Let me start off by saying one of the most important similarities a Wedding Venue Coordinator and Day-of Coordinator in Austin, TX have in common is that we BOTH want your wedding to go off without any issues and for your day to be as happy and fulfilling as it possibly can be. But there are some key differences that we (the wedding venue coordinator and the wedding coordinator) both wish couples knew before going into the wedding day...
1. Your venue coordinator only will know what vendors are arriving to property and when, but they will not know what is in your contracts, or make sure your vendors bring and do what you hired them to do - not because they don't want to - it's just not their job - it's like asking the band to make sure the florist arrives on time - that's really not what the band does - they are the entertainment If vendors don't show up on time, your onsite venue coordinator's job isn't to be on the phone tracking them down. They likely will come to you and let you know so you will end up having to deal with the issue. In fact, they really aren't interested in making sure the vendors are set in place - that is not what they get paid to do. If transportation doesn't show up, or there aren't enough Bridesmaid bouquets, the DJ forgot uplighting - these mishaps happen and will go without someone in charge. Wedding venue coordinators will not be able to review your orders and answer vendor questions regarding your orders or your specific needs because they never see the orders and they really aren't interested in seeing them. In fact as your Wedding Day Girl (us - your day-of coordinator), we usually send the venue coordinator a 1-page information sheet so they have the details that they really want to build their orders that the catering team uses and you sign off on - it's simple - and the venue coordinator does an even better job because we informed them of exactly what they need to do to deliver their venue's best face - no detail left untouched when your one of our clients.
2. Your venue coordinator's main goal is to make sure their venue delivers what is in their contract - which means, that they will not orchestrate your flow of events either - for example - they won't remind your Best Man that it's almost time to give his toast, or help you and your wedding party with grand entry - IE. find the missing Groomsmen at the bar, or go look for your photographer to make sure they get a picture of Mom and Grandma. Their job is to make sure that when guests arrive to property, they have a great venue experience - not overall wedding experience and what I mean by that is - they aren't delivering the entire vendor team as a whole, that is something your day-of coordinator would be in charge of - the overall wedding experience.
3. Your venue coordinator may have other events going on other than yours, so if there is a delayed response on the day-of or via email, it's because they are handling other important events on other properties or possibly even showcasing their property because your wedding looks so beautiful, it's the best time to sell their venue to other potential Bride & Grooms or couples - "in action". There is a real lag time with when you arrive to property and when food service begins - the venue coordinator is usually not spending time onsite overseeing setup, in the room - they are working on their primary job - which is selling the property either with other couples or in their office or preparing to deliver your venue experience. You will however, find your wedding day coordinator moving decor into your wedding reception room, setting things up, reviewing orders with vendors, going over timeline questions - you name it - the day-of coordinator is making sure the overall wedding experience is going to be the best it can be for you.
4. Your venue coordinator isn't trained to help you design your wedding, likewise, they probably aren't interested in giving any input regarding your menu design or the look of the place cards - they just want to know if you have menus or not and if your place cards have menu signifiers on it so the food service staff knows what to serve you. So they aren't crazy about emails asking about things unrelated to your venue needs - IE. What do you think about the DJ changing the lighting after dinner to something more fun? Do you have recommendations on how Bride's setup their escort card displays? Can you tell me who my Mom should walk with down the aisle? - these questions are for a wedding day coordinator, NOT a venue coordinator.
5. Your venue coordinator wants you to have people in place to clean up your decor and what you brought to the property at the end of the night. They aren't interested in folding linens or putting away photos or making sure centerpieces get taken home. They just want their property cleaned, everything taken and venue undamaged when you leave - because a lot of properties have events the next day. They likely are not going to load anything in cars or take things to your Parent's suite, drop off at a nearby home for you, or keep items for you until the next week like a day-of coordinator would. If they do cleanup for you, its likely going to be service staff cleaning, and items will just get put in bins vs. wrapped up and gently placed back where they came from.
6. Your venue coordinator has no interest in helping you with outside issues related to anything, but the venue, food and venue's setup and take down. If your dress breaks, she really has no experience in helping you fix that issue - she might refer you to someone, bustling your bridal gown or making sure that the DJ doesn't play the wrong song and telling him to change it. Likewise at the end of the night, if there is any discrepancies with the venue regarding damage - your venue coordinator will side with the venue because that's on them - your day-of coordinator is your representative in the issues. I once had a couple who hired a small band, when the venue turned on the dishwasher the breaker flipped and power went out - luckily it was at the end of the night, so it was perfect timing, but I knew I had a even bigger band for another wedding coming in 2 weeks to the venue and I knew that breaker would flip early on with the power that band was bringing. I made sure that in advance I brought this up to the couple, when we approached the venue on the issue, the venue was going to charge the couple to bring in a generator for them - we stuck our nose out for the couple on that one and negotiated that the venue pay for that generator.
7. Some venue coordinators will not do any setup whats so ever - escort cards, place cards, ceremony decor, cocktail hour decor, signage, hanging anything, creative elements,etc. Often times the catering staff will setup your menus - but that's about it. Make sure you ask your venue coordinator what they will and won't do - and if it's the trusted wedding coordinator you have setting it up, or if it's someone else. Also, will you need someone with design skills to handle your setup? If so, is your venue coordinator the right person, or how about a Wedding Day Girl - a day-of coordinator with a wedding design background?
8. When it comes to rehearsal, in my experience, a lot of venue coordinators are present, but they aren't going to go into detail regarding your ceremony. There job is to tell you where you will walk in and out from when it comes to their property. A day-of coordinator will do that, as well as make sure your parents are sitting in the right spots, the bridal party is standing how they should, bouquets in the right spot, walking at the right pace, the exchange of father to groom goes smoothly, etc etc. A wedding day-of coordinator at Wedding Day Girl will also make any announcements and reminders for the next day so everyone knows where and when they need to be somewhere. It's also a great opportunity to clear anything up that anyone has questions about, so your wedding day-of coordinator can answer any of those. Your venue coordinator will likely not know those answers.
9. A venue timeline is very different from a wedding day timeline - a venue timeline will encompass everything the venue needs to be aware of and responsible for. A wedding day timeline at Wedding Day Girl has ALL the details - from when makeup starts, to when the Groomsmen begin getting ready, your photography schedule, to any dress changes, ceremony details, music timeline, food service, cleanup etc.. It's all in there - the day-of coordinator timeline is all encompassing - no detail left out. A venue coordinator's timeline is a timeline in it's simplest form and again only has to do with the details of the venue. Venue Coordinators do not have the time to put together detailed wedding timelines - don't expect them to.
10. Venue coordinators do about 4-5x the weddings and events that a day-of coordinator does - a day-of coordinator at most may do somewhere between 20-30 weddings a year - at the most. So imagine the workload of both - while a venue coordinator does over 100 weddings and events a year, they don't have the time to answer ALL the random questions you may have about your wedding, they don't have time to build the detail of your wedding, and they don't have the time to spend all day hands on at your event from start to finish like us Wedding Day Girls. There is a reason that day-of coordinators don't take on 100 weddings, it's because the detail that needs to go into organizing all your vendors, building their timelines within a master timeline, and being hands on from your wedding rehearsal all the way to wedding day through clean-up and post wedding services - like handling discrepancies with the venue or with vendors that didn't do the job they were contracted to do. Your venue coordinator is going to give you your venue experience, your wedding day-of coordinator is going to give you the wedding of your dreams.
“Your venue coordinator is going to give you your venue experience, your wedding day-of coordinator is going to give you the wedding of your dreams.”
Wedding Day Girl