If you’re engaged, chances are you’ve already begun planning your wedding. Depending on your schedule and personality, you may be considering hiring a wedding planner or a day-of wedding coordinator. But what exactly are the differences between these two industry professionals, and which one is right for you and your wedding?

Let’s take a look.

Wedding Planners

A wedding planner typically works 80-250 hours for the average couple. He or she has many roles, namely using their expertise to take the guesswork out of the wedding planning process, making this period go as smoothly and as stress-free as possible.

Here are the typical duties of a wedding planner:

  • Knowing the vibe and taste of the couple, as well as the style/colors/theme of the wedding
  • Completely understanding all of the wedding events: the ceremony, the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid events, day-after brunches, any other event to do with the wedding
  • Reviewing the wedding budget and keep the couple on track
  • Scheduling the wedding day timeline
  • Utilizing their relationship with wedding vendors to pull in favors to get discounts or freebies
  • Reminding the couple of appointments and budget restriction

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  • Acting as a peacemaker if family or friends are not getting along
  • Keeping the couple updated as progress happens
  • Negotiating, creating, and reviewing wedding vendor contracts
  • Coordinating vendor arrivals and deliveries with the venues
  • Attending wedding venue site tours and catering tastings.
  • Helping to come up with décor and style ideas
  • Coordinating hotel room blocks and transportation
  • Managing the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Overseeing everything on the wedding day

Phew! That’s a lot! But some wedding planners do even more. A wedding planner can sometimes also:

  • Give the couple ideas and inform you about current wedding trends
  • Help the couple choose wedding party attire
  • Find favors that fit the theme, style, and/or budget
  • Design the reception tables, lighting, and other details

Wedding Coordinators

A wedding coordinator is a lot like a wedding planner, only he or she works in a much smaller time window. They will work about 25 hours on average for a couple, usually beginning to help the couple prepare about a month before the wedding date.

Here are the typical duties of a wedding coordinator:

  • Ensuring that everything planning-wise that has been done up until they take over is organized and in good shape
  • Creating a day-of timeline and keeping everything on schedule
  • Managing the rehearsal
  • Overseeing everything on the wedding day (making sure guest counts are in order, coordinating load-in and load-out, and addressing any overlooked details)
  • Completing a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites
  • Being the point person for guests, vendors, the wedding party, and anyone else on the wedding day
  • Confirming vendor contracts and making sure they are paid

 So, Which One Should You Hire?

As you can see, both a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator have quite a lot of important duties. But which one is right for your specific wedding and plans?

You should hire a wedding planner…

  • If you have room for him or her in your budget.
  • If you’re not interested in planning a wedding.
  • If you’re getting married quickly and don’t have much time to plan properly.
  • If you’re unable to take phone calls during the day.
  • If you want the least possible amount of wedding-related stress.
  • If you have no free time to plan because of your job or another time-consuming situation.
  • If you’re clueless when it comes to planning.
  • If you’re not organized and/or punctual.
  • If you’re hosting a destination wedding
  • If you’re hosting a wedding weekend with multiple events.

You should hire a wedding coordinator…

  • If you don’t have the budget for a wedding planner.
  • If you want to mostly plan your own wedding, but would prefer someone else to take care of the last-minute details, make sure you haven’t missed anything, and take over on the wedding day.
  • If you are very organized and detail-oriented and feel like you can tackle the majority of the wedding planning yourself.

So, which one is right for you — a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator? Consider what is realistic for your budget, life, and personality, and good luck!

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