Recently a potential bride with whom I felt that I clicked with emailed me to say basically: "thanks for your follow up, but we booked Venue X and they provide a wedding coordinator and so I don't need you". And now I am going to preach about the difference between what a venue coordinator does and what I do.
A venue coordinator works for that venue. That is where their loyalties lie. Their job is to get you sign a contract with them, up-sell you on a package, give you a list of preferred vendors (of which they may or may not be getting commissions/kickbacks/etc from), answer your questions about the venue, assist with you with your room layout and tasting, and make sure that your wedding does not break any of the venue rules. They may or may not help get your wedding/reception started and your personal items set up. They'll be in their office during the reception and the banquet captain will come get them if there are any BIG problems. Depending on how large the venue is, they may have 4 weddings they are juggling that weekend. They may not even be the person you have been talking to all of these months. It is a hard job with very high turnover.
Don't get me wrong, a venue coordinator's job is very important, but they are not a wedding coordinator. Neither is a DJ or a photographer.
As an independent wedding coordinator, my loyalty is to you, my client. Not your parents, not your photographer, videographer, DJ, florist or venue (whether I referred them to you or not). My job is to assess what level of service you need and to go above and beyond that. Do you only need 'month of' coordination? Great! I will have you fill out a questionnaire that will help me understand your vision, fears, and expectations. We will have a 3 hour details meeting in which I will ask you 3 pages of questions (many of the answers I get are "wow, I had not even thought of that!") and I will then create a detailed map of your wedding day that I will implement with a smile. I will run your rehearsal and let your bridal party know that if they have any questions I can answer them all. My staff will set up all of your personal items (guest book, favors, etc) and I will get you down the aisle on time (assuming you are on time, of course!). I will confirm with ALL of your vendors and will act as the point person for you, banquet captain, photographer, DJ/band leader, and videographer during the reception. At no time during the evening will the room be left without one of my staff keeping and eye on everything. I will speak to you about delicate family issues and know to keep an eye out for an unhappy mother or your Uncle George make his way to the microphone for a 20 minute off-color speech! My staff will pack up all of your gifts and personal items, have a family member or bridesmaid check them and sign off, and then load them into family cars.
I will give you advice and my opinions on your options. I will encourage you to throw the rules out the window and make this wedding reflective of you and your fiancé. I will be there emotionally when you get so flustered you don't know what color of fingernail polish to wear (yes, I have had this issue come up!) and when you are so overwhelmed in the last month that you want this all behind you. I will be there to adjust your veil and remind you to carry your bouquet low when you are waiting to walk down the aisle and I will be there to hug you goodnight after your wedding has ended.