• Katie

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

Wedding planning brings with it a brand-new set of vocabulary and words that take on a new meaning entirely. One of the biggest things that brides need to know when they’re planning their wedding is the distinction between a wedding event planner, coordinator, and designer.

Read on for more information about each one to figure out which you should hire to help plan your dream wedding!

Wedding Event Planner

A wedding event planner is responsible for the actual planning of your wedding event. They deal with all of the logistics of the event, including vendor referrals and contract negotiations to day-of execution of your wedding vision. They work to make your wedding planning process as easy and smooth as possible so that you don’t have to go through a lot of stress.

A wedding event planner is even able to help you create and stay on track of a financial budget. This might be a job that other people could learn to do, but wedding event planners are certified and have enough experience to put them above everyone else.

Some planners even do design and styling services to help you plan the creative aspects of your wedding, while others leave this aspect to a wedding designer.


  • Work 80 to 250 hours

  • Create timelines and floor plans for the big day

  • Negotiate contracts and provide vendor referrals

  • Schedules and goes to all vendor meetings

  • Helps build and maintain your wedding budget

  • Attends menu tastings and venue tours

  • Coordinates the design details and helps brainstorm style ideas

  • Coordinates transportation on the day of your wedding and blocks of hotel rooms

  • Manages the wedding rehearsal

  • On the day of the wedding, they oversee everything, including making sure that everyone is on schedule

Work with an event planner if:

  • You have money in your wedding budget to hire one

  • You want to avoid as much stress as possible when planning your wedding

  • Your work-life balance doesn’t give you a lot of time to plan your wedding

  • You don’t know where to begin in the planning process

  • You don’t have great organizational skills

  • You only have a short time frame to plan your wedding

  • You’re planning a wedding weekend that involves multiple events or a destination wedding

  • Your wedding venue is an uncommon space, not a restaurant, banquet hall, or hotel

Wedding Designer

Wedding designers work purely with the aesthetic portion of your wedding planning but don’t work on contract negotiations or attend appointments with the bride. They concentrate on the design of the wedding and consults with the bride on everything from floor plans and lighting designs to flowers, linen, attire, and furniture. They are there to help brides make choices that will ensure the event is cohesive, sophisticated, and stylish.

Wedding designers are hired because they have a unique talent at designing an event and creating an excellent atmosphere for your big day; they have an artistic eye that allows them to conceptualize the whole wedding event and transform your wedding venue.


  • Work about 40 hours

  • Creates the design concept for your wedding

  • Provides guidance in choosing the wedding colors

  • Oversees the décor budget and design vendors (i.e., florists)

  • Sources special equipment and props

  • Attends venues to help brides devise a layout, help them figure out where everything should go on the big day, and figure out any possible problems

  • Creates a detailed floor plan

  • Ensures that all necessary design items are in place

Work with a designer if:

  • You think décor is the most crucial aspect of your wedding

  • You’re confident in your logistic and organizational skills, but lack any creative ones

  • You want your wedding to be a theme, or you have too many wedding styles to choose from

Wedding Coordinator

Wedding coordinators are similar to wedding event planners in the way that they are also logistically focused. However, they work on a much shorter time frame than wedding event planners do. They are usually brought in about a month before your wedding and are the point of contact on your wedding day.

They create wedding day timelines, approve vendor contracts, as well as making sure that guest counts and payments are in order. However, they won’t be involved in any of the earlier planning or help you track your budget. Their main job is to coordinate everything involved on the day of your wedding.


  • Works at most 25 hours

  • Meets up with you about a month before the wedding to get an idea of what you’ve decided on so far

  • Review signed contracts and confirm logistics

  • Designs floor plans and detailed timelines

  • Goes on a final walk-through of the reception and ceremony venues

  • Deals with any unnoticed details

  • Manages the wedding rehearsal

  • Manages everything on the day of your wedding

Work with a coordinator if:

  • You want to have an active role in the planning of your wedding, but you want someone to take care of any last minute details to make sure you didn’t miss anything

  • You’re extremely detail oriented and organized

  • You don’t have the budget to hire a full-time wedding event planner

When considering if you want to hire a wedding event planner, designer, or coordinator for your wedding, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Book Ahead of Time

It doesn’t matter who you’re hiring, but you should make sure that you are hiring them as soon as possible – if they aren’t getting involved until a month before the wedding. This tactic also helps you get the most for your money because often a planner, coordinator, or designer are more than happy to give you a list of their performance-driven vendor recommendations.

Consider the Cost

You should expect to pay $2,000 to $6,000 for a wedding coordinator and $8,000 to $30,000 for a wedding planner or designer.

Going without a professional? Put someone in charge

Someone needs to make sure that the wedding day itself goes smoothly and that everything planned is executed properly. However, if you don’t have the money to afford a wedding planner, you still should find someone to take on this role.

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Springville, Utah