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Wedding Planner vs. Coordinator: They’re not always one in the same!

Wedding Planner vs. Wedding Coordinator

They’re not always one and the same!

Wedding planner vs. wedding coordinator – for anyone starting to plan their wedding, or in the midst of planning, I’m sure you’ve heard these terms as well as wedding management, or venue coordinator thrown about and asked yourself: what’s the difference, are they one and the same?

Truth is, they’re not.

So, what’s the difference between a wedding planner vs. a wedding coordinator and which is the right one for you? Well, I’m glad you asked!

wedding planner vs. coordinator

“If you find yourself strapped for time and no idea where to or how to start planning your wedding then a full out planner can be your savior!”

A Wedding Planner is someone who will be with you throughout your entire wedding planning process. They assist with creating your budget, vendor negotiations and contracts, and usually have input on the overall style/design of your wedding. They’re usually the first vendor you’ll seek out shortly after your engagement.

If you find yourself strapped for time and no idea where to or how to start planning your wedding then a full out planner can be your savior! A great wedding planner will let you decide how involved you want to be throughout the planning process

“A Wedding Coordinator is the person behind the scenes on your wedding day […].”

wedding coordinator,  also referred to as a Day of Coordinator (although pros in the wedding industry are trying to eliminate this term as it doesn’t exist,) is the person behind the scenes, on your wedding day making sure that it goes as smoothly as possible so you don’t have to worry or stress on your wedding day. You typically meet with a wedding coordinator six to eight weeks before your wedding to go over all of the plans you’ve made.  Based on the information you give your coordinator and conversations they’ve had with your vendors, your coordinator will create the wedding day timeline, own the flow of your wedding day, and attend to every last detail on the day.

Be cautious of hiring a wedding coordinator that expects to just show up on the day of your wedding and make it run smoothly. A real pro will start familiarizing themselves with the details of your wedding day at least a month before your wedding day, if not sooner.

Another term that’s been popping up more and more lately is wedding manager or wedding day management. This is a service offered that is very similar to wedding (day of) coordination but sometimes may include planning of a specific wedding element.

“A Venue Coordinator represents and advocates for the venue itself, typically not for the couple.”

A venue coordinator represents the venue and ensures everything taking place at the venue (food and beverage prep and service, room set-ups, parking logistics) is in order but does not have the responsibility of handling all matters for the bride and groom. Typically, their main priority is to advocate for the venue making sure policies and procedures are followed.

Depending on your budget, the time you have to dedicate to planning a wedding, I encourage you to, at the very least, consider hiring a wedding coordinator.


Before you decide on hiring a wedding planner or wedding coordinator, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your overall budget? Are you willing to spend at least 10-15% of that budget on a wedding planner? If not, a wedding coordinator could be more cost-effective for your needs.
  • How much time do you have to dedicate to planning a wedding? If it’s less than 3-5 hours a week, a wedding planner might be what you want.
  • Do you feel like you have the vision but don’t know the etiquette or customs of a wedding (planning a seating chart, length of ceremony, order of program?). A wedding coordinator could be a good option for you.

Did you find this article helpful and want more help with your wedding plans? Then check out how we can help you!






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