Recently I was asked the question, “What is the difference between a wedding designer, wedding planner, or wedding coordinator?” At the time, I didn’t have the answer, but after some research, I now have an answer!

Wedding Designer

Wedding designers create the wedding’s design concept. They take charge of creating the theme, color palette, flower selections, and reserve and communicate with the vendors. Designers will work with the wedding planners to implement the design. They will create a layout, make a floor plan, oversee the decor budget, and will identify potential problems.

Why hire a wedding designer? If your wedding’s decor is highly essential to you and you need a creative eye to assist you, then a designer is the right choice. A designer is also crucial if you have multiple style ideas and themes that you are having a hard time narrowing down, then a wedding designer will be a vital addition to your wedding team.

Wedding Planner

Wedding planners oversee everything for your wedding day. They will help you manage and determine your budget, as well as plan a timeline and work with the bride and groom to choose the attire, ceremony and reception venues, music, and food. Planners will assist in brainstorming design styles and will coordinate those design details with the vendors and other team members. Along with this, wedding planners manage the rehearsal as well as take care of the many behind-the-scene details.

Why hire a wedding planner? If you have a short time frame before the wedding, want the least amount of wedding planning stress, have no time to plan a wedding, or maybe your organizational skills are lacking, a wedding planner will be incredibly helpful in preparing for your big day.

Wedding Coordinator

A wedding coordinator also referred to as a wedding consultant, is someone that will oversee everything on the wedding day. They are the Point Person on the wedding day. They are not involved in the early wedding planning phases; instead, they come in about a month before the wedding to help you prepare. Coordinators will make sure the logistics are in order, such as guest counts, payments, vendors, and the rehearsal dinner. They will create detailed timelines, help with final-walk throughs, and point out overlooked details.

Why hire a wedding coordinator? If you want to plan your wedding but need someone to take care of the last-minute details, as well as someone to oversee and be the Point Person on the big day, then hiring a wedding coordinator, will be a valuable asset to you.

On a side note, we have witnessed weddings that the Point Person on the day of the wedding is the mother of the bride. When surveyed after the wedding, most brides and mothers wish they had an outside person be the coordinator instead of the mother. Mothers are not able to enjoy the day, and they felt like they were working the entire time instead of enjoying the special day with their daughter.

Wedding Facilitator

An alternative to a wedding designer, planner, or coordinator, is a wedding facilitator. The venue provides a wedding facilitator. They set up, tear down, and take care of the clean-up afterward. However, keep in mind, they are not in charge of decorating and do not partake in the day’s itinerary. Having a wedding facilitator relieves an incredible amount of stress on your wedding day.

Before you Hire

Before you hire one of the above wedding teams, the most significant consideration is your budget. A wedding planner is the most expensive and will charge near 15-20% of the total wedding budget. However, they do provide start to finish assistance. On the other hand, designers, consultants, and facilitators are less expensive but will not offer the same start to finish assistance as a wedding planner.

I hope this helps clarify the difference between these roles. We have several vendor resources on our website that we work with that may be able to answer more questions on “Who Does What.” Congrats and Good Luck!

Sources: Women Getting MarriedBridesStudy