Venue vs. Independent Coordinator – What’s the difference?

The venue coordinator and independent wedding planner each provide the necessary tools to create an unforgettable celebration.

The venue coordinator and independent wedding planner each provide the necessary tools to create an unforgettable celebration.

This such an important question that clients want to know! They have a lot invested in their event and don’t want to duplicate efforts. It’s confusing, right - don’t both help plan the event and curate the team? Of course, but nothing is ever that simple.

I recently discussed this topic on the Bitchless Bride Podcast with Vanessa Welch, an amazing catering sales manager, who was most recently at the Ritz Carlton Boston. The feedback was incredible, so I wanted to break it down and provide an honest, simplified outline of the roles…pour a cup of coffee or glass of wine and dive into what it is we do!

Create the Action Plan

An independent planner will create a detailed action plan with customized tasks and deadlines. This will keep the planning process on track and make it more enjoyable. 

Curating Your team

 A venue coordinator will provide a preferred list of industry professionals. These are creatives they have worked with and are familiar with the venue. An independent planner will take it a step further and curate your team based on personalities, style and overall vision and who we feel are the best fit.

Attend Meetings

An independent planner will often attend the meetings during and after the selection process to provide input and analyze the options for you. On average, the venue coordinator is working on 50-75 events a year where an independent planner is probably only working on 8-12 weddings/events. While both will offer high-level service,  we as independent planners have the ability to offer a ultra concierge level experience, which is what our clients expect.

 Design, Design, Design

A venue coordinator is typically not going to be involved in the design process or attend design meetings to explore florals, linens and rental items such as lounge furniture, bars and other custom details.  A full-service, independent planner will play a huge role in the process and attend meetings and help create custom inspiration and mood boards. We often come into the client's home to get a better sense of their style. We'll even attend dress fittings with clients. We want to be a part of every aspect of the event so we can develop a personal relationship with our clients and create the trust that results in amazing celebrations. 

It's a team effort

So the big takeaway? Both play crucial roles in the execution of an event. The venue coordinator and their team will ensure the service is spectacular and venue experience is magical. Any allergies or dietary restrictions will be addressed in a thoughtful way. Someone doesn’t drink red wine, your venue coordinator will make sure they have their beverage of choice. An independent wedding planner will oversee the logistics throughout the planning process, make it enjoyable and ensure the entire team you’ve curated has all the tools needed to do their job.


Wedding Crashers Are No Joke

Don’t Let Unwanted Guests Ruin Your Wedding Day

Don’t Let Unwanted Guests Ruin Your Wedding Day

We all know the movie Wedding cCrashers, but it’s just a movie, right? People crashing to meet singles or drink for free doesn’t really happen. Well it does and recently one individual has taken it a step further, stealing gifts and cards at several weddings leaving the bride and groom with a nightmare end to their magical day.

Currently, authorities are currently looking for a woman in Texas who they believe has been involved in several thefts at weddings.  It’s gone beyond a funny fad into serious business that can ruin a couple’s special day. As a wedding planner, unwanted guests are something we need to be aware of throughout the event. In many cases, we are the first to spot a suspicious person and can be the first defense in keeping unwanted guests away.

So how do you spot suspicious guests and hopefully avoid this from happening to you?

There are some simple steps you can implement to ensure no one is able to walk away with valuables and personal belongings.


#1. Lock Up Your Cards

Make sure cards are kept in a box that locks securely and the key is kept in a safe place. If available, assign one person to have cards locked in the venue’s safe where you can keep track of the number of cards and only one person (who you trust) has access.

2.     Encourage guests to have gifts sent before the wedding. This is becoming more the norm and will reduce the number of gifts brought to the wedding and less for a thief to take.

3.     Assign someone to monitor gifts or ask the venue if they can provide a person to do this. They should monitor the area where gifts are presented and then they can move them to a locked room.

4.    If you don’t have someone to watch gifts and cards, make sure they are kept somewhere that is not easily accessible to the public. Many times gifts and cards are kept near the entrance, but this makes it easy for thieves to help themselves.

5.    Some venues require guests to sign in and provide an ID. This may seem unnecessary and inconvenient for your guests, but it adds another layer of protection. And really, if it stops someone from ruining your day, isn’t it worth it? If this seems extreme, talk to your venue about options for security and having someone discreetly monitoring the area and guests for any suspicious activity.

Weddings should be about joy and laughter and it’s a sad reality that others are taking advantage of these celebrations for their own gain. We hope this is a trend that will fade quickly, but taking a few steps to ensure unwanted guests don’t ruin your day is priceless, right?