The Wedding Guild Series: Venue Coordinator vs Event Planner
Wedding season is here and, as we’ve mentioned before, the key to a successful wedding is hiring the right team of vendors, including a wedding planner!
Now, you may be thinking “my venue already has a coordinator, so I don’t need to hire an event planner… right?” WRONG! Too many times we see this common misconception that a venue coordinator has the same role as an event planner. It is actually very crucial that both are involved in the planning process and execution of your wedding day.
While our titles may sound very similar, the tasks that we tackle are very particular and different from one another. From the moment you book your venue, the venue coordinator is focusing on gathering all of the outside information and putting it together in a way that they know it will work within that setting. They are the experts on the resort, the ranch, the garden, or the location that you have chosen to represent the most special scene for you and your loved ones. LeAnne Brandenburg, Director of Special Events at Blue Sky Ranch, describes a venue coordinator as such: “Venue contact = operations. I view the role of a venue contact, first and foremost, in making sure the client is happy. Then, being someone that makes sure the venue, venue staff and anything on the property grounds are perfectly prepared. The venue contact is also someone that helps orchestrate all vendors, clients and guests coming onto the site and making sure they have everything they need to hit the ground running once set up has begun, event commences and tear down has started. Eyes & ears at all times!”
Your venue coordinator can answer (without hesitation) all of your questions about their rental equipment, the best location for your cocktail hour, and the best use of space for a gathering of your size. From experience and knowledge of executing events at their venues, they can tell you how to best transition from one place to another, where to park all of your guests, and where to have the band setup because they need X amount of power outlets. Your venue coordinator will know all of these details and more.
Once you’ve booked your venue, your event planner will help you coordinate everything outside of the venue such as negotiating contracts and booking any and all vendors, arranging room blocks for guests, booking and managing transportation services for your guests, designing layouts of the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception spaces, reviewing power requirements, orchestrating vendor arrival and delivery on the day of the wedding, developing and distributing a timeline to run the event smoothly and just about everything in between A & Z to get you to the altar without undue stress. The venue coordinator isn’t focused on these aspects of your event, but your planner is, and that’s the beauty of this dynamic duo.
Adding to her description of a venue coordinator, LeAnne explains the difference of an event planner as, “... all the details and in between! The event planner & team is someone who knows the in’s and out’s of the timeline, all ancillary items and in most situations, the person that is right behind the client making sure everything is smooth and all parties are beyond happy! The event planner is priceless!”
You may choose to coordinate your own weddings and events, but event planners can relieve you of the stress while still affording you a role in the decision making process. A great planner will take the time to understand a client’s vision and objectives and then figure out how to successfully interpret and execute them. The result is the most perfect (and stress-free) wedding day you’ve always hoped for. Without hiring an event planner, you become responsible for some, if not all, of the following duties:
Seating Chart options
Rehearsal Dinner and/or Rehearsal walk through
Vendor organization prior to and on wedding day
Creating a timeline
Setting up the event and cleanup afterward
Staying on track, according to the timeline
Queuing different moments throughout ceremony and reception
Executing a weather back up plan
And so many other things you don’t want to be consumed worrying about!
Still not sure if you absolutely need to hire an event planner? Check out this list by Sarah Bieganousky, Catering and Conference Services Manager, at The Montage Deer Valley resort:
Works with the Venue Coordinator to make sure all aspects of the venue, such as set-up, timeline, and outside vendors meet your specifications.
Stays until all guests have left and is with you throughout your entire day and into the evening, giving you updates throughout the entire event, such as proper timing for wedding party line-up, photos, cake cutting, and the bouquet toss.
Contacts all vendors to confirm all details prior to the wedding.
Handles everything to do with the venue, including but not limited to food, set-up, and execution of
Stays until entrees are served.
May only contact vendors that pertain to set up prior to the event.
Having both a venue coordinator and an event planner will make your entire planning process much smoother from beginning to end. We truly work together in order to provide you with the best experience possible.
“We end up all being one happy family - client, planner and venue contact! The planning process all happens in a harmonious way when this family is created.” - LeAnne Brandenburg, Blue Sky Ranch
Ready to plan your big day? Contact us HERE and let’s get started!