Congratulations! You’ve finally found the venue and discovered they have their very own wedding coordinator on-site! That’s great news isn’t it! A venue PLUS a planner at no extra charge! Ker-ching…
Unfortunately however, in-house venue coordinators and independent wedding planners are not the same. In fact they do very different jobs indeed, as far too many couples discover to their dismay a month or two into the planning process.
The confusion is compounded by the fact that many venues promote the services of a ‘free’ wedding planner as one reason for choosing their property in the first place. It is only natural therefore that couples assume they have no need of their own independent wedding planner to assist them.
The fundamental differences between the two roles stem from the fact that an in-house coordinator has the venue’s best interests at heart. This stands to reason since it is the venue that employs the coordinator.
However the independent wedding planner has no such attachment or allegiance. Instead, because their number one priority is the client, a wedding planner will always strive to ensure their clients get the best possible service from the venue and all their suppliers.
The notable differences between the two jobs are outlined in the table below. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
The Difference Between A Wedding Planner
An AP Wedding Planner
A Venue Coordinator
|No.1 priority is the client. We have your back!||No.1 priority is the venue (their employer!), whose interests they serve.|
|Provides independent, professional guidance and assistance on all wedding related matters||Provides partisan guidance on matters relating to the smooth running of the venue.|
|Resolves any wedding related problems, personal or professional.||Will only assist with venue related matters.|
|Only works with a small number of other clients at any one time.||They will be juggling dozens of clients at the same time.|
|Is easy to reach with swift, same-day responses to questions and queries. 24 hours is slow.||Can be very difficult to contact. Average response times to questions between 24-48 hours, 72+ not uncommon.|
|Offers unlimited contact throughout the wedding planning process.||Contact with clients is limited until a month or two before the wedding, when they start to think about payments due, logistics, tastings and final guest numbers.|
|Provides up-to-date, creative advice on a range of appropriate styles, designs, trends, themes and colour schemes.||They will not provide any such advice.|
|Offers unrestricted access to all the best wedding services and suppliers in the country||Often restricts you to an extremely limited choice of recommended suppliers, many of whom who pay the venue to feature on the list!|
|Draws up a bespoke Wedding Planning Timeline, outlining precisely what to do and when to do it.||Provides no such framework.|
|Coordinates with the venue and all suppliers to ensure .||Provides no such framework.|
|Coordiantes with the venue and suppliers and draws up a bespoke On The Day Schedule.||Provides no such support.|
|In attendance throughout the wedding day to ensure all runs to plan.||In attendance on the day to ensure the venue’s interests are maintained.|
|Resolving any problems that might arise during the course of the day.||They wont help resolve any issues that are not specifically related to the venue.|
|Will secure discounts and upgrades from a wide range of suppliers.||You will often pay a premium for using a supplier recommended by the venue!|
|Acts as first point of contact for all suppliers.||Not possible.|
|Organises your meetings with all suppliers.||Not possible.|
|Provides professional advice on legal requirements, ettiquette, protocol, traditions and customs.||Not possible.|
|Offers professional financial guidance on how to manage your wedding budget.||Not possible.|
|Assists with guest accommodation, travel arrangements, RSVPs, including wedding website.||Not possible.|
|Arranges all peripheral events such as rehearsals, pre-wedding welcome receptions, parties, usher’s lunch, post-wedding brunch.||Not possible.|
|Organises Hen & Stag parties||Not possible.|
|Arranges Engagement party.||Not possible.|
|Helps organise your Honeymoon.||Not possible.|