Wedding Venue Coordinator vs Wedding Coordinator

A question I hear much too often is: “Why do I need to hire a wedding coordinator when my venue is already providing one? Well, the answer is quite simple. A wedding coordinator and venue event coordinator is not the same thing, but sadly, most couples do not find out until its too late! “

Allow me to begin with a scenario

Recently, I worked with a couple on their First Dance at Villa Incanta’s Dance School. As we progressed through the lessons I inquired (as any good business woman would) whether they were employing a day-of coordinator for the ceremony and reception. Since the couples venue was providing an event coordinator they were under the misconception that they were one in the same. Not knowing they didn’t have a wedding coordinator, the couple chose to only use solely our Dance Lesson services.

When the big day arrived, they found out how stressful and frustrating managing the ceremony schedule and reception activities would be. While the couple had taken it upon themselves to create a schedule they didn’t know the venues event coordinator was not going to insure its implementation. Without someone to manage the schedule, unfortunately, a 1 hour delay resulted before the ceremony began. While the delay was unfortunate, the bigger problem was the added cost due to the delay. The venue was booked for a particular length of time period and any time past their contracted period would and did cost them additional fees.

It gets better (or worse) to start the reception our couple was ready to present their First Dance as man and wife. As the song came on and the couple walked in they quickly realized the DJ was playing the wrong song! They had a special edit of their music done and this was not it, they were mortified. A dance they had prepared so hard for, quickly crumbled and there was no one to manage the issue and get the DJ on track. Wedding coordinator? There wasn’t one, just a venue event coordinator, who wasn’t there to manage their issues and, more than likely (as this was a popular site) was possibly been busy with another wedding on the property.

Unfortunately were not done with the story. As the couple walked off, dinner service was to have started immediately. Forty minutes later and no dinner the guests began to show signs of unrest, openly discussing what was taking so long to serve dinner. Finally dinner arrives and our couple thought their problems were at an end. Wrong. When the guests were waiting for the delayed dinner to be served they drank to fill time. Not a problem right? After the wedding the couple learned that while they had set a limit on the cost of the open bar, there was no one there to manage it. Our couple ended up having to pay an additional $1200 in bar expenses.

The couple quickly discovered that while they thought they would be served by using a venue event coordinator and save on wedding expenses, the reality was the added expenses of the delays, frustration, and embarrassment soon dismissed that notion.

So, whats the point of all this? It would have been cheaper (and more fun) to hire a wedding coordinator and assure all wedding activities were completed properly, smoothly, and on time. This scenario is not all that uncommon. Chaos and confusion is to be expected when someone isn’t present to assure the smooth execution of the days plan.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against Venue event Coordinators. In fact, I find them quite helpful, but their responsibilities are not to plan and execute the wedding. Their responsibility is to make sure they execute their part of the agreement (tables, chairs, bar service, etc.) and follow the venues time schedule. Unlike a wedding coordinator, they work for the venue not you, and may in fact be working on a couple of weddings at the same time as yours.

A wedding coordinator on the other hand, such as Villa Incanta’s Wedding Concierge Services, takes note of a couples dream wedding concept as well as their budget and creates a memorable event. They contact vendors, quite often receive discounts from vendors (saving you money), order wedding items, assure all remains within budget, handle emergencies, maintain and monitor a schedule, and much, much more. A wedding coordinators biggest responsibility, however, is to make sure that on your big day, you’re not worried about managing wedding activities, but rather enjoying this event of a lifetime.