Wedding Planner vs Designer vs Coordinator- What is the Difference?!

When it comes to planning your big day, it can be so overwhelming at first! From finding long ‘to-do’ checklists on Pinterest to reading new event planning terms, the list of what you need to figure out is never ending.

Many people choose to hire a professional in the wedding industry to give them guidance and advice on creating the wedding of their dream. The terms wedding planner, design, and coordinator are seen everywhere, but what do they really mean?

You may think that those terms are used to describe different jobs, which is correct! Or you may think that all those terms are used to describe the same job, which is also correct

Sound confusing? First, let me break down the individual duties for each job:

Wedding Planner:

Wedding Planners are all about the logistics and organization of a wedding. They create plans and structures to make every step of the wedding planning process seamless and easy for their clients. Their job includes:

  • Creating and managing the wedding budget to ensure the couple stays on target
  • Monthly checklists of what needs to be completed to stay on track
  • Referrals and extensive research on venues and vendors to find what suits the
    couple’s needs best
  • Being the liaison between the client and the vendors, schedules meetings,
    attending vendor meetings when necessary, and reviews/ negotiates all contracts
  • Creating a floor plan, seating chart, wedding day timeline, and managing the
    wedding rehearsal

Wedding Designer:

A Wedding Designer concentrates not on how the wedding will get planned, but the aesthetic of how the wedding will look. From the lighting and the florals to the table scape and menu options, designers help couples with every detail. Wedding Designers specialize in:

  • Creating a color palate that you love
  • Coming up with a design concept
  • Finding unique ways to incorporate your personality into your wedding
  • Ensuring all décor and details are cohesive
  • Creating an overall experience for you and your guests that will always be

Wedding Coordinator:

Wedding Coordinators make sure that the wedding day runs smoothly behind the scenes so you can enjoy every moment of your big day! Some of these jobs include:

  • Confirming all wedding day details with vendors
  • Managing set-up and breakdown, and overseeing vendors/ guests
  • Cueing bride/ groom, bridal party, family members, and vendors for events such
    as processional, grand entrance, and father/daughter dance.
  • Assist with unexpected situations that arise on the wedding day
  • Ensuring marriage license is signed, provide emergency kit, and collecting
    personal items at the end of the wedding

So how can the terms planner, designer, and coordinator mean different jobs but also mean the same job? As we learned, wedding planner, designer, and coordinator have distinct roles that are unique to the job. However, one person can do all three jobs which is when they will choose one of the three terms to describe the job.

If you hire a Wedding Planner, that may mean you are hiring a planner, designer, and coordinator for your wedding. This person will help you from start to finish on every aspect of your wedding. But if you hire a Wedding Coordinator, this person will only be there to assist you the day of your wedding so you do not have to worry about anything.

These terms can become confusing because there are so many wedding packages that are offered to clients and are not always consistent across the board. On one website, you may see a ‘Full Wedding Planning Package’, on another there is a ‘Deluxe VIP Planning’, and on another you may see a ‘Full XOXO Package’. It is important to look at the description of what the package offers. If you have any questions or want anything clarified, it is always best to reach out to the wedding professional and ask them directly! 

Remember- it is always best to have a wedding professional there the day of your wedding to make sure every detail is in place, ensure the vendors set up correctly, and keep everything running on time. If a professional wedding planner is not in your budget, speak to your venue coordinator to see if they would be able to handle simple logistics. 

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