If you’re new to wedding planning, you’re likely beginning to realize that the wedding industry has its very own language and terminology. For example, what is the difference between formal and semi formal? Do you need chargers or chair covers? More importantly, what do you get from a wedding coordinator versus a wedding planner? This last one is arguably an element of your day that will have the most significant impact on your wedding day and budget. To help you decide between planner versus coordinator, below is a breakdown of what each role does (and doesn’t do).

The Wedding Coordinator

While you should book your wedding coordinator many months prior to your wedding day, they will primarily assist you in the final weeks leading up to your wedding, but some will only play a role on the wedding day itself. They are there to ensure the day runs smoothly from start to finish. They should get to know you and your plans as much as possible in the months before your wedding, so that they can execute your vision to fruition and ensure you don’t have to worry about a thing on your wedding day.

After a few preliminary meetings to allow for enough communication to effectively lead your event, they will usually work closely with the vendors, direct and or perform set-up and tear-down, manage the timeline, and handle any issues that may arise. Sometimes their contract extends beyond the day of the wedding, they will also take on duties such as helping to create your timeline, attending venue walkthroughs, communicating with your vendors, and running your ceremony rehearsal.

The Wedding Planner

The biggest difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner is the amount of time they spend with you. A wedding planner will often work with you in the early stages of wedding planning. Part of their role is recommending and procuring vendors, keeping you under budget and on schedule. They also help curate designs, make purchases and acquire decor, make reservations and travel arrangements.

However, when it comes to the day of the wedding the planner does everything a coordinator does. The difference is by this point, you will have worked with them much longer and more thoroughly, so they’ll be more familiar and invested in all the elements of the event.

Things to Keep in Mind Before You Decide

Maybe one of the largest factors in whether you go with a planner or a coordinator will be your wedding budget. A more full service planner will cost you that professional’s time and attention to your event. There is no question that you will have a lot less on your plate during the planning process but it won’t be cheap. Before you decide if it’s worth it or not, be sure to price out a couple of different planners and coordinators to find what not only fits your budget, but also you and your significant other’s personality and vision. Lastly, before you sign your contract be sure to clarify what is and what is not included in your package as they can vary greatly from professional to professional.

Photography by Life n Light Photography