Why Hire A Wedding Planner When My Venue has a Venue Manager? Wedding Planner vs. Venue Manager and What the Differences are.

Event + Sales Manager, Allison Hutchins of Luxe Event Producitons
Photo: Bri Ryma | Venue: Castaway

Alright friends, let me set it straight and talk about the differences between venue managers and actual wedding planners. As a seasoned event producer who has coordinated, planned, produced and designed hundreds of weddings and events I can easily say one of my biggest pet peeves (and every planner I know) in the event/wedding industry is when a venue sells their in-house coordinator/manager as an actual wedding planner. Over the years I’ve learned that unless you’re in the wedding industry, the differences between the two aren’t commonly known. I have outlined it below, “V” is for Venue Manager + “C” is for Coordinator…

Wedding Planner vs. Venue Manager and What the Differences are.

V: Outlines your contractual and financial commitments and payment schedule to the venue. 

C: Develops a complete event design with your budget and vision in mind, contracts vendors and can coordinate contracts and payments, accompany you to vendor meetings, etc.

V: Details your event order outlining the event specifics and confirm any venue equipment needs. 

C: Ensures décor is cohesive, necessary vendors and services are accounted for and potential pitfalls are addressed.

V: Acts as menu consultant for all food and beverage selections while meeting the required contracted minimums.

C: Develops a detailed timeline for your entire wedding day, starting with the rehearsal, through hair and makeup, the ceremony and Reception details.

V: May provide a preferred vendors list or vendor recommendations specific to the venue’s preferred partners.

C: Confirms details with any contracted vendors several days prior to the wedding day. Check for mistakes. Be the liaison with your family, wedding party, vendors and venue staff.

V: Oversees the setup of the ceremony and reception venues as it pertains to existing venue equipment and/or package inclusions.

C: Works with you to organize and coordinate your ceremony rehearsal. Remind bridal party of all pertinent instructions on the wedding day.

V: Typically departs after the cake is cut and banquet manager takes over

C: Direct vendors as needed throughout day, style your personal décor, set place cards, favors and any personal décor items. Collaborate with Venue Coordinator on food service timing and any necessary changes.

V: Will not be able to be two places at once—managing the venue, food and beverage service AND coordinating the details with applicable vendors.

C: Fully coordinates and manages timing of ceremony and reception from start to finish, i.e. cueing Processional, grand entrance, cake-cutting, first dance, etc. Furthermore, at the end of the event they can collect and/or re-pack any personal items (possibly rental items) you may have brought as well as collect all wedding gifts and hand-off to appropriate person. 


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