I never ever claim to know everything about the industry. I am constantly learning and figuring out ways to be a better business woman and planner so Hey Gorgeous can flourish while my clients get the best possible service. However, one thing I have learned pretty quickly is that there is a difference between what a personal wedding coordinator provides and what a venue coordinator does. I am not insinuating that one role is better than the other but simply stating that brides and grooms deserve to know the difference between the two so they can make an educated decision on whether a venue provided coordinator will suffice or if the personalized service of a coordinator hired elsewhere is better suited. Read on for my takes on the differences.
{Obligations} First and foremost, venue coordinators work for the venue. The often have a boss to report to and have a specific way of running their weddings/events. Their venue is their full time employer and in most circumstances will do everything to make you happy while remaining loyal to their employer. Venue coordinators have the experience under their belt, and have overseen the operation of a weddings, sometimes every weekend of the year. Often, venues have a high turnover rate of coordinators meaning the coordinator you may have dealt with at the start of your planning is now working elsewhere or has since moved to a new department.
As your personal wedding coordinator I work for you, the client. And your interests, likes and wants are my first priority no matter how unique, obscure or extravagant they are. I have no alternative motives to the things I tell you other than to make you happy, guide you into making the right decisions and if possible help you save money when and where applicable. I have no one but you and your significant other to report to and will do what it takes to make sure your standards are met. I will be by your side from the minute I am hired until the last guest goes home the day of.
{Services} A venue coordinator is responsible for and not limited to the following items: helping you select your menu, overseeing your food tastings, receiving your guest count, ensuring you pay your deposit and locking in your desired date. If applicable they refer you to other vendors that may work in connection with the venue (i.e. entertainment companies, linens and lighting vendors, bakeries, etc). On the day of the wedding they make sure their staff have set up the ceremony and reception areas as discussed, that the waitstaff and bartenders are handling food and beverages as noted and they help things run according to schedule. Some venue coordinators also ensure select personal and decor items are in place (like menu cards, centerpieces, favours, etc).
A personal wedding coordinator oversees every detail of your wedding day not just the details that pertain to the wedding venue. In my Pretty Little Package, which is for month of services, I provide a wealth of services like working with the venue coordinator to make sure the ceremony and reception set up is to the couples liking, ensuring your final payments have been made, and making sure any problems are taken care of promptly and professionally. I greet my brides the morning of their wedding day to make sure they are feeling happy and excited and I make sure their bouquet looks how they want. I make sure your dress is bustled properly and that your mascara isn’t smudged under your eyes. I make sure that before you walk down the aisle you take a deep breath as you embark on one of the most important walks of your life.
{Details} If you inquire, a venue coordinator will refer vendors that trust and have worked with before. They will suggest various options for set up, decor and presentation. They will share photos with you of past weddings to show what options are available. They will ensure that any detail relating to the venue, catering and banquet staff is under control and running as discussed and outlined in your contract.
A personal wedding coordinator has been hired to guarantee your wedding day unfolds in the most perfect way imaginable from start to finish. They will work closely with you, and your vendors to create a finely tuned timeline of the wedding day including when hair and make up should happen, where the first look should happen and what number your cousin from out of town should call should she run into an issue the day of (hint; not the bride! call the DOC first). A personal wedding coordinator is hired essentially for the purpose of making sure not one detail is overlooked. Think of your coordinator as your personal assistant the day of your wedding; and someone who will patiently read and respond to your e-mails about whether or not green hued-wedding shoes will look alright if you have a black satin ribbon wrapped around your bouquet :)

As a venue coordinator told me recently, when everyone works together, meaning both the venue coordinator and personal coordinator, everyone gets what they want; which is a happy bride and groom. I’d love to know did any of you hire a personal wedding planner? Why or why not? Do you wish you would have if you did not?