Venue Coordinator vs. Independent Coordinator

We know January wasn’t quite the way we wanted to ring in 2022, and it’s no secret, we really missed our typical January wedding shows, and mingling time with our new couples and old friends. Although the Unmistakably You team has been fortunate enough to have projects to keep us busy (thanks to you, our amazing couples and crafting up workshops), we really miss the London Wedding Vendor Community; from the creatives to the caterers and to the coordinators, we miss them all. 

We often surprise our couples because our team LOVES working with all vendors, including venue coordinators (and if we’re being honest, sometimes especially venue coordinators). We believe that having both a venue coordinator and an independent coordinator sets you up for the best-case scenario, ensuring that every aspect of your day is covered from the moment you wake up, to the nitty-gritty of your dinner service, to the moment you kick off your shoes to dance the night away.

We often hear “well I have a venue coordinator already, so I’m not sure if I require a planner as well” in our initial conversations with new couples. It can be hard for anyone who is outside of the wedding industry to see the difference in these two roles but each title comes with a varying set of responsibilities, priorities, and expertise. We wanted to break these roles down for you a bit more, so that way you can understand where each coordinator is coming from.

The term venue coordinator/venue host is fairly common, but you may also hear the term wedding coordinator when you tour a venue. Regardless of semantics, and the tiny nuances that differ between venues, the venue coordinator is a member of the venue’s staff whose primary responsibility is to be your main point of contact when it comes to the venue itself. In other words, they are your liaison between the venue and yourselves to plan the elements of your wedding that will take place at the venue.

Often these incredible individuals are handling the majority of the venue’s weddings or events as a whole, meaning just like us independent coordinators, they have to wear A LOT of different hats for a lot of different people.  Ultimately, they are on staff to ensure you and your partner can get the most out of the venue because they are their own venue experts, which is an incredible asset to have on your team (I mean, you have basically an inside scoop of what is possible)!

The reality of a venue coordinator's job is that they may be tied up with a multitude of responsibilities on your day to make sure it goes smoothly. While they are onsite to ensure you, your partner and your family have a memorable experience, they are also there to manage the venue's setup, catering, bartending and possibly details staff. This is why your venue coordinator has to remain at the venue throughout the day, even if your ceremony is in another location or you are getting ready hours away. They’re responsible for having the venue set and ready prior to your arrival, so they, unfortunately, aren’t able to drive around the city (or county) for you on the day of your wedding.

 Typically, venue coordinators don't assist with any of the offsite elements or vendors you'll be managing (beyond sometimes providing a list of preferred vendors). What that means for you on the wedding day is that you’ll be the one receiving your personal florals, confirming your itinerary, staying on schedule, communicating with your personal vendors, and ensuring that the morning runs smoothly until you arrive at the venue. That scenario may seem completely manageable, until the inevitable hiccup happens, and now you have to decide which wedding party member has to skip getting ready photos to go and solve it. Imagine your mom missing the photos of her helping you into your dress because she's trying to track down the DJ, who is MIA, or because someone has to set out the placecards. Problems like those are why having an independent coordinator (Hey, that’s us!) is a great addition to your Wedding Planning Team. 

When we here at Unmistakably You work with you on your wedding day, our goal is to help you feel supported all day, from the time you wake up until you both are snacking on some late-night grub and as we’ve been told many times by our couples “living your best lives”. 

While we can't speak for other planners, we're not just helping you live your best life for one day; we provide a full year of email support and resources, and begin the actual process of gathering your details and creating your itinerary about six weeks before the wedding. (Whoever coined the term “day-of coordination” needs a strong talking to, because we’re more a “month-of management” .. or a Wedding ‘MOM” if you will). 

We know that the tools and resources we provide from the second we first meet will allow you to feel completely at peace and comfortable throughout your planning process, and on your wedding day, because we allocate tons of time to get to know the two of you as a couple! We communicate with your entire vendor team prior to the wedding to confirm all the little details, and ensure we're completely in the know about everything, from what time your food tray is being dropped off in the morning while you are getting ready, to how you’d like to be announced for your grand entrance.  

Independent coordinators ensure those special moments you have dreamt of for so long actually happen; which can be difficult to manage as a venue coordinator who is also leading the entire venue team and ensuring the venue is operating the best it can. This is exactly why having a venue coordinator and an independent coordinator is the best duo around. You and your partner are an independent coordinator’s only responsibility on the day, which means that we are truly at your service at any time to ensure you both are able to celebrate the way you intend to, while your venue coordinator ensures that the venue is delivering everything they have promised for you both. That’s a sweet deal if you ask us.

We know the term “too many cooks in the kitchen” and in our case, sometimes it’s “too many brides in the boutique” but we can honestly say that no one has ever had regrets or “buyer's remorse” by hiring an additional set of industry professionals. We take pride in establishing and maintaining relationships with venue coordinators in the area, and as we’ve mentioned before, we actually LOVE when a venue has a set contact person because it sets us for success as well. By allocating some room in your budget for an independent coordinator in addition to your venue coordinator, you’re creating a power duo for your day; which sounds like a win-win to us, but what do you think? 

Comment below your thoughts on having both a venue coordinator and an independent coordinator, or any questions you have!

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