When planning a wedding, you learn a new set of words, and words you thought you knew to take on new meanings. So what is the difference between a wedding planner, a wedding designer, and a wedding coordinator? This is one of the most important things a bride needs to know. And the best people to ask are the experts themselves.
Read on to find out what each type of wedding pro does, as told by those who do it for a living.
Wedding planners are all about the details, from finding vendors and negotiating contracts to ensuring your vision is carried out on the wedding day. Renny Pedersen, owner and creative director of Bliss Weddings & Events, says, “Planners take the guesswork out of the process, making it as easy and smooth as possible to plan a wedding.” “A planner will keep track of your budget and ensure everything runs smoothly. Many people can learn this skill, but only the best planners have the years of experience and credentials that make them stand out from the rest.”
Some planners also offer design or styling services to help with the creative details of your wedding day. Unfortunately, others leave those details to a wedding designer, meaning you’ll need to hire two professionals to make your dream day come true. Talk to your planner ahead of time to find out if they offer design services.
- Refers to vendors and negotiates contracts; plans and attends all meetings with vendors.
- Makes detailed floor plans and schedules.
- Helps determine and manage your budget.
- Visits places and tries out food.
- It comes with style ideas and ensures all the design details are in place.
- Makes sure that hotel rooms and transportation are all set up.
- Organizes the practice.
- Watches over everything on the wedding day (makes sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handles snafus, manages vendors, and executes your vision on-site).
Pay for a wedding planner If…
- You have enough money.
- You want as little stress as possible about the wedding decor.
- Your job keeps you too busy to do anything else.
- You don’t know where to start when planning, and you’re not very good at getting things in order.
- You only have a concise amount of time to plan.
- You’re having a wedding at a different location or a wedding weekend with multiple events.
- Your wedding will be in an unusual place (not a hotel, restaurant, or banquet hall).
A wedding designer only cares about how things look. She doesn’t do things like negotiate contracts or go to meetings with the bride. Tracy Taylor Ward, president and principal designer of Tracy Taylor Ward Design, says, “We focus on design and offer advice on everything from floor plans and lighting to flowers, furniture, linens, and clothes.” “We help you make the choices that will give your event a stylish, put-together look.”
It is a unique and rare skill to be able to plan an event and set the mood for it. But, Pedersen says, “It’s more than just picking out sheets and chairs.” “A designer has a creative eye that lets them think about the whole event and completely change a space.”
- Makes the design plan for the wedding.
- Provides color palette guidance.
- Oversees the decor budget and vendors (wedding florist, rentals, lighting, stationery).
- Finds props and equipment that are unique.
- Attend a site visit to understand better where you want everything to go, develop a layout, and look for problems.
- Detailed floor plans are made.
- Make sure that all of the decorations for the wedding are in place.
Get a Wedding Planner. If…
- Wedding decorations are the most important thing to you.
- You’re sure of your organizational and planning skills, but you’re not very creative.
- You’re trying to pull off a particular theme or have too many ideas for how to style your wedding.