A wedding planner is the same as a coordinator, right?

Well, not exactly. Lately, there have been more than a few people asking me what the difference is between a wedding designer, a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. A bride may have all of her wedding details worked out, but may need someone to show up on the big day to ensure that her wedding vision is carried out to perfection. There's a wedding professional for that. Or, a bride may just want someone to book all her vendors. Well, there's a wedding professional for that, too. I found this post on Elizabeth Anne Designs a few days ago that explains, in detail, about the differences.

"What’s in a name?

Don’t be misled. A planner is not a designer and may not be a coordinator. So, what’s the diff?

A wedding coordinator is your basic essential. It’s like the bare bones that you need for a happy, stress-free wedding day. Many coordinators are planners as well, and offer higher packages that include planning help. “Coordinators”, in essence, are around to tie up loose ends and make sense of all of the plans you have put into place. They typically step in anywhere from a month to a week out from your wedding- but not more than that. A “site coordinator” is very, VERY different than an independent coordinator. Do not let yourself be led astray on this. Nearly EVERY site has an appointed contact- a “venue coordinator”. They are not a wedding coordinator- they are venue staff who are appointed, typically not as qualified, and not looking out for the best interest of YOU- the couple. It is a rarity, as well, that any venue coordinator will stay for the entirety of your wedding. A wedding coordinator will be there from dusk til dawn, should your wedding require it, with a happy smile on their face and a determined attitude in their heart.

A wedding planner is someone to help you guide through the industry. They are hired to help you with venue selection, vendor selection, and any details along the way. Their expertise and experience play an essential role in pairing you with vendors to fit your budget, personality, style, and needs. Many wedding planners are coordinators as well and nearly every planner I’ve met will be there with you themselves personally on the day-of, after planning the wedding closely with you. This becomes a special relationship between the couple and the professional and it is so so - I cannot emphasize this enough - SO important that the couple is comfortable and confident in their pick for a planner. Please note that a PLANNER is there to guide the couple for the duration of their engagement. They are like a wedding manager- they aren’t typically hired to inject their style or ideas or to come up with a wedding’s concept, creatively speaking. This is left to the client. I think that brides typically cringe at the thought of hiring a planner because they fear that a planner will kill their creative freedom. Quite the opposite! We are here to foster that creativity, to encourage it, be with you in it, and ensure that the vendors you hire are the ones that will work best to gel with the vision you’ve put into place.

Event designers are the top of the line, crème de la crème for weddings. They are hired based on their beautiful past work and glowing references. They’re known for taking care of your floral design as well- as the concept for your wedding is theirs, top to bottom. This works perfect for a busy couple who wants to attend an event that is decked out to the nines! It also works for brides who just can’t seem to articulate their own vision, or who want their wedding to be more of a party thrown in their honor than they want to be mulling over the details of the party. Event designers are known for their unique and personal sense of style and their website and catalogues should reflect just that. Typically they’ll take your notes, ideas, pictures, and vision and create something fabulously YOU, with a twist only they could put onto it.

Please note THIS: not all event designers are planners. They MAY just be florists and designers. They may NOT want anything to do with the coordination of your vendors or details. This is something to be aware of before signing a contract!"

I find that this is a great explanation and it may clear up any questions you have about what sort of wedding planning professional you are looking for.

There is a lot more to this informative post. Click here to read the entire article.


Lisa Cheney said...

I'm Lisa, nice to meet you! I'll be a bride in 12 days. 2/28/09. Lovely blog:)

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