Viva la difference – Wedding Planners & Venue Coordinators

When meeting with your venue’s catering sales manager, you may be told that you are working with their “wedding coordinator”. But what, in the world of hospitality, does that mean – and how does that person stack up against a wedding or event planner?

Wedding coordinators at venues are wonderful – but their responsibility to your wedding is limited to ensuring that your room is properly set and serviced, the hot food is hot and the cold food is cold. And some even go the extra mile, setting up your cake table, displaying your guest favors and even tying chair sashes.

But a venue wedding coordinator is just that – a wedding or event planner is the one who helps you focus on a budget, reviews the contracts of the vendors your select, develops a timeline for the day, follows up with all of your vendors before the event and, most importantly, serves as ringmaster of your three-ring service – from handling wardrobe malfunctions to your tipsy Uncle Henry.

Vendor coordinators and wedding planners make a great team – one focuses on the logistics of your room setup, service and food/beverage and one focuses on all the other details that make a wedding day.

The event planner occupation has exploded in the last few years – it seems like everyone is a wedding planner. So how do you find the right one for you?

Some planners are members of the Association of Bridal Consultants – a national organization with regular educational opportunities for wedding consultants. ABC certification isn’t a deal breaker, but it does give you some idea of the credibility of the planner.

And regardless of ABC credentials, experience does count. You want more than someone who planned their own wedding and thought it was so much fun that they decided to go into the business. 

Maybe you’ve done a great deal of the vendor selection and you’re pretty well organized with your plans. It’s always a great idea to budget for a “day of” coordinator. Actually this title is a bit of a misnomer.

Your “day of” coordinator is actually your “month of” wedding planner – keeping your vendors in the loop, organizing the timeline, taking care of a million little last minute details – all before you even say “I Do”. Come wedding day, your coordinator has smoothed the way for a successful event – and is on the scene to take care of any issues so you can have a stress-free celebration.

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