There are a lot of terms that get floated around while you’re planning a wedding – wedding planner, wedding coordinator, venue coordinator, event manager, and so on. Wedding pros flings these terms around like you know what they mean. But you’re left there half confused and not knowing who’s doing what and who’s even in charge. The two most common terms that send you into a spiral of wondering if you’ve got the right team behind you is venue coordinator vs. wedding coordinator.
Often times you’ll book you’re venue and it will be detailed in the contract that included with your rental is a coordinator. This person will be in charge of letting vendors in to set-up and creating your schematic. Basically, he or she acts as the point of contact between you and the services the venue provides. Occasionally this person will even coordinate your ceremony if you’re getting married on site. So, if this person handles all of these tasks and it’s included in the price of your rental, do you even need a month of wedding coordinator? The simple answer is yes! Let’s break it down.
What Does a Venue Coordinator Do?
It’s important to remember that a venue coordinator does not work for you. A venue coordinator works for, you guessed it, the venue! He or she is in charge of handling the tasks that the venue is responsible for. For example, if your venue provides tables, chairs, linens, catering and bar services, your venue coordinator will ensure those things go off without a hitch. He or she will do the schematic, set-up the tables, put the linens on, set the table with china for a seated meal, and ensure the meal goes out on time. Your venue coordinator will also ensure the bar is stocked, supervise service staff, cut and serve the cake, and break down tables, chairs, and linens at the end of the night. That probably sound like the majority of what you need handled, right? Let’s see what the wedding coordinator will do for you.
What Does a Wedding Coordinator Do?
While your venue coordinator is overseeing the above mentioned tasks, you’re wedding coordinator is handling the smaller tasks that ensure your entire day goes off without a hitch. Or at least making sure you think it’s going off without a hitch. A wedding coordinator will step in 30 days prior to your wedding to make contact with all vendors, ensure final payments are made, and that your vendor team has everything they need to execute your day perfectly. He or she is also responsible for creating your wedding day timeline, making sure all vendors show up on time, setting up decor you provide, coordinating the flow of events the day of your wedding, and handling any snaff-fus.
If hair and make-up is running behind because you can’t find one of your bridesmaids, your wedding coordinator will track her down. If your photographer needs help running post ceremony pictures because half your family is missing, your coordinator will step in and run the shot list. If pictures run late because of all of this, your coordinator will ensure your DJ knows we’re rearranging the timeline to accommodate food quality. If your 6 months pregnant best friend and bridesmaid passes a kidney stone in the middle of the reception, you’re coordinator will find her a couch in the back and call a doctor without interrupting your night (yes, this has actually happened at a wedding). If your Photo Booth attendant is trying to break down before the contract time, your wedding coordinator will ensure he or she stays in place, snapping away until the night is done.
After all of that is done, your coordinator will ensure all of your belongings, decor, and gifts make it home safely with you or a designated family member. Your coordinator will stay until the last vendor leaves, clean the venue to contract standards, and guarantee nothing is overlooked preventing you from being charged overtime fees.
At the end of the day, both your venue coordinator and wedding coordinator are vital members of your wedding day team. The day could not run smoothly without either party. If your venue does include a coordinator in your rental fee, read your contract carefully to ensure you know exactly what he or she will handle for you the day of the wedding. Some venue coordinators do handle the full range of tasks as detailed under the wedding coordinator. As with all vendors, read your contract carefully so you know exactly what to expect and don’t be afraid to ask 100 questions if needed.