Having the perfect, smooth-running wedding that you have always dreamed of, doesn’t just happen with a click of the fingers. The entire day is a carefully choreographed production which needs many hours of planning ahead of time. There are so many elements of a wedding that needs to be pulled together that time is often the biggest enemy in trying to get everything locked down.
Managing wedding expenses, coupled with a busy work and home life, it can be tough for couples to find the spare time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s on every little detail that they want for their big day. Sometimes it is hard enough choosing the perfect dress, the perfect bouquet and menu, let alone worrying about whether it is all going to be there in perfect order on the day.
Some people look to save on their wedding budget a bit by leaving things in the hands of a venue coordinator. As the name suggests, this is a professional in a role who will, to some degree serve to coordinate your wedding. But the role of a venue coordinator is limited in terms of your entire wedding. So while they are available in a coordinating capacity, according to expert Brandalyn McNeil owner of Oh My Posh Weddings & Events in Las Vegas, couples may find themselves falling short of the entire service that they were expecting by thinking that a venue coordinator can replace a wedding coordinator.
“Understanding the difference between a wedding venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator/planner can be what saves your wedding day!” says McNeill.
You have two roles which are very similar in name and it is easy to get a little bit misled. Because the venue at which you are hosting your wedding may well provide a venue coordinator, their role won’t cover everything that your wedding needs to run smoothly. But because the venue brings a ‘coordinator’, this is an area where couples may think they can save money by not getting in a wedding planner/coordinator to help as well. But the two roles are different and they will actually combine to ensure that you don’t end up being stressed by failed details on the day of your wedding.
What is a venue coordinator?
A venue coordinator is responsible for coordinating between you and the venue staff only!
The role of the venue coordinator is to ensure that everything that is handled “in-house” is done correctly. You may hear your venue coordinator say “I will be there on a Wedding day to make sure everything runs just as planned”. They will be there to cover any potential emergencies that could happen at the venue as they will be overseeing everything that is happening within their domain. They won’t however, offer any responsibility for aspects of your wedding beyond that. Acting as a point of contact between the bride and the event staff, the venue coordinator will ensure that the facilities are ready for you at the time requested, and to ensure things like any outside vendors coming in, don’t breach any of the rules that their venue may have in place.
With many venues running more than one wedding on a day, they probably won’t even make themselves available until the previous one has been done. They are not going to run around and chase up your wedding photographer if they are running late, nor if your florist has brought in hydrangeas instead of peonies to decorate with. That won’t be their role.
Those kind of things fall on the shoulders of a wedding coordinator, who works specifically for the bride. A wedding coordinator, McNeill explains, will “create a timeline of events for the day to make sure the wedding flows smoothly, and distribute those timelines to each vendor to make sure everyone is on the same page. We will contact every vendor weeks before the wedding to read over contracts and verify all services and products are correct. We are the first vendor to arrive and check on the bride, and the last to leave, making sure the bride’s decor and gifts are packed up in her vehicle. We will set up personal decor, where a venue coordinator will not. If the bride’s dress rips, we can handle the situation and have it hemmed up. A venue coordinator would likely not take on that responsibility.”
So the venue coordinator and the wedding coordinator serve different roles in ensuring that your big day goes smoothly. They are roles which will work hand-in-hand to bring together important oversight duties to your wedding. It is important not to misunderstand the roles and try to cut costs by skipping over the wedding coordinator because that could just bring in a wealth of organisational headaches for yourself, that you may just not have the time, nor the resources to handle. Putting your day in the hands of a professional wedding coordinator can be one of the most important things that you can do for your wedding.
“We both play very important roles, just very different,” says McNeill. “We love to work with each other, to make sure every base is covered! So when you hear that your venue includes a coordinator for you, just remember: a venue coordinator works for the venue, and a wedding coordinator works for the bride directly!”