You did your research, visited multiple locations and finally, you found the perfect venue that was also available on your desired day. Whew! But when you signed the contract they said that you needed to hire their on-site coordinator. Wait, what? Maybe the fee for this service is separate, or it could be built into the contract; either way, the venue requires you to have someone oversee the activities on your wedding day. But you already hired a wedding planner. Do you have to have to pay for an on-site coordinator too? Why should you pay two people to do the same thing? You’re not. Coordinators and Planners work together to make your wedding day run smoothly, but not for the same reasons.
Generally, on-site coordinators are there to protect the interests of the venue. While they may recommend vendors they trust, are they vendors that also work well with you and your vision? On-site coordinators will oversee deliveries, set up and strike of the venue, but will they ensure that personal or rental items are collected and returned to the vendors? In short, venue or on-site coordinators are there to make sure that nothing happens that would damage the venue or incur liability.
In contrast, wedding planners are your personal advocates. They will recommend trusted vendors and make sure that the vendors work within your budget and match your style. Planners will oversee deliveries, set up, and strike of venue; but they will also make sure that the vendors are fulfilling the duties according to the contract you signed with them. Also, most planners will make sure that all rental items are returned to the vendors and personal items are collected and returned to you. Planners work with coordinators to make sure your day runs smoothly, but an on-site coordinator has limited duties outlined by the venue, while your wedding planner’s duties can be unlimited, depending on what you want and need.
So do you have to pay for both? Sometimes. Some venues do not require you to hire their on-site coordinator, but will accept your wedding planner in-lieu of a coordinator. If the venue does require that you hire a coordinator, find out what duties you can expect them to fulfill. I have seen occasions where the couple hired the on-site coordinator expecting more services than the coordinator would provide; services they should have hired a planner for.
On-site coordinators can help your day run smoothly. As a planner, I respect the scope of their duties and consider them a valuable service partner. However, if you are looking for someone to be there before, during and after your wedding day, a wedding planner is your most reliable and trusted advisor and partner.