The Difference Between Venue Coordinators and Wedding Planners

It’s a question we get all the time: What is the difference between venue coordinators and wedding planners? While both are important vendors, they play different roles! Ultimately venue coordinators are in charge of the venue and wedding planners are primarily focused on the couple. Of course all vendors want you to have the best wedding day possible, but each person is focused on their specific role and responsibilities. So what are the differences? Read on to see!

Venue Coordinators

Focused on the Venue

Venue coordinators are primarily focused on the venue because they work for the venue. This means they are thinking about the venue functionality with things like building access, managing staff, overseeing on site services like food & beverage, checking to see that amenities (like bathrooms) are ready, etc. They are working to ensure the venue is in pristine condition and ready for your wedding!

Wedding Day

While venue coordinators do some work ahead of time, especially at venues that offer furniture, linen, food, and beverage in house, the bulk of their work happens on the wedding day. All venues operate a bit differently and some venue coordinators are more involved ahead of the wedding, but usually their primary focus is the wedding day itself.


Your venue coordinator is included in the cost of renting your venue. This person is included from the beginning of when you book your venue. It is not generally not an additional cost, but rather something that included in the venue’s fee.

[Learn More About Planning In Our Course: Design Your Wedding Day]

Wedding Planners

Focused on the Couple

While venue coordinators certainly want to serve the couple as well, ultimately they’re responsible for the venue first. Alternatively, wedding planners work for you! Their focus is on you. It’s the planner’s job to make sure things stay on time, logistics are organized, all vendors are doing what they’re contracted for, as well as helping coordinate the couple and wedding party! Wedding planners are the main point of contact for the couple and venue coordinators are the main point of contact for the venue.

Weeks and Months Prior to the Wedding

Wedding planners, even just wedding management (month-of coordination), are working with the couple several weeks and even months prior to the wedding to ensure everything is in place. There is much more planning ahead of time, some with the venue, but with all the rest of the vendor team as well.

Additional Service

Hiring a wedding planner is an additional vendor and something that is separate from your venue rental. As wedding planners, we see the value in hiring a planner. However, we also understand that it may not be in everyone’s budget. But at least having knowledge of what a planner does helps you to know where you or family/friends start. You may need to help fill in some gaps to make your wedding day everything you want it to be.

Now that you know the difference between venue coordinators and wedding planners, do you need both? Ultimately having both a venue coordinator and wedding planner can be a huge help on your wedding day. It’s important to understand the difference so you know what you need, what you’re paying for, and know everyone’s role and responsibilities.

Whether you hire a wedding planner or not, you might need some support on planning a wedding (or helping a friend plan).  Is getting everyone on the same page a bit like herding cats? Use this template to communicate with your wedding party or family about dress code, rehearsal times, day-of responsibilities, and other important expectations. Trust us, they will thank you for it!

Madi + Griffin’s Wedding Vendors

Planning: Ponderosa Planning
Venue, Catering, Bar: Sunriver Resort
Florist: Wild Poppy Florist
Photographer and Videographer: Amanda Meg Photography
Lighting: AVMS
DJ: Flip Flop Sounds
Rentals: Heirlooms & Co.
Desserts: Crumb Cakery
Signage: Bespoken Creative

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