What Does a Wedding Planner Do vs. a Wedding Designer | Organizing

May 27, 2020 by Just Marry!

What Does a Wedding Planner Do vs. a Wedding Designer | Organizing

Although it seems like a simple question, the answer to “What Does a Wedding Planner Do?” changes with each client. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make as a newly engaged couple is whether you need a wedding planner, a wedding coordinator, or a wedding designer. Right now you may be thinking, “What’s the difference?” Today, I’ll share those differences and help you distinguish which you might need most for your wedding day!

WHAT DOES A WEDDING PLANNER DO?

A wedding planner is there to help you with all the details and logistics, from vendor booking assistance to developing the detailed timeline of the wedding day. We’re here to help you plan the entire day exactly how you’ve been dreaming it!

Your wedding planner will spend anywhere from 25-200 hours helping you plan your wedding. Those are hours you won’t spend planning yourself—bonus! We help with organizing all the vendors and details before the wedding day and then run the event itself. We oversee setup and cleanup, manage your wedding party, and fix any mishaps that come along.

There are different tiers for what a wedding planner can do for you. Check out this blog explaining the tiers of wedding planning services for a more in-depth understanding. For now, when it comes to the question “What does a wedding planner do?” below are some typical duties:

  • Puts in any where from 25 to 200 hours of phone calls, emails, meetings, package negotiation, research, documentation, etc. for your wedding day.
  • Helps determine and manage your budget throughout the planning process.
  • Offers guidance on your wedding day style, color scheme, and theme.
  • Recommends and books vendors with your wedding day vision in mind.
  • Provides outreach to all vendors involved in the event to confirm their services and wedding day details.
  • Confirms all vendors’ insurance policies meet venue requirements and that the vendors have submitted those policies to the venue.
  • Ensures any musicians hired have all song selections; works with the band/DJ to establish timing for events.
  • Attends site inspections, menu tastings, vendor appointments, etc. if applicable.
  • Assists with hotel room blocks and wedding weekend details for you and your guests.
  • Provides you with information on obtaining your marriage license and connecting you with your officiant to arrange the ceremony details for your wedding day.
  • Creates a detailed wedding day agenda to be shared with you, all involved vendors, and the venue’s team approximately one (1) week prior to the event.
  • Coordinates everything on the wedding day and for any other contracted wedding-related events.

Hire a wedding planner if...

  1. You want a stree-free wedding planning process.
  2. You have no free time to do the heavy lifting.
  3. You have no idea where to start when it comes to planning a wedding.
  4. Your organizational skills aren’t flawless.
  5. You’re hosting a destination wedding and aren’t familiar with the area for venues or vendors.
  6. You are planning a wedding in a unique space (i.e. not a hotel or resort, wedding venue, etc.)
  7. You only have a year or less for planning.
  8. You are hosting a wedding weekend involving more than one event.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do - Just Marry Weddings

WHAT DOES A WEDDING COORDINATOR DO?

Similar to the question, “What does a wedding planner do,” you are probably wondering what a wedding coordinator does. A wedding coordinator communicates with clients on a shorter timeline than a wedding planner and focuses specifically on the logistics of the day. Our Experience Team, for example, is in touch with our couples anywhere from the time of initial booking to the month prior to the wedding, depending on the client’s needs. This person is your main point of contact for the wedding day.

Wedding planners also typically include wedding coordination; however, below are some tasks specific to wedding coordinators:

  • Puts in any where from 25 to 100 hours of phone calls, emails, meetings, documentation, etc. for your wedding day.
  • Provides outreach to all vendors involved in the event to confirm their services and wedding day details.
  • Confirms all vendors’ insurance policies meet venue requirements and that the vendors have turned those policies into the venue.
  • Ensures any musicians hired have all song selections; works with the band/DJ to establish timing for events.
  • Attends site inspections, menu tastings, vendor appointments, etc. if applicable.
  • Assists with hotel room blocks and wedding weekend details for you and your guests.
  • Creates a detailed wedding day agenda to be shared with you, all involved vendors, and the venue’s team approximately one (1) week prior to the event.
  • Attends and/or coordinates the rehearsal.
  • Arrives on-site prior to the ceremony at a time based on your event’s setup needs, and coordinating vendor setup for the entire event.
  • Reviews ceremony and reception setups, setting out favors, programs, your guest book, place cards, table numbers, card box, and any other small personal décor items you might have.
  • Distributes and pins personal floral.
  • Makes sure the ceremony starts on time and that everything the officiant needs to perform the ceremony is in place and waiting for him/her.
  • Directs the wedding party down the aisle, spacing them appropriately and instructing them with regard to music, their pace, and where to stand.
  • Cues musicians appropriately.
  • Assists the photographer with group and family photos.
  • Assists with other post-ceremony elements.
  • Directs guest flow from the ceremony to the cocktail hour, and to other event locations, if applicable.
  • Collects your ceremony items and makes sure they are placed at the proper location.
  • Assists the couple with a reception “room reveal” if one is requested.
  • Bustles the bride’s gown (if desired).
  • Works with the reception DJ or emcee for the wedding party introductions, first dances or speeches, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and other events scheduled to take place.
  • Ensures all items are returned to their proper location based on the final inventory list, and that the wedding gifts are collected by the person you designate at the conclusion of the event.

Hire a Wedding Coordinator if…

  1. You want a stress-free wedding day.
  2. You have completed your pre-wedding planning and would like someone to take care of the last-minute details and bring it all together on the wedding day.
  3. You are hosting a destination wedding and aren’t familiar with the area for venues or vendors.
  4. You are planning a wedding in a unique space (i.e. not a hotel or resort, wedding venue, etc.).
  5. You are hosting a wedding weekend involving more than one event.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do - Just Marry Weddings

WHAT DOES A WEDDING DESIGNER DO?

A wedding designer has little to do with the planning, coordination, direction, or logistics of the day. There are some planners who are also designers by nature and can help you design a beautiful event along with organizing all of the details; however, this is more of a hybrid, so just ask your wedding planner!

A wedding designer is the person who actively develops and creates the aesthetic design and vision for the wedding day. Your design board and Pinterest pages are small examples of this! 

A few duties you might see from a wedding designer that differ from a planner and coordinator are listed below:

  • Puts in anywhere from 25 to 100 hours of phone calls, emails, meetings, creating documentation, etc. for your wedding day.
  • Creates the overall wedding day design concept.
  • Develops a color palette for the day/events.
  • Oversees the décor budget and vendors associated with the overall design (i.e. florist, furniture, lighting, stationery, signage, etc.).
  • Sources specialty props and equipment, if applicable.
  • Attends site inspections to visualize the layout, formulate a floorplan, etc..
  • Creates a detailed room diagram for each event.
  • Ensures all the décor elements are where they’re supposed to be on the wedding day.

Hire a Wedding Designer if…

  1. Your décor and look of the day is the most important element of the wedding day for you.
  2. You are looking to pull off a very specific look/feel/theme or vision, or you have many ideas and styles you are unable to narrow down.
  3. You want to play an active role in the planning of your wedding day; your organizational and logistical skills are flawless.
  4. You need creative guidance.
  5. You are planning a wedding in a unique space (i.e. not a hotel or resort, wedding venue, etc.).
What Does a Wedding Planner Do - Just Marry Weddings

EXTRA: DIY-ING YOUR WEDDING

Etsy has made it so easy to include DIY wedding elements, and we’re seeing them more and more! If you plan to bring in DIY décor, have a conversation with your wedding planner and/or wedding coordinator about it. It’s so important that we know ahead of time so we can discuss who will be setting those items for you, whether that means upgrading our services, finding a wedding decorator, or designating someone in your party to handle it. If you have extra items needing setup, let us know so we can devise the best plan for your big day!

What Does a Wedding Planner Do - Just Marry Weddings

MORE ABOUT WHAT A WEDDING PLANNER DOES

If you’d like to learn more about what the Just Marry! Team and other wedding planners do, check out some of our previous posts on this and related topics:

JOIN THE JUST MARRY! FAMILY

Need more answers to the question “What does a wedding planner do?” We can help! Simply e-mail us at info@justmarry.com. We’d be happy to customize a planning option that will allow you to enjoy every moment of your planning and your wedding day!

Let's discuss your dream wedding!

What Does a Wedding Planner Do vs. a Wedding Designer | Organizing

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