FAQs: Differences Between Planners, Coordinators and Stylists

I remember sitting on a train from Toronto to Burlington months before I launched my business, thinking of what exactly I would specialize in as a wedding planner. I knew I wanted to have a big part in creating an aesthetic look for people’s wedding day but I also wanted to give them advice and guidance throughout their planning process, as well as be there on the day itself since these were things I definitely missed having as a bride. Knowing what you want to do as a wedding vendor is easy but putting this down on paper, naming a price for these services and educating potential clients on what you can do for them can be really tricky to do correctly. Here’s a little breakdown for both inquiring brides to be and aspiring wedding professionals to help you differentiate between wedding planners, coordinators and stylists and what each job title specifically entails. Read on!

{Wedding Planners} A full service wedding planner’s role is to be your advocate every step of the way throughout your planning process. Typically, a full service planner is hired immediately after an engagement and is responsible for countless things. From overseeing the logistics of your wedding, selecting vendors that fit in with your budget and style, and assisting with areas involving etiquette, tablescapes and a day of timeline, a wedding planner can be a key player in making your wedding day truly come together. On the big day s/he is typically responsible for managing all involved vendors, handling final payments and gratuities on your behalf and fixing any problems should they arise. By the time your big day arrives, the person you have hired will know you, your fiance, potentially your family and friends, and ultimately your wedding day vision in every form and capacity possible. A full service wedding planner should provide you with a service that feels like it was undeniably the most valuable investment you made wedding-wise. And in my personal opinion if you really find the perfect fit in a wedding planner, they will become a friend in you and your spouse’s life long after your wedding has come and gone.

{Day Of Wedding Coordinators} A DOC (as they are traditionally called in short form) is a wedding planner hired partially through the planning process. Couples looking for a DOC are typically a few months out from their big day and are starting to feel like an extra set of hands will be helpful in those last few critical planning stages. Day of coordinators typically start their communication with their clients anywhere from eight to three weeks prior to the wedding day, and will get caught up the speed on everything that has already been planned and vendors who have been secured. Your DOC will create a timeline for your wedding day, manage the logistics of the day and handle ‘day of’ issues, much like what a full service planner would do. They will however in most cases offer much more limited services in comparison to the services a full service wedding planner offers. For obvious reasons, day of services are significantly less money than full service wedding planning packages.

{Wedding Stylists and Designers} Some full service planners include styling and design services in their full service packages (like I do). Some also offer other services like floral design and stationery products but a stylist or designer is essentially responsible for focusing on the aesthetics of your big day. Tablescapes and linens, bouquets and centrepieces, photo backdrops, favor ideas, ceremony programs, floor plans, decor and lighting; all of these things are details that make up the look and vibe of your wedding and are components that a stylist will help you to perfect. A really amazing stylist will be able to guide you into making decisions so the above mentioned areas all fit cohesively together. Some select vendors will offer styling or design services without being bundled together with coordination services (i.e., they will help make your wedding look a specific way but they won’t be at the church to make sure your flower girl gets down the aisle on time) but most group their styling services into their full service planning and coordination packages as to provide an inclusive experience for their clients.

You can catch more of this article over here in Mag Rouge. Above photo from Amy Carroll from a Hey Gorgeous wedding this past summer (the bride and groom have requested to remain anonymous). Does the above information clarify the different job responsibilities wedding vendors can have? And for all you married chicks, did any of you hire someone to help you plan, design or coordinate your wedding? I’d love to hear your thoughts below! Have the happiest of Monday, beauties xoxo