I had lunch not long ago with a venue coordinator I have worked with in the past. This person plays well in the sandbox of weddings and understood that I was not there to step on toes but to do a job – they were a great partner to me as a planner and made my job easier. This person works at an extremely busy, very popular venue in Columbus – you’d know it if I said the name! We were swapping war stories from the season and many of this person’s stories had to do with interactions with planners – some good, some bad, all quite entertaining. These people ranged from professionals to ‘planners’ with no experience and little knowledge of what they were doing.
Based on that conversation, I asked this venue coordinator to write a blog post for me about wedding planners from a venue coordinator’s point of view and their agreed to do so anonymously. Here is what they had to say!
When I speak about a professional wedding planner, I am referring to someone with years of experience in wedding planning, someone who has been involved in the planning over time, someone who works well with others, someone who cares about the bride and groom’s happiness over everything else. This is not someone who has just planned their own wedding, thinks wedding planning would be a fun hobby to pick up, or just shows up on the wedding day.
Why Hiring a Professional Wedding Planner is Beneficial to a Bride and Groom
The biggest benefit a professional wedding planner provides for the bride and groom is that he/she is someone who is looking out for the best interest of the couple. The wedding planner is another set of eyes, making sure everything is where it should be and the bride and groom’s expectations are met. It’s not about them, it’s not about me, it’s about the client.
A professional wedding planner manages the flow of the event by keeping the time line on track. He/she serves as the main line of communication between the venue coordinator, DJ, and other vendors. The wedding planner will be the first to know if the bridal party’s transportation breaks down, and they will be an hour later than expected…true story.
A professional wedding planner can recommend vendors to the bride and groom that have been vetted and researched. He/she can suggest people and places that are professional, and who they can work with in harmony. From a venue standpoint, a great wedding planner can articulate the bride and groom’s vision clearly, yet still be polite and pleasant to work with.
A professional wedding planner is the go-to person for questions for the venue coordinator and staff. We don’t have to bother the bride and groom or their family. This helps the bride and groom enjoy their day to the fullest extent, and keep the stress (if any) where it should be: on the shoulders of the paid professionals.
Why Hiring a Professional Wedding Planner is Beneficial to a Venue Coordinator
A professional wedding planner is a great resource for an event space to have at the end of the event when it is time to pack up the bride and groom’s personal items. Event staff can focus on cleaning the space while the wedding planner ensures valuable and usually breakable items go home in a secure manner.
Typically, the professional wedding planner spends more time with the bride and groom, getting to know them, than the venue coordinator does. This helps the wedding planner execute the client’s vision. In situations where a question arises about a random detail that didn’t come up in discussions with the bride and groom from the venue coordinator’s meetings, the wedding planner will know them well enough to make the correct decision.
Why Hiring a Professional Wedding Planner Helps a Venue Coordinator Do His/Her Job
Hiring a professional wedding planner allows the venue coordinator to focus on what he/she does best: managing staff and producing a delicious meal. As a venue coordinator, I feel comfortable staying in the back of the house during dinner to make sure everything flows as it should in the kitchen because I know that the professional wedding planner will be out on the floor. If there are any issues he/she will communicate with my captain, so that we can fix them in a timely fashion. The bride and groom will always see a familiar face during dinner, and won’t feel like they have been forgotten about or abandoned.
When a professional wedding planner and a venue coordinator work together, they can set each other up for success which ultimately makes for a great event. The staff at the event space can haul boxes of décor and set up tables and chairs. The wedding planner makes it look beautiful with centerpieces, linen, and final touches.
When I meet with the bride and groom for the last time before their event, I ask that the professional wedding planner attend as well so that we can start off on the right foot. I am not a proud person. My personal opinion is the more help, the better. I enjoy working with a real, professional wedding planner. When that kind of person walks through the door, I know the event is going to be successful. My staff will jump in to help fold napkins if we are finished setting up the buffet. The wedding planner will help polish silverware if they have extra time after finishing the décor. I might learn a new, more efficient way to fold a napkin that has a menu card in it. The wedding planner might learn about a quirk or special feature of a venue that will appeal to some of their future clients. When we work together, everyone wins especially the bride and groom.
Thanks to my venue coordinator friend for sharing this – I appreciate it!