I’m going to be honest, when I was planning my wedding (and even for a couple of years after), I didn’t know the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator, but there are quite a few differences between the two. While most people use the two roles interchangeably, there are tons of differences and each has its own responsibilities and benefits.
We are going to walk you through the differences, the pros, and how they can help. We always want everyone to have EVERYTHING they need to know when planning a wedding.
We’ve defined this in a previous post featuring one of our favorite Greenville, SC wedding coordinators,
A full wedding planner handles most of the details for you and custom-plans your day. They also are basically there from the moment you get engaged until after you have your grand exit at the reception. A full planner also helps with choosing and contacting vendors.
A wedding coordinator is your wedding day manager. A month-of, or day-of wedding coordinator. She is your go-to person for everything you need executed and handled on the wedding day. You will likely begin working with your coordinator a few weeks before the wedding day to communicate your needs and vision. She will also be there to direct your rehearsal and the entire wedding day.
Those are excellent definitions for you to get started, but we wanted to go beyond that and dig into what each of these people would do if you were to hire one.
Let’s start with a wedding planner. If you hire a wedding planner, they will normally be one of the first calls you make when planning you’re wedding. Most wedding planners are full-service, so they are with you from the very beginning all the way until the big day.
Now, not all wedding planners are the same. There are different kinds.
Let’s talk about the traditional kind of wedding planner first. These planners will manage all of your vendors, make the phone calls, help you develop the wedding day timeline (with help from your wedding photographer, of course), make sure that everyone is paid on time, all of the rentals show up, and much more.
They can also help you pick out vendors. One of the joys of a wedding planner is they probably have a lot of experience with weddings, so they know which vendors are trustworthy and deliver incredible work! That sounds a lot better than just picking one at random.
The other kind of wedding planner involves one that will include some decor services. A lot of brides get overwhelmed at picking colors, decorations, flowers, etc. Depending on the duties your wedding planner includes, this could be something they will help with.
Hiring a wedding planner is a big decision. This person will be with you throughout your whole engagement.
Are you someone who HATES the details and the back and forth? If so, having a planner might save you a lot of frustration.
Planners are also very helpful for anyone with a crazy schedule. A lot of our brides have a full-time job or could work second shift. That makes it pretty difficult to talk with vendors and get anything set in stone. This is where a planner can be a lifesaver.
When you’re talking about the wedding coordinator, you can actually mean several different things. Most people actually mean a day-of wedding coordinator.
A day-of coordinator handles a lot of the tasks that can stress a bride out on the wedding day. Now, most day-of coordinators will be communicating with you leading up to the wedding to ensure they know what’s happening, know who the vendors are, and what you’ll be needing.
So, what does a day of coordinator actually do?
While the bride is hanging out with bridesmaids and getting ready for the ceremony, the coordinator can be helping all of the vendors, like the caterers know where to set up, show the photographers where everything is (thanks a lot for that!), and keep everyone from running to the bride with questions.
If you’re thinking about hiring a day-of coordinator, more than likely the answer is YES.
Are you worried about vendors getting lost or setting up in the wrong place?
Do you want to be answering questions form family members on your wedding day? These are just a few of the factors to consider.