Do you need both?
One of the most common questions we hear from couples is: Do I still need a wedding planner if my venue provides an in-house coordinator?
Short answer? It depends! Both are invaluable allies to have in your wedding-day corner–and while there are definitely similarities and overlap in the roles, there are some major differences, too.
[ven·ue co·or·di·na·tor] noun
A person whose profession is to organize groups so that they work together efficiently within the rules and regulations of a particular facility, as well as overseeing the facility’s operations.
(See also: Venue Manager, Sales Manager, On-Site Coordinator, In-House Coordinator)
A venue coordinator is primarily responsible for managing the logistics related to the wedding venue itself. They are an employee of the wedding venue—and oftentimes the person who gave you the initial site tour! Their superpower is that they know your wedding venue like the back of their hand.
A Venue Coordinator is typically responsible for:
Coordinating on-site events and venue staff.
- All venue-specific tasks, including:
Making sure the event space is clean and in good working order.
Facilitating layout and set up of the main floor plan (think furniture setup and room flips—not necessarily outside rentals or décor details).
Handling on-site catering and house bar service.
Directing the loading and unloading of vendors as they set up.
Managing the arrival, flow of traffic, and parking of wedding guests.
Upholding the venue’s policies.
Technical operations of the venue, including the lighting, AV system, and HVAC.
→ Keep in mind that an on-site coordinator’s duties will vary based on each venue.
[wed·ding plan·ner] noun
A person who plans and organizes weddings as a profession.
(See also: Wedding Coordinator, Full-Service Wedding Planner, Month-of Planner, Day-of Coordinator*)
A wedding planner is responsible for overseeing and managing the entire wedding experience regardless of where the couple ties the knot. They are hired by the couple and work closely with them to understand their vision, preferences, and budget.
A Wedding Planner is typically responsible for:
Advocating on behalf of the couple to execute their vision.
Overseeing and managing the wedding planning process.
- Handling logistics outside of the scope of the venue, such as:
Creating a wedding budget and tracking payments.
Attending site tours and tastings with the couple.
Full event design, detailed timelines, and floor plans.
Collecting RSVPs and organizing the seating chart.
Attending vendor meetings and reviewing contracts.
Navigating tricky family dynamics.
Handling any last-minute issues so the couple doesn’t have to.
Ensuring the wedding timeline goes off as scheduled.
Packing up your personal items after the reception.
Liaising between the couple and the entire vendor team.
Directing your rehearsal, ceremony, or other off-site wedding events.
→ Keep in mind that a wedding planner’s duties will vary based on the service provider and scope of package chosen.
*What’s the difference between a full-service wedding planner and a month-of or day-of coordinator?
A full-service wedding planner guides couples throughout the entire planning process—from start to finish. Typically their work with the couple begins at least 6 months prior to the wedding date.
- Day-of or month-of coordinators also help with the logistics, but on a much tighter timeframe—usually stepping in 4–8 weeks prior to the wedding date. The couple does the legwork when it comes to researching and hiring their vendor team. About a month before the wedding, the coordinator will step in and take over vendor communications, build a timeline for wedding day, and make sure that everything runs flawlessly.
Pro Tip: There’s no such thing as a literal "day-of" coordinator! Day-of services typically begin 30 days prior to the wedding.
In a nutshell, an on-site coordinator will handle anything that is directly related to the smooth operation of the venue, whereas a wedding planner will handle anything and everything having to do with your wedding journey—regardless of the location.
Our opinion? Having both is the ultimate win-win scenario. Your wedding planner will be your wing-person throughout the entire wedding-planning process. From negotiating contracts to pinning on corsages and ensuring you don’t miss important moments in your day (like your first look or your first dance), a wedding planner will be your ultimate advocate. They’ll also take care of the tiniest of details, ensuring that the on-site coordinator has the bandwidth to focus on the bigger picture of the venue operations.
A venue coordinator + wedding planner combo is a match made in wedding heaven! This dynamic duo will ensure no detail is missed, and that your entire wedding experience goes off without a hitch.