Planning a wedding is a fun and exciting venture — until it’s time to start turning your ideas into reality by getting the help you need. But who exactly should you turn to? Many couples think it’s always a “wedding planner vs. coordinator” comparison game. But how about a wedding designer? Should you also work with one for your one-of-a-kind event?
These wedding vendor terms can be confusing, but we’re here to help you understand their differences and find the best support for your big day.
Read on to learn more about these wedding pros and their roles. We’ll also share some smart tips so you can know when to hire a wedding planner, a coordinator, or a designer!
What Is a Wedding Planner?
A wedding planner is a professional who’s deeply involved in the planning process. They handle virtually everything related to your big day, from creating the budget, conceptualizing the design, managing the logistics and overseeing the event itself. Essentially, wedding planners do what it takes to make your dream wedding a reality!
Wedding Planner Duties
Wedding planner duties generally include the following:
Creating and Managing Your Budget
Weddings can be costly, but you can ease your worries by hiring a professional wedding planner. They study map out your budget requirements, determine if they’re realistic for your ideas and start planning accordingly. Wedding planners also track expenses and ensure your vendors are paid on time.
Recommending and Negotiating With Vendors
Experienced planners often have a network of tried-and-tested vendors that they can recommend based on your dream wedding ideas. But aside from providing you with vendor referrals, you can also count on your planner to negotiate contracts with them.
Organize Site Visits and Vendor Meetings
Venues can make or break any wedding ceremony, so these professionals arrange site tours and menu tastings. Their duties also include scheduling and attending vendor meetings to get everyone on the same page and sort any confusion out promptly.
Handling the Logistics
While this is often a coordinator's responsibility, planners also oversee your vendor requirements with ease and expertise. And since they’ve been heavily involved in your preparations, they understand what you want for your big day — and what they will need to arrange to get it done.
Some additional wedding planner responsibilities include:
- Assisting with guest management and accommodation
- Creating the wedding day timeline
- Creating (or helping with) floor plan creation and overall design and styling
- Scheduling and directing the rehearsal
- Overseeing the wedding ceremony and reception and ensuring they’re executed according to your vision
When To Hire a Wedding Planner
If budget creation and organization isn’t your forte, it’s best to have a professional wedding planner handle everything for you. On top of realizing your dream wedding, they also reduce your wedding-related stress so you can enjoy your special day.
Hiring a wedding planner also makes sense if you have a unique idea, like a destination wedding or a celebration involving multiple events. Since they have experience in orchestrating different ceremonies, they’ll know how to pull it off so you and your guests can have a memorable time.
What is a Wedding Coordinator?
Now that you have an idea of what a wedding planner does, it’s time to ask: what is a wedding coordinator? How are they different from a wedding planner?
As the name suggests, a wedding coordinator is a professional who focuses on organizing and synchronizing the logistics of your wedding. They usually step in four to six weeks before the wedding to execute and oversee what you’ve already planned.
Wedding Coordinator Duties
To help you understand the difference between a planner and a coordinator further, take a look at these primary wedding coordinator duties:
As suggested above, coordinators don’t plan weddings — they only take over around a month before your big day to manage your chosen vendors, review all signed contracts and ensure that all things are set for the event.
Handling the Day-of Logistics
Wedding coordinators are your point persons during the big day. They’re responsible for ensuring that the whole day runs smoothly, including overseeing vendors and sorting any last-minute issues that arise during the celebrations. They also wrap everything up, secure all contracts, and ensure all payments are made.
Wedding Planner vs. Coordinator: When to Hire a Wedding Coordinator
It can be easy to know when to hire a wedding coordinator or when to work with a planner instead.
Wedding planners are perfect for those who want a knowledgeable and experienced professional to take care of their preparations. But if you wish to be involved in the planning process and enjoy your big day at the same time, coordinators are your best option.
With a wedding coordinator, you can be in charge of putting your wedding together AND have someone else oversee the actual event. This setup lets you relish the joyous occasion without worrying about anything!
What Is A Wedding Designer?
Wedding designers are quite different from planners and coordinators in the sense that they don’t focus on the logistics. Instead, they’re in charge of your wedding’s aesthetics and overall design. Their goal is to wow you and your guests with your big day’s style and sophistication.
Wedding Designer Duties
Generally, these are the tasks wedding designers are responsible for:
- Attending site visits to create an ideal floor plan for the ceremony and celebrations.
- Conceptualizing the entire event’s design, from floor plans and lighting design to furniture, color palette, attire and flowers.
- Coordinating with decor vendors and overseeing the budget for florists, lighting, and other rentals.
- Executing all decorations on your wedding day.
- Setting up and taking down all decor items they brought in.
When to Hire a Wedding Designer
The wedding designer duties mentioned above focus purely on developing your big day’s look and feel. With this, there’s one quick way to tell when to hire a wedding designer or skip it altogether: if the wedding’s style and design are essential for you.
For example, you may be better off hiring a designer if you wish to pull off a specific or unique theme. Utilizing their services lets you soak in the atmosphere you’ve always dreamed of with the love of your life right by your side — minus the stress of designing the event yourself.
Make Your Wedding Even More Special at the Hollow Hill
Now that you know the differences behind the “wedding planner vs. coordinator vs. designer” comparisons, it’s time to reach out to the perfect person for your needs. On that note, reach out to your chosen wedding pros as early as possible. The best planners, coordinators and designers tend to be booked up quickly, along with famous caterers, florists and other vendors.
And if you’re looking for the perfect location for your once-in-a-lifetime event, visit Hollow Hill. A unique barn-style venue in Fort Worth, Texas, Hollow Hill offers couples and their family and friends the perfect place to celebrate love, whether with rustic elegance or a simple country feel. The staff at Hollow Hill is ready to help each bride and groom plan an unforgettable festivity!
Schedule a tour to view our venues and overnight accommodations, or contact us today so we can start planning a unique wedding for you.