5 Reasons Wedding Venue Coordinators are not the same as Professional day-of Coordinators.

Written by: Jonah Otto & Megan Adams

If you are reading a blog about wedding planning, you’re probably pretty far into thinking about wedding prep yourself. And if that’s the case, it’s highly likely that you feel like your drowning in a sea of wedding-specific terminology and lingo. So much so that it can be difficult to tell the difference between what you need and what you don’t to execute your perfect day.

Nowhere is this more evident than in understanding the differences between a day-of coordinator (an all-around wedding day specialist, such as A&BE) and a venue coordinator (a staff member from your wedding/reception venue that exclusively works on events held at the venue).

While one or both could play a major role in your wedding day, you can generally expect different attention and services from each of them. Broadly speaking, in most cases a day-of coordinator will provide you with much more hands on service and individualized assistance than a venue coordinator has the capacity to do, resulting in a less stressful experience for you and your partner.

Photo Credit: Adams Photography

To help you out in determining exactly what you need for your big day, we have outlined the top 5 differences between a day-of coordinator and a venue coordinator.

Disclaimer: We would like to note that these differences are not universal for all venue coordinators and day-of coordinators – some provide more assistance and services than others. However, in our experience of working with countless couples, these differencesare crutial to your overall day. Almost no venue coordinator provides all of the services that day-of coordinators, like A&BE, can provide for your wedding experience.
Photo Credit: Jenny Mundy Photo

1. At Arbor and Bloom Events we closely plan & coordinate the deliveries of your vendors, while most venue coordinators simply track the delivery times.

We are meticulous in making sure that the delivery schedule of you vendors actually makes sense! For example, if you’ve chosen to decorate your cake display with carefully chosen elements from your
florist, it’s important that the cake is delivered and ready before the florist arrives with your decorations. Without a day-of coordinator like A&BE, you’d be left to cross your fingers that it all works out!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

2. A day-of coordinator controls all of the audio and visual aspects of the wedding ceremony while many venues don’t provide this service at all.

One of the last things that you could want during the most important ceremony of your life is for the wrong song to come on at the wrong time or for the timing of other multimedia cues to be off. Walking down the aisle is not the time for distractions! A&BE ensures that this does not happen by thoroughly planning before and during the rehearsal, then maintaining calm focus during the ceremony itself. With us, each member or your bridal party will know where to be and when to be there. You don’t have to worry!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

3. Most venues are not responsible for any decor set up at the venue. Unless you want to task your family members to help with your big day you will likely need a day-of coordinator to help set up and arrange your vision.

In fact, some day-of coordinators won’t go to this length either. Here, A&BE is truly unique! We will arrive early during set up and will help with tables, linens, napkins, centerpieces, table settings, signage, and any other specialty tables you may need. No matter what planner you use please be sure to ask if they will help with this!

Photo Credit: Hannah Crabb Photography

4. Not all venue coordinators will manage the reception schedule, but this an essential part of what the day-of coordinator brings to the table.

Many couples think that they can simply count on the venue coordinator or the DJ to be on top of this, but the truth is that you can’t make that assumption! Many venue coordinators won’t even be there when the reception starts and the DJ is often more focused on their playlist than your schedule. There are so many elements that need to go off without a hitch – the introduction of the bridal party, releasing tables for food, the special dances, the bouquet toss, your special send off, and so much more! The day-of coordinator sees to it that everything happens according to plan, and that you don’t have to give it a second thought.

Photo Credit: Jenny Mundy Photo

5. When the reception is over, most venue coordinators will be long gone, but a good day-of coordinator will still be there, making sure that everything is picked up and packed away.

Picture it: you’ve spent the most memorable day of your life marrying your special person, eating a delicious dinner, enjoying beautiful desserts, and laughing and dancing with your closest family and friends. Now the reception is over and it’s time for you to run off to your honeymoon or join your night-owl friends in keeping the party going. But wait!!! Who is going to help clean up and make sure that you leave with everything that you brought? If you decided to work with a day-of coordinator like A&BE, you’ve got nothing to worry about! If not? Grab your dustpan and broom. Kidding, but seriously, you or a family member will have to gather everything you provided and return the rentals.

Photo Credit: Adams Photography

While these are the top differences, there are actually many more! All of them result in a day-of coordinator making your life easier, bringing you tremendous value, and allowing you to keep your focus on simply enjoying your wedding.

In short, a day of coordinator works with you before, during, and after your wedding to make sure that every single ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ is crossed. You can count on people like those at A&BE to know exactly what is supposed to happen, when it is supposed to happen, who is supposed to do it, and when they are supposed to do it. Most venue coordinators simply can’t offer you that kind of peace of mind.

While it might be easy to get the terminology mixed up, don’t be confused – they are NOT the same thing.


Lauren + Ben’s Perfect Day

Have a taste for the timeless? Let’s talk about how Arbor & Bloom Events helped make this couple’s day both classic and beautiful!

All photos in this blog post were taken and supplied by Peter Gubernat Photography

At Arbor and Bloom Events, we believe that all weddings begin and end with the couple – that every detail should reflect the personalities and preferences of the two people at the center of it all. This couple loved classic lines, simple silhouettes, and clean and elegant colors. In this blogpost you will see how we focused our efforts around their taste for timeless touches throughout the entire process, helping to make their wedding the classic and beautiful day they had always wanted!

As with every couple we work with, it is our strategy to start with their desired location and use that as a foundation for the rest of the arrangements. This couple was very intentional and were clear that they wanted to celebrate their big day in an industrial building in Indianapolis with rustic, exposed brick. By the time they brought us onto their team, the couple had narrowed the choice down to two venues, but ultimately chose Canal 337, the more inclusive of the options, even offering onsite catering. Located in downtown Indianapolis, this building is actually a converted church and rests at the end of the flowing canal that winds its way through the heart of the Circle City, making it a truly breathtaking setting for such a special occasion!

Because there are always details to be aware of with the venue contract, it is crucial to make sure that you know exactly what your venue is responsible for and what you are required to provide.  In this regard, we were able to provide invaluable advice to the couple so that they could understand their contract and negotiate the best terms possible, leaving no doubt about how things would go on their wedding day!

Next the couple reached out to a renowned Chicago photographer they are fans of, Peter Gubernat , who specializes in circular exposure photos. His keen eye and expert touches are featured in this photo from their engagement shoot. They were so in love with his style the booked him immediately – a decision that certainly paid off!  With a growing portfolio of photographers that we’ve worked with, A&B will have no problem connecting you with the artist that will perfectly capture every special moment of your wedding.

Now let’s turn our attention to this dress! It is so structurally magnificent; the word “perfect” really doesn’t feel like a stretch!  In a world of trends, of lace and plunging neck lines, this classic silhouette stands out in the most beautiful way. Coming from one of A&BE’s now preferred dress contacts, Marie Gabriel Couture Bridal, it’s really no surprise that this dress is such a stunner!

While we are talking about this fabulous dress, I also want to take a moment to mention these well-fitted tuxes from The Black Tux. They are so easy to work with, making sure you get the perfect look and fit mailed right to your door. Grooms, as your planner, we can get you and your boys a great discount! Who doesn’t like a discount?

Even their rings are gorgeously simple – just a single solitaire ring that doesn’t need any additional details to turn heads.

Details, Details, Details!

Again, the wedding pair went for elegant classic lines in this full invitation set from Minted. As any good planner should, we can score you a brilliant discount here as well!

We went with these classic black dresses for our bridesmaids from the convenient website Brideside. The flowers are from one of my all-time favorite local, family-owned flower shops, George Thomas Florist. We went with all white and greenery in this classic bouquet shape and size. I love this shop because they have the skill to make exactly what you ask for and the customer-minded focus to offer bulk prices. As one of our preferred vendors, the local florist never fails to please!

If you want a straightforward, easy cake while still offering variety to your guests, a simple cut-cake and individual desserts are the way to go! This brilliant cutting cake came from The Flying Cupcake (fun fact: they also specialize in vegan and gluten free cakes for anyone in search of truly full-service baked goods!). Also, cake flowers are such a special way to dress up the cake and I am personally a huge fan of a delicate ranunculus to make your cake a little extra special. With great relationships with several local bakeries, we are sure to find the right match for your sweet tooth!.

We went with simple neutrals for the table linens, supplying our own gold charges to save money. The florist provided the candles and greenery at each table. The ornate table numbers were arranged by the venue (a nice detail in that venue contract!). Every item on the table worked together to create an elegant, minimalist place-setting for the guests and the bridal party to enjoy their meal!

Wedding Hack Alert: Reuse your greenery from your ceremony for the head table at your reception – it saves you money and there is no reason to have two line items with on florist bill for the same exact thing!

The Flow of the Day!

Getting Ready

We started the day at the Ironworks Hotel to get ready. Due to a large conference in the city that weekend we were left to look further away for the perfect hotel and spot to get everyone ready. These suites were perfect with their vaulted ceilings and bright lighting for hair and makeup prep. Both hair and makeup were provided by the lovely Something Blue Stylists, yet another great vendor relationship.

Getting There!

To get downtown to the venue & for photos we worked with Antique Limousine of Indianapolis to get a trolley to transport our bridal party separately to the venue. Using a trolley for the bridal party was a subtle detail that really contributed to that classic feel that the couple was going for!

Time for Photos

Once we got both group down to the venue, it was time for touch-ups and our first look!

We jumped straight into taking photos near the venue, then hopped back on the trolley for some photo-ops in several marvelous spots around downtown Indianapolis!

Time for the Main Event

Then it was time for everything to come together for our beautiful ceremony on the second floor while the finishing touches were being applied to the reception hall below.

Having the reception just one floor below made for a casual and simple transition between the two biggest components of the day. It couldn’t have been easier!

Dinner was served plated, and each guest was served with generous portions of both beef & chicken – the in-house catering service really came through! Dinner was followed by cutting cake, the laughs and happy tears of the toasts, and, of course, first dances.

After first dances, we moved everyone back upstairs for the party portion of the evening! It was complete with mini-cupcakes and some late-night snacks to keep our guests fueled-up for dancing and also to balance out the beverages, if you know what I mean.

We ended the evening a touch early to beat the rain for our picturesque sparkler exit. Timeless, classic perfection achieved!  Be sure to contact Arbor and Bloom Events to secure your date if you’re feeling inspired – we can work together to make your day perfect, just like this one!

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