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Planner vs Venue Coordinator: What’s the Difference?

Choosing a wedding venue is one of the first and most important steps in planning your special event. As you move through the array of venue options, you may hear the terms wedding planner and venue coordinator. I know that they sound similar, but they actually have two different responsibilities in making your wedding day run smoothly. Understanding the difference between them can prevent a lot of unnecessary frustration.

Event Planner

An event planner’s focus is entirely on YOU and your wedding. They are hand picked by you to offer support throughout every step of the planning process, from initial planning to day-of preparation and execution; they ensure that every detail is executed flawlessly. A wedding planner handles the timeline for you, your wedding party, and your vendors to make sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time.

If you have an offsite ceremony, your wedding planner is there to coordinate how everyone walks down the aisle. They can sew unplanned rips, deal with unruly guests, and take care of the event cleanup. They’re there from the beginning to the end to oversee all parts of the wedding day.

When it comes to event styling, a wedding planner helps with every detail such as selecting a color palette, creating invitations, and designing centerpieces and decor. They are there to assist with the designing of all aspects of the wedding.

Venue Coordinator

A venue coordinator works for the venue and looks out for its best interests. They focus on managing their own staff and ensuring that the basic venue facilities are ready for use. If there happens to be more than one space being used at their venue, they are responsible for making sure that each one is functioning properly, meaning that they cannot always provide you with their entire focus.

The venue coordinator makes sure that the venue manages the operations and abides by your contract. If the venue provides catering services, a venue coordinator will oversee the kitchen, bar, and waitstaff

In terms of event styling, the venue coordinator can offer advice on how best to utilize a space based on your guest count and also offer vendor recommendations.

Photo by Mia McGlynn

What Do You Need?

To ensure that your wedding day runs seamlessly, you should have both a wedding planner and venue coordinator (if your venue provides one). When managing behind the scenes details and operations, no one can do it better than they can.

Understanding the responsibilities of both a wedding planner and venue coordinator allows you to have clear expectations of how they can help you make your vision come true.

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