The terms “Wedding Planner” and “Wedding Coordinator” are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two separate people with separate duties. What is a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator? This post will discuss what is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator and what their official duties entail. We will also discuss things to consider when hiring either a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator, as well as finding out if these hires are necessary to plan your dream wedding. Basically, a wedding planner will plan your whole wedding with you, while a wedding coordinator will only help with certain wedding planning aspects. I’ve also created a freebie for you – a list of questions to ask your wedding coordinator! Join my email list to get the list.
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A wedding planner joins you at the beginning of your wedding planning. They are your go-to contact for everything wedding-related including ideas and vendors. Some wedding planners will even help the bridesmaids plan the bridal shower and bachelorette party! Check out Bachelorette.com to get everything you’ll need for the ultimate bachelorette party. A wedding planner will help more than a wedding coordinator.
Wedding Planner Duties
Recommend, schedule, and attend vendor meetings
If you decide to hire a wedding planner, you will want to hire them before you get anything else planned (except maybe your wedding date). That way, they can help you find all your vendors.
Manage your budget
A wedding planner ultimately should save you money on vendors – they know where to find the best deals.
Work with you on theme
This includes deciding on a theme and deciding on how to use the theme in your wedding plans.
Create a timeline for your planning
A wedding planner will know exactly what you need to plan and when to plan it. You could also download my wedding planning timeline to keep yourself on track!
Coordinate rentals (including hotel and transportation)
A wedding planner will know exactly what rentals you will need for your wedding and can help you decide which rentals you might want.
Can also be a day-of coordinator
A day-of coordinator is there your whole wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly and vendors don’t interrupt you while you’re getting ready. Usually, if you have hired a wedding planner, they will also be there to help on your wedding day. Get some unique items for your wedding day with the Miss to Mrs subscription box! Download my example day-of timeline to see what a typical wedding day looks like.
Plan and manage rehearsal
Your wedding planner will be there the day of the rehearsal to make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing!
A wedding coordinator will do less than a wedding planner, but will also (usually) be cheaper. They step in once most of the planning is already done by you.
Wedding Coordinator Duties
Meet with you ~6 weeks out from wedding
A wedding coordinator won’t help with all the planning, but they should be there close to your wedding to make sure everything is set and confirmed with the vendors.
May give recommendations
Wedding coordinators may know certain vendors and will be able to give you recommendations. You will have to contact and work with the vendors.
Confirm logistics and vendor contracts
This will happen around 6 weeks out from the wedding. You will have to organize all of it to give to your wedding coordinator.
Your wedding coordinator will be there the day of the rehearsal to make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing! However, they won’t plan the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner.
Can also be a day-of coordinator
Same as a wedding planner, a wedding coordinator will be there on the day of your wedding to make sure things run smoothly.
Considerations For Choosing a Planner or Coordinator
How much of your budget are you willing to spend on a planner or coordinator?
A wedding coordinator will be less expensive than a wedding planner, but they will also not do as much. Decide how much money within your budget you are willing to allocate to a planner or coordinator. Download my free wedding planning budget below for a comprehensive list of everything that will need to be considered in your wedding budget!
How well do you know the local areas and vendors?
If the area you are having your wedding in is very familiar to you and you are already aware of some local vendors, then you might not need a planner to give you recommendations and make vendor appointments. You might just want a coordinator to help things run smoothly on your wedding. However, if the area is unknown to you, it might help to hire someone who knows the area and vendors very well.
How much time do you have to plan or want to spend planning?
As mentioned in my previous post “Should I Hire a Wedding Planner” if you don’t have a lot of time until the wedding or you can’t make time to plan (if you have a job that takes up a lot of time), then hiring a wedding planner to do the bulk of the work makes sense. If you have a long time to plan, maybe a wedding coordinator would be best for your situation.
Do you already have a vision for your wedding?
Have you spent hours on Pinterest planning out your wedding vision (follow the Wedding Planning Woman Pinterest here!)? Then you might already know what you are looking for when planning your wedding. Or, you might have no idea what you want your wedding to look like and you could use a wedding planner to help you realize your vision!
Are wedding planners and wedding coordinators worth it?
This is my personal opinion, of course, but a wedding coordinator is worth it, but a wedding planner is not worth it. If you are willing to put the time and effort in, you can plan your own wedding! There are tons of websites out there to help you – including my favorite, Wedsites. Plus you have all the information right here on this blog! A wedding coordinator will help your actual wedding day run smoothly and take stress off of you on the important day. This is totally worth a little extra money out of your budget!
I hope that thoroughly explained the difference between wedding planners and wedding coordinators – it really can be quite confusing! What did you decide to do for your wedding? Did you hire a wedding planner or wedding coordinator? Let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Wedding Planning Woman newsletter to get weekly emails with new blog posts and wedding related sale items!
This is so helpful for anyone planning a wedding, especially right now!
This is super helpful info! As someone who is engaged, I found it very informative and will reference it for future planning!
I didn’t know so much about wedding planning. Thanks for sharing this
I planned my own wedding, but I would have definitely loved to have a wedding coordinator on board! I found following up with vendors to be the toughest part of the process (honestly it felt like a full time job in those last few weeks). A coordinator would’ve helped so much!