Wedding Planners, coordinators and stylists…who are they and who do I need?
Raspberry Creative is not just for stationery anymore. Did you know that we are now offering styling and coordinating services in addition to all of our design and stationery? That’s right, we’ve added to our team and we are branching out to better serve our awesome clients!
In researching and defining exactly what we were going to offer as wedding stylists and coordinators I realized that many brides are unsure what the difference is between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator and then they see that there are also wedding stylists and venue coordinators and they are even more confused.
As we enter into new territory with our coordinating and styling, we wanted to help you figure out what all these people do and who you might want / need to hire for your wedding.
A wedding planner is basically what it sounds like. A wedding planner is basically the right hand of a bride and groom throughout their planning process. They get involved shortly after you get engaged and they help make sure that your wedding is exactly what you envision.
Once you hire your wedding planner, you provide them with a detailed vision of your wedding and they will then help you pick out everything from a wedding venue, florist, caterer, furniture rentals, invitations, and so much more. They will provide vendor referrals and negotiate your contracts. They will devise a schedule and attend all your vendor meetings. They create a wedding timeline and floor plans of your venues. They help manage your budget. They manage your rehearsal. On your wedding day, they will oversee the entire event making sure everyone adheres to the timeline, handle snafus, manage vendors and make sure your vision is brought to life. Wedding planners can spend anywhere from 80 to 250 hours planning your wedding.
Your time and budget will then dictate how much you need to be involved in the wedding planning or if the planner can take over for you. An experienced and knowledgeable planner can also provide a lot of insight into the best vendors in your area to bring your vision to life.
Wedding coordinators are often called Day-of Coordinators but that isn’t really a good name for them. Wedding coordinators are basically the person behind the scenes on your day making sure that your wedding goes smoothly so that you (and those close to you) can sit back and enjoy the day without anything to worry about.
Coordinators don’t typically help you pick out your venues, florists, or pick other vendors but once you have those things, they help you make all those plans you’ve made on your own become a reality. Instead of contacting a coordinator right after you get engaged, you typically get them involved a few months before your big day. Depending on the level of service you contract with them, they will typically help you put together a day-of timeline, help figure out your guest count, work out venue details, and so on.
A coordinator will typically provide you with at least 25 hours of pre-wedding work. They will meet with you 4 – 8 weeks before the wedding to get a handle on what you have planned to that point. From there they will devise a detailed timeline and sometimes floor plans of your venue. They will complete a final walk-through of the ceremony and reception sites prior to your big day to familiarize themselves with the venues. They will contact your vendors a week or so prior to your wedding to confirm schedules and logistics. They may also help address any overlooked details as needed.
Wedding coordinators will attend rehearsals managing it and will then oversee the entire wedding day.
They day of, they make sure the vendors have arrived on time and know where they are supposed to be. They assist guests making sure they are seated in the right spot, know where the gift table is, etc. They also make sure the wedding party is lined up in order and may time out when the next person is ready to walk down the aisle. They are responsible for making sure the ceremony starts on time.
Some wedding venues offer an event coordinator so you may want to make sure if your venue provides one as part of your package that you aren’t doubling up. Know what the venue coordinator is responsible for and make sure you know what other assistance you may need on your day.
A wedding stylist’s duties vary depending on how involved you need them to be. They basically help you define your vision, narrow down your ideas or help you pull off a specific theme. They bring the “pretty” to your wedding day.
A wedding stylist will sit down with you and help you devise design concept for the day. They will help provide guidance when establishing your color palette and help source special props and/or equipment. They will help oversee your décor budget and help with décor vendors (florist, rentals, lighting, and stationery). Often stylists will attend a site visit to visualize where you want everything to go, devise a layout and identify any potential problems. They will devise a floor plan and ensure that all the décor elements are in place on-site the day of the wedding. Stylists can spend up to 40 hours designing a wedding depending on the services you hire them to do.
Before hiring anyone to help you with your day, think about what exactly you will need help with as you plan your wedding. Consider your budget and realistically what you think you can afford. Think about the amount of time you will need to plan your wedding and how much involvement you think you will need from an outside party.
How do you know who to hire, if anyone?
You might want to consider hiring a wedding planner if you:
- Have no free time due to a demanding job
- Have no clue where to start when it comes to planning or don’t have the best organizational skills
- Have 15 – 20% of your overall wedding budget to invest in this service
- Have a very short timeframe for planning
- Are throwing a destination wedding and/or a wedding weekend involving multiple events
- Are hosting your wedding at an unusual location (not a hotel, restaurant or banquet hall)
You might want to consider hiring a wedding coordinator if you:
- Want to play an active role in planning your wedding but would like someone to take care of all the last minute details and make sure you haven’t overlooked something.
- Want those close to you to be involved with the planning but want them to be able to sit back and enjoy your wedding day
- You are organized and detailed
- Don’t have a budget for a wedding planner
You might want to consider hiring a wedding stylist if you:
- Feel that the décor is the most important element of your wedding day
- Are pretty organized to plan the wedding but need help with the creative part of planning the wedding
- You have a very specific theme that you want to pull off
- You have a million ideas (pinterest overload) and you are having trouble narrowing them down or bringing your ideas together to create a cohesive look