Venue Coordinators Vs. Wedding Planners
Recently, we were discussing the misconceptions about catering managers at an industry event. A bride’s friend shared a story with us about her experience as the maid of honor at a wedding where the bride thought that she didn’t need a wedding planner because there was one at the venue. “What ended up happening,” the friend said, “was that the bride’s mom was swarmed with people constantly asking questions about where everything should go. The vendors wanted her to approve what they had done, basically, so they could go home.” She told us how the bride’s family set up centerpieces for the tables and even a photo booth. It was really disheartening to hear that the mother of the bride couldn’t just enjoy her daughter’s day. We don’t want other brides to make the same mistake, so let’s discuss the role of venue coordinators and wedding planners.
The person that you will meet when you tour potential wedding venues is the venue coordinator or catering manager. The venue coordinator manages the venue and staff on the day of your event. For example, if the venue requires in-house catering, the catering manager will arrange the menu tasting and take notes on any specific requests. The venue coordinator will also create a BEO–a banquet event order–for everyone on staff at your venue and will make sure that it is followed correctly. Additionally, the event coordinator may create room layouts and a cost breakdown for the financial commitment to the venue. The venue coordinator stays very busy on the day of the wedding, organizing the staff at the venue to make sure the venue is on time.
While the venue is one of the most significant details on the wedding day, there are plenty of professionals that fall outside the venue’s management. In some circumstances that can be every vendor that has been hired––florists, linens, bands, cake designers, lighting and draping, caterers, and more––which leaves a lot of work that the venue coordinator will simply be unable to assist with. The average wedding involves more than 20 vendors and hiring a wedding planner can cut down on the stress related to deliveries, set-up, breakdown, and all personal items and details that the couple and their families don’t want to be troubled by. A wedding planner, like the venue coordinator, has a timeline for the day. But rather than focusing on the venue’s staff, the wedding planner’s timeline focuses on keeping you and your wedding party on time. Aside from day-of coordination, a wedding planner can also assist with a multitude of tasks that go into the wedding planning like budgeting, organizing, and creating a cohesive design. From save-the-dates, to invitations, to thank you cards, there are more details to planning a wedding than most couples realize. Initially, it may seem like another expense, but typically, hiring a wedding planner pays for itself by utilizing the strong connections your planner has within the industry––many vendors offer special discounts only to wedding planners.
Essentially, the role of the catering manger or venue coordinator is to handle the staff and details surrounding the venue. The role of the wedding planner is to execute the couple’s vision for the day; which involves managing vendors, creating and executing design, and keeping the wedding party on time. Although they play different roles, both venue coordinators and wedding planners rely heavily on each other to create the perfect day for the newlyweds.
If you are newly engaged and starting the process of planning your wedding, your first decision should be to hire a wedding planner. The earlier your wedding planner is on-board, the more money and time she can save you.
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