One of the things I hear often is that couples don’t need a wedding planner or coordinator because their venue has one. I hear ya! Why would you hire someone to do a task that is already included? In reality, even though our titles are very similar, our roles in your wedding are vastly different. I paired up with one of my favorite venues to work with, The Michigan League, to share their perspective on working with wedding planners. Jane Lloyd, Assistant Director of Social Sales at the Michigan League, provided some insight on the topic.
“We love when a couple works with a wedding planner. In most cases, it means they have the benefit of a professional’s expertise about how to organize the many aspects of planning a wedding, staying on top of deadlines, thinking through logistics, and of course designing a beautiful room and table scape. This makes the planning process much smoother and makes for an even more successful and stress free day for everybody.”
A good planner/venue relationship is key. Knowing the space and policies inside and out makes the planning process go as smooth as possible. Knowing constraints ahead of time allows you to plan a wedding that makes sense for the space. If any of the constraints collide with your vision, a planner experienced with the venue will also be able to provide creative solutions that keep both parties happy.
“When your planner has worked in our space before, it means SO MUCH! There are so many small details that vary from venue to venue that can make a big difference to the couple. For example, set up time – is it included? When do you have access to the space? For us, we can’t always give set up time at the start of the day because of other events, and a good planner will vet those details so that the designs can be crafted that don’t need a lot of set up time, if that is what needs to happen. “
What about the wedding day? Aren’t day-of coordinators available from most venues? Yes. However the details that a venue coordinator focuses on are different from what an outside coordinator focuses on. Venue coordinators or managers are tasked with organizing items provided by the venue. Most commonly this would be tables, dish ware, flatware, glassware, catering, bar, etc. Not to mention, they coordinate the service and staff side of the evening to wine and dine your 100, 200, or even 300+ person party.
On the flip side, an outside coordinator will focus on making sure the vendors you have hired are executing their portion correctly while balancing a range of set up details themselves. Good coordinators also have the type of relationship with their clients that allows them to make game-time decisions on their behalf if something isn’t going according to plan or if there are questions from the venue or vendors.
“It is great when we don’t have to bother the client with any questions so they can relax and enjoy their day. It is also a big help to know that there is a planner who will make sure that the items the clients bring in will get set up and arranged exactly as they want them, things like place cards, favors, and other decorations. This gives our staff the time to focus on all the other details of place settings, bar arrangements, etc, so everything is perfect.”
When everything is said and done, ultimately, your planner and venue are a team. We all want your day to go as flawlessly as possible. Having the different areas of expertise in your corner will only make it a more rock solid execution of your vision.
“If your wedding vision board includes historical details, grand ballrooms with chandeliers, urban photos, or anything maize and blue, we would be a great fit! Once booked, we love knowing a couple has a planner who can help them think about timelines, meal logistics, how to tell people where to park, and many other small details that most couples don’t have any first hand experience with. Planning a wedding has a huge learning curve!”
Photos by: Amanda Mae Photography
A huge thank you to the University of Michigan League for providing their insight and contributing to this post.