Hopefully, you acknowledge the need to hire a wedding professional to help you through the wedding planning process. But you've probably heard the terms "planner" and "coordinator" and may be getting confused as to what the difference is. Here is a quick breakdown for you!
A wedding planner plans all the details of the wedding start-to-finish starting far in advance of your actual wedding day. This typically includes wedding styling and design, venue and vendor selection, timeline creation, guest management, budget management, etc. A wedding planner handles all details and planning of the entire wedding while periodically meeting with the couple to provide updates and to ensure their vision and expectations are being met. Contracting a wedding planner is crucial for couples who feel overwhelmed by the idea of having to plan their own wedding and/or have very high expectations for their wedding and don’t want to leave it to chance trusting themselves to pull it off.
A wedding coordinator manages all day-of related logistics and their process usually begins just a few months before the wedding date. Any wedding coordinator (at least any good one) knows that there is no such thing as a day-of coordinator or even a month-of coordinator. Our work starts months before the wedding date, reviewing all of the wedding aspects, creating or adjusting the timeline, and often times finding and fixing details that were missed during the planning process. For the wedding day, the wedding coordinator is the contact person for all vendors, ensures everything stays on schedule, manages any unexpected hiccups, etc. A wedding coordinator typically does not book the venue or vendors, assist in wedding design, or assist in budget or guest management. A wedding coordinator will often assist in timeline creation, confirm already booked vendors, review all day-of details, etc. Contracting a wedding coordinator is perfect for DIY couples who want to take the reins in planning their own wedding. Even for DIY couples who do a great job with all the beforehand planning, it is still extremely important to have a wedding coordinator. Otherwise, you or a loved one ends up working the day of the wedding and stressing over the unexpected hiccups and being bombarded by vendors. A coordinator will ensure everything runs according to plan as you’ve envisioned and make it so that you and your partner don’t have to lift a finger and have a beautiful stress-free day.
Many wedding planners/coordinators offer both services to suit the needs of different couples. Some, myself included, even offer a partial planning package which is somewhat of a combination of planning and coordination. It doesn't have all the inclusions of full-on wedding planning but it offers more than the standard coordination package.