So often I hear brides say "I don't need to hire a wedding coordinator....my venue has one." While this is GREAT because venue coordinators can indeed help you with many things, it is only to a certain scope.
Let me preference and say - this is nothing against venue coordinators. Most of them are great and I enjoy working with them - this is simply to make the point that the responsibilities and duties of a venue coordinator vs a wedding coordinator are indeed different.
A venue coordinator's main job is to look out for the best interest of their employer, the venue. A wedding coordinator is looking out for YOUR best interest. The venue coordinator's responsibilities can often include things like overseeing catering set up, checking for restroom cleanliness and other duties pertaining directly to the venue. A wedding coordinator will deal with aspects that pertain to you, such as décor setup and ensuring everything is to your specifications. A wedding coordinator's number one job is ensuring the entire day runs smoothly from start to finish - they are hired and hand selected by YOU!
Another very important item to note - if your ceremony is at a location other than your venue, such as a church, your wedding coordinator will also be there with you. A wedding coordinator stays by your side throughout majority of the day and night. They are there to notify you when things such as cake cutting, bouquet toss, dances, etc. will be taking place through the night. They typically even stay until the end of the night when all your guests are gone. While a venue coordinator will do their best to keep you happy on the big day, they likely won't be on their knees bustling your dress, loading up your gifts at the end of the night, or holding on to your lip-gloss for when you need to reapply.
Wedding coordinators will step in and begin assisting you in the final weeks leading up to your wedding. Your vendors will also all be contacted by your wedding coordinator to make sure everyone is confirmed and knows what time they will be arriving. While the venue may contact some vendors, like caters for setup details, it is not common that all are contacted. Your photographers, hair and make up artists will not be contacted by a venue coordinator which puts that on the couple's to -do list.
In simple terms, a venue coordinator's responsibilities can include:
Schedule tours of the venue
Handle your venue contract
Be present during set up and/or reception
Manage on-site venue staff
Ensure the reception ends at the designated time on the contract
Unlock and lock venue on the wedding day
Set up tables and chairs
Ensure all venue rules such as noise restrictions, smoking areas, no candles, etc. are being followed
Take care of "emergency" issues such as clogged toilets, spills, etc.
While a wedding coordinator's responsibilities usually include:
Review vendor contracts
Ensure no planning details have been skipped over
Create a full wedding day timeline for you and your vendors
Have an emergency kit on hand for items like needles and thread, stain remover, Band-Aids,etc.
Act as a liaison between your family, friends and vendors
Set up and pack up personal items like your guest book, bridal photo, etc.
Coordinate grand entrance, dances, bouquet toss, grand exit, etc.
Be responsible for your personal items like phone, lip-gloss, change of shoes
Assist with dress bustle
Ensure the doing is running according to the timeline and ensure the vendor team has everything they need for the event to be successful
These are just a few things to think about when it comes to deciding if you could benefit from hiring a wedding coordinator.
Once again, this is nothing against venue coordinators - their jobs are SO important and they are so awesome to work with! But as a couple planning a wedding it is important to be aware of the differences between the two so you can make the best decision for your big day!