Many gals describe planning a wedding as a full-time job. In my experience, it certainly seemed that way at times! No surprise, then, that planning weddings actually is a full-time job for some people (a.k.a. wedding planners!). They’re there to worry about the details of your wedding so that you can focus on preparing for your marriage – the good stuff. One size does not necessarily fit all, though, so today we’re breaking down the differences between wedding planners, wedding coordinators, and wedding stylists, and which one might be most appropriate for y’all!
A full-service planner handles it all, from start to finish. Their duties can include everything from hiring and meeting with vendors to mailing invitations to setting a wedding day timeline. If they also offer design services, they’ll help you develop and execute the look, feel, and style of your celebration. This type of planner is perfect for couples having a logistically complex event, who both work long hours, or who simply want a professional to guide them every step of the way.
Many planners offer à la carte services for couples who have a firm handle on the details but want some assistance–either at the beginning, with selecting vendors, or in the thick of things, with specific projects. Most charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee.
Technically, we think this category should be called “month-of coordination,” because no planner worth her salt is going to step in on the actual day of your wedding. Most will charge a flat fee to work with you from about a month out, handling vendors, set-up at your locations, timeline execution, and the myriad other tasks that go into a wedding day. Coordination is great for those who love being knee-deep in the details but want to hand everything off for a stress-free experience on their big day.
A wedding stylist can join you at different parts of your wedding planning process. At the beginning, she might help you develop a mood or inspiration board. If she steps in just on the wedding day, she’ll take all of your decor items and everything you’ve planned and set it up (and, well, style it!) just as you imagined. She’ll likely work with your photographer, too, to style images of details you want to remember, like your invitation suite.
We’re sure you’ve heard it before but it’s worth repeating: you want to be able to enjoy your wedding day instead of stressing over how everything is being set up and whether details are being taken care of. So whether you want to collaborate on every aspect of your celebration or hand things over just for the big day, there’s a planning service out there for you! Though it can be hard to justify the expense at the outset, for what it’s worth, countless couples have told us in their wedding interviews that hiring a planner or coordinator was the best money they spent on their wedding.
I’d love to hear: are you hiring a wedding planner of any sort? Which type?
We’ll be sharing a quick and simple piece of wedding planning advice based on our most frequently asked questions once a week! Feel free to email us with your own question, or pick up a copy of the Southern Weddings Planner (now available for pre-order!) for all of our best resources in one place!