Difference Between an Independent Wedding Planner and an On-Site Venue Coordinator

If you’ve chosen to have your wedding at a full service wedding venue, chances are there’s an on-site (or venue) coordinator who will be there to make sure your day runs smoothly. While that’s certainly a huge weight off of your shoulders, there is a difference between an on-site coordinator and a wedding planner.

Although these two individuals strive to work synergistically together and to not compete against one another, many brides and grooms don’t know the difference between the two. An on-site coordinator does much of what a wedding planner does, but only up to a certain point. An on-site coordinator’s job description has boundaries, but a wedding planner’s duties are next to unlimited.

An on-site coordinator does quite a bit to manage the details of your wedding, which is what causes confusion for many brides and grooms. Your on-site coordinator can often give answers about that particular venue and how other weddings have run throughout the seasons, which gives them expertise. However, an on-site coordinator may not be required to do certain things, such as facilitate your rehearsal or work with other wedding vendors, in which case, a bride and groom may be left feeling uneasy and insecure. At the end of the day, an on-site coordinator is there to represent the property, but not necessarily the bride and groom themselves. Rather than managing your every wish for your wedding day, they may be there to make sure you’re getting what you were promised in your venue’s contract. Your wedding planner will be there every step of the way, making sure you’re getting not only what your venue’s contract states, but what all of your vendors’ contracts state. They’ll get to know you and your soon-to-be spouse, and will represent you and your wishes, not just the property.

Make no mistake; there is without a doubt some overlap between a wedding planner and an on-site coordinator. The best suggestion I can give is to interview your on-site coordinator well, identify exactly what their duties include, and hire a wedding planner to pick up where the on-site coordinator leaves off and to fill in any blanks. Your wedding planner will prepare things exactly the way you envision them while you’re busy living your life in the months leading up to your wedding.


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