Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Venue Coordinator

Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Venue Coordinator

UPDATED: 03/02/2021. Congratulations! You've finally found the venue and discovered they have a wedding coordinator on-site! That's great news isn't it? A venue PLUS a planner at no extra charge! Ker-ching... Unfortunately however it's not quite as simple as you might think, since venue coordinators and wedding planners do totally different jobs with separate roles and responsibilities. Today we take a close look at the differences between the two roles with a view to dispelling the myth that a venue coordinator and a wedding planner are one and the same!

The fundamental differences stem from the fact that a wedding planner is independent whereas a venue coordinator is employed by the venue. Therefore the venue coordinator's allegiance is to the venue, whereas a wedding planner is answerable solely to the clients. As such, a wedding planner represents the client and will always strive to ensure they get the best possible service from their venue and suppliers. It really is that simple.

However, venues tend to 'muddy the waters' by incorrectly or misleadingly referring to their in-house coordinators as wedding planners to appear to be able to offer clients a wider range of benefits and services. Unfortunately it's a sales tactic that works well for many venues, to the detriment of their clients, the couple getting married.

You can compare the differences between the two jobs side-by-side in the table below.

Wedding Planner VS In-House Venue Coordinator

Wedding Planner

In-House Venue Coordinator

No.1 priority is the client. 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, explaining what you can & can't do.
Negotiates terms, fees and contracts on your behalf with venue and all suppliers. Negotiates terms and fees on the venue's behalf, often operating directly against you
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. With multiple events likely occurring every week, 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 during peak season often 24+ hours, 72+ not uncommon.
Offers unlimited contact throughout the wedding planning process. Contact with clients is limited until a month or so prior to the wedding, when they start thinking about payments, logistics and 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 a limited choice of recommended suppliers, many of whom pay commission the venue to feature on their list.
Formulates your Wedding Planning Timeline, outlining precisely what to do and when to do it. Provides no such framework.
Coordinates with venue and suppliers to draw up the On The Day Schedule. Provides no such framework.
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. 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 often pay a premium for using a supplier recommended by the venue.
Acts as first point of contact for all suppliers. Provides no such support.
Organises your meetings with all suppliers. Provides no such support.
Provides professional advice on legal requirements, etiquette, protocol, traditions and customs. Provides no such support.
Offers professional financial guidance on how to manage your wedding budget. Provides no such support.
Assists with guest accommodation, travel arrangements, RSVPs, including wedding website. Provides no such support.
Arranges all peripheral events such as rehearsals, pre-wedding welcome receptions, parties, usher’s lunch, post-wedding brunch. Provides no such support.
Organises Hen & Stag parties Provides no such support.
Arranges Engagement party. Provides no such support.

Helps organise your Honeymoon.

Provides no such support.