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Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator

Before you get started planning your dream wedding, let’s get some of the facts straight.

Most couples don’t realize there is a significant difference between Wedding Planners and Venue Coordinators and this can lead to major headaches later on for both parties. Finding out hours before your event that the décor hasn't been set because that service wasn't included is NOT what you want to hear on your wedding day!

Your Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator is generally the person you hire even before you have chosen your venue. They are typically hired by you, not by the venue. Your planner organizes ALL of your vendors, from the florist to the limo service to the venue itself. She helps you select a theme for your special day and works with you to plan all the details and decoration. She can be involved as much or as little as you'd like, or as much as your budget will allow. Your Wedding Planner will attend to you from the start of your big day with hair and makeup to the final cleanup of your reception.

Different Wedding Planners may offer unique packages based on their particular skill set and time constraints. As a couple, you will need to think through and decide what services you’d like from your planner.

A Venue Coordinator on the other hand is quite different. This person is employed by the venue and is first and foremost charged with maintaining the integrity and proper management of the venue itself. Let’s say you choose a hotel ballroom for your reception with your ceremony to be held on their roof, overlooking the city skyline. The Venue Coordinator will typically oversee the setup of your ceremony chairs, the reception tables and chairs and overall look of the space. She will coordinate the arrival and departure of your other vendors, such as the DJ and Caterer. She will walk-through the space to be certain it is clean and well attended. She will ensure that your bridal dressing room is prepared for your arrival.

All of these tasks are related to the venue. The Venue Coordinator does not attend cake tastings or discuss themes and color schemes, though some may offer suggestions. Venue Coordinators do see many different weddings at their venue, so they can often provide very helpful guidance about what works best in that space. When choosing a venue coordinator, be sure to discuss the limitations of the services they offer. Some venues have several in-house coordinators who may help with those details.

At the end of the day, the best thing you can do for yourself is to gather all the facts and details about what services are provided and what services you will need to source elsewhere. Prepare a list of your needs and of those things you definitely don’t want to be in-charge of on your wedding day and this will go a long way in helping you find the right Wedding Planner or Coordinator.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you’re not a skilled planner, this can all be overwhelming. Consider Vis Amari and let us be the icing on your cake!

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