Wedding Planner vs. Wedding Coordinator vs. Wedding Designer vs. Venue Manager: Titles defined

There is often a lot of confusion for brides in regard to the different responsibilities and talents that come along with the different titles that wedding professionals hold. I find this often in regard to wedding coordinators, wedding planners, wedding designers and venue coordinators. Unfortunately, there are some people out there that want to lump all of theses titles together, which ends up being an injustice to the bride. You deserve to completely understand each persons role so that you can make an educated decision about your needs and wants for your wedding day.
imageWedding Planners
The job of the wedding planner is to PLAN all of the details involved in the wedding process. This includes ordering flowers, negotiating contracts with a photographer and videographer, arranging for musicians and properly booking all wedding vendors. They may advise on color selections, ceremony and reception locations and menu choices. A good analogy would be going on a road trip in a limo; the couple is in the back with tinted windows, sipping champagne. They arrive at their destination stress free, but without knowing how they got there.
imageWedding Coordinator {Weekend Wedding Warrior}
The job of the wedding coordinator is to take all the details that the couple/family planned and pull them together to create a cohesive event. This usually involves helping the couple choose a floor plan, creating a timeline and processional, and contacting all the vendors so that everyone is on the same page. A good coordinator will eliminate any, “oops, I didn’t think of that” moments. The coordinators role includes managing the rehearsal, being the contact for all the vendors on the wedding day, and being present the whole day of the wedding from setup to tear down to help manage anything that arises. The main focus of the coordinator is to advocate for the couples wishes and execute the event so that they couple can focus on what’s truly important…getting married. Continuing with the road trip analogy, hiring a coordinator is like going on a trip with a detailed map. You are driving and making the majority of the decisions, but you are well prepared with a travel guide!
imageWedding Designers
An event designer is specifically hired for the aesthetic of the wedding. They are in charge of creating a cohesive look for the wedding day. This most likely will include linens, flowers, rentals, and detailed decor. Designers setup the morning of the event and teardown once the event is complete. They generally do not “work” the event and they certainly are not coordinating it. They are considered one of the vendors a planner or coordinator would hire or manage. Hiring an Event Designer is like renting a fabulous car for your road trip. You tell them the color and style and they find it for you so you can just hop in and drive away!
imageVenue Coordinators
A venue coordinator is an integral part of ensuring that everything related to the venue and their staff runs smoothly and per the arrangements discussed in advance. Employed by the reception site, a reception site coordinator is often a salesperson working on behalf of the venue. The venue coordinator is responsible for collecting all your necessary paperwork and contracts for the space as well as for working with you on site inspections and accommodation agreements. One of the most frustrating situations a bride can find herself in is having been misinformed on the responsibilities of a venue coordinator and finding that the venue coordinator will not actually fill the role of a wedding coordinator at all. Very rarely will a venue coordinator line up the processional, cue the DJ for introductions, etc. They are responsible for the building/venue not the couple.