We hear it all the time:
" I don't need a wedding planner; my venue has a coordinator!"
This always sends a chill up our spine. Not because we're worried about losing business, but because we're worried about this couple having misinformation that leads them to unrealistic expectations in terms of what a venue coordinator is truly responsible for.
Let's break it down:
First, venues will often have a "coordinator" and/or a "manager." If the venue offers a coordinator, they may, in fact, manage your wedding day timeline. However, they are almost never responsible for any of the planning that happens before your wedding day. This means that when you have questions about your floral contract, they're not going to be available to you to go over the fine print. It's also important to remember that even if the venue coordinator is available to manage your timeline on your wedding day, it's possible (and very likely) that they had a wedding yesterday, and maybe one tomorrow. They only have so much space in their brain to remember all of the hundreds of details of your wedding day. If your venue offers a wedding day coordinator, it is crucial that you ask exactly what their responsibilities are so that you can gauge whether or not you will need/want additional help, and even more importantly, so that you can manage your expectations in regards to what they will be able to handle for you!
More often, a venue simply has a venue manager. This person is employed by (or sometimes owns) the venue. They will be with you when you tour the venue, walk you through their contract, often offer you a list of preferred vendors, and then their job is done until your wedding day (or maybe rehearsal if your ceremony is at the same venue!). They are there to be the point of contact between you and the venue staff. They are there to make sure that venue facilities, as agreed upon explicitly and contractually, are available to you and your guests, and that you, in turn, adhere to the contract guidelines too. This includes making sure that none of your vendors break the venue's rules either!
The venue coordinator is not there to ensure that your outside vendors fulfill their obligations, set up your wedding decor, or manage your wedding day timeline.
This is in no way an attack on venue managers or coordinators. On the contrary; we often hear about these people getting bad raps because they didn't fulfill duties that were in no way theirs to begin with!
Many venues have moved to requiring couples hire at least a day-of (really month-of) coordinator for their wedding. This stems from the fact that they're simply not able to do all of the things a planner does, while also managing their venue! Some venues have 3-6 weddings per weekend. Their main responsibility is to protect the venue and make sure that everything that they provide is in working order, and available to you and your guests; but when it comes to making sure the florist remembers exactly how you want the eucalyptus draped on the ceremony arch, well... you get the idea.
Many people don't think that hiring an outside planner or coordinator is within their budget. We know that it is a significant investment, but assure all of our couples that we are able to save them time, money, and a lot of stress. If you want to hear about how we could help plan your wedding day, please contact us today!