A venue coordinator's job is to manage the venue, keep the kitchen operating smoothly, and prevent any rule breaking. Some might also help with overall setup and decor, but not all of them. What they generally don’t do is answer all the miscellaneous questions that pop up throughout the day. Such as:
- What time will the makeup artist arrive?
- When and where will the flowers be delivered?
- Who will arrange the table settings?
- Who will hit “play” on the iPod for our processional? What about the recessional?
- Where should the families go for formal pictures? And what time should they arrive?
- What time should the DJ announce dinner after the cocktail party?
- Who’s going to release tables for dinner?
- Who should sit where?
- When and where will the other wedding vendors eat?
- Who’s going to cut the cake after the bride and groom take the first slice?
- When should the DJ open the dance floor?
- Who will gather our guests for our sparkler send off?
- Who will make sure all our vendors are paid their balances at the end of the night?
Any wedding planner that you hire, not affiliated with the venue, should answer all these questions for you and then some. Here's why:
Working For You
A wedding planner's obligation is to you and no one else. They are on your team and not the venue’s team. While they will respect the venue's rules and regulations (because they will review your contract with the venue beforehand, as that is part of their job in taking care of you), they will also do whatever they possibly can to execute your day, according to how you dreamed.
You don’t have to take my word for it, and of course, there are some notable exceptions in the St. Louis area. But, generally speaking, venue coordinators are not really coordinators. They’re managers, and they’re great at managing!
Weddings are unpredictable, fast-paced, chaotic events. Just like all couples, each one is unique. So if you can hire someone who knows exactly what you want and isn’t afraid to take on an array of uniquely chosen tasks, isn’t that just the person you want to coordinate your day?
Questions to Ask the Venue
If you are thinking about using the venue’s coordinator, ask them questions that will tell you exactly whether or not they will be able to support you in the way you need on the one day you’ll need it most.
- Can we email you before our wedding and how long can we expect to wait between responses?
- Will you send us a timeline that we can review with you before our wedding?
- Will you be there for our rehearsal the day before?
- How accessible will you be on the day of our wedding? Will you always be available or where can we find you, if we need you?
Research, Research, Research!
In the beginning stages of planning your wedding, don’t assume every service your venue suggests is the best for you. Whether it’s a service they offer or something on their “preferred vendors” list, research other options. Ask your married friends about their wedding experience. They will let you know if they would do anything differently.
Talk to your photographer, videographer, and DJ! They’re loaded with experience, knowledge, and can tip you off to some of their favorite wedding professionals, ones they know who provide quality service and take excellent care of their clients. Most of them will recommend hiring a wedding planner, and for good reason. Weddings that have wedding planners are the best ones to work as a vendor. Going in you know everything will be smooth and on-time.
Teamwork is Required
Build your team! One that is truly enthusiastic about every part of who you are and what you’re hoping to experience at your wedding. Begin your marriage journey by surrounding yourself with all those who love and affirm this incredible decision you’re making, including all the people you’ve hired to be there. Because they could turn out to be good friends, too.
From Josh & Heather
Josh has been the DJ at hundreds of wedding receptions and ceremonies. Whenever the couple has a wedding planner he knows it will be a good day. We always recommend hiring a wedding planner, no matter how small the wedding. The planner will remove much of the stress of the day and allow you to really enjoy it!