a venue coordinator, their primary focus will be in the interests of the venue. Essentially, their role in your wedding is defined by your venue contract. For a wedding planner, on the other hand, YOU and the details of your day are the priority. This includes décor choices, color schemes, table design, event layout, song choices, and so much more.

    (Photographer: Finding Eden Photo)

  2. On your wedding day, a venue coordinator’s duties are specifically related to the maintenance of your venue rather than the detailed mechanics of your event. This includes adhering to on- and off-site timing agreements, set-up and tear-down (tables, linens, chairs), and catering timing if the caterer is in-house. A wedding planner, however, is responsible for literally everything else. From coordinating with all of your vendors to decorating your ceremony site and timing your first dance, your wedding planner is in charge of ensuring that each and every moment of the day meets your expectations across the board.

    (Photographer: Finding Eden Photo)

  3. This one’s pretty self-explanatory. A venue coordinator is the end-all of venue knowledge. They know how to finesse set-up to fit your guest count and can hypothesize what the weather will be based on their log from the previous year. Your wedding planner’s specialties, however, are more far-reaching. They have all of the wedding knowledge you could need (such as etiquette, the traditional order of a processional, and how much time each aspect of your day will take). Honestly, a wedding planner doesn’t get to have just one specialty; with this job, you have to specialize in everything, more or less.

(Photographer: Finding Eden Photo)

Do you have any other points to add about the differences between venue coordinators and wedding planners? Email us at or fill out the form below! Otherwise, we’ll be back next week!

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