Wedding Planner vs. Venue Coordinator
A wedding planner and venue coordinator are not one and the same. They may share similiar responsibilties and work together on the day of the event but they essentially have different functions and priorities. It is better to have knowledge before making a decision that could turn a beautiful event into a complete disaster. You are not paying for the same service twice. Wedding planners plan your vision for the day, venue coordinators work for the venue and may not be able to ensure everything runs as scheduled.
Picture this scenario: you are having a ceremony and reception in different locations and you are behind schedule getting to the reception hall due to an unexpected delay. The venue coordinator is going to follow what is on the schedule. You as the bride and groom will not have time to deal with communicating a delay issue to the venue.
Wedding planners have one priority: making your day flawless and smooth. They have a greater knowledge of what your day will look like. They will know every detail and will be on hand in case any issues arise. They will work and communicate with the venue if any issues arise. They will also ensure that the expectations of the couple are enforced by the venue. If anything goes wrong, they take care of it. Wedding planners build a team of professionals that will work with your budget, style and vision for your event. A wedding planner will also help you with proper etiquette for the day. There are a team of people who consult the wedding planner as far as where to put deliveries, how to set up, how to handle timing issues and delays, etc.
A venue coordinator is the ambassador for the venue. They act a a liasion between the venue operations team and the couple. They arrange menu tastings, event layout, etc. You will most likely not hear from them until a month before the wedding. They make sure the venue is set up according to what was discussed and they stick to the schedule that was outlined in the original agreement. If you're having a church ceremony the venue coordinator will not be able to help with that. Most of their suppliers are those who they have worked with and are paid on commission but with a wedding planner, most suppliers have built a relationship with that planner and have certain quality expectations because of this.
There is also a difference between the church coordinator and a wedding coordinator. Church coordinators usually help facilitate your ceremony but they don't actually get involved in the details of planning it.
I hope this helps those of you who are considering hiring a wedding planner and want to know more in depth about the different roles.