Wedding Planners vs. Wedding Coordinators: Is There a Difference?
You’re engaged! How exciting! Now what do I do? Wedding Planners versus Wedding Coordinators: Is There A Difference?
Planning a wedding takes time, money and creativity. The question is: should you use a Wedding Planner or a Wedding Coordinator? Some people say you must have a planner while others believe you only need a coordinator. Some see the responsibilities of a planner and coordinator as the same. Is there really a difference or is it simply a manner of semantics?
Wedding Planners With hectic, busy schedules, couples typically do not have enough time to plan their special day. Hiring a planner is beneficial for many people. Planners work with couples from the very beginning to help reduce stress by managing and organizing all the details---from discussing what flowers to choose, to selecting music, food, and so forth. And, planners can help couples save money because of their established relationships with vendors. Often, they can negotiate deals that may not otherwise be possible. Designating a planner to focus solely on every detail for a dream wedding can ease anxiety. Typically, a planner will begin by listening to the couple’s ideas---what they want and what they do not want for the wedding and/or reception---and pursue options, seek the best deals, and present their ideas and suggestions. Upon selection of the couple’s desired vendors, a planner will oversee and maintain a relationship with each one. The role of wedding planners is to:
Help create a budget;
Negotiate with vendors;
Have a strong base of knowledge, creativity, and experience on current trends in the industry;
Provide advice on issues such as etiquette; and
Serve as an advocate, counselor, and friend.
It is important to remember that while a wedding planner presents options and ideas, the couple always makes the final decisions. Wedding Coordinators On the other hand, Wedding Coordinators typically arrive on the day of the rehearsal. Their role is to make sure the policies and rules at the ceremony site are implemented. Upon arrival, coordinators introduce themselves to the couple, wedding party, and family. Often, the bride introduces the parents, officiate and other people that play an important role in the ceremony. The coordinator emphasizes that if there are any concerns or problems, the wedding party must inform the coordinator, not the bride. The goal of the coordinator is to decrease stress and ensure a smooth, seamless process for the bride and the families on this special day. Wedding coordinators can:
Review the timeline of events and activities for the ceremony and/or reception;
Maintain open communication between the bride, families, and officiates;
Serve as the “go-to” person for any issues that may arise;
Work with florist, musician and officiate, providing details and making sure no detail is forgotten.
Overall, Wedding Planners initiate the long list of details by working with the couple to select vendors and anticipate other needs in preparation for the special day. Wedding Coordinators begin their relationship with the family on the day of the wedding rehearsal and work with the couple, the family, and any other key individuals to ensure a smooth, seamless process. Sometimes the planner can also serve as the coordinator. Opinions can and do differ on the specific roles these individuals play in crafting a wedding. Both planners and coordinators---if they are indeed separate---can help tremendously in different ways to create a beautiful, memorable experience for the couples and their families. The Eisenhower Chapel and Pasquerilla Spiritual Center can accommodate wedding ceremonies and services of all sizes, faiths, and traditions. We also have experienced and dedicated wedding facilitators who can help you plan or coordinate your wedding, taking the stress away from some of your wedding day. Eisenhower Chapel / Pasquerilla Spiritual Center Contact: Dena Gazza (814) 865-6549 firstname.lastname@example.org www.studentaffairs.psu.edu/spiritual/weddings