During the wedding planning process, couples tend to ask if they should hire a wedding planner if they already have a venue coordinator. The answer is absolutely! The reasons are numerous but I will give you four reasons why you need a wedding planner AND a venue coordinator. Note: this blog post is not a venue coordinator bashing session. On the day of the wedding, we work together as partners. As a matter of fact, some venues have a policy that couples must have at a minimum a day-of professional wedding coordinator before the couple can book their venue.
A venue coordinator will:
- Coordinate on-site services only. This would include in-house catering and in-house audio visual. The design aspect of your day which can include florals and rentals that the venue doesn’t offer will be coordinated via your wedding planner. If your ceremony is at another location, the venue coordinator will not handle the logistics for your ceremony site.
- Serve as your connection to the venue logistics team. If you have questions regarding any in-house items such as your menu, those questions and concerns will be handled via your venue coordinator. Your wedding planner will also direct questions regarding menu or in-house details to the venue coordinator. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an advocate (your own personal wedding planner) to handle these details for you?
- Recommend vendors that have worked at the venue only. Just like your wedding planner, the venue coordinator will recommend those they have worked with and most likely have a relationship. The difference lies in the fact that most wedding planners have a broader array of preferred vendors that can be recommended based on your budget, personality and style.
- Consider the venue only budget line item. A venue coordinator’s main budget concern is one to three line items – the venue, catering and in-house rentals, if any. A venue coordinator will not help you crunch numbers to fit in that perfect wedding dress or that elaborate seven tier wedding cake.
A wedding planner is your:
- Relationship cultivator: We take the time to cultivate vendor relationships: therefore, we can recommend the best vendors that will fit your budget, theme and personality. I, personally do not take referral fees or kickbacks but ask the vendors I work with to give it in the form of a discount to my clients. When I recommend a vendor, I truly feel this vendor is the best choice for your wedding.
- Number Cruncher: In the world of Pinterest, a wedding planner will be able to help you reel in all of your ideas into a realistic theme. We can help manage your budget and offer different solutions to help you save money. So, when your maid of honor tells you to use those 5 feet crystal vases filled with fresh flowers on every guest table, we can have a honest discussion about your budget. If those beautiful 5 feet crystal vases are not within budget, I can offer an alternative solution such as use one or two as your statement piece on the escort card table or cake table.
- Counselor & coach: When you start the planning process, you will have a lot of unsolicited advice from family and friends. Everyone will want to give their own opinion on the way you should do things for YOUR wedding. In the middle of the planning process and even on wedding day, you are going to need a neutral person to whom you can talk, confide and vent. As your wedding planner, I’m not a trained psychologist or ordained minister but I have done my share of listening, coaching and counseling. If you have ever been a member of a wedding party or wedding guest, you have probably seen the wedding planner calm the bride or groom or coach the ring bearer or flower girl.
- Logistics Guru: In the end, your wedding planner will bring all of the planing details together in order to make your day special. This includes so much more than just logistics inside the venue. It means a timeline will be developed that will include the rehearsal or any wedding related events before the wedding. This timeline will be distributed to everyone involved including the venue coordinator to ensure the set-up and flow of the wedding is on schedule and your wishes are being met. The wedding planner provides so many duties outside of the intended scope of the job description. Duties such as pin boutonnieres, track down that missing father of the bride who went to the car to calm his nerves and provide an emergency kit for the bridal party who may need a healthy snack or eye drops to relieve those red eyes are some of the normal duties of a wedding planner.
Although a venue coordinator is highly equipped to get you down the aisle, it will be the wedding planner to handle those unexpected situations that may occur such as contacting the make-up artist who may be running a little behind schedule or discussing the incorrect set-up with the florist.
Are you looking to hire a wedding planner to partner with your venue coordinator? Contact me as I still have a few dates left for 2016.
Photos: Jonathan’s Photography