Thursday, February 16, 2012

'Planner...Coordinator... What the heck????

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

There is a lot of confusion out there about the difference between a 'wedding planner', a 'wedding coordinator', a 'wedding consultant' and a 'wedding designer'.  And just so you don't feel completely 'out-of-it', the confusion lies within our own industry as well.  I too am a bit confused, at times, over what all these terms mean, and have been, 'called on the carpet', I will admit, by a bride for what she perceived was the wrong term.  So, none of us are exempt.  LOL!

To clear up the confusion, I've called on the experts at 'Brides Magazine' to help us all out.

According to 'Brides Magazine', there are three different distinctions between the services that wedding planners/coordinators offer...and here they are:

'Full-Service Planner'...
First, a sidebar...neither Marjorie nor I really like the term 'full-service'.  To us it gives the impression that unless you want this particular package, we are not giving you 100%....which is never the case.  Instead, we like to use the term 'complete coordination', because no matter what package you choose (and that's solely based on your needs), a professional planner is  usually going to give you their 'ALL'.

Ok, now that we have that out of the we go.

 (Photo courtesy of 'Stellasweet Photography')

'Brides Magazine' defines a 'Full-Service Planner' as a 'Wedding Planner', a 'Wedding Coordinator' or a 'Wedding Producer'.

They will...
  • Provide you with vendor referrals, and may negotiate vendor contracts.
  • Schedule and attend all vendor meetings and tastings with you...and act on your behalf during said meetings.
  • Create a detailed timeline and site-layout, or floor plan, of your ceremony and reception sites
  • Help you determine, manage and stay on track with your budget
  • Attend all site tours
  • Brainstorm theme and style ideas, and also coordinate design details to keep you from having a DIY-aster!  They may also secure these items for you to keep you from running around town to collect them all
  • Coordinate hotel rooms and transportation, if necessary
  • Coordinate and manage your rehearsal
  • Oversee everything on the day of your wedding so you can relax and enjoy your big day.  This means making sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handling anything that may arise, managing your vendors and their questions, and executing your vision.

'Wedding Designer'...
'Brides Magazine' defines these professionals as 'Wedding Stylists' or 'Wedding Architects'.

They will...
  • Create your wedding design concept
  • Provide you with color palette guidance
  • Oversee your decor budget and vendors
  • Locate and secure any special props or equipment you may need to create your vision
  • Attend site visits and design a layout
  • Create detailed floor plans
  • Ensure all your decor elements are in place the day of your wedding

'Day Of' Planner....
Ok, here I go again putting my 'two-cents' worth in.  Honestly, there is NO such thing as a 'Day Of' planner. Believe me, there is no way any professional planner, coordinator or consultant can, or would, show up the day of your wedding and be able to manage it.  In fact, if you're talking to a 'planner' who says they can do this, run for the hills...and fast!  

Many wedding professionals now use the term, 'Month Of', because it's much more descriptive of the type of service this package offers.

'Brides Magazine' defines a 'Day Of' Planner as a 'Wedding Consultant' or a 'Wedding Director'.

They will...
  • Put in at least 25 hours of pre-wedding day work...versus the 80--250 hours a 'full-service planner'
  • Meet with you four to eight weeks before your wedding to get an ideal on what you've planner thus far
  • Contact all your vendors, review all signed contracts and confirm the logistics
  • Create a detailed timeline and site layout or floor plan
  • Complete a final walk-thru of the ceremony and reception sites
  • Address any overlooked details
  • Manage your rehearsal
  • Oversee everything the day of your wedding

So, how do you choose which is right for you?  Well, it all depends on just how much or how little you want your planner, coordinator, consultant, designer...etc, to do for you.  Most wedding planners/coordinators have variations of each of these packages available for you to choose from, and most will be structured a bit differently based on their expertise.  

(Photo courtesy of 'Jagger Photography')

We suggest that you hire a planner/consultant/coordinator, to at least manage the day of your wedding to not only reduce your stress, but also so your family and friends will be able to share in the joy of your day, and not be responsible for working.

If however, you choose to have a 'friendor'* help with your 'Day Of' management, make sure they are well aware of what they are responsible for, and that they are not there to party with the rest of your guests...they are there to work.

(*'friendor'...a friend you hire as a vendor...more on the hazards of this later.)

Until next time...

Making your wedding InnCredible!
'InnCredible Events'

 (Photo courtesy of 'Sweetness and Light Photography')


  1. here post a wonderful wedding decorations about a complete wedding ceremony. nice site to be post all the maters of weddings. it's very useful for who need a wedding planner in your weddings.

  2. Thanks John...I'm glad you like the blog.