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  • Writer's pictureRiley

Venue Coordinator vs. Day of Coordinator: How to choose what's right for you!

You got engaged. You’re looking at wedding venues. The venue sales person says “a coordinator is included in booking the venue!” You think “wow, how convenient!” But what does this really mean?


As a former venue coordinator and current self employed wedding planner, I see this in nearly every single client consultation. So, let’s break down to every single detail. Let this be the complete and total guide to what you actually need for your wedding day!

Let’s preface this by saying I have nothing against venue coordinators – in fact, working as a venue coordinator is how I got my start in weddings. A venue coordinator is employed by the venue. This often means that the venue coordinator is also responsible for venue sales, tours, operations AND coordinating weddings.

A Day of Coordinator is often self-employed or working for a coordination business and are always intentionally hired. Therefore, Day of Coordinators can sometimes dedicate more time and energy into the wedding they’re providing services for.


Let’s dive into the complete breakdown of what exactly you can expect from each type of coordinator. Keep in mind this is only my experience and there certainly might be exceptions!

​VENUE COORDINATOR

DAY OF COORDINATOR

VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS

Will only communicate and manage vendors pertaining to the venue - catering, deliveries, DJ

Will communicate and manage all vendors, including photography, hair/makeup

COST

Often included in venue package making it more cost effective

Price varies by location, experience, and time with the coordinator, but usually starts at a minimum of $500+

PLANNING TIME

Sporadic planning throughout venue consultations. Coordinator may not know who’s wedding they’re coordinating until the week of

Communication usually starts about a month before your wedding

SET - UP TIME

Usually about 1-2 hours, but could be more or less depending on venue activities that day

Depends on client’s needs, but usually at least 2 hours

CEREMONY COORDINATION

Only coordinates Venue Ceremony

Coordinates ceremony regardless of location

REHEARSAL COORDINATION

Only coordinates Venue Rehearsal

Coordinates rehearsal regardless of location

TIMELINE MANAGEMENT

Will ensure the venue has an accurate timeline for all activities pertaining to the venue. Will be the point of contact for making changes to the timeline and initiating activities until they leave.


Banquet Captain, Venue Supervisor, or DJ will control timeline after coordinator leaves


Will ensure all vendors have an accurate timeline that they created and distributed beforehand. Will be the point of contact for making changes to the timeline and initiating activities throughout the event

TIME WITH COORDINATOR

Will start communicating with the client when they arrive at the venue. Coordinator rarely stays past cocktail hour - generally hands off responsibilities to a Banquet Captain or Venue Supervisor

Starts communicating with the client at the beginning of the day. Often stays through the entire event, or up until Open Dancing

DECOR

Will set up decor according to notes on their BEO (Banquet Event Order). BEO’s are often written by multiple people and may not be the most clear

Will set up decor according to their notes, based on conversations, consultations, and requests expressed prior to the wedding.

PERSONABILITY

Venues often have high turnover rates. The coordinator may not always be guaranteed and may not even be assigned to the wedding until the week or day of. The coordinator might not know or have a relationship with the couple

Often chosen by the client after consultations, interviews, proposals, and a signed contract

EMERGENCIES

Will handle emergencies pertaining to the venue that happen at the venue (set up not quite right, food not ready).


Might have emergency bridal kit for clients to use


Will handle all emergencies pertaining to the client.


Usually has emergency bridal kit for clients to use



So, what’s the takeaway? Ultimately, you and your partner will have to decide what is the most beneficial to you. It’s all about your specific wants and needs and what ultimately will serve you best on your wedding day!


Check out this flow chart to see what we would recommend based on certain logistics:





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