Venue Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner

Bridal | Portland Bend Seattle Wedding Planning + Design | Jessica Hill Photography

"If my venue has a coordinator – do I need to hire a wedding planner?" We frequently receive this question from engaged couples and think it is beneficial to understand the difference. So we are going to dive more into the difference between these two very important roles when it comes to planning a wedding and let you decide for yourself!

Venue Coordinators are employed by a venue to plan your event on behalf of the venue. They take care of quite a few details surrounding the space such as making sure the it is well kept, tables chairs, etc. are set according to your event layouts and serving as the contact for everything food & beverage related. When it comes to the wedding day the Venue Coordinator will be there to maintain the venue facility, turn on the lights, prep the venue staff, and oversee any food service. Typically once meal service has commenced, the Venue Coordinator will depart for the evening and appoint a Banquet Captain to supervise the rest of the night. Banquet Captains are commonly prepped on the venue-side of the event details.  We commonly work with Venue Coordinators throughout planning and on the day itself.

Wedding Coordinators (also known as "wedding planners" are hired by you, the bride and groom, and coordinate your event on behalf of you. We work for the bride and groom, which often can include finding your venue, recommending and booking vendors, negotiating discounts,  reviewing contracts, tracking RSVP's and many more services.  Typically Wedding Coordinators offer different packages, which allow you to select the level of involvement and assistance. Regardless of the package selected, leading up to the event a Wedding Coordinator is there working with all vendors, creating a detailed wedding day timeline and scheduling load-in and load-out with the venue. When it comes time for the wedding week itself, below is a list of what you can expect a Bridal Bliss wedding planner to do.

  • Finalize the personalized timeline and confirm all vendors
  • Run the ceremony rehearsal
  • Direct the ceremony processional 
  • Set up all decor and personal items including menus, programs, escort cards, guest book, favors DIY items, etc.
  • Coordinate pinning of boutonnieres and ensuring all VIP's receive flowers
  • Assist with wedding photos and photography shot list
  • Act as the point of contact for all vendors.  
  • Assist the wedding party and guests as needed
  • Distribute final payment and gratuity to vendors
  • Provide a fully stocked emergency kit
  • Deal with any unforeseen hiccups
  • Manage the timing of the entire event to ensure the day runs smoothly.

Both Venue Coordinators and Wedding Planners have important roles. While it might be common for one to think these jobs are closely related – they are vastly different and it is important to understand the differences so there are no surprises throughout planning or the day itself!