Wedding Planners, Coordinators and Designers: What's The Difference?

January 05, 2019

Wedding planners, wedding coordinators and wedding designers. What is the difference?

This is a guest blog written by Shannon Bellisle. Shannon is a wedding planner in Barrie, Ontario. Shannon offers coordination, design & coordination, and full planning services.


Your wedding day is something you spend so much of your time daydreaming about, thinking up every little detail to make it the most perfect day to celebrate the love you share with your partner. What you might not dream about is the amount of real work that goes into making that day go exactly as planned. It takes time, and let’s be honest, a lot of planning and executing to bring it all together. That’s why often, it’s a great idea to bring in a professional! Who, you ask? Well, that all depends on what kind of help you’re looking for. Here are the different people you can hire to make your wedding day everything you imagined it could be.

The Coordinator

The coordinator comes into your life usually about ten weeks out from your wedding day. They are there to make the day flow by creating a detailed itinerary and making sure it’s followed from the beginning of your day till the end. This person becomes the main point of contact for all your hired vendors in those weeks leading up to the day. On the day of, they are there ensuring the vendors arrive on time, everything is as it should be, and it all gets set up in the right places.
The coordinator executes all your scheduled events, from your first look to the first dance and everything in between. Some may offer to assist with small décor set up tasks to keep the schedule moving on time. Ultimately, the coordinator takes over once you have all the planning done for your wedding and allows you to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding instead of running around last minute - they make everything come together, so you don’t have to.

wedding cake display

The Planner

The planner is with you from the very start. Their job is to bring your vision for your wedding to life by building your theme and specially curating vendors that will jive with you, while also keeping to your budget. Your planner will sit down with you at the beginning and create a full plan to meet your wants and needs. They are above anything else, your shoulder to lean on for all things wedding.

They not only bring in the vendors to be a part of your day, but they are also the contact for all of them. This means they deal with all the interacts with the vendors, from handling any possible issues to ensuring you get exactly what you asked for.

Not all planners are the same- some may only offer organizational services, meaning they don’t take on any of the wedding designing. Some, on the other hand, provide a wide range of services in-house that allows you to cross all your design needs off your list with one pen stroke!

wedding planning design

The Designer

Wedding designing, as stated above, is not always a service provided - make sure you know exactly what is offered in your wedding planning packages before hiring someone on. If you are looking for a custom, on-trend wedding design, a designer is the way to go. Your designer often involves a full design concept, coordination of all the design vendors- including décor, florals, and table settings- as well as custom stationery. With one design team, you can have all your invitations, table cards, and seating charts created to seamlessly coordinate with your wedding theme.

You will work together with your designer to create a custom vision for your wedding, and then you sit back and enjoy being engaged while the designer does the rest all the way up to and including the big day. This is the most hands-on level of a wedding planner you will find.

wedding bride and groom ceremony

Whether you’re looking for someone to help on the day of, or someone to take your vision and make it a reality, there is a wedding planner out there for you. Always take a moment to read through exactly what services each professional provides so you can be sure to find your perfect planner to guarantee you enjoy your wedding day and soak up all the love surrounding you with family and friends!

This guest post was written by:

Shannon Bellisle



Photography contributors:

Planner: Shannon Bellisle

Photography: Scarlet O'Neil

Floral: Hunt and Gather

Catering: Gusto 54

Models: @Tashakopoon and @blxck_ixn

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