The Pinterest Planner, The Wedding Planner, The Venue Coordinator – What’s The Diff?
The Pinterest Planner
Oh The Pinterest Planner, you kill me every time. You see, the wedding industry is far from regulated and there is little to accredit ones knowledge, expertise and professionalism, besides word of mouth and testimonies. Many times, after experiencing their own wedding, brides decide that it was too much fun to give up and set out to become a “wedding planner”, meet the Pinterest Planner.
Let me give you a little insight what goes on behind the scenes that you (the bride) have no clue about. While you are getting ready to walk down the aisle, we (the planners) are queuing the music, making sure granny gets her front row seat, lighting the candles that kids are blowing out, all the while making sure everyone is on their best behavior. Next, while you’re swooped off for photos, we are making sure every place setting is perfect, the chairs are aligned, all guests with food allergies have been marked accordingly, the DJ has all the power he needs, the cake has been delivered and set up (don’t forget the knife), we handle every meticulous detail. So yes, planning your wedding was fun and you want to be a wedding planner, but who actually looked after all the behind the scenes details on your day?
The ability to create a board of pretty images is a far cry from being able to logistically plan and implement a wedding. Great, you’ve pinned 15 images of blush, ivory and gold to a board, you’re good to go now right? WRONG. The creative aspect plays a small role in the overall production of a wedding. A wedding planner has the ability to multi-task, think on their feet and provide damage control, all while keeping the calm with a smile on their face.
There are a variety of programs across Canada offering certifications or diplomas. The most popular among fellow planners is the Wedding Planning Institute of Canada This program has set forth a Code of Ethics for all members who have completed their certification, along with a guideline for pricing their services. The average cost for a new planner offering a day of coordination in Edmonton is $1500 and full coordination $3500.
Wedding Planner vs Venue Coordinator
This is something that I get asked on a regular basis “Is a venue coordinator not the same as a wedding planner?” And the answer is simply no.
The Wedding Planner:
Depending on time and budget constraints, there are many levels of wedding planning services to choose from. The average wedding takes around 150 hours to plan, so unless you can donate 3-5 hours per week, hiring a professional may be your best option.
Not only does your wedding planner assist with the planning and logistics of your event, most commonly budgeting, contract negotiations, timelines, vendor referrals and the general flow of the evening, but your planner is an unbiased opinion who has only your best interests at heart. A seasoned planner has developed relationships with other professionals in the industry and can offer various discounts that on your own you would not receive.
A full service wedding planner is also your wedding designer working with you to develop your vision and bring it to fruition. Colours, décor, lighting as well as custom design elements all come together to create the jaw dropping aesthetics to WOW your guests.
Planning a wedding is stressful, whether it be the big or small details, making sure the in laws feel included, or choosing which brand of champagne to drink (I can DEFINITELY help you out there), a wedding planner is your best friend, or at least that’s how I feel. My clients mean the world to me, given the amount of time we spend together, emailing or talking on the phone, I am always in the know of what is happening in your life.
The Venue Coordinator:
Venue coordinators are employees of the venue in which work. They act as a liaison between the bride and groom and the venues operations team. Their responsibilities are those pertaining to your experience with them showcasing the venue, suggesting food and wine pairings, formalizing your catering needs, arranging menu tastings and processing the final invoice.
On the wedding day, their focus is delivering their contracted services, exclusively: ensuring the venue set up is accurate (tables, chairs and place settings, *remember* that is only if you’re using their tables and chairs!), the food is out on time and that drinks are always full. In addition, a Venue Coordinator often departs once the meal is served, at this point a banquet manager would take over.
Lastly, while you may have worked with one individual throughout the planning process, there is no guarantee that you will be provided with that same individual on your big day.
Soooo what’s your point?
We all start somewhere, I get that. I did not always charge what I charge now, but that comes with years of experience. I am constantly learning, whether it be the behind the scenes, staying up to date with trends, or expanding my knowledge of social media; you always need to be improving. I can promise the saying “you get what you pay for” will ring true for all the vendors you hire for your wedding.