Do you need a wedding planner or a day-of coordinator?

Many brides wonder what they are looking for when it comes to wedding planning or a day-of coordinator? What is the difference and do you need both? Planning a wedding can be quite a wild ride while some of it is so exhilarating and also a bit terrifying at the same time. One of the biggest questions you’ll face is whether to hire a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator, or both. That's why we created this guide to help you determine what you're looking for and what a wedding planner offers as opposed to a wedding coordinator.

wedding coordinator helps with decor

Wedding Planner : Your Right-hand

A wedding planner is your go-to person from the moment you say “yes” to the moment you say “I do.” They’re your creative partner, logistical expert, and crisis manager all rolled into one. A planner helps plan almost all facets of your day. Depending on what their package specifically includes, you can either choose to be hands off or help with the decision making process. They can help you as much as needed to help you stay on track and keep your stress level to a minimum as much as possible. Keeping you on task with small lists are a wedding planner's specialty. You can give the planner your vision and realistic budget and they will help it come to life!

Here’s what planners bring to the table:

  • Concept and Design: They’ll help you develop a cohesive theme, choose a color palette, and decide on all those little details that make your wedding uniquely you. Ultimately the choice is up to you but they can help with suggestions on what would look best and would fit your specific style, budget, and guests.
  • Vendor Recommendations: With a network of trusted vendors, they can recommend the best florists, caterers, photographers, and more, tailored to your style and budget.
  • Budget Management: They’ll help you create a budget and ensure you stick to it, getting the most value for your money.
  • Logistics and Scheduling: From booking venues to scheduling tastings and fittings for full wedding planning, they handle all the logistical details. If hired for partial wedding planning, they can be there to help schedule walk-throughs and things like that.
  • Problem Solving: Planners are pros at anticipating potential issues and solving them before you even know there’s a problem. Since they have experience in the area of weddings in general, they can quickly "diffuse" a situation before it becomes an issue.

A wedding planner may help with wedding invitations (if that's something that's included or purchased) or come in 3-6 months before when there's only minor "planning" necessary. They will help with making decisions for the big day. A wedding planner is essentially your full-service guide, providing support and expertise every step of the way.

wedding coordinator placing a boutonniere

"I can't imagine not having your day-of coordinator at our wedding. There were so many things that we didn't know or didn't want to be bothered with that she so easily took care of! She was such a blessing to have on our day! "


Wedding Coordinator/Day-of Coordinator : Your Day-of Magician

A wedding day-of coordinator steps in closer to the big day, usually a month or even a week or two beforehand. Their main job is to ensure that all your carefully laid plans are executed flawlessly. All the decisions have been made. They are just there to help make sure everything is arriving (while you're getting hair and makeup done) and things are running smoothly.

 Here’s what they do:

  • Timeline Management: Coordinators create a detailed schedule for the day and make sure everyone follows it as well as possible. (Coordinators have no control over late guests that missed your initial walk down the aisle.)
  • Vendor Liaison: They confirm all the details with your vendors and ensure everyone knows where to be and when. This can be a simple text with your vendors to see when and where they will arrive on the day. If there's any remaining vendors you may need, it may be included for them to give their best options for those specific vendors.
  • Rehearsal Direction: Coordinators often run the rehearsal, making sure the wedding party knows their roles and the order of events.
  • Day-Of Troubleshooting: From unexpected weather changes to last-minute guest issues, they handle any hiccups that arise. When your groom's button falls off, they have a sewing kit to make it like new... things like that.

A day-of coordinator is there to make sure that the plans and decisions you have already made are carried out properly. In short, a wedding day-of coordinator ensures that your months of planning culminate in a smooth, stress-free celebration for the actual day-of.

bride with classic car

Do I need both a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner?

It really depends on how much work you want to do for your wedding. Our wedding planning options come with a day-of coordinator to make sure all the work that we have done together is executed seamlessly. Do you want to make all the decisions and find all the vendors? Go for it, girl! If you just felt overwhelmed reading that, hire a planner. ;-)

invitation suite wedding

Why planners recommend the same people and can't/won't vouch for others...

If you've been looking into a specific planner or vendor, you might notice that they tend to work with the same vendors frequently. There's a good reason for this and here's why.

  1. Consistency - They know what they will deliver every time and on time.
  2. Professionalism - Regularly collaborating with the same vendors builds a strong relationship that is punctual, communicative, reliable, and professional.
  3. Problem-solving - In the wedding world, things can go wrong. Vendors who have a good working relationship with planners are more likely to go above and beyond to solve any issues quickly and efficiently.
  4. Efficient Coordination - There’s no need to spend time getting to know new vendors or explaining routines. Everyone knows their role and can jump straight into the planning process.
  5. Clear Communications - Experienced teams have established methods of communication, reducing the risk of misunderstandings.
  6. Reduced Risks - Working with new vendors carries the risk of unknown performance. Trusted vendors have proven they can deliver, reducing the chance of mishaps.
  7. Accountability - Long-standing relationships mean vendors are more accountable. They’re invested in maintaining their good standing with the planner, so they’re likely to put in extra effort to ensure everything goes perfectly.

When a wedding planner hires the same vendors regularly, it’s not about limiting options—it’s about ensuring the highest quality and smoothest experience for your wedding day. These trusted partnerships mean better communication, reliability, creativity, and peace of mind for everyone involved. So, while it might seem like planners are sticking to their comfort zone, they’re really working to make sure your wedding is as magical and stress-free as possible. And that’s something any couple can appreciate!

Looking for help planning or coordinating your big day?

At the very least, hire a day-of coordinator. They can make or break your wedding day, allowing you to relax and enjoy the moment without worrying about every question or issue that arises.

Happy planning!