Wedding Planner vs Day Of Coordinator
At first glance, a wedding planner and day of coordinator may sound like the same thing. They both help you plan your wedding day and are there to work it from start to finish. But what's the difference? Do you need someone who will help you book your vendors, negotiate contracts, and really plan each area down to the smallest detail? Or, are you looking for someone who will assist you in finalizing all the details you've planned, create your day of timeline, be the day of contact for your vendors, and just make sure everything goes exactly as you've planned? Depending on how much you actually want to plan will determine which wedding specialist really meets your needs.
You can't go wrong with either option. It comes down to how hands on you want to be in your wedding planning process. With Pinterest, Tik Tok, Instagram, The Knot, Wedding Wire, and bloggers, like myself, it can be really easy to plan your wedding on your own. But some prefer a more hands-off approach and want to work with a wedding pla
nner who can visual every single aspect of their wedding from how the color palette will look during that season to choosing the appropriate tuxedos and bridesmaid gowns. Let's dig into each option some more so we can help you determine what best meets your needs!
The simple definition of a wedding planner is someone who plans and organizes weddings as a profession. What they do is so much more. Wedding planners will manager your budget, go on venue tours with you, negotiate contracts, work with all of your vendors, create detailed timelines, some will pay your vendors for you, and some might even help design your wedding from the florals, table layout, and decor. Wedding planners are incredible because you will give them a general idea or color palette and they will conceptualize your day from there. One of my favorite things about booking a wedding planner is that they will make sure you stay in budget. They will find venues that not only fit your ideal day but will also give you the biggest bang for your buck. They are great at focusing in on what is most important to you so that way none of your vendors put you over that budget. You may decide to splurge on an incredible videographer so you can relive your wedding day in 30+ years. Your wedding planner will make adjustments to your budget so that you can splurge in that area while saving in others.
Wedding planners will handle everything day of. From making sure each vendor is checked in to ensuring the ceremony ends on time. This gives you, your fiance, and bridal party the chance to really enjoy your entire day without any complications. You won't have to set up any decor, make sure your family gets to your ceremony venue on time, or stress about a last minute catering catastrophe. You're wedding planner will manage every small detail and you'll have the chance to sit back and enjoy the day.
If you decide a wedding planner is the best option for you, booking one will need to be the first thing on your to do list. Your wedding planner will likely want to be involved with every aspect of your wedding and getting them booked early on makes it a lot easier for them to gather all the details. Now, the cost of a wedding planner will vary on the size of your wedding and what you want them to do. They may charge you a percentage of your wedding budget or, they will have a fixed amount. I've seen wedding planners charge clients anywhere from $800 to upwards of $20,000 or more. My suggestion is do your research, interview with 3-5 wedding planners, and try not to be afraid of the cost. Your wedding planner is there to plan your wedding. They love what they do and they are going to make sure your dreams come true.
DAY OF COORDINATOR
Now let's talk about day of coordinators! I love the flexibility of day of coordinators. Tt's why I chose to go this route instead of being a wedding planner. Day of coordinators are the perfect option for the couple who wants to plan their own wedding but really needs someone to manage the logistics and make sure things go as they've imagined. To break it down, here is what a day of coordinator will do for you:
- Typically, they will meet with you 2-5 times prior to your big day to workout all of the details
- Organize the details you've planned
- Help create a day of timeline
- Be the day of contact for your vendors and the venue
- Help set up tables, linens, table decor, run errands if necessary, and ultimately make sure your
ceremony/reception venues look the way you want them to.
- Make sure that the timeline is followed from getting the ceremony started on-time to the DJ
announcing last call/last dance.
- Help tear down at the end of the day by packing up all of your decor items, make sure gifts get to
the correct location, and not items are left at the venue
The thing to remember is that a day of coordinator isn't going to plan your wedding like a wedding planner will. Will they answer decor questions or try to give you ideas? Absolutely! But they aren't there to help you pick our each and every detail of your day. If that's something you are interested in, often times day of coordinators have add ons or will create a custom package for you. That way you get everything you're looking for.
Day of coordinators can be booked out as early as you'd like. I suggest booking a day of coordinator 6-9 months out but you might be able to book them 3-4 months out depending on their availability. Just remember that often times, you won't really be chatting with your day of coordinator until 8-10 weeks out. This allows you plenty of time to plan your wedding so when you do start actively working with your
coordinator, they can help you finalize all the
Once you decide to book a day of coordinator, they may offer you a variety of packages or an hourly rate. It really depends on your needs the day of your wedding. As a coordinator, I always suggest my full day package first and then offer customizations. That way you get everything need plus any extras to meet your unique wedding day!
WHICH SHOULD I CHOSE?
In short, you can't go wrong with a wedding planner or a day of coordinator. So if you are unsure what you really need, here are my suggestions:
- Talk with your fiance and your family
- See what option fits in your budget
- Make a list of what you're really looking for when it comes to planning and the day of your wedding
- Do your research on wedding planners and day of coordinators in your area
- Meet with multiple options!
- Find someone who understands your vision and really clicks with you
And finally, don't be afraid to ask a wedding planner or day of coordinator questions! You need to find the right person for the job that fits your wedding vision. Both options will provide you with extraordinary service and peace of mind on your big day.