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Wedding Planner vs. Designer vs. Coordinator: What’s the difference and what do you need?

Tips + Tricks

September 16, 2021

So you just got engaged and now you’re trying to figure out what to do next (hint, hire a wedding planner!). We get it – wedding vendors have different lingo and terminology and phrases that you may not know what it means! No, an STD is NOT what you think – that’s code for save-the-date, y’all! Does MOB have you thinking of a Will Smith movie? You’re probably not alone. When it comes to hiring someone to help you with the logistics of your most important day, who do you need to look for? Read on to learn more about the differences between a wedding planner, wedding coordinator, and a designer.

bride and groom first dance at Kendall Point Venue
bride and silver bridesmaid dresses

A wedding coordinator is someone that you typically see come into your planning experience about 4 – 6 weeks before your wedding day. They’ll assist you with some of the final details, confirm vendors, build your timeline, help with your rehearsal, and be there on the wedding day. At a bare minimum, you need one of these – trust us. Just don’t go looking for a ‘day of coordinator,’ because they don’t (or shouldn’t) exist. And if you need more info on why that is, go check out this blog.

bride with bridesmaids in formal black dresses
wedding floral and signage design

What is a wedding planner? | Scarlet Rose Events

How does a wedding coordinator differ from a planner, though? A wedding planner is much more involved in vendor acquisition and communication and will guide you along your planning journey. They’ll keep track of your budget, manage your guest list and RSVPs, and handle large-scale logistical issues as they arise. Then as the wedding approaches, they’ll work through all of the coordinating tasks listed above, to ensure your day runs smoothly.

A wedding designer is someone much more involved in the aesthetic components of your special day. They create design boards, mock-ups, color palettes and more to bring a vision to life. With a wedding designer, they’ll work hand-in-hand with other vendors that impact the final design, such as floral or stationery. On the day of the wedding they may be on hand to ensure your visual plans are executed, styling items as they go.

photo lounge backdrop for wedding in San Antonio
colorful stage backdrop design
stage backdrop and light up wedding letters

Should you hire a wedding coordinator? | San Antonio Brides

The question then becomes – but who should I hire? If you’re the organized bride and find yourself with a lot of free time on your hands (this is our full-time job for a reason…it’s a lot of work!), then maybe a wedding coordinator is perfect for you. Perhaps the amount of money you’ve allocated in your budget does not allow for a full-scale wedding planner. No problem! Wedding coordinators are generally half (or less) of the cost of a Full Service Planner.

If you are excited by all of the little details and notice design everywhere you eat, shop, travel – then a wedding designer may be who you need to bring on board your vendor team! One thing that’s important to note, however, is not all wedding planners are also designers. Some in this industry are more logistical focused, and they’re great at what they do. It takes a certain type of person to be able to manage both facets of the business, or at least have a team that can do both.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with wedding planning, not sure where to start, or just know you have zero time to be handling all of these things, then a Full Service wedding planner is who you should call! This category is especially important for anyone transforming a space (like your family ranch into a venue for your big day), or those with a large guest count and a lot of vendors to manage.

bride and groom in downtown San Antonio
boho wedding design

Wedding Planning in San Antonio

Here at Scarlet Rose Events, we can assist you with all three categories! If you visit our services page, you’ll see that we offer 3 main Collections: Management, Management + Design, and Full Service Planning + Design. So whether you’re the type-A bride that wants to plan it all yourself, or you’ve found us for our eye for design and specialty statement installs, we have you covered at any capacity! Our specialty lies in design and Full Service Planning, and while we love to get to know you from the beginning, we certainly still welcome those that want to do the majority of the work on their own and still appreciate the value of having a coordinator on their special day. And if this is the case, you’ll love our VIP Planning Portal, an immense added-value for anyone that brings us on their vendor team.

Want more information on what it’s like to have Scarlet Rose Events as a part of your wedding day and planning process? Reach out to receive our Collections Guide full of information on our packages, what makes our company unique, and see if we may be a good fit. We absolutely love talking all things weddings, and we can’t wait to hear about yours and what makes it special!

Photography Contribution

Amy Odom

Anna Kay Photography

Ashley Medrano

Jo Spivey Photography

Palacios Photography

  1. […] while the wedding coordinator works for you. You might need to ask the venue coordinator certain logistical questions like what’s the earliest your vendors can arrive on your wedding day, and a venue coordinator […]

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