The venue. The centerpieces. The table runners. The seating chart. Like many brides, you may find arranging all the details of your dream wedding to be a bit overwhelming. Rather than handle it all yourself, maybe you’re considering hiring some outside help to plan your wedding. But do you go with a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator? What’s the difference, anyway?
Here are some tips to help you decide which one is right for you.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
Wedding planners take away most of the guesswork and are with you every step of the planning process. Basically, they are your best friend. Once you describe your dream wedding in detail, they help to make it a reality. Don't worry, they won't overpower your decisions. Their role is to help you pick out and arrange everything. This includes finding the venue, the caterer, the florist, rentals, invitations, and much more.
A wedding planner will worry about logistics, handle vendors and paperwork, and keep track of your budget. It is a wedding planner's job to draft a timeline for the wedding day. They can be present for tastings, manage the rehearsal, and then day-of coordination. Some planners can also provide design advice, but it depends on the wedding planner.
Planners will spend between 80 to 250 hours on your wedding, and you can expect them to take up roughly 10 to 15% of your overall budget.
What Does a Wedding Coordinator Do?
Wedding coordinators are equally as important and useful as planners. They won’t help you select a florist or reserve the vendors for your big day, but they’ll take all of your research and plans and turn them into a reality.
A coordinator will spend approximately 25 hours on your wedding. You’ll meet with them four to six weeks before the big day so they can get a handle on what you planned. A coordinator reviews vendor contracts and comes up with a timeline for your big day. They also make sure everyone is where they need to be and that everything goes smoothly. This means you won’t have to answer questions or worry about anything.
Things to Consider
- How busy are you? A hectic job or busy personal life might mean you won’t have a ton of time for planning. In this case, a wedding planner would be perfect for you. You’ll have the option of being involved as little or as much as you like.
- Are you organized and detail-oriented? Maybe you can handle all the planning, but want someone to make sure everything goes smoothly on the big day. Then, a wedding coordinator might be the right fit.
- Check with your venue. Some venues provide wedding planning or coordination in their packages, so you might not need to hire outside help. Remember, they work for the venue, not you.
- Be budget conscious. Decide how much you can spend on extra help for your wedding. If you can’t spend that much, you might want to consider a coordinator over a planner.
- Evaluate the professionals. Be sure to examine all candidates for experience and look over their websites. Read reviews and talk with other couples or vendors they've worked with.
Even if you decide not to go with a coordinator or a planner, have a friend or family member oversee the big day. It’ll give you some peace of mind that everything is taken care of!