Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wedding Planner VS Coordinator?


Simply put: a wedding planner plans and a 'day of' coordinator coordinates! In theory a wedding planner will also coordinate your wedding and rehearsal as part of their package or precentage price. In between those services is what is typically called a "month of" coordinator. They do quite a bit more than a "day of" coordinator but they don't plan your wedding from beginning to end. So you can think of the services like this:

Day of Coordination - Basic Service
[smaller package, usually comes in the last 2-3 weeks prior to the big day after initial consult]

Month of Coordination - Premium
[medium package, at least a month out but more contact and assistance after initial consult]

Wedding Planner - Platinum
[large package, usually planning from beginning until the end]

Many of these 'services' cross over. For example, you may have a "month of coordinator" but need their assistance several months before the wedding to attend a few meetings, review some contracts or give you a referral. Often brides and grooms get 'caught up' in the title of the planning package instead of the service they provide. You are basically paying for experience, knowledge and time and you need to decide how much of each skill you need.

Are you creative? Very organzied? Can you coordinate several activities and events at the same time? Negotiate? Research? Delegate? If so, then you probably only need a Day of Coordinator to help tie all the loose ends together, create timelines, help with rehearsal, flow of events [and disasters] and decorating/clean up for your wedding day. Plus they spend 8-18 hours at your event on wedding day! You have to factor that end when you get quoted a price from them and wonder "why does it cost so much". They aren't just showing up that day and telling you when to go down the aisle, there is still a lot of coordination, disaster control, on the fly decision making and ensuring "at least in your guests' eyes" that all is flowing well.  If you have some or partial skills in each area but you only want to do the 'fun' things about wedding planning then you would need a "Month of Coordinator" and if you truly just want to do some of the "yes or no" decision making and would prefer just to 'show up' and be "wow"ed with all the guests, then you need an actual wedding planner.