First of all, YES there is a major difference! But I can’t expect all of my couples that jump into wedding planning to know this. Why? Well, because for many couples it is their first time planning one and if they have been married before it has been years since they have planned a wedding. I consider it my job to educate them ;). So here goes… The truth is Venue Coordinators do not actually coordinate weddings. What they do is fabulously manage the venue, make sure the kitchen staff is operating seamlessly and on time and confirm that all rules are being followed. Most of the time that is where their responsibilities end, but some venues have badass Venue Coordinators that will assist with rehearsal and grand entrance, provide guidance with the wedding timeline and help with setup. It never hurts to ask about their responsibilities (plus it should be listed in your contract)!
You can ask questions like:
Can we schedule multiple meetings and a walk through prior to the wedding?
Will you assist with the timeline?
Will you be present at the rehearsal?
Will you facilitate the rehearsal?
Will you be present on the day of the wedding and how accessible will you
It is better to know ahead of time what to expect of the Venue Coordinator so you can be prepared and have the chance to hire a Wedding Coordinator early on. Bottom line is the Venue Coordinator does not work for the couple; he or she works for the venue. So naturally the Venue Coordinator’s main focus is not on the bride or groom; it is on the venue. He or she acts as a liaison between the couple and the venue’s operations team. The responsibilities of the Venue Coordinator pertain to the couple’s experience with the wedding venue while also protecting it. Therefore don’t expect the venue coordinator to be at your beck and call.
They won’t be keeping track of the rings, making sure the marriage license gets signed and generally they won’t answer questions like:
What time does the photographer arrive?
Where and when are the flowers being delivered?
Who is going to control the ceremony music?
Who will have the rings and the marriage license?
What is the order of the wedding ceremony?
Where and when are the family portraits taking place?
Where and when are we doing the first look?
I will tell you who can answer those questions: a Wedding Coordinator. A day of wedding coordinator (DOC) will answer all of those questions and so many more! A DOC is someone that is not contracted through the venue and is hired by the couple. This means they are working for the couple and only the couple. Their main priority is bringing the couple’s dream wedding
to fruition. Have a blister and need a Band-Aid? The DOC is on it! Is there a last minute seating chart change? You can find the DOC at the local print shop having a new seating chart printed. The point is the DOC is on the couple’s team and will do whatever it takes to make their special day as perfect as it can be. Remember some venues have badass Venue Coordinators, but that is not always the case and it is your job to do your research to find out.
Venue Coordinators should really be called Venue Managers (great managers at that!) and maybe there would be less confusion, but I can assure you the term ‘Venue Coordinator’ is not going anywhere! When in doubt hire a pro Wedding Coordinator to help out ;).