Wedding Planner vs Coordinator [What's the Difference]

Monica BrowneMonica BrowneApr 10, 2022
Wedding planner vs coordinator.

Are you a couple getting married and think you need help planning your dream wedding?

Are you trying to decide if you need help from a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator and want to know the difference?

Well, you've come to the right place.

This post will show you the differences between a wedding planner and a day-of coordinator. It will tell you when to hire a planner vs. a coordinator, questions to ask both your planner and coordinator and the cost of each service.

Let's start by answering the question, what is a wedding planner?

Monica Browne, wedding planner with client at Running hare Vineyards.

What is a Wedding Planner?

A professional wedding planner is a person or company that helps couples with the wedding planning process.

When you need a professional to help plan and manage your wedding from start to finish, you need a wedding planner.

There are different types of wedding planning services.

There is full-service wedding planning and partial wedding planning.

Monica Browne and client planning and getting ideas for wedding in June 2022.

Full-Service Wedding Planning

With full-service wedding planning, you work with a full-service planner who helps guide you through the wedding planning process.

This service is for busy couples or couples that want assistance from a wedding expert.

A full-service wedding planner can help with all aspects of your wedding.

These include planning and arranging details before your wedding day and coordinating the events on the big day.

A full-service wedding planner may include:

  • Help define your wedding budget
  • Creating your wedding checklist to follow
  • Creating a wedding timeline
  • Help to choose a wedding theme, wedding decorations, and help with style ideas
  • Help to select your ceremony and reception locations
  • Floor plan and seating ideas
  • Guest seating and table placements
  • Vendor referrals, recommendations, and negotiations
  • Meet with all vendors
  • Being the point person for your wedding vendors, your wedding party, and your guests
  • Communicating with your wedding vendors
  • Reviewing all your wedding vendor contracts and venue contracts
  • Work with your wedding designer to bring your vision to life
  • Give etiquette advice
  • Assistance with wedding invitations and save-the-date cards
  • Help to decide on a guest list
  • Tracking RSVPs and your guest list
  • Perform wedding ceremony and walk-through reception visits
  • Arrange guest lodging, transportation, and other guest needs
  • Coordinating and supervising your wedding rehearsal
  • Directing the wedding ceremony
  • Provide you with a personal assistant to tend to your needs on your wedding day
  • Manage your entire wedding day
  • Arranging transportation after your wedding
  • Handling any problems so you don't have too

Be sure to ask your wedding planner precisely what they do as part of their full-service package.

Need help planning your wedding?

Book a call with Monica.

Fixing flowers for wedding ceremony.

Partial Wedding Planning

Partial service planning is for couples who have time and want to take an active role in planning their dream wedding.

These couples don't need full-service planning but need help and advice from a wedding professional.

Couples who would need partial service planning are couples who may have:

  • Already secured their wedding venues
  • Still looking for some vendor recommendations
  • Need help communicating with the venues
  • Need a timeline of when they should do specific tasks
  • Creating a wedding day timeline
  • Need help sending out invitations and save-the-dates
  • Supervising the wedding rehearsal
  • Managing the wedding day and day-of details

Please talk with your wedding planner about their partial planning service.

Monica Browne day of wedding coordinator services.

What is a Day of Coordinator?

There can be many different types of coordinators involved in a wedding.

There are wedding, venue, church, and event photography coordinators.

A day of coordinator or wedding coordinator is a professional who helps couples with the logistics of their wedding day.

A coordinator is for couples that have already planned their wedding and only need a professional to manage the wedding day.

A wedding coordinator will help pull everything together after you have done all the planning.

What Does a Day of Wedding Coordinator Do?

A day of wedding coordinator will manage your wedding day when the day arrives.

They do not help you plan your wedding like a full-service wedding planner.

A full-service wedding planner may start working with you a year or six months before your wedding and help you with the initial wedding planning stages.

A day of wedding coordinator will manage your wedding after you have secured your vendors, selected your venue, and signed all your vendor contracts.

A day-of coordinator will help you with:

  • Overseeing your entire wedding day
  • Performing a ceremony and reception site walk-through
  • Coordinating vendor set up on the day of your wedding
  • Confirming final fittings for bride and groom
  • Providing progress updates leading up to your wedding day
  • Being the point of contact for all vendor communication
  • Preparing a day of timeline for the vendors and family members
  • Coordinating and supervising your wedding rehearsal
  • Coordinating and being the point person for your vendors, your wedding party, and your guests
  • Make sure everything runs smoothly on your wedding day
  • Taking care of any problems that may come up

A good day of wedding coordinator will still make sure you didn't forget anything while planning your wedding. They will review your contracts and make sure that every detail.

On the day of your wedding, your wedding coordinator will be the first to call you and make sure you are ready for the big day.

They will be the first person to arrive at the ceremony venue or the reception venue to ensure the other vendors have access, are on their way, and have no issues.

A wedding coordinator may not help you with:

  • Creating or managing your budget
  • Ideas on theme and wedding design
  • Provide extensive decorating
  • Vendor referrals or recommendations
  • Choosing your wedding venues for your ceremony and reception
  • Tracking RSVPs counts and guest list

Need a professional to pull your wedding together?

Book a call with Monica.

Running Hares Vineyard. Wedding venue in Calvert County Maryland.

Venue Coordinator

Some venues have their own coordinators.

The venue coordinator is a coordinator that works directly for the wedding venue.

They manage the space where you have your ceremony or reception and ensure you have access to it during your contracted times.

They provide you and your wedding planner or coordinator with the rules and guidelines of the venue and make sure you follow those rules.

A venue event coordinator will help you:

  • Make sure you have access to the venue
  • Make sure your event starts on time and ends on-time
  • Facilitate parking for your wedding guests and vendors
  • Work closely and help your planner or day-of coordinator
  • Manage the setup and use of any in-house equipment like audio or visual equipment

They will not help you:

  • Create your wedding timeline
  • Manage your guest list
  • Decorate the venue
  • Provide you with a wedding checklist
  • Event set up

Be sure to talk with your planner or coordinator, and have them reach out to the venue coordinator to find out the rules and regulations at the venue.

What is the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator?

The difference between a wedding planner and a coordinator is this.

A wedding planner is involved in all aspects of your wedding and may even coordinate your wedding.

They are in it from the beginning to the end.

On the other hand, a coordinator is primarily focused on the logistics and managing the day of the event.

A wedding planner is for couples that wants a professional to help plan the whole wedding or parts of it, and a coordinator is for couples that have already planned everything but wants someone to manage the wedding day for them.

Wedding planners can help find vendors and venues, create timelines and budgets, and manage logistics.

Coordinators help with specific tasks, such as creating a timeline for the wedding day, coordinating with the vendors, and overseeing the wedding.

Depending on their needs, some couples may choose to hire both a wedding planner and a coordinator.

Others may only need one or the other.

Ultimately, it depends on what kind of assistance the couple needs.

Do I Need a Wedding Planner or a Day of Coordinator?

How would you know if you need to hire a wedding planner or a day-of wedding coordinator?

There is no right or wrong answer.

It depends.

It ultimately depends on what you want and what you need.

If you are a DIY couple and want to handle all the planning yourself, you may only need a wedding coordinator.

If you want a professional to help guide you through the process, do everything for you and manage the wedding plans, including all the little details, then you may need a full-service planner.

If you only need help with specific tasks like finding vendors, finding a venue, or creating a timeline and are willing to do some things, you may only need partial planning services.

It's essential to sit down and decide what kind of help you need before hiring anyone. You must decide whether you need a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator.

How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

You can expect to spend between $5,000 and $12,000 or more for a full-service wedding planner.

The wedding planner's price will depend on:

  • the location of your ceremony and reception
  • the number of guests attending your wedding
  • the planner's experience
  • demand for the service.

How Much Does a Coordinator Cost?

A wedding coordinator can cost between $1000 and $4000 for a day of coordinator services.

Prices also depend on the same factors as a wedding planner like:

  • the ceremony and reception location
  • the number of guests
  • the planner's experience
  • the demand for coordinators

What are the benefits of hiring a wedding planner?

Hiring a wedding planner can save you time, money, and stress.

Some of the ways they save you time are by:

  • taking care of details on your behalf
  • arranging meetings with vendors for you
  • reading and reviewing your contracts.

They save you money by negotiating with vendors and venues to get better prices. Negotiating can save you hundreds of dollars or even more.

They can take care of all the details, so you can relax and enjoy your big day. Wedding planners also have relationships with vendors and venues, so they can often get you discounts or special deals.

What are the benefits of hiring a coordinator?

Hiring a coordinator can also save you a lot of stress by managing your wedding day.

They will be able to take care of all the details, so you can relax and enjoy your engagement.

Coordinators also have relationships with vendors and venues, so they can often get you discounts or special deals.

When should you hire a Planner?

You can hire a wedding planning professional at any point in the planning process. Some couples hire a planner right after they get engaged, so they can start planning immediately.

Others couples wait until they have their venue and vendors booked and then hire a planner to help with parts they missed or not.

It's good to hire a wedding planner at least six months before your wedding.

When should you hire a Coordinator?

You can hire a day-of coordinator at any point in the planning process. Some couples hire a coordinator right after they get engaged to have help with all aspects of the planning process.

Others wait until they have their venue and vendors booked and then hire a coordinator to help pull everything together.

It's a good idea for wedding coordinators to start working with couples at least two months before their wedding.

How do I choose a Wedding Planner or Coordinator?

If you've decided that you need a wedding planner or coordinator, the next step is to choose the right one for you.

It would be best to ask a few questions when choosing a wedding planner or coordinator.

First, you'll want to make sure they are available on your wedding date.

Second, you'll want to read reviews and check references.

And third, you'll want to meet with them in person (or virtually) to make sure they are a good fit for you.

When meeting with potential planners or coordinators, ask lots of questions. Asking questions will help you better understand their professionalism and character.

7 Questions You Should Ask a Wedding Planner?

Before you decide to work with a wedding planner, here are seven questions you should ask them.

  1. How long have you been in the wedding industry?
  2. How long have you been planning weddings?
  3. What type of wedding services do you provide?
  4. Do you have assistants to help you?
  5. What was the biggest problem you ever had at a wedding, and how did you fix it?
  6. How much will my wedding cost?
  7. Do you have any references?

7 Questions You Should Ask a Coordinator?

Before you decide to work with a coordinator, here are seven questions you should ask them.

  1. How long have you been a wedding coordinator?
  2. What separates you from other wedding coordinators?
  3. Do you work alone or with a team?
  4. How many weddings do you take on in a single day?
  5. How much access will I have to you before the wedding?
  6. How much will your services cost me?
  7. What happens after I hire you to be my coordinator?

Final Thoughts

Planning a wedding can be a lot of work.

Fortunately, you can get help by either choosing to work with a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator. Although they provide different services, each service is for each couple's specific needs.

Either you need a full-service planner to help you plan every detail, or partial planning, where you plan some things and the planner takes care of the rest. Or maybe you need a coordinator for the day of your wedding.

You decide what's best for you.

If you need assistance or have any questions about planning your wedding or the wedding planning process, please don't hesitate to contact Monica here.

Monica Browne

Monica Browne is a highly talented and creative wedding planner and day-of coordinator. She is the owner and creative director at Monica Browne Weddings serving all couples Maryland, DC, and Virginia.