One of the biggest aspects to planning a wedding is, well, planning the wedding. Typically, a wedding planner or coordinator will help you with this! However, what’s the difference between a wedding planner vs. coordinator? How do you know which one to hire?

Wedding Planner vs. Coordinator: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to figuring out whether you need a wedding planner vs. coordinator, you should first understand the difference between the two!

Wedding planner

A wedding planner is someone who takes care of all your wedding planning tasks. For our full-service wedding planning package, we cover everything from styling your wedding to vendor management to day-of coordination services.

However, we do also offer partial planning packages! Depending on your needs, these packages could mean that we plan your wedding without designing or styling it.

When it comes down to it, don’t think of your wedding planner as just another vendor to check off your list. Think of them as your new best friend! We are the vendor that you’ll most closely work with throughout your engagement. We truly want to get to know you and your vision so that we can plan the wedding of your dreams!

Examples of wedding planner duties

Here are some examples of tasks that a wedding planner will perform for your wedding. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot!

  • Create a detailed timeline for the wedding day
  • Schedule and attend vendor meetings
  • Coordinate hotel room blocks and transportation
  • Execute your vision for your wedding (design concept, color palette guidance)
  • Oversee everything on the wedding day (execute timeline, handle emergencies, communicate with vendors, set-up and clean-up, etc.)
  • Attend a final walk-through/site visit for your venue to visualize a layout and address potential problems
  • Create floor plans for your ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception
  • Attend site tours and menu tastings
  • Will watch for any details you might miss
  • Make suggestions for wedding details (attire, favors, etc.)
  • Oversee decor budget and vendors (florist, rentals, lighting, stationery)
  • Suggest table design ideas, as well as other aesthetic details
  • Help determine and manage your budget
  • Brainstorm style ideas and coordinate design details
  • Manage the ceremony rehearsal
  • Provide vendor referrals and negotiate contracts

When you should hire a wedding planner

You might want to consider hiring a wedding planner if you don’t want to have to worry about anything when it comes to wedding planning.

If you have the budget for a full-on wedding planner (or one with partial services), then we think that it’s very helpful to hire one! Keep in mind that a wedding planner can end up costing up to 15 to 20 percent of your overall wedding budget.

Let’s say that you have no clue where to start when it comes to designing your wedding, and that your organizational skills aren’t the greatest. A wedding planner will be huge help to you in this case!

Some other instances where a wedding planner can be extremely helpful include:

  • You’re trying to plan a large wedding in a short timeframe
  • You have a demanding job with no free time
  • You’re throwing a destination wedding
  • Your wedding is going to be more of a full wedding weekend, with lots of activities and events planned
  • Your wedding venue is not traditional (i.e. a private estate)

Wedding coordinator

A wedding coordinator is someone who comes in about 4 to 8 weeks before the wedding and helps you take care of any last-minute details. We will meet with you to find out everything that you’ve planned so far, and will help you catch up on anything that you might have missed.

Then, we will help you figure out your day-of timeline, floor plans, and more wedding details! And of course, we will be there on the day of your wedding to handle the entire thing. This includes vendor coordination, handling any last-minute changes or emergencies, setting up and breaking down the venue, and more!

Examples of wedding coordinator duties

Here are some examples of tasks that a wedding coordinator will do for your wedding. It’s more than you might think!

  • Meets with you 4-8 weeks before the wedding to figure out everything that you’ve planned so far
  • Addresses any overlooked details and helps you get them squared away
  • Creates a detailed day-of timeline
  • Manages the rehearsal
  • Will help organize everyone in the processional for the ceremony
  • Reviews vendor contracts to confirm logistics
  • Oversees everything on the wedding day to make sure it all runs smoothly
  • Ensure that everything is in its proper place for the ceremony and reception
  • Makes sure that guests are where they need to be, when they need to be there
  • Sets up and cleans up on the wedding day
  • Creates floor plans for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception
  • Respond to any last-minute changes or emergencies

When you should hire a wedding coordinator

Honestly, we suggest that most couples hire a wedding coordinator. There are so many logistics on (and around) the wedding day that it’s impossible to handle it all yourself without being stressed!

If you want to handle most of the major planning tasks yourself, but would like some help with the last minute details, then hiring a wedding coordinator is the right answer. They are great for people who are organized and detail-oriented!

If you don’t have the budget for a full-service wedding planner, then we really suggest working a coordinator into your budget. You would be surprised at the huge weight that it lifts off of your shoulders!

Wedding Planner vs. Coordinator: Tips & Tricks

Here are some extra things to consider when you’re trying to decide between hiring a wedding planner vs. coordinator!

What if I already have a venue coordinator?

We love venue coordinators, but 9 times out of 10, they do not replace a wedding coordinator. A venue coordinator works for your venue, not for you. They will likely only be taking care of things related to your venue.

I need help with styling/design of my wedding!

We love styling and designing weddings! We will not do any styling or designing for your wedding as a coordinator. That is reserved for our full-service or partial planning packages! You can view those here.

When to hire a planner or coordinator

Generally speaking, we suggest hiring a planner at least a year before the wedding and a coordinator at least six months before the wedding.

We know that a year might seem like a long time, but it really is crucial! It will give you enough time to ensure that you get all of your most desired vendors — they book up fast! Besides, it gives you (or whoever is paying for the wedding) more time to save up.

As for coordination, we won’t start actually working with you until about 90 days before the wedding. However, the earlier that you book us, the better! Unfortunately, we cannot take on an unlimited number of weddings. You don’t want to wait too long to book and find out that we are already fully booked for your wedding weekend!

If you still aren’t sure whether to hire a wedding planner vs. coordinator, no worries! Everyone’s situation is different and it is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all answer. Reach out to us here to tell us a little bit more about your needs and we can help you figure out what would be best for you!