What is the difference between a wedding planner and a venue coordinator?

Wedding planner vs venue co-ordinator

Wedding planner vs venue coordinator?

Wedding planner vs venue coordinator?  As a wedding planner, I have been asked this question many times.  Quite often the chosen venue will include an in-house venue coordinator, so why would you also require a wedding planner?

A wedding planner and a venue coordinator are both very valuable but do have different duties.  You may find there is some overlap but as experienced professionals, they will work together as a team to ensure everything runs smoothly.  The two roles work complimentary together.

A wedding planner works for YOU.  They are the main contact between yourself and the suppliers, dealing with any issues that may arise, taking the stress away from yourself.  A venue coordinator works for the venue and handles details concerning the venue such as the catering and set up.  They will liaise between yourself and the venue’s in-house team.

Breakdown of wedding planner vs venue coordinator

Wedding planner

From the very beginning of your journey, you can work with a wedding planner.  They can help you find your dream venue by doing a bespoke search based on your requirements and your vision as a couple.  Their main focus is to discuss in detail your vision and use this to create your dream day, supporting you throughout the whole process.

lightbulbAn independent wedding planner will plan out a detailed timeline of tasks from booking right until your wedding day.  They will be there every step of the way to assist you and ensure that tasks are kept on schedule.   They will source suppliers based on your requirements and budget, read contracts, negotiate rates, send payment reminders, help with legal documentation, etiquette advice, planning of your ceremony, and reception.  Please see my packages page for a detailed list of the services a wedding planner may offer.

A wedding planner will prepare a detailed timeline for your wedding day which will be discussed with the suppliers ensuring everyone is up to speed.  Weddings can take around 250-300 hours to plan so a wedding planner will take care of all of this.  This will give you more time to enjoy the run-up to your wedding feeling stress-free and relaxed.

On your wedding day, a wedding planner will manage the whole day ensuring your suppliers are briefed and that the day runs to schedule.  They will oversee the set up making sure it is as you envisage, that you and your guests are looked after, leaving you to enjoy your special day.  A wedding day can quite often throw up issues but a planner will be on hand to problem solve.  As a wedding planner, I have dealt with many random issues.  Locating a local shop in the middle of nowhere to buy the mother of the bride a pair of tights, searching for a groom’s grandma in time for the first dance.

Venue co-ordinator

A venue coordinator will deal with any venue related details such as food tasting, menu choices, venue set up.  Around one month before your wedding, a meeting would usually be held.  You will run through all the details and discuss where you would like items set up, which suppliers you booked, guest count, and meal options.  A function sheet will then be produced which covers all the details which the venue will be dealing with.

On the wedding day itself, you may not be allocated the co-ordinator you have been dealing with and instead another member of the venue team, eg the food manager.  Working from the function sheet they will ensure that the venue facilities are running efficiently and oversee the set up of the venue.  Anything which is agreed upon in your contract with the venue.  The venue coordinator will want to make sure that suppliers are correctly setting up equipment ensuring no damage to the property. They will check that the sound system is set to the venue’s levels, rather than if the DJ is playing the first dance song on time.

wedding planner vs venue co-ordinator

Although a venue coordinator may be around to offer assistance, they could be working on other weddings or venue related jobs and not there just for you.  There is a big difference between this and running the entire wedding.

Here are the main differences between the two:

Wedding Planner

  • Independent and employed by you
  • Their main priority is you and planning your wedding to your vision
  • Deal with ALL aspects of planning your wedding
  • Will recommend suppliers based on your preferences
  • Provide a detailed timeline based on every aspect of your day and ensure all suppliers are aware of what they are doing and when.  They work in a lot more depth
  • Negotiate with suppliers and be the main point of contact dealing with all queries on your behalf
  • Organise everything step by step from day one including managing your budget, logistical and etiquette queries, hotel, and transportation – see packages page for further information
  • Keep tasks on track – monthly reports
  • Working with couples to understand preferences

Venue Co-ordinator

  • Employed by the venue
  • Their main priority is the venue and ensuring the venue itself meets your needs
  • Deal with the set up of the venue.  Ensure rules are being followed, making sure facilities are in good working order and overseeing set up
  • Will send a list of preferred suppliers
  • Provide a timeline based around the venue and catering (if in-house).  Ensure the timing of the reception phases.  They are not there to make sure that hair and makeup are running to schedule.  They do not manage your wedding day timeline (getting ready, photographs, timely decor set up, etc)
  • Does not liaise between your third party suppliers only with their in house team
  • Coordinates between yourself and the venue staff

wedding vision heart over beach


YOU employ an independent wedding planner and they work for YOU.  They will discuss everything with you as their priority. The venue employs the venue coordinator.  They will do everything they need to do to make sure the venue side of events is run correctly.

Wedding planners and venue coordinators do tend to complement each other.  It is always a bonus to have both working together on your dream day.

Please contact me to discuss what I can offer you as a wedding planner.




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