This morning I shared with you my favourite real weddings of 2019, there were some...
I have been working in the wedding industry for 7 years now, 4/5 of those years I spent as a wedding planner as well as a blogger. As a planner I found there were many misconceptions about what our role involved. A few years on and I still get asked a lot of the same questions, one of them being ‘Do I really need a wedding planner? My venue has a coordinator so isn’t that just the same thing?’ As it’s been a couple of years since I planned a wedding, I thought it would be a good idea to get an expert wedding planner in to answer this question for me. Please may I introduce you to Carmela Weddings, Lisa and Sam a husband and wife team here to help explain more.
I have also asked Lisa and Sam to become one of the Blogs in house experts, so you will be seeing much more of them over the next few months as they talk all things wedding planning.
‘Do I really need a wedding planner? My venue has a coordinator so isn’t that just the same thing?’
I hear the above statement a lot from couples and totally understand why it can be confusing! Although the names are similar, these two services are dramatically different and it’s getting more confusing with some venues starting to call their venue coordinators names such as ‘venue planners’ or ‘wedding coordinators’. I’m going to try to shed some light on it for you.
The easiest way to explain the difference is to note who they work for. A venue coordinator works for the venue – they are paid by the venue, take instructions from the venue and are managed by the venue whereas a wedding planner is completely independent to the venue and works only for you. You hire them, you pay them for their services and ultimately they are accountable to you.
Now let me start off by saying that I love venue coordinators – they can make everybody’s lives much easier, so I’m not saying you don’t need one but just that they don’t do the same job as a planner. They are your point of contact for the venue, will show you around the venue and generally act as salesperson for the venue as well as answering any queries about the venue throughout the planning process.
A venue coordinator will deal with all aspects of the venue so they’ll make sure the food is up to scratch, the tables and chairs are set up and the venue looks great. You may not always get the same coordinator throughout the whole wedding planning process as there is a high turnover in coordination staff, especially in hotels and there is often more than one coordinator that you’ll be dealing with. The coordinator generally stays at the wedding until the meal has finished and the band or DJ is set up and they usually work office hours during the week.
To start with – design and style your wedding. A planner will be there for you from the beginning, holding your hand through the entire process from thinking about the look and feel of the wedding to assisting with budgeting, suppliers and putting together a timeline of the day. They are also there on the day to make sure everything that you’ve planned together looks how you have envisaged it from table favours to seating plan and to make sure everything runs on time. A planner sorts out any little emergencies on the day too from a supplier not turning up to a stain on your dress. A wedding planner carries an emergency kit and so can deal with most mishaps on the day of the wedding. They make sure the wedding runs smoothly and flows perfectly. Remember too that if your ceremony is not in the same place as the reception, your venue coordinator will have nothing to do with how the ceremony looks or the set up of it. Your wedding planner will be in charge of setting up all areas for your wedding in any number of locations and will often have an assistant to assist them if your ceremony is in another venue.
When it comes to choosing your suppliers, some venues will have a supplier list and so can recommend suppliers to you from this list. However, you should always bear in mind that some venues charge suppliers to be on their list and if they do, you may not be getting the best suppliers to match you and your wedding – you’ll be getting those suppliers that paid enough to go on the list! This isn’t always the case and I do know of venues who only recommend suppliers they have personally worked with but it is becoming increasingly common to charge to be on a recommended supplier list. A wedding planner (especially if they are a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners) don’t take commission so you can be assured that if they are recommending a particular supplier, it’s because they know that supplier is a great one and will work well for your particular wedding. Wedding planners take years to build up close relationships with suppliers they love who have the same standards as they have. A wedding planner will also negotiate on your behalf to save you money and will help you by getting the most out of your budget.
So you see there are big differences between a planner and a venue coordinator. A wedding planner will almost always come on board before you have even chosen your venue and will be the one that researches the right venues for you. Your wedding planner is your right hand man and personal PA throughout the entire process, from engagement to honeymoon and that’s why so many more couples are now investing in a planner, even when the venues they are looking at have coordinators. I hope that makes it a bit easier to understand and helps you decide whether you need a planner to make your planning journey less stressful.
Many Thanks to Carmela Weddings for sharing this informative post with us all today, I hope it has shed some light on the subject. If you have any questions on the above or any other areas of planning then you can get in contact or leave a comment in the box below.