Pep Talk Tuesday {Personal Coordinators versus Venue Coordinators}

I never ever claim to know everything about the industry. I am constantly learning and figuring out ways to be a better business woman and planner so Hey Gorgeous can flourish while my clients get the best possible service. However, one thing I have learned pretty quickly is that there is a difference between what a personal wedding coordinator provides and what a venue coordinator does. I am not insinuating that one role is better than the other but simply stating that brides and grooms deserve to know the difference between the two so they can make an educated decision on whether a venue provided coordinator will suffice or if the personalized service of a coordinator hired elsewhere is better suited. Read on for my takes on the differences.

{Obligations} First and foremost, venue coordinators work for the venue. The often have a boss to report to and have a specific way of running their weddings/events. Their venue is their full time employer and in most circumstances will do everything to make you happy while remaining loyal to their employer. Venue coordinators have the experience under their belt, and have overseen the operation of a weddings, sometimes every weekend of the year. Often, venues have a high turnover rate of coordinators meaning the coordinator you may have dealt with at the start of your planning is now working elsewhere or has since moved to a new department.

As your personal wedding coordinator I work for you, the client. And your interests, likes and wants are my first priority no matter how unique, obscure or extravagant they are. I have no alternative motives to the things I tell you other than to make you happy, guide you into making the right decisions and if possible help you save money when and where applicable. I have no one but you and your significant other to report to and will do what it takes to make sure your standards are met. I will be by your side from the minute I am hired until the last guest goes home the day of.

{Services} A venue coordinator is responsible for and not limited to the following items: helping you select your menu, overseeing your food tastings, receiving your guest count, ensuring you pay your deposit and locking in your desired date. If applicable they refer you to other vendors that may work in connection with the venue (i.e. entertainment companies, linens and lighting vendors, bakeries, etc). On the day of the wedding they make sure their staff have set up the ceremony and reception areas as discussed, that the waitstaff and bartenders are handling food and beverages as noted and they help things run according to schedule. Some venue coordinators also ensure select personal and decor items are in place (like menu cards, centerpieces, favours, etc).

A personal wedding coordinator oversees every detail of your wedding day not just the details that pertain to the wedding venue. In my Pretty Little Package, which is for month of services, I provide a wealth of services like working with the venue coordinator to make sure the ceremony and reception set up is to the couples liking, ensuring your final payments have been made, and making sure any problems are taken care of promptly and professionally. I greet my brides the morning of their wedding day to make sure they are feeling happy and excited and I make sure their bouquet looks how they want. I make sure your dress is bustled properly and that your mascara isn't smudged under your eyes. I make sure that before you walk down the aisle you take a deep breath as you embark on one of the most important walks of your life.

{Details} If you inquire, a venue coordinator will refer vendors that trust and have worked with before. They will suggest various options for set up, decor and presentation. They will share photos with you of past weddings to show what options are available. They will ensure that any detail relating to the venue, catering and banquet staff is under control and running as discussed and outlined in your contract.

A personal wedding coordinator has been hired to guarantee your wedding day unfolds in the most perfect way imaginable from start to finish. They will work closely with you, and your vendors to create a finely tuned timeline of the wedding day including when hair and make up should happen, where the first look should happen and what number your cousin from out of town should call should she run into an issue the day of (hint; not the bride! call the DOC first). A personal wedding coordinator is hired essentially for the purpose of making sure not one detail is overlooked. Think of your coordinator as your personal assistant the day of your wedding; and someone who will patiently read and respond to your e-mails about whether or not green hued-wedding shoes will look alright if you have a black satin ribbon wrapped around your bouquet :)

As a venue coordinator told me recently, when everyone works together, meaning both the venue coordinator and personal coordinator, everyone gets what they want; which is a happy bride and groom. I'd love to know did any of you hire a personal wedding planner? Why or why not? Do you wish you would have if you did not?

11 Lovely Comments:

Anonymous said...

you have very sweet blog.))

HiLLjO said...

We just got a venue coordinator with our venue. I would have had no planning help except for my fiance if that hadn't been. I'm just a DIAYer. Do it all yourselfer.

ASHLEY said...

Very true :) I did hire a wedding planner. I wanted my wedding to be AMAZING and I was living overseas at the time of my engagement so planning myself wasn't an option.

Alisha said...

Such great advice for the all the lovely soon-to-be brides! Girl, you are so knowledgeable, and a lot of people really don't know the difference between these two.
I opted to not have a personal coordinator because of our budget. We did have a venue coordinator though, and she was so helpful in the whole planning process which I was planning myself! :)

Pretty Pear Bride said...

Such a great article!! This is the one question that I get asked all the time. Thank you so much for addressing it and answering it truthfully!!

Ashley said...

i love that first shot. gorgeous :-) as usual.

Brooke said...

This is so great because for the venue that I am having the wedding at, the package comes with wedding coordination so I guess eh would be the venue coordinator so this was nice to know. I wish I had a personal one but hey what are you gonna do? ha and thanks for telling me that! I'm finding out a lot about people and it's nice to know we all have our differences!

jacin {lovely little details} said...

great post!

Koru Kate said...

As a wedding planner, I adore venue planners- we work hand & hand to ensure the Bride, Groom & their guests have the most perfect day! When your limo doesn't show up or your bridesmaid dress splits before she walks down the aisle or your grandma is MIA, your personal planner helps you (all actual things I've done), not the venue planner.

As a Bride, we had an excellent venue planner & a fabulous personal planner & we truly felt we needed & benefited from both.

natasha {schue love} said...

Can I just say that this post completely in line with the honest truth. I got married at a venue that very much prides themselves on their venue coordinators and I was told that getting my own coordinator would just be a big waste of money. Luckily for me, my dad insisted we have someone there for me (and him too!) and I honestly cannot tell you much I appreciate all she did. While the venue coordinators were great...they were not there for all the crucial details. My WC kept the photographer on track (when all he wanted to do was take more photos), make sure no unwanted guests were there (or that none of our guests go out of control), get my place cards and thank you cupcakes set up just right, managed our open bar so that my dad did not have to worry about where we were with budget, paid the vendors...and so on...and so forth! She was invaluable to me and I recommend a WC to anyone planning their wedding...if for nothing else, then for the peace of mind. No bride (or FOB) wants to worry about those details come the day of the wedding!

Mademoiselle Michael said...

Oh girlfriend, THANK YOU for posting this. I am a former venue coordinator that everyone mistook as their personal wedding coordinator. My primary job was to help educate my clients on logistics, to help ensure a really smooth flow. However, I spent a majority of my job answering questions that should have been directed to a personal coordinator...and because of it, I am burnt out. I got out of the business all together. It's amazing what can be accomplished when two professionals (both the PC and the VC) work together toward the benefit of their mutual bride.

Where were you when I needed you?! :)

xx, MademoiselleMichael