Saturday, April 17, 2021

Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator

 I found this article helpful in explaining the difference between the two roles.

The Difference Between A Wedding Planner And Venue Coordinator

"Unless you’re in the wedding industry, the differences between the two aren’t commonly known."


Summer McLane, Contributor


Alright ladies, let’s talk about the differences between venue coordinators and wedding planners. As a wedding planner, one of my biggest pet peeves is when a venue sells their in-house coordinator as an actual wedding planner. I’ve learned that unless you’re in the wedding industry, the differences between the two aren’t commonly known.

About 4 years ago, I received a frantic call from a bride who desperately needed help with her wedding which was 36 hours away. Yes…36 HOURS AWAY! When booking her venue, she said that the biggest selling point was that the venue came with a coordinator. She was told that hiring an outside planner would be a waste of money since she was already paying for one with her venue. Filling out a last-minute questionnaire from the venue, she thought it was odd that they asked who her coordinator for the day would be. She answered “you” with a smiley face. The next day, she received an email stating that the person who she had been working with for months wasn’t even going to be at her wedding. She was confused as to why the bride would think she’d be there…maybe because that’s what she was told? Luckily, I was able to step in and make magic happen.

Here are some of the key differences between a venue coordinator and a wedding planner:

1. Venue:

Venue Coordinator- They are responsible for everything that specifically deals with the venue. Tables, chairs, linens, food, etc. If the venue provides catering, their focus is to make sure that the kitchen and wait staff are scheduled according to their needs.

Wedding Planner- They are responsible for everything that comes with your venue AND making sure that your vendors know where and when they’re supposed to be. If the venue provides linens, it is the job of the wedding planner to choose the color based on the design of the wedding and to keep the quantities correct.

2. Vendors:

Venue Coordinator- The venue coordinator will most-likely provide a list of preferred vendors and that’s the extent of their involvement when it comes to interacting with the vendors.

Wedding Planner - Your wedding planner will schedule and attend your meetings with your vendors. They are the main point of contact between you and your vendors. If a vendor is lost or running late or is having an emergency, they’ll contact your wedding planner who will then put out the fire. Your wedding planner gives recommendations based on vendors they’ve worked with previously. They also review contracts; set up hotel room blocks, etc.

3. Timeline:

Venue Coordinator- Hotels that provide catering will have a timeline solely for their catering staff. Their timeline will center around when the food will be prepared and served. That’s it.

Wedding Planner - The wedding planner’s timeline details all aspects of the day from the time that the bride wakes up to the moment that the doors close. As a wedding planner, I have to know every single that is happening with every single person involved in the day. I schedule arrival times for all vendors, when the photos will be taken, what songs will be played for each dance, when the cake will be cut and when and where the sparkler send-off will be. We do it ALL.

4. Accessibility:

Venue Coordinator - You’re most likely sharing your venue coordinator with at least 100 other brides. This means delayed responses to phone calls and emails. This also means that you have to try to catch them during business hours.

Wedding Planner – Fortunately (and unfortunately), wedding planners are available almost 24/7. Of course there are exceptions but if you’re having an emergency, you can pick up the phone and send a quick text message. Your venue coordinator isn’t giving you their personal cell phone number.

5. Design.

Venue Coordinator – They’re not designing your wedding. Period.

Wedding Planner – They’ll design your ceremony and reception. They’ll choose your colors, linens, flowers, table set-up and design and so on and so on.

Brides, do not make the mistake of not hiring a wedding planner because your venue has a “wedding coordinator”. Planners do drastically different things and they’re more hands-on. Believe me, spend the money on a planner at the beginning so that you don’t have to find out in the middle of planning that you don’t actually have a planner, but a venue coordinator.


Monday, February 8, 2021

Michelle and Donald-Eisenhower House

      Michelle was getting married to Donald, with or without COVID! She wrote a letter to the Governor, she was focused on everything she needed to do to make her wedding go on safely and follow the state guidelines. We had Plan B and Plan C, and when it was time for Michelle's wedding, Rhode Island was in such a good spot, she got to have the guest count she had hoped for and the wedding she dreamed of. Michelle and I started planning her wedding before anyone knew what COVID was. She had picked Eisenhower House, but was unsure of all the extra's she needed to pull her ideas together. She chose Blackstone Caterers, New England Tent, Ryan Designs for tent d├ęcor, Le Isle Rose as a florist, Melody Piling Photography and PEAK Events. Together this team created a beautiful event, outstanding food and a happy couple at the end of the night.   Congratulations to Michelle and Donald.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Giving Back 2020

 Last Sunday, I received an email from an organization that grants wishes. They had an 11 year old boy, who is terminal with bone cancer who wanted to live a life of the rich and famous. They had a house rented for him for this weekend and that is it. I went into crazy planning mode. With the help of awesome vendors, we planned a great weekend! He rode in style with transpiration provided by @rockstar_limo, ate like a king with food from @gloriousaffairs, went to @audrainautomuseum and the breakers for private tours and photos taken by @jennifernevesphotography. He had his own ice cream provided by @benandjerrys, desserts from @scrumptions_inc and my parents provided a candy bar. Please pray for Lou and his family during this extremely difficult time, as they really need our prayers.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Nicole and Morgan-Narragansett Home Wedding

      Nicole and Morgan had so many changes in their wedding plans due to COVID, but with all the necessary changes, managed to have a wonderful and special day with their closest friends and families. They had a gorgeous ceremony outside by the water in Narragansett, even with a little wind, managed to have a memorable ceremony with Nicole's brother as the officiant and sharing special stories and were married underneath an arbor built by Nicole's father.  Once the ceremony was over, guests headed back to the home of Nicole's parents and enjoyed a wonderful meal provided by Pranzi Catering. The Felix Brown Band played to a socially distance crowd and were incredible. The evening ended with a dessert buffet and late night snacks. What a wonderful day even with all the important changes! Congratulations Nicole and Morgan!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Microweddings-What are they? Should I have one?

     Microweddings have increased immensely due to Covid 19 this year.  This is a smaller version of both the ceremony and the reception, typically no more than 50 guests.  It is a super intimate wedding based of guests that are usually family and only close friends. Many couples don't look at it as a way to cut costs, but to provide more for their guests that they may have not been able to offer initially.  It is the perfect compromise if a couple still wants to get married in 2020 and does not want to postpone.  A smaller wedding may offer the opportunity to be more creative.  You could possible afford more florals or linens and decor, or add some lighting. You could move to a top shelf bar offerings and possibly an extra dessert or late night snack. A microwedding provides an opportunity to spend more time with your guests because there are not as many people to greet. Whether or not to have a microwedding is a personal choice. Many people want the larger wedding and are opting to postpone to 2021, And with many strict guidelines still in place in Rhode Island, the postponement means a full dance floor and a bar that guests can enjoy. No matter what you choose, it is between you and your spouse and what fits for you.  We are always here to help and answer your questions. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Hope is not cancelled...

     It is August, I have not done a wedding since October 2019.  This is the longest I have gone without a wedding in 15 years.  In this time, I feel like a part of me is missing. I love what I do, I am passionate about my work, I truly love the connection with my clients and I have established such wonderful and meaningful relationships with vendors over the years, not seeing them has been difficult.  But we have to hold on top hope, that we will get past this difficult time and watch the joy on couples faces as they say their vows.  We have to embrace the micro weddings, because for the time being, they are what is possible. In an uncertain time, we have to have hope that the love of couples about to be married will prevail and they will embrace the changes that the wedding will now have. In the end, what really matters is the love between two people, looking to share a lifetime together. For now, we have hope, we have to hold on to that with all we can.  I miss you all and can't wait to share in your memories soon. 

Friday, May 29, 2020

Kathy and Steve-Oceancliff

     I had such a wonderful time working with Kathy and Steve.  They were from New York and Kathy and I worked on the wedding for about 1 1/2 years.  After viewing a couple of different venues, they immediately fell in love with Oceancliff and the great team there.  It had everything that they needed and wanted for their wedding. I worked with them to match them with the perfect vendors for their wedding day, which included, Jennifer Neves Photography, Mike Picard Videography, Heavenly Weddings,Sayles Livingston Designs, Night Rhythm, JF3 Salon, and Scrumptions.  With a great team on their side, everything was absolutely seamless.  They had a gorgeous October day and could not have asked for a better back drop.  Their friend hired a painter to paint the first dance scene and it was amazing to watch. Congratulations to Kathy and Steve!

 Jennifer Neves and myself

 Almost done!