You have found your person, they/you said YES & the date it set!
Now you are trying to figure out do I need a Planner or do I need a Coordinator? Is there even a difference or are those words interchangeable?
And do I really need either??
Let us help clear the air!
Planner is often the term most used or thought of, but let's start with identifying what a Coordinator is. If you hire a Coordinator, this is going to be your Day Of person. They will create your wedding day timeline and ensure your day is executed seamlessly. They will be the point of contact for all vendors and will solve any issues that may arise on your wedding day! They make sure your décor and rentals are placed in the correct spots, and that all the planning and envisioning you have done falls into place!
Now prior to the wedding they will likely meet with initially to figure out where you are at in the process, get to know you both, and ensure all your vendors are books. They may even provide you with preferred vendors for areas not booked yet, and offer suggestions on topics or ideas you haven't 100% decided on. Then your final meeting typically takes places a few weeks prior to the big day. This allows you to all be on the same page and ensure all is booked and ready to go for you two to say I do. At this point they will create a draft timeline of your day, and get any names or contacts of bridesmaids or mothers, so if any questions come up you are not bothered. This is also when they want to make sure the rehearsal is booked, and all parties are able to attend. We like to get ceremony songs, wedding party line up, and email the DJ to see if they are able to join. If the DJ can't come, we bring a speaker to allow us to practice with the actual songs!
Now we switch to Planners! You will pay more for a planner, because they are actually helping you plan. They are helping you do things like picking out décor, and complete vendor availability checks for you. They may even help you book your vendors. Now all this can depend on what type of package you have booked with your planner. Full Plan means your planner helps you plan all aspects of the day! Whereas with Partial Plan your planner still helps you plan but on a smaller scale: i.e. may only help plan for up to a certain amount of hours. Typically, which ever package, Full or Partial, your planner still completes all the things that are listed above with the Coordinator.
A Planner is like having both, a Planner and a Coordinator!
Now how do you decide what you want?
Well first you have to think about budget, like we said you will spend more hiring a Planner. The other thing you need to think about is how much of it have you already done, and how comfortable you are with planning it yourself? If you think you have the planning down, and may just have a few questions here and there, but for sure want someone to help execute the day of your wedding, I'd go with a Coordinator. If planning sounds way to stressful or you don't even know where to start, I'd go with a Planner! Planners also are great because you are able to meet monthly to go through checklists, have someone keep you accountable with getting this done, and honestly it even allows you to have someone to talk through all the things that are keeping you awake at night when you are stressing about the wedding!
Last we have to answer the question, do you really need either?
We do understand that wedding budgets may not always consider the cost of hiring a planner or coordinator. However, the stress-free experience you and your loved ones will encounter will alone justify the importance of either one. Knowing that you have someone in your corner, not only the wedding day but also leading up to the day, will give you so much comfort! AND knowing that the little hiccups that will occur day of, will be solved and that you/your family don't have to lift a finger to ensure that the wedding day you dreamed of takes places just how you want it to!