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What is the Difference Between a Day-of-Coordinator and a Venue Manager?

Updated: Apr 24

Ideally, you only get married once. That said, unless you're entering the wedding industry as a career, the planning process can be overwhelming with a slew of wedding planning jargon used casually amongst wedding vendors that you've never heard of before. One common misconception is that a Venue Manager is the same as a Day-of-Coordinator - which is not the case!

When signing one contract after another, managing expectations is key. You need to know exactly what you are signing up for, so when you meet with your potential venue they may mention people and their positions casually such as "Day-of-Coordinator," "Wedding Planner," "Venue Manager," etc.

Generally, the names are great indicators of the job. "Wedding Planner" is obviously someone who is planning every detail of the wedding. Some wedding planners will be at the wedding, but some offer packages where they will only be planning behind the scenes.

If you want someone to be there on the day of your wedding, then you are wanting a "Day-of-Coordinator." These planners will coordinate with you on who the vendors are and when they are coming to the property. They will also help you plan and execute your schedule on your special day. The extent of how much they help with actually planning the wedding and helping your figure out which vendor to choose varies depending on the coordinator.

Venue Manager strictly works with the vendor. The way that I like to say that the Venue Manager is there to make sure that "the place doesn't burn down." They're the one making sure everything is safe for your guests and that the area stays clean. They will instruct people on where to park and help vendors gets set up to do their job.

Weddings have used all different combinations of Wedding Planners, Day-of-Coordinators and Venue Managers. For example, some couples look for a wedding planner package so they can plan on their own, and pass on the information to a Day-of-Coordinator. Some will do the whole shebang by having both a Wedding Planner and Day-of-Coordinator, while others will rely on their family and friends to do all of the planning and day of coordinating. Regardless, Venue Managers are typically included in any venue package simply to make sure the space is being used and that the clients are taken care of.

For example, here at New Field Farm at Timber Ridge, our most basic package offers the space and the help of our staff under the Venue Manager, Amber Ansted. This ensures that you will be able to optimize all the features that we have to offer, such as the tables, chairs, arch, kitchen, dressing room, and heating and cooling system.

In continuation, we have our more advanced package called the Blue Ridge package. This package includes everything in the basic package as well as the services of our Day-of-Coordinator, Leece Bachman. Leece has years of experience and runs her own business called "Elegant Events by Leece." She pairs with us for this package to help plan and execute your day at New Field Farm at Timber Ridge.

The benefit of having coordinators, planners and venue managers involved is that you have people with experience taking care of your wedding. Everyone knows that there is a learning curve in doing things, and these professionals have seen it all. Remember, there is no general "best combination" as everyone is different. Some brides and grooms want to be hands on and do everything while others want to do as little as possible. Ultimately, do you research and decide what is best for you!

And don't worry! The fact that you are here reading up on this information means you are off to a really great start. So... Take a deep breathe and pat yourself on the back. Also, congratulations!

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