Wedding Planner vs. Day of Coordinator: Who to Hire

After getting engaged, you soon discover there are many moving parts to planning a celebration, from selecting your theme and booking your dream venue to hiring vendors. Organizing a celebration (big or small!) can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never done it before. With a long list of to-dos, you and your partner may be ready to enlist some help.

As you explore this option, you may wonder:

  • Who should you hire on board–a wedding planner or a day of wedding coordinator?
  • What’s the difference between the two?
  • How do you decide the best match for your event?

As an event planning business offering both types of wedding coordination, let’s define these roles and help you determine the right support for the most memorable day of your life!

What’s a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner is a full-service provider who supports couples with their planning journey from start to finish. Some areas of guidance include budgeting, vendor relationships, themes and design, wedding day timelines, and more.

Our Absolute Package is an all-inclusive choice designed for busy, engaged couples. If you’re a fan of detailed planning but don’t have much time to spare, you’ll appreciate this service.

What’s a Day of Wedding Coordinator?

A day of coordinator is a wedding pro who steps in closer to the wedding date and specializes in execution. While every coordinator has a unique timeline, our Day-Of-Coordination service begins six weeks before your big day.

This option may be ideal for couples who want to plan their own celebration but have a seasoned pro take the reins during their festivities.

Wedding Planner Responsibilities

Many couples struggle to differentiate between the two roles. While some duties are similar, let’s discuss what you can expect when working with a wedding planner.

  • Consultation calls and exclusive guidance: During consultation calls, your planner will likely inquire about your wedding date, theme, guest size, desired destination, approximate budget, and more. Our Absolute Package features unlimited meetings and communication.
  • Spending plan and vendor management: A wedding planner can provide insight into market prices and help you establish a comfortable budget. In addition, they can connect you with their network of vendors. We offer a budget template and vendor assistance, such as providing a referral list, reviewing payments, and supervising.
  • Wedding theme and design: With the whole picture in mind, your wedding pro can use their eye for detail and expertise to craft an experience that perfectly represents your love story. They may recommend ideas for cohesiveness and ensure your color palette is on point.
  • Celebration itinerary and special arrangements: Your wedding planner will also carefully design a timeline of wedding events, like ceremonial rituals, formal portraits, and more. They will also handle the logistics of your day so you can be fully present.
  • Step-by-step planning experience: As full-service providers, your wedding coordinator will lead the planning process. This support can be a comfort for couples with hectic schedules.

If you don’t have the bandwidth (or desire) to plan every detail of your special day, consider hiring a wedding planner. Our Absolute Package checks all the boxes so you can enjoy your engagement and plan your dream celebration with our innovative team.

Responsibilities of Day of Wedding Coordinators

While day of coordinators get involved in the planning later, they are responsible for tying up loose ends and ensuring your celebration sticks the landing. Here’s a glance behind the curtain:

  • Finalize vendor details and lead creative partners: For a seamless experience, day of coordinators gather your vendors’ information and contact them to ensure everyone is on the same page. They will also manage your team and help with invoices as we do in our final phase.
  • Oversee event logistics: Your coordinator will be present throughout your day, leading setup, organizing your procession and recession, and keeping track of smaller details, such as your guest book, wedding favors, and emergency kit.
  • Lead the flow of festivities: In addition to creating your event itinerary, they will become the designated guide for your vendors, family, wedding party, and guests. For instance, they will ensure everyone at the reception is ready for your epic entrance.
  • Resolve emergencies as they occur: Unpredictable circumstances are bound to happen, and when they do, it’s nice to have a day of wedding coordinator to handle them for you. They can assess the situation and adjust the timeline for smooth sailing.
  • Become the main point of contact: When vendors and guests have questions, your coordinator is there to answer them. Whether there are concerns or issues, you can rely on your pro to take care of them.

The beauty of wedding coordinators is they’re here to support you when you need them, even if it’s to help you finish the race. Consider exploring our Day-Of-Coordination and Essential Packages today!

Differences Between Wedding Planners and Day of Coordinators

Each wedding pro brings their unique skill set to the table. The following characteristics distinguish the two roles further, starting with the range of services provided.

Scope of Service

The wedding services fall into two camps: complete planning and partial planning. The all-inclusive nature of wedding planning services allows for more attention and time throughout the planning process. On the other hand, day of services specialize in execution and delivery.

Level of Detail

Since wedding planners support couples from the beginning, they are more involved with event details, such as design, theme, décor, and vendors. By the time the day of coordinators come into the picture, most details are established, and the focus is on the finishing touches.

Difference in Budget

Although rates may range from one wedding pro to another, the costs depend on time, involvement, and resources. On average, a wedding planner may cost anywhere from $2,100 to $5,000. According to Zola, day of coordinators are in a similar ballpark of $1,500-$8,000.

Keep in mind: Additional factors that can affect rates include guest list, location, style of wedding, and custom services.

When to Hire Each Service

Now that you have a better understanding of both professions, the next step is determining who to hire onto your dream team.

Is a Wedding Planner the Right Choice?

Wedding planners are perfect for those who require support at each step, from exploring your vision’s intricacies to delivering an unforgettable experience.

Their all-encompassing services allow you to make final decisions without sacrificing your evenings and weekends. For instance, our Absolute Package features a month-to-month planning timeline, meetings with our planners, organization templates, access to three coordinators during your big day, and more.

Your wedding planner’s consistent presence ensures your final experience aligns with your vision. In phase 1, we offer an hour consultation to review your design and budget. From there, each phase dives deeper into bringing your ideas alive.

You may also lean towards a wedding planner to reduce your stress. Consider a wedding planner if you want to avoid the ultimate juggling act.

Is a Day of Wedding Coordinator Ideal?

Full-service planners may work for some couples, but others may prefer an alternative approach. Here are four reasons why you may opt for a day of coordinator:

  • Cost-effective solution: Receive quality support without overextending your budget. If splurging is a concern, you can go the DIY approach and hire a day of coordinator to lead your festivities.
  • Lead your creative vision: While you appreciate help, you may want to map out most of the details on your own. A day of coordinator is great for couples who like planning and tapping into their creative side.
  • Helpful vendor referrals and coordination: Your day of coordinator can support the vendor process, from confirming contracts to supervising tasks. Our Day-Of-Coordination package includes a custom vendor referral list, contact sessions, management, setup, and takedown.
  • Handle wedding day logistics: Your coordinator’s focus is a seamless celebration. In phase 3, we dive into the 10-hour day with setup, vendor organization, and procession/recession coordination. We also take care of personal items for the ceremony and reception.

Select a Wedding Professional Based on Your Needs

Wedding planners and day of coordinators both offer valuable services and expertise to elevate your celebration. Still, it can be challenging to finalize your decision. Before moving forward, set aside time to discuss your needs, budget, stressors, and a list of pros and cons with your fiancé(e)

Explore the following questions to help you navigate the conversation:

  • How much time and energy do you have each week to plan?
  • Are you comfortable taking the lead or allowing someone else to manage the details?
  • Do you have the experience and confidence to plan your wedding from start to finish?
  • Will planning your special day contribute to additional stress and anxiety?
  • What are some benefits of hiring a wedding planner?
  • What are the perks of working with a day of coordinator?

Whether you decide on a day of wedding coordinator or a wedding planner, you can rest easy knowing that we have a diverse selection of services for you, including:

  • Day-Of-Coordination
  • The Essential Package
  • The Absolute Package

Buckle in and prepare to embark on an exciting adventure with the support of a dedicated event team. With an eye for design and a passion for planning, we look forward to delivering the happiest day of your life.

Begin your planning journey here!