What’s the Difference Between a Wedding Planner, an Event Designer and an On-Site Coordinator

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Planning a wedding can be quite confusing.  Just when you think you know who handles what, you find out there are not only wedding planners, but  Event Designers, and On-site Coordinators.  So you’re probably lost as to who does what and if you really need all or any of them to begin with.  Let me clear everything up for you!

Wedding Planner vs On site coordinator vs Event Designer

A Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator or Wedding Consultant is there to coordinate with vendors, find vendors, deal with budget, make sure you know what you need to do throughout the process and check on all the moving parts.  They are the go to person when vendors have questions, so you are only communicating with them and not tons of vendors.  They can either help you for your entire planning process or just for the day-of coordination.  Don’t be fooled by the inappropriate term “day-of coordination” they should be involved at the very least the last month or they will know next to nothing about vendors, contracts, timelines, etc. and really not be of much help.

They don’t often set up, make, or break down anything, but will make sure the vendors you hire take care of everything for you.  They are there to use their position to get you the best vendors for your budget and know exactly what to watch out for.  Many will review vendors and contracts for you.  Their experience comes in handy when trying to save time, making a timeline, knowing how much things should cost, and handling delays.  They work for you, not a vendor or venue.

An Event Designer or Event Stylist, they are just like a wedding planner, but also help more with the design, details, and putting things together.  Event designers typically have add on services like designing and invitations.  A planner may send you to a link of a few vendors to choose from, but and event designer may quote you on invites and handle designing, order letterpress printing, stuffing envelopes, custom stamping, and adding a fancy wax seal.  They don’t simply coordinate, but are involved in the details of design.  Event designers are likely to put together a color palette and inspiration board to get a visual for the design and how everything coordinates. A basic wedding planner won’t do much in design.  THey leave that up to the client.  Once the client knows what they want and tells the planner, the planner finds it for the client.

Persian Kitty Kat Event provides event design services as well as planning.

An On-site Coordinator, is employed by the venue.  Their job is primarily to do the paperwork for the venue and your contract with it, follow up with payments, make sure you do not harm the venue, and answer any questions on the venue.  Regardless of their actual training, they are essentially sales people for the venue.  If you ask for vendor referrals they will likely hand you a list of vendors that paid to be on their preferred vendor list or vendors they get a referral fee from.  If you bring decorations to them before your wedding with instructions they sometimes will set them up for you.  Such as putting out a guest sign in book, favors, or table numbers.  Not all do this, but some provide this.

Turnover is extremely high for on-site coordinators, especially those that work for ballrooms and hotels.  It is very likely the person you coordinate your event with will be replaced at least once before your wedding.  On-site coordinators usually juggle a few events a week and sometimes several going on at the same time on the same day.  A wedding planner or event designer will work with your on-site coordinator to makes sure all your vendors are approved to be at the venue and relay any venue rules and restrictions to them.

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