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The Difference Between Wedding Planners vs Wedding Coordinators

Updated: Mar 21


Bride with bouquet

Today we are diving in and explain one of the most frequent questions we get - what is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator?


The terms "wedding planner" and "wedding coordinator" are often used interchangeably, but there are differences in their roles and responsibilities.


What is a Wedding Planner?

Hands typing on a laptop

A wedding planner is involved in the entire wedding planning process from start to finish. They work closely with the couple to understand their vision and preferences. Planners provide guidance, make recommendations, and help make decisions regarding all aspects of the wedding. They assist with budgeting, vendor and/or venue selection, design and styling, and coordination

of all the details leading up to the wedding day.


Duties of a Wedding Planner

  • Comprehensive Planning: Wedding planners are involved in every aspect of your wedding planning, from start to finish. If you want someone to handle all the details and logistics, a wedding planner can provide a comprehensive planning experience.

  • Venue and Vendor sourcing and recommendation. Wedding Planners can use their pool of resources and experience to match venues and vendors to their couples, based on their preferences and budget. They can negotiate contracts, review vendor proposals, and manage communication between the couple and vendors.

  • Design: Wedding planners can assist in creating the overall aesthetic and ambiance of the wedding. They may work with the couple to choose themes, colors, and décor elements.

  • Budget Management: Planners help establish a realistic budget and manage finances throughout the planning process. They assist with cost-saving strategies, help negotiate contracts, and ensure the couple stays within their budget.

  • Wedding Day Execution: Along with all planning duties along the way, wedding planners will execute your entire wedding day, exactly as planned.


When to hire a Wedding Planner?

  • You're a busy couple, who barely have time to go on dates, let alone plan a wedding from scratch! Planning a wedding can be time-consuming and overwhelming. A wedding planner can take on the majority of the tasks, saving you valuable time and reducing stress. They handle the logistics, manage timelines, and troubleshoot any issues that arise, allowing you to focus on enjoying the process and preparing for your big day.

  • You have a budget that allows for hiring a planner. Planners are usually more money than a coordinator, as there is a lot more work, hours and one-on-one communication involved.

  • Wedding planners have extensive experience and knowledge of the wedding industry. Their industry connections can help you make informed decisions throughout the planning process.


Ceremony chairs set up

What is a Wedding Coordinator?

A wedding coordinator, also known as a wedding manager, or day of coordinator, specializes in overseeing the logistics and execution of the wedding day itself. They step in closer to the wedding date to ensure everything runs smoothly. Most wedding coordinators step in around the 1 to 2 month mark, collecting information on every aspect of what you have planned so far, and using this to execute your big day.


Duties of a Wedding Coordinator

  • Timeline Creation: Coordinators create a detailed timeline for the wedding day, including the arrival and setup times for vendors, the ceremony start time, reception activities, and more. They ensure that the timeline is realistic and allows for a smooth flow of events.

  • Vendor Coordination: The wedding coordinator communicates with all your vendors, such as the caterer, florist, photographer, and DJ, to confirm details, timelines, and any special requirements. They ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the logistics are properly coordinated.

  • Set up and Tear Down: Coordinators oversee the set up of the ceremony and reception spaces, including décor and signage setup, room flip, and teardown.

  • Rehearsal and Ceremony Management: Coordinators organize and conduct the wedding rehearsal, ensuring that the wedding party understands their roles. They oversee the ceremony, cueing the processional, managing timing, and ensuring a seamless transition between different elements of the event.

  • Manage the Wedding Day: On the day wedding coordination includes having a point of contact for vendors, guests, and the wedding party. Coordinators handle any last-minute issues or emergencies that may arise, allowing you and your family to enjoy the day stress-free. They also manage the timing of events, cueing vendors, and ensuring that the schedule is followed.

When to hire a Wedding Coordinator?

  • You're organized, and have every aspect of your wedding planned - you just need someone to execute it on the day.

  • You don't quite have the budget to pay for a wedding planner


Wedding reception table set up

The specific responsibilities and services provided by wedding planners and coordinators can vary, and some may offer a combination of both roles. Make sure to do your research when looking to hire one, and communicate your specific needs for your wedding.


Melissa Alison Events offers both wedding planning and coordination packages - we have our Complete Wedding Planning package which takes couples from engagement right through to their wedding day, in the planning process. We also offer Wedding Management, our month-of coordination package for those who just need assistance in the leading months and on the day. In addition, we have a Wedding Management & Design package, as well as our Intimate Wedding Management for smaller, more personal celebrations.


Hiring either a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator can be a great investment to make sure that your wedding day is well-organized, stress-free, and filled with beautiful memories. They offer expertise, organization, and support that can make a significant difference in the overall success of your wedding!


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