Tuesday Tutorial – "Advising Clients on the Differences Between a Wedding Planner and a Venue Coordinator" by Susan Parrish

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Wedding Planner or Venue Coordinator?

Your role as a Wedding Planner is a close one with your clients as you are acting closely and solely for them and the services they want from you. Many venues have an employed event team looking after their weddings and their roles and titles vary between different venues. Brides and grooms often find it confusing as they are called anything from Wedding Coordinators to Wedding Planners. You may get an enquiry from a couple and be quite excited to meet them only to come up against this being a reason why they may not hire you!
Its something I have heard frequently as a Wedding Planner and it’s good to be aware of the differences in the two roles so you can confidently answer their objections. Then they will hopefully hire you to do a good job for them! Most couples recognise the importance of having a well organised and trouble free wedding day reflecting their personality and with a look to wow their guests! So many consider hiring the services of a Wedding Planner when they think about how much help they will need before their big day. Some wonder if a family member can do this for them and others rely on the Venue Coordinator to fill this role without fully understanding the differences. Many have no idea of how much time it takes a wedding professional to organise a wedding and how much there is to be done!
Wedding Planner or Venue Coordinator
A Wedding Planner will be on hand throughout the planning process from maybe up to 18 months prior to a wedding from the engagement. They get to know and understand their couples and exactly what they want to deliver their dream wedding. He or she is hired by the couple and works with their choices, decisions, budget, suppliers, and requests and makes sure that everything goes to plan for them.
Most venues offer a member of their wedding team to be their point of contact when a couple sign a contract with them for their wedding. As a planner for a couple you will work regularly with Venue Coordinators when organising weddings for your clients. It is this area where it gets confusing for couples as the On-Site Coordinator has a very different role to the Wedding Planner as they are employed by the venue.
The On-Site Coordinators are usually particularly good and helpful for answering questions in connection with your chosen venue, the menu selection and the final details for the reception and makes sure that the venue fulfills the contract they have with couple. Most venues also have lists of wedding suppliers but they are not selected for each couples circumstances or budget, and staff employed by the venue may not always give an overall independent view of suitable suppliers. An On-Site Coordinator may also have several weddings on the same weekend and its not feasible for them to have the same focused relationship with each of their clients as a Wedding Planner. Some may even have the day off on the wedding day, or leave the event once the meal has been served.

So is there a need for both a Wedding Planner and an On-site Coordinator to be involved in the same wedding?

The answer is definitely yes as they both have a role to play in the success of a wedding. Both will meet together several times prior to the wedding and can work well together. They will both have the same aims for the couple but the On-Site Coordinator often has boundaries to his or her role and may be pulled in several directions by their duties for the venue, and may have many more weddings in their portfolio to handle at any one time. As a Wedding Planner you will play a key part in the planning of a wedding day and will want to work with anyone else to make sure your bride and groom have a fabulous wedding day. Enjoy your planning!
Here at the Academy we offer specialist training at various levels for would be Wedding Planners, with our Diploma in Wedding and Event Planning, the Certificate in Wedding Planning and the Advanced Diploma in Special Event Planning & Design. Find out more about your local campus and the courses on offer here.


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David Tutera

Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle.

He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining. Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business.

Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera’s natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.

Honored by Life & Style Magazine as “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” David’s impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones’ wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong’s wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce’s wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Lil’ Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.

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