Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Venue Coordinator

Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Venue Coordinator

UPDATED: 10/03/2022. Beware, many wedding venues nowadays suggest that they have a wedding planner onsite to help organise client's weddings, and that their wedding planning services are included in the venue hire or package price. Unfortunately however in the vast majority of cases this is highly misleading. The fact is, a venue coordinator and a wedding planner do totally different jobs, often with contrasting roles, responsibilities and allegiances. Today we take a close look at the many differences between an in-house venue coordinator and an independent wedding planner, dispelling the myth that they provide the same level of service.

It's obvious if you stop to think about it. For how can they be the same given that a wedding planner is independent whilst a venue coordinator is subordinate to the venue. Yet venues are quick to 'muddy the waters' and often refer to their in-house coordinators as wedding planners and/or suggest to potential clients that they will have access to a wedding planner to help them organise their wedding. It's a sales tactic that works well for many venues, to the detriment of their clients, the couple getting married.

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

Wedding Planner VS Venue Coordinator

Wedding Planner

 Venue Coordinator

Sole 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.
Provides a more exclusive service, only works with a small number of other clients at any one time. With multiple events occurring every week, they will be juggling dozens of clients at the same time.
Is easy to reach by phone or email 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 24-48 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 suppliers, many of whom will pay commission the venue to feature on their list.
Draws up and follows an extensive wedding planning timeline that outlines precisely what to do and when to do it. May provide an elementary checklist for you to follow, that's likely to be highly insufficient.
Coordinates with venue and all suppliers to draw up a comprehensive wedding day schedule of events.May draw up a basic schedule of events for the wedding day solely related to the functions of the venue 
Will be 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.
Will be on hand to resolve 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 throughout your engagement. 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.