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.
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.