Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wedding Planner/Designer/Coordinator.… is there a difference? Part 1

Sooo… you’re hunting around for the right person to help you plan and create the wedding you’ve been dreaming of! You’ve visited countless websites of fabulous wedding professionals and now have the words “wedding planner, wedding designer and wedding coordinator” emblazoned on your mind…. But what’s the difference?? Is there a difference?? Does it matter?? YES, it sure does!!
Puerto Vallarta WeddingsHere at Weddings Vallarta by Barbara we tout ourselves as being the full service deal. We plan, design and coordinate your wedding or event, from start to finish….we do all three. Not all wedding professionals do however and it can get a little confusing, especially to the recently engaged couple who have just realized that there is an entire vocabulary of wedding-speak out there that they need to learn.
I often hear couples and people in general confuse and interchange the terms wedding planner, designer and coordinator. I totally understand the confusion, but there is a difference… a big one actually! I’m going to try and clarify it for you in this 2 part series so read on…. Puerto Vallarta WeddingsA planner is generally a coordinator as well, but a coordinator is not always a planner. A planner can be a designer too, but don’t take that as a given; and a designer is not always a planner or a coordinator, but can be.  Some of us wear all three hats and some only one. More confused? Winking smile
Although many wedding professionals are a combination of the three, many are not. Each area is different and includes specific duties and responsibilities when it comes to the wedding services provided. I’m going to outline the differences for you, so you know what to look for on your quest for a wedding professional.
A Wedding Planner is a seasoned professional who can confidently plan and guide you through the entire wedding planning process from start to finish. All the logistical elements (florist, baker, officiate, DJ, caterer, venue, musicians, rentals, etc.) you need for your big day are sourced, presented, procured and planned for you by the wedding planner. The planner is involved from the very beginning of the planning process; they have ideas, provide inspiration and are educated in everything wedding.
Puerto Vallarta WeddingsIn the case of many destination wedding planners (like us here in Puerto Vallarta), the tendency is to offer complete planning services rather than partial planning or just day of services. It just makes more sense that you would hire the planner planning your wedding in a far off exotic destination to do everything for you as you probably won’t be flying in and out doing some of the legwork yourself. That being said, whether you hire a wedding planner in your home town to plan your home town wedding or a destination wedding planner for your tropical wedding in Puerto Vallarta, the goal of the planner is to help the bride and groom have the best wedding experience possible!
A wedding planner, and I am speaking from a destination wedding planners perspective, will assist with keeping you within your budget; source venues and assist in the selection; express your needs and vision to all the vendors/suppliers and coordinate/communicate between the two of you, maybe even manage their payments for you; work with the catering company and help with the menu selection and coordination; put together a wedding day timeline; help with the seating arrangements; help arrange pre and post wedding day events; keep you calm and focused…and more! They are your go to on everything wedding related and a shoulder to lean on for etiquette, advise and if you’re “freaking out”. As well, a wedding planner will coordinate the day of flow and is the go to person for mom, dad, uncle Bill, best friend from high school, grooms dad’s new wife… absolutely anyone… with questions, comments, needs or concerns, so they don’t bother you. They have planned everything from start to finish and know what is going on every minute and how the couple wants their big day to unfold.
Puerto Vallarta WeddingsA Wedding Designer is responsible for the overall visual aesthetic of the wedding. Designers think in terms of ~ look and style of the wedding ~ décor and details ~ vintage, contemporary, theme, rustic… and the list goes on. They take the vision the couple has for their wedding and help to conceptualize it through the wedding design and decor elements; ideally running that concept through all the “details” and visual elements. Colors, textures, florals, materials, lighting, props, furniture, etc., they design, create and work in conjunction with the florist, lighting technicians, baker, caterer, rental companies, and so on, to install all the extras the couple desired to take their wedding from “cookie cutter” to “uniquely theirs”. A wedding designer adds the style and creates the look and feel of the event.
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Puerto Vallarta WeddingsPuerto Vallarta WeddingsI think that’s about it for this session, I don’t want to confuse the already confusing any further.Flirt male

Now that you know what the realms of responsibilities are for a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer, which one do you think fits in with what you’re looking for?  Planner?… Designer?… Both?… Not sure??

Maybe you want to wait until next week when I break down the difference between a Wedding Coordinator and an onsite Venue Coordinator/Event Manager.
Have a great week!!