The truth!

Jennifer Leigh DiMarco

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I’ve heard it SO many times- “Oh the venue coordinator will handle everything, I don’t need a wedding planner/coordinator.” 

What most brides don’t quite understand is that the venue coordinator is just there for the VENUE, not you. (Nothing against venue coordinators- I love them and they’ve helped me out a lot before!) If they tell you they can handle things on the day of your wedding, it’s true- they can, but it’s only within a certain scope. And so, since I’m kind of the person who says things about planning weddings that not many other bloggers will, let’s chat a little more about this…

A venue coordinator is looking out for the best interest of the venue. A wedding coordinator looks out for the best interest of YOU, the bride. The venue coordinator deals with everything having to do with the venue- food, setup, etc. A wedding coordinator will deal with aspects of the venue, such as setup, and will make sure everything is to your specifications.

 If your ceremony is at a location other than the venue, your wedding coordinator will be there with you. A venue coordinator will not be at that offsite ceremony. If the ceremony is at the venue, the venue coordinator will be there to help with the coordination of the ceremony.

 A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout the day and night. They are there to tell you when things will be occurring throughout the night, such as the cake cutting, bouquet toss, toasts, etc. When I was planning, I stayed until the very end of the wedding, until all of the guests were gone. A venue coordinator stays until the meal is served, and the majority of the time, leaves after. Some may stay until the cake is cut and served. He or she will not be by your side throughout the day or night. Although the venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy, he or she likely will not be involved if your bustle breaks, when it comes time to load up your gifts, or tracking down your lipgloss.

 A wedding coordinator contacts your vendors before your wedding to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving. A venue coordinator may contact vendors that have to do with setup of the reception, but it’s not common. Other vendors, like your photographer or hair and makeup, would not be contacted by your venue coordinator.

 Venues are known to have a high turnover rate among the coordinator/sales positions. The person that you book your wedding with may or may not still be there when it comes time for your wedding a year, year and a half later. Your wedding coordinator is hired by YOU, hand selected by YOU, and won’t be going anywhere (unless, God forbid, something horrible happens!).  

While hiring a full-service wedding planner may be out of your budget, master bridal consultant Frank Andonoplas of highly rated Frank Event Design in Chicago recommends at least hiring a professional to help with consulting or day-of coordination.

Marie Frey of highly rated FCCI Weddings in Indianapolis agrees that hiring a professional is important, saving you stress and maybe even money on other services since wedding planners have relationships with vendors. “This is the most important day of your life,” she says. “If you were having surgery, you would want a doctor there.”

Feedback from my readers-

Stephanie Hall says: I would recommend having a DOC that's independent of your venue.  The venue coordinator's first priority is the venue, not you, and isn't going to be as detailed towards your wants and needs as an independent coordinator.  I feel like a DOC is worth the money for the peace of mind.

Laura Mackey says: When I was the MOH at my bestie's wedding, her venue coordinator was terrible....I ended up acting as the planner for several months before and the the day of the wedding...while I would have loved it if it were my job, I really would have preferred to just be a guest at this particular event.  That experience told me that I HAD to have a DOC.  I know my loved ones could and would take care of things, but I just couldn't put them through it...It would have stressed me out to see them so stressed out...I've only had a DOC for a few weeks, but she has already earned her pay!!!  I'm loving the vendor recs she gives us and throwing her name out to other vendors has already helped us get a few deals!