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Wedding Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: What’s the Difference?

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Weddings are a wonderful, festive occasion to celebrate love. We all have a vision of what our dream wedding looks like and we all want that vision to come to life. 

Wedding coordinators and wedding planners help you make your dream wedding come true. They are there to assist you throughout your wedding and make sure that your special day goes as smoothly and seamlessly as possible.

Gorgeous bride and stylish groom dancing under golden confetti at wedding reception.

Weddings can be stressful and hiring either a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner can help you alleviate your stress and pressure of all the wedding planning and preparations. 

So, what is the difference between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner?

Both of them play different roles in a wedding but are both essential in making your wedding plans come together. 

Basically, a wedding planner is in charge of the overall planning process of the wedding, while a wedding coordinator implements and oversees the plans you made to ensure a smooth wedding day for you and your partner. 

Read on to know more about each role as well as their task and responsibilities and which one you should hire to make your wedding vision come alive. 

Wedding Planner

A wedding planner is a professional who is responsible in all aspects of the wedding from planning to managing. From invitations, design, guest list, venue, vendors, to timeline and all details of the wedding. 

They are there to assist you in every process of the wedding planning and handle all aspects and logistics. They are like your project manager that is involved in the entire planning process up to the execution of these plans. 

They are the person you go to once you’ve gotten engaged and figured out your wedding budget.

Once you hire a wedding planner, you will have to give them a detailed vision of your wedding. 

They will then help you in choosing the best wedding venue, florist, caterer, designer, and other suppliers to help bring your wedding vision to life. 

If you opt for a full-service wedding planner, they will take on the role of the wedding coordinator on the day of the wedding. They would also oversee and organize everything on the wedding day itself. 

Wedding planners are known for their impeccable planning, organizational and multitasking skills and their roles are much more extensive than a wedding coordinator.

Here are the roles and responsibilities of a full-service wedding planner. 

Wedding Planner Responsibilities

Budget Management

When you set up a budget for the wedding, the wedding planner can help determine and manage your budget. They help in keeping track of your budget including managing invoices and payments. 

Venue Sourcing and Visits

Wedding planners assist with sourcing venues for the ceremony and reception. They organize and attend site-visits and appointments. 

Vendor Management

Wedding planners usually know which vendors are reliable and talented and help you to choose trusted vendors. They are the one who negotiates with vendors, schedules and attends meetings, coordinates with the logistics and manages all vendor correspondence. 

On the day of the wedding, they are the contact person of all the vendors. They will make sure that the vendors are on time and that each delivers their services accordingly. 

Timeline Creation and Management

Bridal background with planner checklist

Your wedding planner will create a scheduled task list detailing what needs to be done and accomplished within a specific time frame.

They are also in charge of creating and implementing the wedding day timeline and program to make sure that the timeline is followed and the plans are carried out correctly.  

Guest Management and Floor Plan Creation

They manage the RSVPs and any questions and concerns of the guest and the wedding party. They also assist with the floor plan and seating chart creation and coordinate with the guests on their specific seats. 

On the day of the wedding, they will coordinate with the wedding party their roles in the wedding ceremony and program. 

Oversee Set-up and Coordination on Wedding Day

As a full-service wedding planner, your planner acts as your wedding coordinator as well to ensure everything goes as planned. They orchestrate and manage your rehearsal, ceremony, and reception plans. 

They are in charge of coordinating with vendors, setting up the venue, managing guests, handling all last-minute emergencies, and making sure the timeline and plans are precise and executed. 

Wedding Coordinator

A wedding coordinator is focused on overseeing and implementing the wedding plans on the wedding day. They provide their services during the ceremony and reception and help the couple on their wedding day. 

They make sure everything is going as planned, the timeline is being followed, manage vendors and guests, and take care of all the crucial wedding day details.

They are friendlier on your wallet because they are not involved in the pre-wedding planning and preparation. 

Their role is to carry out and accomplish the plans on the day of the wedding. Wedding coordinators meet with you at least 4 to 8 weeks before the wedding. 

They will go over your wedding plans, timeline, guest count, venue and vendor contracts and all other details needed on your wedding day. During these meetings, you hand over your plans, contracts, timelines and so on. 

They will help you prepare at least a month before the wedding and will be the point person on the wedding day. Wedding coordinators make sure everything is in order on your wedding day and turn your wedding plans into a reality. 

Romantic kiss on the dancefloor during the wedding party

Wedding Coordinator Responsibilities

Vendor Management

The role of a wedding coordinator does not include looking for and booking suppliers. But they are in charge of coordinating with vendors on the wedding day itself. 

They confirm the vendor contracts and final details, making sure that they are on time and that they carry out their specific tasks. They serve as the point person for all the vendors. 

Guest Management

Wedding coordinators make sure guest counts are in order, place cards are properly placed, the seating chart is correct, supervise the ushers, and manage guests. 

They are also in charge of organizing the processional line-up and gathering and distributing ceremony items at the site such as the marriage license, ritual items, rings, and so on. 

Oversee Set-up and Logistics on Wedding Day

Your coordinator will ensure that the set-up and decorations for the ceremony and reception are in place. They distribute the timeline and tasks, making sure schedules are followed and everything goes smoothly. 

They handle all last-minute emergencies, move items between locations, and make sure plans are executed.

Basically wedding coordinators orchestrate and manage all the plans for the wedding day, from the ceremony to the reception. 

Wedding preparation on Mexican beach against a background of beautiful sea and blue sky

Which One is For You? 

We have already defined each individual’s role and their specific tasks and responsibilities. So if you’re wondering which to choose between the two, it all depends on your needs and preferences. 

Planning and implementing all the details of your wedding might be overwhelming, so professional wedding help comes into play. 

If you’re busy and don’t have enough time to go through every wedding detail before the big day, you’ll likely want to work with a wedding planner. It might be more expensive but this will save you time and relieve you from all the stress of wedding planning. 

Get a wedding planner if you have the budget for it, if you’re busy, have a short time for planning, or have no idea how to plan and organize a wedding. 

If you want to plan your own wedding but need someone to handle all the last minute details and coordinate everything on the day of the wedding, a wedding coordinator is a great option for you. 

Have a stress-free, enjoyable and organized wedding with the help of a wedding planner or wedding coordinator to help you create the wedding of your dreams.