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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Chris and Kyle are big Dr. Who fans and the TARDIS was on the guest book canvas that was to be framed after the wedding. (photo by Hannah Woodard Photography)






Welcome! This site is a tribute to my many wedding couples who have created unique and beautiful surroundings for their weddings. Their creativity and ingenuity reflected their personalities and together we have often created new ways to modernize old traditions.

If you are looking for a minister for your wedding in the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, contact me for a free consultation. Together we can create a ceremony that reflects your love, your personality and your dreams for your future.

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Understanding the Difference Between Wedding Planners and Venue Planners

One of the big questions facing a couple planning their wedding is whether or not to hire a wedding planner/coordinator (the terms are interchangeable). A full range of services are offered - everything from a ‘Day-Of’ service to a full package where the wedding planner takes on all the responsibilities of the planning and coordinating. Each carries a compenserate level of pricing and although cost is often cited as a reason not to hire a wedding planner, the planner can help the harried Bride and Groom in immeasurable ways, making the wedding planning process so much easier for the couple.

Because I help couples with the ceremony ‘staging’ elements when they do not have a wedding planner, I always ask if they are going to be using a wedding planner. This helps me know what the areas of responsibility will be and knowing that, what services to provide the couple so everything is covered for them. Quite often their response to that question is that their venue planner will be handling all the planning. Years ago I assumed, like the couple, that meant the venue planner would be helping them with things like who escorts Grandma and Mom and how the Bridal Party would be entering. Unfortunately, that sometimes turned out to be a problem when the venue planner’s responsibilities did not cover those areas and the wedding couple did not realize that until the rehearsal. Luckily, I knew what to do and could step in quickly and put things together for them, but it is always better to arrive at a rehearsal with everything planned out beforehand.

What I have come to understand is that the words “planner” and “coordinator” mean different things to different people so it behooves the wedding couple to learn the specifics of what their venue planner offers so they are not caught unaware. Hopefully, this post will help you understand the differences.

Venue Planners/Coordinators - These days venue planners fall into two categories; those who handle ONLY the venue responsibilities like tables, chairs, linens, food, meal timing, etc. and those who provide this AS WELL AS the responsibilities of a traditional ‘Day Of’ wedding planner, like who escorts whom in the wedding ceremony and making sure the elements of the reception go off on time. Sometimes the second type requires an extra fee for this and sometimes it is included in the package. There is a growing trend with wedding venues of offering an in-house wedding planner, but it is imperative that you find out all the particulars up front so you know for sure what to expect and what areas you will need to cover on your own.

Wedding Planners/Coordinators - While venue planners work for their venues and you, the wedding planners work just for you in a more in-depth way. Their job is to take a lot of the responsibilities from your shoulders and make sure all your wedding plans are on track before and during your wedding and reception, coordinating with the wedding professionals on your wedding team and with your venue planner as needed. This allows you to relax and be more immersed in the fun of the plans and the wedding. 

While the areas of the venue and wedding planners can overlap, it is important to know what each offers and how that affects your own plans and budget.

I recently came across a couple of blog posts that explain these differences very well. 

The first is a short, informative postVenue Coordinators vs. Wedding Planners, from the blog of Events by Doyin, a wedding planner in Houston, Texas. 

The next is a bit more in-depth. Found on Wedding Flavors, the blog of a wedding stationery firm in Charlotte, NC, their guest blogger is wedding planner Leigh Pearce, of Leigh Pearce Weddings. Her post is, Why Venue Coordinators are NOT Wedding Coordinators.

Both of these posts will give you a lot of helpful information regarding areas of responsibilities for wedding and venue planners and I thank the authors for writing them. 

On a similar note, here is a short blog post that talks to the DIY Bride about whether or not she might want to hire a wedding planner to help her with all her wedding planning responsibilities. There are a lot of sensible observations here and worth a read if you are on the fence about making such a decision. The post is from the blog of California’s Temecula Valley, Taste of Temecula.  

If you are interested in hiring a wedding planner for your wedding or are still looking for a place to hold your wedding and/or reception, this link will take you to a resource page on my website listing impressive wedding planners in our area with whom I have worked. Also listed are the fine wedding venues we are so lucky to have in the Triangle. I can recommend all of them very highly. 


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John smith said...

It's too informative to have wedding planner, wedding venues as well as wedding halls for hire.Thanks to share this great information.

Charlotte Limo said...

I think we all should go for a wedding planner as they have an amazing sense of organizing things and that too in a better way!

Rev. Barbara Lodge said...

You are most welcome, John. Glad to help.

Rev. Barbara Lodge said...

You are right, Charlotte. Wedding Planners can make the life of a Bride and Groom SO much easier!! And most of them also have a great sense of style.