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The Difference Between Wedding Planners and Wedding Coordinators

It's time to actually explain, know and understand the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator, because trust us, there is a difference.


W E D D I N G P L A N N E R

A wedding planner is all about the logistics, from vendor referrals and contract negotiations to the day-of execution of your vision. Planners take the guesswork out of the process, making planning a wedding as seamless and smooth as possible. A planner will help you keep track and record of your budget, and handle all your logistics. Some planners also provide design and styling services (but not all), helping with the creative details of your wedding - while others may have to hire an additional professional, a wedding designer to create the day you've dreamed of.


W E D D I N G P L A N N E R D U T I E S

  1. provides vendor referrals and negotiates contracts, and 'may' attend vendor meetings

  2. tracks deposits and payments for all vendors

  3. creates a detailed timeline and diagram/floor plan

  4. helps determine and manage your budget

  5. attends site visits/tour and menu tastings

  6. brainstorms style ideas and coordinates design details

  7. helps with stationary design (save the dates, invitations, programs, place cards, menu cards)

  8. coordinates hotel room blocks and transportation

  9. completes a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites

  10. manages the rehearsal

  11. confirms vendor timeline and details prior to the wedding day

  12. oversees e-v-e-r-y-thing on the wedding day (timeline, snafus, vendors, execution, and more)

H I R E A W E D D I N G P L A N N E R I F . . .

  • you have the budget for it

  • you want the least possible amount of stress

  • you have little/to no free time

  • you have no idea where to begin/start when it comes to planning

  • your organization skills aren't the greatest

  • you have a short time frame for planning

  • you're having a destination wedding and/or wedding weekend involving multiple events

  • you're hosting your wedding in an unusual space


W E D D I N G C O O R D I N A T O R

A wedding coordinator is logistically focused but on a much shorter timeline than a planner. They usually begin helping you prepare a month or two before the wedding and function as the point person on the wedding day. Coordinators make sure everything you've done up until they take over is in good shape. Hiring a wedding coordinator gives them time to tweak any details, and follow up on loose ends. They will confirm the vendor scope of services, create a day-of timeline, as well as make sure things like payments, and guest counts are in order, but won't be involved in the earlier planning phases of keeping track of your budget and planning progress.


W E D D I N G P L A N N E R D U T I E S

  1. meets with you four to eight weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you've planned

  2. checks in with your vendors to review the signed contracts and confirm logistics

  3. created detailed timelines and diagrams/floor plans

  4. completes a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites

  5. addresses any overlooked details (such as forgetting to hire servers)

  6. manages the rehearsal

  7. oversees e-v-e-r-y-thing on the wedding day (timeline, snafus, vendors, execution, and more)

H I R E A W E D D I N G C O O R D I N A T O R I F . . .

  • you want to play an active role in planning, but want someone to take charge day-of

  • you don't have the budget for a full-service wedding planner

  • the obvious, your venue requires a coordinator day-of


W E D D I N G D E S I G N E R

If your a Mr and Mrs Brislin bride, and opted for full-service planning we create a *detailed* design guide purely focusing on your aesthetic, and overall vision, so a 'wedding designer' is not needed. However, for couples who may have a wedding planner/coordinator and need someone to can take lead and specializes in design, a wedding designer may be an additional professional you need. Wedding designers don't do things like contract negotiations, serve as the liaison between the couple and their vendors, plan/orchestrate the wedding-day, and much more... their sole job is design, and everything from floor plans and lighting design to the flowers, furniture, and linens. They help you with the decisions that will give your event a cohesive, stylish, and sophisticated look.


W E D D I N G DESIGNER D U T I E S

  1. provides color palette guidance

  2. create the wedding's design concept/aesthetic

  3. oversees decor vendors (florist, lighting, rentals, stationary)

  4. sources special props and equipment

  5. ensures all of the decor elements are in place/on-site on the wedding day

H I R E A W E D D I N G D E S I G N E R I F . . .

  • your wedding planner does not offer this service, and decor and an important element to you

  • your creative skills are lacking

  • you're trying to pull of a very specific theme, or having trouble narrowing your ideas down


A F E W T H I N G S T O K E E P I N M I N D

Now that you know the difference between a wedding planner, coordinator, and even designer there are a few tips to help the process goes as smoothly as possible.


B O O K A H E A D O F T I M E

It's best to secure these professionals as soon as you know your wedding date or know that you have a need - even if they're not going involved until a month/or two before the wedding. This helps you make sure you find someone who is the right fit, and that they're available. Also, this tactic gives you the most for your money. If a couple book with us (Brislin Weddings) early, we provide them with our list of preferred vendors, based on their performance (saves you a ton of time and research).


C O N S I D E R T H E C O S T

Your exact contract/service details will determine your costs, but full-service planning and design is approximately 15 to 20 percent of the total wedding costs, depending on the planner's experience, region of the U.S., and how much time your wedding demands. If you're looking for a Wedding Coordinator, be hesitant of someone who is under $1,000 and/or refers to their service as Day-Of Coordination, because not a single wedding can be planned in a day. Here at Brislin Weddings, we refer to our 'wedding coordinator' packages as Month Of Coordination, because we really start piecing things together a month/or two before the wedding date.


V E T T H E P R O S

There's no license or certificated 'required' to practice wedding planning - and while belonging to an organization is an indicator of experience, it's not the only one. Talent speaks for itself - look at the planner's website, blog, and reviews. Be weary of Facebook groups, and make sure to do your research before agreeing to service - make sure you receive and review their contract.

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