Is an On-Site Coordinator the Same as a Wedding Planner?

blog stephane rita photo boston family photo_0091Is an on-site coordinator the same as a wedding planner?

It’s something you and your future spouse may question when investigating venues.  Many people assume that an on-site coordinator is just a free wedding planner (besides the title, of course), when in reality the two have completely different job descriptions. Don’t get me wrong, an on-site coordinator is a great addition to your wedding team, but remember that an on-site coordinator works for the venue, not for you and your future spouse. Let me discuss the differences between the two:

 On-Site Coordinator/Venue Coordinator

An on-site coordinator is responsible for being an event salesperson and a liaison between the couple and venue. They specifically deal with any facet that might concern the venue, including: menu selections, stereo equipment, wait staff, or payments due. After touring and confirming the venue with the on-site coordinator, the couple may not hear again from them until a month or two prior to the wedding.  Their obligations lay solely on the wedding day itself and how the venue performs on that day. If a bride and groom are having two different locations between ceremony and reception, the on-site coordinator will not be able to oversee any failings or needs at the ceremony site.

A good on-site coordinator is a joy to work with as a wedding planner. They can act as a wonderful intermediary between the planner and the venue staff, but unfortunately they are bound to aspects concerning their venue.

Wedding Planner

A wedding planner is often working with the bride and groom throughout the whole planning process. The planner makes sure that the wedding day runs as effortlessly and as flawlessly as possible. Since wedding planners are with the couple throughout the entirety of the process, they can often help them with a design concept, and in doing so, a venue to fit the proposed atmosphere. A wedding planner is also there to help stay on budget and will show interest in finding ways to save the couple money. Not only that, but wedding planners keep an updated list of vendors and suppliers whom they know and trust and can often negotiate with (not just vendors that are contracted with the venue site). One of a wedding planner’s jobs is to save the bride and groom money, but not only money… they will also save them hours upon hours of time.

On the wedding day, the planner will be at every location to inspect and make certain that everything is to the bride and groom’s liking and standards (since brides are usually a little busy on that day) and will also keep in tow an “Emergency Wedding Day Kit” that might be needed for any small mishaps that the wedding party may encounter.

All in all, the help of an on-site coordinator is limited, whereas, the benefits to hiring a wedding planner is unlimited. There is hardly anything an independent wedding planner cannot assist with, since we’re only working for you!


Photo Credit: Stephanie Rita Photography


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