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Wedding Planner vs Wedding Day Coordinator: Who do I hire?


Let’s face it, getting engaged is great, and exciting. You are now on your way to Happily Ever After but planning a wedding is quite the task. So enlisting some professional help can certainly make things much easier! But who do you hire? A wedding planner? A day of coordinator? Both??

Our team at Complete Weddings + Events Melbourne is here to help you answer those questions! There are so many things to consider, like where are you in your planning process already, your personality, and do you enjoy the planning process at all, or are does it make you miserable? Do you have the time to devote to any planning or do you need someone to streamline the process for you? There is no wrong answer or wrong way to plan it’s just finding what works for you and your budget.

Also with the current state of events having some professional back up when it comes to changing, rescheduling, and just planning, etc…certainly won’t hurt!

Wedding Planner vs Wedding Day Coordinator: Who do I hire?

So do you really know the difference between a Wedding Planner vs Wedding Day Coordinator: Who do I hire? Some couples who don’t know the difference end up hiring either one or the other without thinking it through and are then often disappointed on some level. So to help you to make the best decision, let’s talk about the specific differences between a wedding planner and a day-of wedding coordinator and how each one can, and can not help you with your wedding.

Wedding Planner:

This full-service person is responsible for helping you throughout the preparation of your entire wedding, all of them BEFORE the day stuff—from picking a venue, flowers, attire, invitations, planning decor, talking to all of your vendors, setting times and dates, they will do the bulk of the work for you. All you need to do is to sit back, relax, and wait for your upcoming big day.

Wedding Planner Responsibilities

A full-service wedding planner will do much more. But here is a short list of things they are responsible for:

  • Consult with you to understand and help shape your overall plan, sometimes including the rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid parties, day-after brunches, and other wedding-related events
  • Help you review your budget
  • Get to know your taste in style, colors, & the feel you want for your wedding
  • Give you regular progress updates
  • Create & review vendor contracts
  • Help you with your wedding day timeline
  • Organize vendor arrivals & deliveries to your venues
  • Avoid expensive mistakes like rush shipping or other changes
  • Be your “personal assistant” of sorts & remind you of obligations, appointments, budget, etc.
  • Help with style ideas & current trends
  • Pull things together for a unified look
  • Be your watchdog for any details you might miss
  • Manage the florist, caterer, invitations, musicians, site decor and more
  • Help you choose the wedding party fashion inc. bridesmaid dresses, your gown, possibly your mother’s dresses, and groom & groomsmen attire
  • Help you find stylish favors
  • Suggest ideas for table design, special lighting & other esthetic details.
  • Can often procure insider discounts & even freebies, let’s most planners have connections

Day of Wedding Coordinator:

You’ll have personally planned nearly everything for your wedding—hired the vendors, booked the venues, chosen invitations, flowers, etc.—then you’ll sit down with the day-of coordinator and discuss what needs to happen and when. Then that person will take over the reins on your wedding day so you can relax.  They generally only provide their services during the ceremony, reception and some packages include rehearsal dinner as well. Although there are some day-of wedding coordinators who will stay after the wedding to help organize things, frequently their job is just to make sure that everything on your wedding day went correctly and that’s it.

Day-of Coordinator Responsibilities

Here’s what your day-of coordinator will most likely help you with before your wedding day: Generally this starts about 30 days out so most of the planning is done they are simply coordinating arrival times and any last minute questions.

  • Preview the wedding and reception site
  • Serve as the point person for every vendor (so you don’t have to)
  • Help direct your wedding rehearsal

On your wedding day they generally will:

  • Help organize and space the processional line-up
  • Greet guests and/or supervise your ushers
  • Help pin boutonnières and corsages
  • Manage your marriage license and rings
  • Gather and distribute ceremony items at the site
  • Ensure setup and décor for ceremony & reception are correct
  • Serve as last-minute point person with vendors
  • Verify that small things like favors and place cards receive proper placement
  • Light any candles
  • Confirm set up of the guest book, gift table, cake table, and rentals
  • Direct events to keep the wedding flowing smoothly and on schedule
  • Assist with guest management
  • Determine who will be responsible for getting gifts from reception to final destination
  • Respond to any last-minute emergencies or changes

Depending on the terms of that particular coordinator’s contract, they may also help you with other wedding-related things—music selections, lodging, and possibly whether or not the wedding month that you have chosen is appropriate to the season.

They usually will not help with dress selection, color themes, and small things like what specifically to choose for favors

Hire One, the Other, or Both?

As we stated earlier there are many things to consider…The bottom line is if you are just getting started and don’t have the time or you don’t enjoy planning hire both a wedding planner and a day-of coordinator!

But by the time you are ready to seek professional help if you have the bulk of your vendors hired and a solid vision, or you have a bit more time on your hands to devote to planning or you enjoy planning somewhat go with the Day of Coordinator. They will still be a resource for you before your big day but you will have a more hands-on approach during the actual planning, they can just help point you in the right direction. They will step in and take care of all the heavy lifting the day of.

No, these helpers don’t come cheap but the larger your wedding, the better off you’ll be to have help. Even if you have an intimate wedding, if it’s a lavish affair, you’ll rest easier knowing that everything will be handled to your utmost satisfaction.

Either way—a large wedding or small, wedding planner or day-of coordinator—having an experienced helper will ensure that your wedding will be as perfect as it possibly can be.

Complete Weddings + Events inMelbourne, FL

We hope this blog on Wedding Planner vs Coordinator: Who do I hire? has helped show you the difference and maybe helped you choose which one will be the right choice for you. If you still have questions our team at Complete Weddings + Events Melbourne is always happy to help. We offer wedding photographyvideographylightingDJ services & photo booth rental.

For some more wedding inspiration and helpful tips and tricks, you can always check back here for new blogs or follow us on Instagram and/or like us on Facebook!

Complete Weddings + Events, Melbourne’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, DJ services, coordination, & photo booth rental.

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