Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner:  3 Key Differences Every Couple Should Understand

If there’s one thing that breaks my heart (and, let’s be real, gives me serious anxiety), it’s when couples accidentally confuse venue coordinators for wedding planners. While the mistake is totally understandable (you’re not a wedding pro, after all!)—it can lead to a stressful planning process and some serious disappointment along the way.

Today, then, I wanted to talk all about the key differentiators between venue coordinators and wedding planners so you can make an educated decision as you determine which pros to have involved—and in which ways—as you assemble your wedding dream team. Understanding the role each professional plays will help set expectations and ensure a seamless soireé—read on for three important differences to keep in mind!

1. Venue coordinators don't review your contracts with other vendors.

Generally, venue coordinators are only concerned about details applicable to the venue. This means, while they’ll help with certain aspects of planning as it relates to the venue itself (managing in-house staff or making sure the grounds are clean and ready for your use)—they won’t help with items that fall outside of that, like managing vendors or reviewing vendor contracts. If you need help reviewing contracts and keeping outside vendors on track, only a wedding planner can help with that.

2. They don’t help you plan your wedding.

A venue coordinator works for the venue—they don’t work for you (that’s a wedding planner’s job!). They will help with venue-specific planning tasks, like communicating about your menu choices with their kitchen staff or confirming on-site valet—but they’re not there to help plan and design your wedding from tip-to-tail the way a planner is. A venue coordinator won’t contact your vendors prior to your wedding day to confirm their arrival times and provide them with a timeline—and they also won’t understand your wedding vision inside and out, or have an in-depth understanding of your likes and dislikes.

With a venue coordinator, the venue and its staff always takes precedence. This isn’t the case at all for a wedding planner. You’re our only job. We’re responsible for anything and everything that has to do with you and your vision for your big day, including: knowing you as a couple inside and out (and often your families as well!), knowing your wedding must-haves, having a deep awareness of your stylistic preferences, knowing your overall budget and choosing vendors who can bring your vision to life within that budget, helping you manage your guest list and RSVPs...the list goes on (and on).

3. On the day-of, a venue coordinator isn't responsible for managing your vendor team or the overall timeline.

While a wedding planner works for you—and only you—on your wedding day or wedding weekend, a venue coordinator is typically managing multiple events on any given day. Your venue coordinator is usually on-site (or somewhere in the vicinity) as your planner and vendors are setting up, but your event isn’t their sole focus as it will be for your planner. Plus, they typically leave half-way through the evening (if not sooner)—whereas your planner is on-site overseeing every last detail, from initial setup until the moment the last rental item is returned safe.

When it comes to vendor management, a planner reaches out prior to your wedding day to review all day-of details, coordinate arrival and tear-down times with each vendor, and answer any questions your vendors may have. They’ll initiate this contact and create a master timeline for everyone involved in your day (including your bridal party) long before the day-of arrives. A venue coordinator, on the other hand, simply doesn't do this. When the day-of arrives, your wedding planner is on-site (often from sun-up to sun-down), acting as your vendor manager, personal risk mitigator, place-setting perfector, and so much more. If anything were to go awry throughout the day—from a forgotten flower arrangement to a misplaced design detail—your planner will work with your vendors to ensure it’s fixed, without ever interrupting your celebration!


Ready to bring a seasoned wedding planner on board to ensure a stress-free celebration for you and yours? Reach out today and we’ll set up a time to talk design dreams, wedding must-haves, and so much more.

Cheers to a seamless planning process!