I’m sure you’ve at least heard of both “wedding planners” and “wedding coordinators”. Maybe you’ve thought they were the same thing or maybe you know they are different, but just aren’t sure what exactly the differences are. Let’s break it down – in plain English – and help you answer some of the questions you may have!
Full Wedding Planner
A wedding planner’s job is to do exactly that – plan your wedding! This includes sourcing vendors, managing contracts, and developing timelines – a planner ensures that the whole planning process runs seamlessly from beginning to end.
Planners help to keep everything organized and are known to have great attention to detail. Full planning is truly an all-encompassing service when it comes to making your big day happen. Start to finish planners help you source and book vendors, attend venue tours and tasting events and manage your budget – really walking alongside you through the whole planning process. They assist in details such as setting up hotel blocks for your guests and floor plans. When the wedding day approaches they build out wedding timelines, facilitate your rehearsal and provide full day of management. Think of this person as someone whose #1 job is to ensure you get the wedding of your dreams while you just enjoy your time being engaged!
A wedding coordinator steps in approximately 4-6 weeks before your wedding date – up until then you’ll handle all of the planning yourself. Essentially a month out from your wedding day, you are doing a hand off to the coordinator.
During that last month coordinators will reach out to your vendors to confirm all final details. On wedding day the coordinator is responsible for implementing the details that you have carefully planned and making sure that they are executed during the wedding day. A coordinator will manage logistics during the wedding day and oversee the venue setup. They communicate with all of your vendors directly, so you can relax and enjoy your day with as little questions to you as possible.
On the wedding day the roles of a planner and coordinator look the same – the differences really lie in the planning process and how much support is offered to you.
Here are some good questions to ask yourself to decide if a planner or coordinator is right for you:
Are you easily stressed?
With wedding planning comes many emotions – often times the biggest being stress. A full service planner can help to alleviate stress very early on by guiding you through the entire process. A planner will be your advocate and biggest supporter.
Are you very organized?
As I’m sure you already know, wedding planning is very time consuming. Add in all those hours on top of your work week, school, and date nights (because you NEED these during the planning process) and one can quickly become overwhelmed. A planner sees each wedding as a project with a scope, budget and deadlines that need to be strictly adhered to. Not only does it take great planning skills, but also an extreme amount of organization to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Will you disagree with someone who is helping you plan on more than a few aspects?
Having friends and family to help you with planning is fantastic, as long as you’re seeing eye to eye. Moms, sisters, cousins, etc. may want to chime in and sometimes that can derail the couple whose wedding it actually is. Often it’s best to have an impartial and unbiased opinion from an outside source, like a planner!
Do you have a lot of vendors in mind already?
One of the biggest perks to hiring a planner is the resources that they can provide. It’s much easier to pick your vendors from a short list of trusted options. Planners can also match you with vendors based on your budget, style and the type of experience you’re looking for.
What stage of the planning process are you in?
If you’re well into the planning process with most of your vendors booked, full planning may be a little more than you need. In this case Month of Coordination or Partial Planning may be more of what makes the most sense.
What is your motivation for hiring someone?
Do you need help with just the day of logistics or do you need guidance and opinions during the planning process as well? Full-service planning is for those who want or need a lot of help, advice and guidance. Partial planning is great for clients who already know what they want for design, have an interest in planning and enjoy the process, but still need some guidance. Month of coordination is a good fit when the client has the ability and confidence to plan everything and fill in a coordinator on all the details about a month prior to the wedding day.
What is your vision for your wedding?
Are you envisioning a very simple celebration or do you prefer a grand affair? The grander the decor and design of the wedding, the more planning required. Gathering the perfect details can be time consuming, so you’ll likely want help sooner rather than later with executing those projects.
Are you getting married near the place where you live now?
If you live more than an hour away, you’ll want to account for the extra travel time when you need to meet your vendors. Having a planner that’s able to manage those meetings on your behalf can save you travel time and help you avoid taking extra PTO at work.
Think one of these packages are a good fit for you or just want to learn more?!