There are so many options when looking for wedding vendors and finding the right partner to help you on your big day is no different. There are wedding professionals to fit everyone’s needs and I have found that some brides do not understand the options available to them when looking for a ‘planner’. Why the quotation marks? Well, lovelies, there are different kinds of ‘planners’ and their titles do, in fact, mean different things. So, which is the right fit and choice for you? Take a look below.
A planner is someone who is working with you the majority of your engagement and are often referred to as a Full Service Planner. Their services may include, but are not limited to, walking you through vendor selection, design choices, contract review, going to meetings, helping select your attire, building your timeline, coordinating vendors and final details and executing your wedding day. It is important to note that not all planners are designers. They can absolutely make recommendations, but they might not have that artistic eye or passion that a designer does.
Planners are also not always full service. You can work with a planner throughout your entire engagement, but not have them attend appointments and various other a la carte offerings. This does not mean that they are only a coordinator, though. If they are guiding you through the majority of your engagement and helping select vendors, they will be classified as offering planning services. Planners are fantastic organizers and can bring your day to life effortlessly.
A designer is someone who helps conceptualize the aesthetics of your day. Many planners also couple design with their planning services for a most complete client experience.
They might be the best option for you if you love the coordination and don’t feel the need to have someone execute your day. Perhaps you are having a very intimate wedding, but are looking for someone to help you take the day to the next level with very intentionally curated design choices. Even if it’s a simple and intimate wedding with a dinner following, the choices you make can impact the experience your guests have. A designer will guide you to make choices that allow your personalities to shine and share your story and love with you dearest.
As with any vendor, offerings will vary with designers. Some offer design only and then you run with the ideas and execution. Others will get you all the way to the wedding day, with coordinating rentals and design related details, but not be on site the whole day.
A stylist is not someone who only works weddings, but might also work on editorials and other events. Stylists are also aesthetically inclined and can assist you with wardrobe or other design elements. In the world of weddings, they will most likely be a designer as well. Stylists help curate and tell stories.
Again, if you have a smaller budget or event and want someone to make sure things are set up exactly how you want and it looks magazine ready, then a stylist might be your ideal fit. They will often have a few meetings with you prior to your day and then arrive on site to set up. Most wedding stylists will leave once set up is complete. Some other offerings may include wardrobe styling for your family members and bridal party or tear down of what they set up at the end of the event. Stylists are also really fun to work with throughout your engagement for your engagement session, bridal portraits, and any other photo worthy events you have throughout.
Coordinators typically come in toward the end of your planning process and help tie up the loose ends and execute your day. They will gather all of your information to date, make sure any gaps are filled and coordinate your vendors and details for the big day. In most markets, coordinators are the most commonly booked for brides who really want to enjoy their wedding day/weekend, but enjoy the planning process itself. Or, maybe your budget won’t allow for you to book a full planner, but you desperately need someone to guide you through the logistics. If that sounds like you, then a coordinator is your fit.
I always recommend that every bride seriously consider working a coordinator into your budget at a minimum. They will make sure that nothing is missed and your stress level is greatly diminished because they know what needs to be done. They free you and your family up from any obligations other than enjoying the day.
While many companies, including HHE, offer services that can be considered a combination of the above, we all identify with some of them more heavily. Of course, I believe that as a bride, you deserve the very best. In my opinion, this is a full service planner and designer. That offering combination will give you the best partner vendor to bring everything to life, tell your story, allow you to fully enjoy your engagement and free you from other stressors along the way.
What type of ‘planner’ do you identify most with? Did you have any of the above on your wedding day or for any events with your family?