Do you need a wedding planner and venue coordinator? This post will answer all of your questions!

The Difference Between a Wedding Planner versus Venue Coordinator?


Vendor Spotlight – Wedding Planner Sam Simko of Willa Weddings and Events

Do you really need both?

We’re about to tackle an important question: Wedding Planner versus Venue Coordinator. Do you really need a wedding planner if you already have a venue coordinator? The short answer — yes! Both vendors have key roles on wedding day, but have different responsibilities. While some venues do offer full-service wedding coordination — this is not often the case. Sam Simko of Willa Weddings is breaking down some common responsibilities for both roles and how they are different!

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator Roles in Wedding Planning

Your wedding planner will be working with you and for you from day one. They will carefully plan your wedding from a design you love, build your vendor team, and manage them. Your planner will coordinate everything on your big day. Wedding planners always keep your best interests in mind, and plan everything around you.

Your venue coordinator is responsible for venue-related questions like your floor plan and basic logistics. However, your venue coordinator is focused on your venue, and generally does not offer guidance on design or planning.

As a wedding planner, Sam shares “we come with a wealth of wedding planning knowledge — something I like to call my wedding encyclopedia brain — and you have access to it from day one! Your wedding planner will offer advice and make sure you don’t make any common missteps while planning your wedding. Planners and designers provide a comprehensive service before and on your wedding day, and ensure that everything runs smoothly.”

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator Roles in Final Preparations

In the weeks leading up to your wedding, your wedding planner is confirming each vendors’ responsibilities and scope of work, arrival times and end times. Your planner will work these details into your minute-by-minute wedding day itinerary. Sam shares “This includes ALL the need-to-knows for the day — such as when the bride has to be in her dress and when family formal photos will occur and who will be photographed.”

In the final weeks before your wedding, your venue coordinator confirms venue logistics, like vendor arrival times and the final floor plan, to ensure the venue is set up to your expectations. They also create a venue-specific timeline, often including items like vendor arrival times and ceremony and reception times. They will disseminate venue guidelines and other vital information to your vendor team to make sure your wedding day is a breeze and the venue is functioning properly.

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator on Your Wedding Day

On the wedding day, both your wedding planner and venue coordinator’s priority is you. However, their responsibilities vary to make sure your wedding day is a success! 

A wedding planner’s responsibility on wedding day includes making sure all vendors are arriving on time and are upholding their scope of work. During set up, your planner is confirming things like the floor plan is in place, the linens are set out correctly, and the florist is on-time for decorating your ceremony arch. Another responsibility of your planner is styling — think setting out your guest book and placing lanterns and candles.

Sam shares “A crucial responsibility of your wedding planner is acting as a point person for vendors and putting out fires behind the scenes unbeknownst to the couple. When something goes wrong — and something WILL go wrong — without a wedding planner, vendor questions and issues will most likely fall into the lap of the couple or their family.”

Venue coordinators are a vital piece to a successful wedding day! Coordinators work behind the scenes to make sure the venue set-up properly and all is working to plan. On your wedding day, they are responsible for things like having the tables and chairs in the correct floor plan and a clean and comfortable space for you and your guests. The venue coordinator may also show vendors around upon arrival and help with basic set-up.

Both a venue coordinator and planner are important for your wedding — they work together to make your vision a reality! While their roles and responsibilities are different, each contributes invaluable services for a successful wedding day! Set yourself up for a low-stress event by hiring a wedding planner, even if your venue offers a coordinator!

Willa Weddings and Events serves Ohio. Follow her on Instagram at @willaweddings and learn more about Sam and her services here

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