There are SO many people that are involved in creating, producing, and managing a successful wedding day and often it can be difficult to discern who you definitely need and who you don’t. One area of confusion is often with wedding coordinators and venue managers (also referred to as venue coordinators) because on paper, it might appear that they play the same role. However in reality, their services both leading up to the wedding day and on the day itself are drastically different. It’s important to understand that while having a venue manager is very valuable, one is NOT a wedding coordinator and can’t replace one. Here is why:
- First, venue managers work for the venue while a wedding coordinator works for YOU. Of course the venue wants the event to go smoothly however at the end of the day, the venue is looking out for it’s own best interests which may not align with your interests. What happens if there is any issue with a venue policy? Who is going to help you navigate the issue? The venue manager will naturally be on the side of the venue as that is who pays them. A wedding coordinator can assist you in managing any issues that crop up (especially WITH the venue) and be sure that you are treated respectfully and fairly throughout the planning process.
- Venue managers are responsible for the venue and that’s about it. The venue manager will be there to unlock the doors and oversee anything related to the venue such as making sure the venue is clean, the electricity stays on, showing vendors where to load-in, etc. They do not create timelines, confirm details with vendors, trouble-shoot and manage vendors on the wedding day, set-up your place cards, keep the wedding party on schedule, etc.
- Your wedding coordinator (and/or a member of her or his team) will be with you every step of the way, instructing you what to do next, helping you with your dress, and keeping you calm on your wedding day. Since venue managers are only responsible for the venue, they will be assisting the venue staff rather than you and your wedding party.
- Finally venue managers often work with hundreds of brides throughout the year and therefore will not always be familiar with the exact specifics of your event, your style, and your personality. Wedding coordinators typically handle no more than 20-25 weddings per year and therefore will have a much deeper understanding of your event and have a closer relationship with you. Also on this note, when you hire a wedding coordinator, you can be sure that YOUR wedding coordinator will be the one with you on wedding day while venues often have a very high turnover rate so typically whomever you begin working with at the start of the planning process will not be same manager on-site on wedding day. Often you may deal with several venue managers throughout the planning process.
I hope this helps to clear up the confusion around these very similar sounding positions. Happy planning!