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Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator: What’s The Difference?

Congratulations – you’re engaged! Now you are looking at wedding venues and realizing that most come with a venue coordinator. Does this mean you don’t need a wedding planner? Could it be a 2 for 1 deal? Unfortunately, no. Wedding planners and venue coordinators serve completely different functions.

Here’s a quick rundown:

Wedding planners are responsible for, well, planning your wedding. This includes everything from booking vendors to creating timelines to managing the budget. Depending on the package you book, this could also include sourcing, curating, and finalizing your wedding design. Do dream of a custom bar? Handled. Need a neon sign of your names? Done. Need to talk through your photographer packages? Let’s jump on a call.

Venue coordinators, on the other hand, are responsible for coordinating the logistics of your wedding day at their venue. This means they will be your point of contact for anything related to the venue, from setup to tear down. They will also coordinate with your other vendors to ensure that everyone is on the same page come wedding day. However, they are not able to provide services for your wedding that extend outside of that scope. While they may be able to provide you with a preferred vendors list, they will not be the liaison for you with those vendors during the planning process. They will also not be able to help overall design questions outside of installation logistics or allowances.

Do not misunderstand – we DEEPLY respect venue coordinators! Depending on the venue, your venue coordinator may handle hundreds of weddings in a year, and they need to keep their scope limited to the protection and use of their venue. 

In recognition of the different scopes of work, many venues we work with in Virginia require that you hire an insured wedding coordinator or full-service planner to assist you with your planning process. If your venue does not require this, you may be tempted to go the DIY route and forego a wedding planner altogether. We would, of course, strongly advise against it. Wedding planners bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table – they’ve seen it all and know how to handle any curveballs that might come your way. Not to mention, they will save you a ton of time and stress in the long run.

If you’re on the fence about whether you need a wedding planner, let’s jump on a call! We would love to help you weigh the pros and cons of your specific situation.

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meet the planner carmen

Hi, I’m Carmen! I’m a wedding planner in Northern Virginia with a love of high-impact design details, well-executed timelines, and seamless event execution. I’m also a lawyer, a wife, a mother, an excellent cookbook recipe follower, and a cat foster mama!

Sound like your cup of tea? Let’s chat!

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