Wedding planning and wedding co-ordinating are enormous tasks that require a lot of efforts and time. Taking care of everything on your own is an admirable venture, but very few prospective brides and grooms have that kind of time on their hands. To prepare a large wedding with many details you need approximately 1 year! Hence the popularity of wedding planners and coordinators.
But what is the difference between the two? Contrary to a common misconception, the two names aren’t synonyms for the same job. We’ve put together a list of differences between the two to help you decide which person would be the best fit for you.
A wedding planner is someone who’s with you every step of the way, from the very start of wedding planning. They are responsible for making sure your vision of your perfect wedding comes true. If you don’t have the time to be actively involved in preparations, they take over within the budget you specified. So, they’re a good option if you can’t commit a lot of time to planning your wedding yourself.
A wedding coordinator, on the other hand, doesn’t get involved until about a few days or weeks before your wedding. They aren’t involved with the planning as such, but they are very, very busy on the actual wedding day, making sure all the plans actually fall into place.
The planners do exactly that – plan. They have the contacts, the experience and the creativity to pull off you dream wedding. A lot of what they do involves negotiating with suppliers like caterers and florists to get you a better deal, fixing a situation when it goes wrong, getting referrals for the best vendors and generally handling the logistics leading up to the big day. They also help out with scouting out a venue, event layouts, seating charts and arranging guest accommodation. A good planner is usually available whenever you need them.
A coordinator, meanwhile, is responsible for – you guessed it – coordinating on the day to make sure all those preparations are executed according to plan. Before the day, they make sure all the suppliers are paid and all the details are smoothed out. They also create a timeline, do a walkthrough of the day in advance, and on the actual day, they oversee everything.
Level of control
Depending on how busy you are, the planners get a certain amount of authority in making decisions for suppliers etc., using their knowledge and experience. That’s because they have to make sure the third parties involved are doing their job properly. So, you would have to trust in the planner. A lot. Make sure, therefore, that you choose carefully and take a look at their portfolio beforehand.
On the contrary, a coordinator doesn’t really get to make a lot of decisions. They are acting within the constraints imposed by the data you or the planner provides to them. That’s because they’re not involved with the wedding design – just the execution.
You have to make a responsible choice in deciding whether to hire a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator because both options would require some spending. So, it’s up to you to balance your wedding budget and make the decision.
Wedding planners’ rates differ by area and by quality. But it’s very likely that at least 10% of your budget, if not more of it, would go to the planner since they would be the person in charge of the entire affair. They put in a lot of hours, and they would charge accordingly.
In case of wedding coordinators, they’ll most likely be cheaper. Sometimes, your chosen venue would have a coordinator of their own included in the cost. And that means that you can’t expect things a wedding planner would normally do from a wedding coordinator. Please keep that in mind when making the decision to hire one and/or the other.