You’re planning your wedding and you think you have found the perfect venue. Not only do they meet the qualifications you were looking for but they also provide a wedding coordinator for you! You are set!
Not so much.
A coordinator provided by the venue is absolutely a great service to have included. They will be very beneficial to you and will provide you with lots of insight on the venue and how things usually work best. The problem is, a lot of venues are marketing these coordinators as independent planners when we actually play two completely different parts.
In short, the venue coordinator’s main responsibility is and always will be the venue. They have to look out for what works best for the venue, even if it is not the couples first choice. There are many great coordinators who will go above and beyond their job description, but in the end their dedication still lays with the venue.
An independent planner/coordinator’s priority is the couple. Whatever you need, we will get you. If you want something changed we will make sure it gets done to your satisfaction. We also work very closely with you on a very personal level. We play many roles as a planner(sister, therapist, referee, friend, etc.), which is something you won’t get from the venue.
I’ve asked Danielle Andrews Sunkel, Co-Founder of WPIC, and planner at “The Wedding Planners” to give some insight on some of the issues she has dealt with regarding the venue vs wedding coordinator situation.
“I was a GUEST at a wedding, the on-site (knew who I was) came over and said, “Oh you’re here, I can leave now.” It was 5 pm! I told her I was there as a guest, she still left.”
“I was at the venue when the bride called because the limo got lost on the way to the photo shoot, the venue would not have called the photographer, gotten the directions, then called the limo driver.”
“A bride’s strapless gown kept falling down, do you really think the venue would have huge safety pins to pin the dress up?”
“Another bride changed in to her flats and was tripping over her dress, do you think it was the venue or wedding coordinator that got under her dress and created more pick-ups to accommodate for the new hem length?”
“My clients’ limo didn’t arrive to pick them up at the end of the evening, venue coordinator had already gone home, who called the limo company?”
“In May, the on-site was telling my couple they absolutely could not have a receiving line it would take too long. They were upset, I said,no we can have it, and get it done in about 25 mins. The on-site had the nerve to time the receiving line (I didn’t know till she had the grace to say she’s never seen something so organized). BTW it took me 23 mins!”
The venue isn’t giving the nervous mother TUMS, or the groom with a headache Advil. They aren’t brushing the lint off the groomsmen or letting them spit gum in to their hands before they walk down the aisle. They aren’t bribing flower girls and ring bearers with lollipops to walk down the aisle or providing them with crayons & colouring books during the ceremony. They aren’t wiping the groomsmen’s dirty shoes with baby wipes or checking the bride’s teeth for lipstick. They aren’t making sure the wedding party has been served hors d’ouvres during cocktails or making sure the groom has his special drink.
Absolutely ANYTHING that requires back-up or finding the vendors or wedding party, the venue does not get the emergency contact info so they can’t be of help with these crises.
- Danielle Andrews Sunkel
If you are lucky enough to have a venue coordinator as well as a hired planner, you have the best of both worlds. We can work together to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. Don’t let your venue convince you that they can run the entire show alone.