Wedding Planner versus Coordinator: What’s the difference, and what do you really need?

Wedding Planner versus Coordinator: What’s the difference, and what do you really need?

 What is the difference between a  Wedding Planner versus a Coordinator? Sometimes it feels like weddings have their own special language, full of new vocabulary and abbreviations. People gain titles like MOH and MOB, and the abbreviation STD has a new meaning (it’s a Save the Date, obviously). For newly engaged couples, most of this language is fairly easy to pick up. But some terminology requires further explanation.

The difference, for example, between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator. The shortest explanation is, a wedding planner is with you throughout the planning process, acting as a guide, a consultant, helping you make every decision (or making them on your behalf). A coordinator on the other hand, is there to make sure the wedding day itself runs smoothly.

A coordinator generally does not help you plan the wedding, but takes the reins when the time comes to put all your plans into action. They are there to facilitate the wedding, making sure each component goes off as planned. If you’re wondering how someone who wasn’t involved in the planning process can successfully facilitate the wedding itself, then you’ve hit upon the biggest misnomer in wedding terminology: Day-of Coordination.

Wedding coordinators are often referred to as Day-of Coordinators, but this is a very misleading name as most of them start working with you at least a month before your wedding. To successfully bring your plans to life, they need to take time to understand your vision. This means at least a month of conversations, with you and your hired vendors, to make sure everyone is on the same page. So scrap the term Day-of from your vocabulary; it will just make things confusing.

A wedding planner will of course provide all of the services a wedding coordinator does, but they will also be available throughout the planning process. In addition to providing valuable insight and connections while you hire your vendors, your planner can also help you with budgeting, creating a design or theme for your day, and keeping you on track throughout the planning process.

So, do you need a planner, or a coordinator? If you don’t want to be running around setting up your decor and keeping an eye on the clock on your wedding day (and don’t want to pawn these tasks off on a guest), then you definitely want to at least hire a coordinator. If you are just starting to plan and are already overwhelmed with options, talk to a planner. The best way to determine what you need is to meet with a planner for a consultation, and together you can determine which package suits you best.


Emily Thomas is the owner and lead planner of Emily Katherine Events. She has been working in the wedding industry since 2012, and is passionate about creating weddings that are unique to each couple. It’s YOUR wedding, not just a wedding!

To schedule a free wedding planning consultation, contact Emily at 336-701-0446 or


Written by Emily Thomas, Emily Katherine Events



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