There is some terminology in the wedding world that can be rather confusing for new couples and it is important to differentiate so you know who to hire for your wedding and why. So, what is the difference between a wedding planner, event coordinator and venue coordinator?
A Wedding Planner is a professional who assists with the design, planning and management of a client’s wedding. They are the all-inclusive experience for wedding planning. They make vendor referrals, do contract negotiations, help you budget, helps with the floor plans, brainstorms style ideas, coordinators guest transportation, is heavily involved on the day-of and so much more! They’ll be the individual that not only helps you find your favorite vendor, like a photographer, but also tell them where to go and when. Wedding Planners are definitely more expensive, but that’s because they do a lot of work!
So, you should hire a Wedding Planner if: you have the budget for it, you want to minimize any wedding stress related to the day of or planning, you have a short time for planning or don’t know where to begin with planning, if you have limited free time to plan, you’re having a destination wedding and if you’re having a wedding with multiple events.
Event Coordinator (Day of Coordinator)
An event coordinator, also known as a day of coordinator, is someone who is focused on the logistics of the day of event. However, even though they can be called a Day of Coordinator, their planning typically starts closer to a month or more before the wedding. They start this early because they are the one who looks over vendor contracts, make a day-of timeline (which is really helpful), and tweak any last minute details as they review your plans. Then, they’ll be there the day of your event, hence the name! They are involved in every aspect of your day from getting the couple ready to ensuring everyone, including guests and vendors, are on schedule.
Alyssa, from Fleurology Designs and Events, is a perfect example of an excellent Event Coordinator or Wedding Planner! She is flexible with timelines, knowledgeable, attentive the day-of and can be particularly helpful with COVID-19 weddings. And the biggest bonus: she is also a florist!
I recommend you hire an Event Coordinator if: you want to be able to relax on the day of your wedding, you don’t have the budget for a wedding planner, you’re interest in someone handling the last minute details that you might miss (because trust me, there are always some) and if you want to be the one planning your wedding, but don’t want to handle the nitty gritty details.
Unlike an event coordinator, the venue coordinator’s main focus is not the couple. Their main task is to coordinate all things venue related: vendor timeless, setting up tables/chairs, cleaning the venue, making sure lighting is working, etc. Typically, venue coordinators are associated with a specific venue. They are hired by the venue, for the venue.
A great example of this is Southern Exposure (showcased in the above photo!)
Since Venue Coordinators are associated with the specific venue, this is an option that will be provided to you only if you choose a venue with one. This is definitely something to consider when making your venue selection!