Planner, Coordinator, or something in-between?

When it comes to intricate details of complex events, there are few things more satisfying than knowing that everything has been perfectly organized and will be flawlessly executed.  This is especially true for something as important as your wedding day.  Some couples choose to take on the planning and coordinating themselves or perhaps allow a close friend or relative to do it for them.  Other couples decide to hire a professional to help in some or all of the various stages of planning.  Which decision is right for a particular wedding will depend on many aspects including the complexity of the event, location of the wedding in relation to where the couple lives, and budget.  Beyond these considerations, the most important factors are the time the couple can plan to devote to the details and how well they can absorb the stress that may come from doing so.

One thing we know for sure…your wedding day will be filled with so many emotions. Stress should not be one of them.

If hiring a professional to take care of the details looks like the best option for you, then you generally have a few different choices when it comes to just how much that person will handle for your event.  On the day of the wedding, a coordinator and a planner have the exact same job – to make the most memorable day of your life a happy, magical memory. Beyond that, many brides want to know:what is the difference between a Wedding Coordinator and a Wedding Planner?

Wedding Coordinator: In Detail

In terms of pricing, wedding coordination is typically the most basic package of service.

This is for the couple confident to handle all the planning details, but would like an expert to step in to coordinate everything on the big day. The Coordinator helps to ensure the ceremony and reception run flawlessly so that you may enjoy your day to the fullest.

The Wedding Coordinator is logistically-focused and creates the day-of timeline, confirms vendors, and makes sure all the couples advance planning is in order. They are also there for the rehearsal dinner to coordinate the walk down the aisle, including bridesmaid/groomsman pairings and usher management, as well as ensuring the entire wedding party knows where and when they need to be the next day.

In short: Wedding Coordinators manage the plans the couple has made in advance to ensure everything is executed perfectly.

Wedding Planner: In Detail

A full Wedding Planner is for the couple that wants to put the reins in someone else’s hands. They want their professional to manage every step of the planning and execution of their wedding. The best thing about having a wedding planner is that you will have them as your one point of contact throughout the entire process. There will be no need for you to book the vendors, but just tell the planner who you want and they will handle the rest. The wedding planner is the primary contact for all vendors and relays all of this information back to you. The couple will usually have unlimited appointments with their planner, they will help you pick out everything from the wedding venue, to florists, chair rentals, invitations, caterer, etc.  In the weeks leading up to the wedding, once everything has been planned, a Wedding Planner takes on all the coordination duties as described above.

In short: Wedding Planners handle all of the details from the outset, providing comprehensive planning services from the date hired, and then fully coordinating of all the details.

Your Perfect Mix?

Many event planning companies have a wedding package that is in between these two services. It can often be called a “Full Coordination” or a “Partial Planning” service. A Full Wedding Coordinator will usually be brought on earlier in the planning process, like a Wedding Planner, but will usually guide the couples planning process instead of doing the planning legwork themselves.  A Full Wedding Coordinator would, for instance, steer couples to the appropriate preferred vendors but the couple would make these appointments and be the primary contact during planning.  Full Coordination packages are a nice middle ground for the couple who has the time and resources to plan the details, but would still like etiquette advice, ceremony advisement and coordination, reception layout and timeline assistance, as well as multiple appointments to go over any other details and get a pro’s answers to any of their questions.

In short: Full Wedding Coordinators or Partial Planners are usually a hybrid of services between a full planner and a day of coordinator.

Whatever service you feel might work best for you, your coordinator or planner are there to take the stress out of the process and will do whatever it takes to make sure you have a flawless wedding day.