Difference Between a Venue Manager & Wedding Planner
By Kastina / March 4, 2019
Coming from a background of venue management I thought it only appropriate to start the blog off this way. It’s a difference a lot of people get hung up on; rightfully so…it often needs clarification by all parties involved. Although the difference can vary between types of events – for this example we’ll roll with Weddings and the tasks typically involved with those.
The Venue Manager is in charge of just that, the Venue. You paid for and signed a contract for a venue, they are in charge of ensuring that the venue operates for your event. Electricity, lights, water, plumbing, heat/cool, wifi, opening the doors to start, locking the doors at the end, and all direct facility related responsibilities. A lot of behind the scenes stuff. I often think of being a venue manager as being a stage manager; they are calling the shots in the ‘back of house’.
An Event or Wedding Planner is in charge of you, your guests and often directing your vendors too. They call the shots – keeping the timeline moving as the pieces fall into place during set-up and throughout the event through tear down. They are the overall event leader since they are representing you, the client and all the goals, visions and dreams you discussed leading up to the big day. You hire a wedding planner to handle all the little details you brought into the plan (see below) that your other vendors aren’t in charge of. Overall the planner handles all the visible details – ‘front of house’ stuff. Of course, your planner also helps plan the entire day, even before you get to the venue – they make sure the entire experience comes together from start to finish.
I like to think of being an event planner like being a director of the show.
I also like to use a theater analogy here – your venue manager is in charge of the stage, set pieces, load in, load out and overall all the behind the scenes policy and procedures, a lot of logistics the wedding clients and their guests never see. On the other hand, your event planner is your director. They direct you and the show cues; everything your audiences’ attention is directed towards.