Difference between Wedding Planner and Wedding Coordinator

I've often been asked this question. Is the Wedding Planner and Wedding Coordinator the same person?

Well, in most cases, they CAN be the same person. Nowadays, both job tasks are managed by one person. That person though has, typically, a team working for him or her for the gargantuan tasks of managing the wedding.

But where did the terms come from? In general, this is the difference: A wedding planner is the person who manages the planning stage. That means helping the wedding couple to prepare, organize, design and financially manage the wedding. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator is responsible for taking care of the details on the day of the wedding itself.

Purpose of the Wedding Planner and Coordinator

In the past, the tasks of planning and coordinating the wedding rested solely on the wedding couple. They had their relatives and friends to help them map out all the wedding details and execute this plan up to the wedding day itself.

Wedding planning has evolved to now take the stress off the wedding couple as they look forward to the wedding day. These helpful assistants see to it that the wedding proceeds smoothly from the wedding ceremony up to the wedding reception. Some even have ready backup plans if all doesn't go as scheduled.

Tasks of a Wedding Planner

In general, the tasks of the Wedding Planner and team focuses on those components leading up to the wedding.

  • Consulting with the wedding couple as far as budget is concerned for the different components of the wedding. There are many to consider: the dressmaker for the wedding dresses, caterer for the wedding reception, wedding venue (church and reception), video and photo coverage, florists, beauticians, etc.

  • Discussing the motif or theme preferred by the wedding couple.

  • Contracting with the service suppliers mentioned above.

  • Taking care of invitations (printing, sending out invitations, and accounting attendees).

  • Pays the contracted service suppliers with funds advanced from the wedding couple.

Tasks of a Wedding Coordinator

The Wedding Coordinator and team will more likely be active on the actual wedding day.

  • Oversees the entire wedding ceremony.

  • Manages the wedding entourage formation including bridal march for the processional and recessional.

  • Calls out members of the wedding entourage with active participation in the wedding ceremony.

  • Calls out guests for the wedding pictorial at the church.

  • Coordinates the movement of guests from the church to the wedding reception venue.

  • Arrives ahead at the wedding reception to prepare the program. Sometimes wedding coordinators double as wedding emcees.

  • Oversees the entire program at the wedding reception.

Combined Tasks of the Wedding Planner and Coordinator

Because the tasks mentioned are often interlinked, the lines and differences have been blurred. The tasks have evolved in that there is now just one person that the wedding couple deals with. Just for simplicity, I just call the person as the Wedding Coordinator.

This makes it much easier and worry-free for the wedding couple. For the wedding coordinator, it also eliminates the awkward situations where conflicts arise due to differences in management styles.