Wedding Planner vs Catering Manager

The Difference Between A Wedding Planner + Catering Manager

I am frequently asked by friends and prospective clients if they need a wedding planner since their venue has an event coordinator/planning manager, or what they should expect from their contact at the venue. I have finally found the perfect articles to explain the difference and I hope it can help clear confusion for newly engaged couples.

'The responsibilities of a venue or catering manager are very different from a professional Wedding Planner', The Wedding Yentas. Your catering manager is responsible for managing all venue related items and often times, will also provide you with several vendor recommendations to help get you started with your planning. However their recommendations will not necessarily have your budget, design and personalities in mind, though depending on your contact they will try to help you as best as they can. The catering manager will also help you coordinate booking hotel room blocks for their venue, but will not help with outside hotel blocks. Their jobs are to focus on your vision for the menu and venue - that is what they are hired to do and it's a highly important role. The day of your wedding, you want their attention to be on their back of house catering team and venue to make sure nothing goes wrong. Some catering companies and luxury hotels often offer further services with your venue team as well. It's important that you clarify their role and understand what is required of you before signing your contract. Many times we find clients come to us halfway into planning because they did not realize their coordinator at the venue would not be helping them with logistics such as transportation, lighting, rentals, deliveries, etc.  

Now, all weddings and clients are different and I am not saying that EVERY bride needs a planner. But you do need to be aware of what services are offered at your venue and what you will need to be responsible for during the planning and day of your wedding. For some, you may have a wonderful bridal party who will help you take care of those tasks. For other brides and families, they find value in having a professional planner throughout the planning process to narrow down their options and oversee all aspects of the wedding day. 

As a professional wedding planner, we offer full, partial and 'day-of' coordination and design services. Services range from booking the venue, vendors and hotel room blocks to proper etiquette advice and management of printed materials, to establishing your overall decor with rentals and florals, as well as managing the flow of the day with your team of vendors. A wedding planner will help you to narrow down your search of vendors of all types and match you with the best vendors that fit within your budget and design. We are here to ensure that all of the time and money you've spent on booking your vendors, does not go to waste - we provide insurance and peace of mind that all of those elements will not only fall into place, but also serve as your point person who takes action when the wrong product is delivered or when a vendor does not show up. We take care of all the nitty gritty details behind the scenes and serve as your personal assistant, all so you can relax and enjoy not only the wedding day, but also the planning process with your family and fiancee.

Allegro Photography

Allegro Photography

At the end of the day,  Inside Weddings Magazine sums it up well: 'The jobs of both the wedding planner and the catering manager are extremely important entities for an event, and need to be looked at as complementary forces not as competitive ones. Knowing the specific services the two roles provide – and having accurate expectations of each – will help ensure there are no last minute surprisesHaving this information, and knowing what you should expect, will help you to get all the necessary support staff in place for your wedding day.'