If you are just starting out in the early stages of planning for your wedding and have considered hiring a Wedding Planner or Wedding Designer but don’t quite understand the difference, and then were told that the venue comes with a coordinator, we are happy to explain what you will get with each service. One of the biggest decisions that a bride needs to determine early on in the planning process is what, exactly, would be best for them. We believe becoming more familiar with what your options are is the most direct route to an informed decision.
There is often a lot of confusion for brides in regard to the different responsibilities and varying talents that accompany the different titles that wedding professionals hold. This occurs most often in regard to wedding planners, event designers and venue coordinators. What is even worse is that we have found a lot of so-called professionals who “lump” all of these different titles into one. When this occurs, we can pretty much guarantee that brides will end frustrated, stressed out, and do not receive the full attention and service they would have received with an educated wedding professional, so please read on and choose wisely.
Your wedding planner is all about the logistics. From vendor referrals and contract negotiation to day-of execution of your vision, planners take the guesswork out of the process, making planning a wedding as seamless, smooth and stress free as possible. They assist with the planning, scheduling, and logistics of your event. Most commonly they are known to handle the budget tracking, contract negotiations, timelines, vendor referrals and appointments and the “how does this all happen” of the wedding itself. These are skills that many can learn, but only the best planners have the years of experience and credentials that sets them above the rest. A wedding planner’s role is to help you plan your event within budget and without any “oops, we didn’t think of that” moments. Your wedding planner is an unbiased opinion who has only your best interests in mind when making suggestions and giving advice. They are your sounding board and confidant, but most importantly, your wedding planner will ensure that every loose end has been tied, so that your wedding runs without a hitch. And if there is a problem, you will never know about it. Often planners have great relationships with vendors and can offer preferred pricing, saving you money, as well as other perks that a client may not receive on their own if they were to contact that same vendor directly. Rest assured, the vendors your planner recommends are seasoned professionals who are sure to deliver above and beyond your expectations on your big day!
A wedding designer’s role is purely aesthetic, and doesn't include things like contract negotiations or attending appointments alongside the bride. They specialize in design, consulting on everything from floor plans and lighting design to the flowers, furniture, linens, and attire. The ability to design an event and create an atmosphere is a unique and rare talent. It goes beyond simply choosing linens and chairs. A wedding designer has an artistic eye that allows them to conceptualize the whole event and truly transform a space. They will assist with the decisions that will give your event a cohesive, stylish and sophisticated look with the jaw-dropping aesthetics. They work with you to develop your vision and bring it to fruition. They have rental connections as well as the tools and team in place to also make unique custom pieces. If you’re dreaming of a chic rustic wedding and don’t know where to begin, but you know that chandeliers are a must, a wedding designer will take your ideas and turn them in to a well-styled, polished event that will have your guests raving.
A NOTE ABOUT PLANNERS & DESIGNERS:
While your wedding planner may also offer design services, it is the industry standard worldwide to contract these services separately - and for good reason. Wedding planning and wedding design are two services that are both very in-depth, quite labor intensive and incredibly time-consuming. In order to offer the full attention required for each of these services, contract them separately. Offering both as one “all inclusive” service is an injustice to brides as surely elements will suffer from both the planning and design aspects as one person, regardless of how well they think they can handle it, simply cannot devote the time needed to do both jobs as well as you deserve. After all, this is the most important day of your life to date. It should be perfect, right?!
A venue coordinator is a vital part of ensuring that everything related to your selected venue and their staff runs smoothly as per your contract. They are employed by the reception site, therefore a reception site coordinator is often a salesperson working on behalf of the venue. This professional is typically not a formally trained event planner. The venue coordinator is responsible for collecting all your necessary paperwork and contracts for the space as well as for working with you and your wedding planner with regards to venue walks and accommodation agreements. The most frustrating situation a bride can find herself in is having been misinformed on the responsibilities of a venue coordinator and finding that the venue coordinator will not actually fill the role of an event planner at all. Among other duties, your venue coordinator will not handle contract negotiations with other vendors, attend appointments or handle the budget tracking for your event as a whole. Your venue coordinator will likely offer vendor referrals for vendors who have worked within their space in the past, not necessarily the best vendors for your budget or who best fit your stylistic preferences.
In the end, think about planning your wedding like building a house. Hiring a wedding planner is like hiring a builder or contractor. And hiring a wedding designer is like bringing an interior decorator to the team. A decorator is like the places and stores in which they will go to buy the physical items that will beautify the home.
So, now that you know the differences, which will you choose?