Getting engaged to the love of your life is one of the most exciting feelings in the world. But the next steps can be a little overwhelming. You’ve likely been dreaming about your wedding day for most of your life, but it soon sinks in that a fairytale wedding takes a lot of planning. A wedding worthy of the love you share takes time and planning, all while working within a budget.
And that’s why wedding planners and day-of wedding coordinators exist! They play roles in helping your dream wedding become a reality. At the same time, they can greatly reduce the stress associated with a wedding. That way, you can both fully enjoy your special day. Which do you need to hire? Do you need both? What if you can’t afford a wedding planner and a day-of coordinator? Let’s see what roles each of them plays, and then, I’ll share some thoughts on hiring a wedding planner or coordinator!
The Difference Between a Wedding Planner & Wedding Coordinator
The Role of a Wedding Planner
A wedding planner is generally hired months before the wedding date. They are all about the logistics leading up to your big day; they coordinate the complex parts of your wedding so that you don’t have that pressure. A wedding planner does this by creating the wedding timeline and helping you find the right vendors and decor. This timeline details exactly what items need to be handled nine months before the wedding, six months before the wedding, etc. The planner could also manage the wedding budget, refer vendors, and negotiate contracts. They may also accompany the two of you on any vendor meetings, handle guest accommodations, arrange transportation, and much more. With every decision made, the wedding planner continues to bring your vision to fruition.
The Role of a Day-of Wedding Coordinator
A day-of wedding coordinator is hired a month or so before your wedding date. Like the wedding planner, the coordinator focuses on logistics; however, his focus is on a much shorter timeline. The day-of coordinator is in charge of keeping things on track for the actual wedding day. They will make sure all of the plans that have been made up to that point, either by you or your wedding planner if you have one, are in good order. Although the coordinator does not handle vendor negotiations or contracts, they do double-check these contracts and confirm with the vendors that everyone is on the same page.
Hiring the day-of wedding coordinator four to eight weeks before the wedding day allows them time to make any needed adjustments, to see if anything has been overlooked, and to wrap up any loose ends so that the wedding day will go as smoothly as possible. The coordinator creates the wedding-day timeline and has a very hands-on role during your actual wedding day.
How a Wedding Coordinator Assists on Your Wedding Day:
They will be your go-to person. This allows your family, bridal party, and other guests to celebrate with you and enjoy the day without other responsibilities placed upon them. If a question or problem comes up, maybe a miscommunication with the venue or a spilled drink, you likely will never even know there was a situation because the coordinator will handle it on your behalf. As a new couple, you can continue dancing, sipping champagne, and laughing with your guests. Instead of trying to create solutions, you will be creating memories.
If you choose to only hire a day-of wedding coordinator, you will handle the planning portion but be able to trust that any fires on your wedding day will be put out before you or your family ever hear about them. Be sure to hire a coordinator as soon as possible so they have plenty of time to look over the arrangements you have made with the venue, vendors, etc. This will give you plenty of time to make any necessary changes.
NOTE: Wedding coordinators are different than venue coordinators. A venue coordinator handles anything having to do directly with the venue such as food, bar, service, restrooms, etc. Of course, a venue coordinator can be extremely helpful and caring; however, at the end of the day, they work for the venue. A day-of wedding coordinator works for you; you are their main focus! The coordinator handles all aspects of the venue relating to you, such as setup, teardown, and everything in between.
Recommendations for Wedding Planners and Day-of Wedding Coordinators
As a wedding photographer, I have happily photographed more weddings than I can count. I’ve seen wedding days that go exactly as planned, and a few that have not. Personally, I love that hiring a wedding planner and wedding coordinator alleviates stress for couples. It also allows your family and friends to be fully present leading up to and on your wedding day instead of having to handle many tasks. I’m all for anything that can help you enjoy your day, each other, and your guests more fully.
I want couples to be able to fully enjoy everything about their day without the stress of coordinating timing, guests, vendors, problems, questions, etc. For that reason, I highly recommend working with a wedding planner and a day-of wedding coordinator on your wedding day if at all possible! I’m more than happy to provide you with local recommendations for both if you contact me here!