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Wedding Planners vs. Venue Coordinators

The Bridal Society is the world’s leading Wedding Planning Certification program and the largest group of Certified Wedding Planners and Venue Professionals in the world. We are a wedding planner lifestyle membership that supports successful wedding planners and helps elevate new ones. We are happy to clear up the common confusion that surrounds the differences between wedding planners and wedding venue coordinators. If you hold the assumption that these two roles are interchangeable, you are not alone! Let’s dive into why this is not true. Here’s everything you need to know.


While the roles of a wedding planner and a venue coordinator may sound the same, they are in fact two different jobs. Since most venues offer a venue coordinator, many couples wrongly assume they don’t need to hire a wedding planner. This is a mistake you cannot afford to make when preparing for your big day.


Both a venue coordinator and a wedding planner are crucial for your wedding day. The two of them will work together as part of the larger team to ensure you have a happy and stress-free wedding. Their jobs are not meant to compete with one another, but rather to enhance each others’ roles for a smoother process overall.


4 Major Differences Between Wedding Planners & Venue Coordinators


1. Who They Work For


Venue Coordinators:

  • Work for the venue as their primary role.

  • Have responsibilities for the venue outside of helping your day run smoothly.

  • Are responsible for managing the venue staff.

  • Ensure the venue facilities are functioning and ready for the day.

  • Make sure that all the venue rules are being followed.

  • Confirm the layout and the overall setup for the day.

  • Are also working with other couples if the venue has multiple spaces on site.

  • May be responsible for not only weddings, but the other events on site as well.


Wedding Planners:

  • Work directly with and for you, the engaged couple.

  • Work on behalf of you, the couple, to ensure your wedding vision turns into a reality.

  • Work alongside you from day one of the wedding planning process, depending on the package you select.

2. Their Responsibilities


Venue Coordinators:

  • Always focus on the venue’s needs first and foremost.

  • Ensure the venue is prepped, cleaned, and ready to go on your wedding day.

  • Guide your vendors for load in and setup on site.

  • Coordinate with their venue staff for parking of guests, guest arrival, and any security needs.

  • Make sure things are running smoothly and that the venue is meeting all of your wedding day needs.

  • Are NOT responsible for managing vendors’ performance and contractual obligations.

  • Are NOT responsible for managing the timeline of events such as pre-ceremony photos, cake cutting, bouquet toss, etc.


Wedding Planners:

  • Work with you from the very beginning of the planning process, depending on the package you select.

  • Work with you to create a dream team of wedding vendors to fit your style and budget.

  • Provide detailed checklists and tools to assist you during the entire planning process.

  • Review all your vendor contracts and proposals and ensure your vendors fulfill their duties on the wedding day.

  • Have a fully loaded emergency kit for any issues that arise, such as a stain on a bridesmaid’s dress.

  • Make sure the wedding party and family are lined up and ready for the ceremony processional.

  • Cue your ceremony musicians for the start of the wedding ceremony.

  • Keep all your wedding vendors in the loop throughout the entire wedding day.

  • Be there to bustle your wedding gown, and assist the entertainment provider in lining up the wedding party for the Grand Entrance.

  • Work directly with the entertainment provider and venue staff to manage the flow of the wedding reception.


3. The Timelines They Create/Manage


Venue Coordinators:

  • Ensure the space is open and ready for you based on your contracted time.

  • Make timeline suggestions but are NOT responsible for creating the full wedding day timeline.

  • Handle the timeline for the venue and food services.


Wedding Planners:

  • Work with your entire vendor team, including the venue coordinator, to create your complete wedding day timeline.

  • Coordinate the timeline from the beginning of the wedding day with hair and makeup until the final vendor load out.

  • Keep the vendor team on track for the day and inform your entire vendor team if anything updates or changes.

  • Know when all the vendors will arrive for setup.

  • Work alongside the venue coordinator to make sure all arrival times work well for the space.

  • Work hand in hand with the vendor team to get back on track if things get behind.

  • Work directly with the venue coordinator to ensure food services go off without a hitch.


4. How They Handle Your Wedding Design


Venue Coordinators:

  • Can offer advice on what layouts work well within the space based on your guest count.

  • Can assist in creating a venue floor plan.

  • Do NOT assist you in the selections of your wedding colors.

  • Do NOT work with your florist to select centerpieces.


Wedding Planners:

  • Give you tips and suggestions to ensure your design has a cohesive feel from beginning to end.

  • Recommend a team of design vendors who reflect your style and budget.

  • Many Certified Wedding Planners are even Certified in Wedding Design Fundamentals!


Both wedding planners and venue coordinators are incredibly important pieces of your wedding day puzzle. While they each have different duties, experienced professionals will work together as a team to make your day amazing. When it comes to weddings, teamwork truly does make the dream work!

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