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Types of Planners

When I tell people I am a wedding coordinator more often than not I am asked: “what does that mean?” Well, it can mean a lot of things since there is a wide range of service Wedding Planners + Coordinators do. It really comes down to what the couple wants, needs and expectations.

Here is a simple breakdown of what you can expect from the level of services many wedding planners offer.

Full-Service Wedding Planner

A Full-Service Wedding Planner is an experienced professional who will work with you from the very beginning; whether that is when you first get engaged, to you’ve already started brainstorming ideas and need help from there. A Full-Service Wedding Planner has the experience to help you with everything for your wedding, from seating charts to reviewing vendor contracts. A Full-Service Wedding Planner will be hands-on for every aspect of your wedding; assisting you to design your dream wedding, sitting in on all meetings and know exactly what your vision is and how to execute it perfectly.

Ideally for:

– Couples with a large guest list
– Couples looking for guidance throughout the entire planning process
– Couples needing off-site vendors
– Couples with demanding careers to assist in managing the details of planning
– Couples who don’t want to handle logistics [seating charts, RSVPs or timelines]
– Couples who have tons of ideas with no idea where to start

Month-of Wedding Planner

Month-of Wedding Planner typically jumps into the planning stage around a month before the big day [sometimes two months before]. Month-of Wedding Planner won’t be involved with the design process and is mainly there to help finalize logistics a month leading up to your wedding; reviewing your timeline, communicating with vendors and being the main point of contact from there on out.

Ideally for:

– Couples with smaller guest lists
– Couples working with a vendor contact [typically found when using a hotel/resort] but needing help with the off-site vendors
– Couples using different off-site vendors [photographers, florists, cake designers, any additional rental companies]
– Couples who have the majority of the planning process under control
– Couples who want a point of contact leading up to and on the day of their wedding

Venue Coordinator

A Venue Coordinator is someone who works in-house for your wedding venue; typically used in hotels/resorts. Keep in mind there are several different contacts when it comes to using a hall/hotel/resort. Hotels specifically can have event coordinators, catering coordinators, banquet coordinators and banquet managers who each have different parts in bringing your wedding to life. A Venue Contact also works for the hotel, not for you.

The venue contact will organize the details around the venue; catering, room-blocks [which may introduce you to the Sales Coordinator/Manager], parking, signage, tables, chairs, and linen. The venue contact will not help with off-site vendors or contracts such as photographers, florists, cake designers. However, they may offer you a preferred vendor list. You will be responsible for managing your vendors, deliveries and possibly set-up of items that are not owned by the hotel. The venue contact will also not be in charge of logistics such as timeline, seating chart, or RSVPs.

*side story* when I was in hotels, I was the event coordinator – which meant I would set-up logistics, organize/confirm details and be the main point of contact for couples. Up until the day of the wedding [as most were on weekends and I worked 8am-4pm Monday to Friday], I would never actually be on-site for any wedding. I think for over the year I was with one hotel, I only was present for 2/50 weddings.
Ideally for:

– Couples who aren’t having any rentals
– Couples who have no additional budget for a planner
– Couples who are using a hotel/resort as their ceremony/reception venue
– Couples who have a fully staffed wedding; caterers & hotels can typically supply this

Day-of Coordinator

I recently learned that Day-of Coordinators aren’t every planner’s favorite thing [to each their own!] Personally, I think they are the best bang for your buck. A Day-of Coordinator will show up on your wedding day and be in charge of everything from over-seeing set-up, to potentially tearing it all down. Day-of Coordinators are great to ensure your timeline stays on track, to help the bridal party get down the aisle, coordinate with vendors, put out any last-minute fires and act as the main point of contact from everything to phone calls, questions, and payment.

My Day-of Coordinator includes a run down a few months/weeks before the big day, to ensure everything has been reviewed and communicated on what is expected and what needs to be done. I can’t count how many fires I’ve had to put out while photos were being taken, or while speeches were going on. A Day-of Coordinator will put your mind at ease and take away any stress you have. Also note, it’s a good idea to pay the extra to have them there until as late as possible; I recommend until the party gets started. Also, it’s not typically in the contract to have the tear-down included. I’ve heard some planners charging as much as $250 an hour after the 10-hour day. Eep.

Ideally for:

– Couples who have everything under control
– Couples who would like the main point of contact for outside vendors
– Couples who need someone to take care of timing points
– Couples who do not have any vendor/catering staff included in their contracts
– Couples who would like someone else to do the set-up/clean-up