Who is a Wedding planner, wedding coordinator, wedding designer/stylist and what's the difference?


Happy New Year, beautiful people. I hope you’re easing into 2022 smoothly. Wishing you all the very best this year has to offer, strong thriving growth, lots of wins and of course, purpose in all that you do!

Whether you’re new to the wedding world or not, you may have heard the terms ‘wedding planner’, ‘wedding coordinator’ and/or ‘wedding designer/stylist’. Like some, you might be wondering, what does this even mean, what do they do and how are they different?! In this blog post, I’ll be breaking down who each person is and what they do so you can decide who is best for you!

Who is a Wedding planner and what do they do? 

A wedding planner is essentially the fairy godmother/father, ultimate cheerleader and backbone support of your wedding! This person assists you with the overall planning, design and management of your Special Day so if your budget allows it, when planning a wedding, a planner is one the first people you should get in touch with! Your wedding planner walks with you every step of the way and basically helps bring your day to life through careful curation! From budget creation/tracking and venue sourcing to helping you select the perfect wedding motif (theme) and working with the right suppliers plus reviewing contracts, the benefits of working with a wedding planner are vast. Depending on how much time you have to commit to wedding planning and how involved you want your planner to be, choosing a planner to guide you along the way allows you to work with someone who creates the vision for your event and can map it out from start to finish plus every single thing in between. Most planners offer several packages including full and partial planning as well as wedding day coordination which is covered later. A lot of planners are also able to offer styling services making your planner your skilled, experienced and creative go-to wedding specialist.

Who is a Wedding coordinator and what do they do? 

Also known as a day-of coordinator or on the day coordinator, a wedding coordinator will typically be someone who meets with you a few weeks before your big day to help oversee the coordination of the logistics of the day plus contacting your vendors to confirm on the final details. They typically don’t get involved in most of the planning but they ensure that on the day, everything runs as it should. Nowadays a lot of couples are able to plan out their wedding themselves so a wedding coordinator is helpful to help you execute the things you’ve put in place. In some cases, they can also cater for any last minute emergencies so you can fully enjoy the day. An important point to note is that some venues are able to offer someone who acts as a coordinator, managing tasks for the day although their main focus will be centered around handling elements regarding their specific venue so may not be involved in aspects such as organising transportation between your ceremony venue and reception venue if they are in different locations.

Questions to ask when deciding who to pick who is best for you 

  • What does your budget allow? Most planners work to a 10-20% fee of your overall budget while a coordinator will work to a set or minimum fee.
  • Have you made a list of what needs to be done, when they need to be completed and how to go about doing this? 
  • How much time do you have to spend on wedding admin and wedding related activities such as managing guest lists and RSVPS, attending vendor meetings, creating and tracking a budget and so on? If not much, then you may want to consider a wedding planner.
  • Do you feel confident to work with suppliers, understand their contracts/terms and conditions?
  • Are you aware of all the formalities holding a wedding requires like the legal aspects, wedding traditions, timelines and order of the day plus who and how to manage each section? If yes, a coordinator might be better suited to you.
  • Are there people (such as family and friends) who may have an influence in the decision making process which might make it difficult to achieve your dream wedding? A planner can help with diffusing tension and keeping you both at the centre of everything.

Wedding designer/stylist

A wedding stylist/designer is a person who makes your wedding’s aesthetic dreams come true! Sometimes referred to as a decorator, this person takes your wedding style template and creates a design concept that tells a stylish story which looks and feels the way you envisaged. By bringing together the design elements such as linens, stationery, props, lighting, signage and flowers, a wedding stylist will infuse creativity into the overall theme for a wedding that fits together in a cohesive, unique and extra special way. It is usually a good idea to hire a designer/stylist alongside a wedding coordinator especially if decor is quite an important aspect of your celebration and you have the logistics securely in place. As previously mentioned, some planners can accommodate design and style in their offering but in the case that they don’t, you will need to consider using the services of a designer/stylist.

Questions to ask when deciding if you need a designer/stylist

  • What type of overall look and feel are you going for and can you achieve this by doing it yourself or do you need someone to help you pull the theme all together in a visually appealing way?
  • Do you feel confident enough to pick the right styling elements in a cohesive manner that reflects your personality?
  • How much time do you have to source out items or do you need help?
  • Do you know how to transform a blank space or accentuate your venue to bring out the best of its features?

As you plan your wedding, I hope these definitions help you understand the roles of each person in an easier, simplified way so that you can feel confident in deciding who is the right choice for you. When choosing, it is important to do your research for the right team who can help you bring your wedding vision to life as a whole and be sure to ask questions so you understand the differences plus the responsibilities of all three. Remember that the main goal is for you to enjoy your day as best as you can so choose those who will support you to achieve this! 

Planning a 2022/23 wedding? If you would like to have a chat with me about planning/coordinating or styling a 2022 (or 2023) celebration of love, pop an enquiry over using my web form and let’s get the ball rolling! You can also check out our services page to see which services works best for you!

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