I was speaking to a previous corporate client (and friend) of mine today; she will be getting married in just under a month and I was helping her work out the kinks with one of her vendors. I asked her how the planning was going and she told me she is on her 4th venue coordinator, so it was a little frustrating.
The first coordinator, who was very well-rated review-wise, left the venue to start her own wedding planning business – and her assistant, the second coordinator, would be taking over for her. After a few months, the assistant was promoted to a new position at another part of the property and her wedding was taken over by a third coordinator. I’m not sure why the third coordinator left, but her wedding is now being managed by the Director of HR for the venue (the fourth coordinator).
At each point of transfer, my friend had to reiterate all of her wedding planning details (even thought she had already filled out a 14-page questionnaire early on). Often, she would find mistakes that needed to be corrected (and could have been found in the questionnaire). Also, the initial awesome coordinator had offered her concessions the replacements now needed to see in writing. They even tried to switch up the bar pricing, despite her being grandfathered in to the pricing that existed when she signed her contract. What a headache!
The biggest different between a Wedding Planner and a Venue Coordinator is just that – we work for you, not for the venue. Our commitment is always to you, regardless if the 3rd, 4th or 5th venue coordinator leaves or tries to change pricing or policy – we advocate for you.
While this is the most important part, often venues call their Venue Coordinators, “Wedding Planners” and they are not quite that. They do not call your DJ and confirm his arrival time, setup needs, etc. They do not stay until the end (they often leave after dinner). They do not handle the entirety of your wedding – just the venue.
Venue Coordinators are still awesome – we love them and we love working with them. They are experts at their venue, help us navigate issues with the property and become a crucial part of our team (even that 4th Coordinator). Just don’t be fooled by a venue’s clever marketing, selling their valuable venue coordinator as a “wedding planner,” because they are not interchangeable.
If you’re getting married and don’t have a wedding planner yet – contact us to setup a Complimentary Initial Meeting today. We’d love to be your advocate on your wedding day!