Welcome to the ultimate guide to understanding the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator, and deciding which one you really need for your special day.

Whether you're at the beginning of your wedding journey or putting the finishing touches on your plans, this post is packed with insights to help you navigate through your options.

Wedding Planner: Your Visionary Guide

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

A wedding planner is your right-hand person from the very start of the wedding planning process. They're part architect, part designer, part financial advisor, and part family therapist! Here’s what they typically handle:

  • Vision and Design: Wedding planners help conceptualize and design the theme and style of the wedding. They’re all about making your dream wedding a reality.
  • Budget Management: They create and manage your budget, making sure you get the most bang for your buck without compromising on quality.
  • Vendor Relations: From florists to photographers, wedding planners have a network of vendors they trust and often get better rates thanks to their relationships.
  • Logistical Planning: They handle all the logistics, from the wedding timeline to seating arrangements, ensuring everything runs smoothly.

Who Needs a Wedding Planner?

If you’re looking for someone to guide you through every step of the wedding planning process, and you want a professional to handle the details so you can relax and enjoy your engagement, a wedding planner is for you.

Wedding Coordinator: The Execution Expert

What Does a Wedding Coordinator Do?

A wedding coordinator, sometimes called a "day-of coordinator," steps in closer to your wedding date to make sure all your plans are executed flawlessly. Here’s their primary focus:

  • Last-Minute Organization: They pick up where you left off, tying up any loose ends with vendors and the venue.
  • Day-of Management: Wedding coordinators are all about managing the wedding day itself, ensuring that everything goes as planned, from the ceremony timing to the reception setup.
  • Problem Solving: They’re the go-to person for any issues that arise during the wedding, handling everything behind the scenes so you can enjoy your day.

Who Needs a Wedding Coordinator?

If you prefer to take the reins in planning but want someone to take over on the big day so you can be fully present, a wedding coordinator is ideal. They ensure your vision is executed without you needing to check on every detail yourself.

Making the Choice: Planner or Coordinator?

Assess Your Needs

  • Consider how much time and effort you can dedicate to planning your wedding.
  • Evaluate whether you enjoy handling details or find them stressful.
  • Think about your budget, as full-time planners can be more expensive than coordinators.

Local Insights

For those in Wilmington, NC, consider the unique aspects of local venues and vendors. A local planner or coordinator can provide invaluable advice and connections that might save you money and stress.

Personal Preference

Ultimately, the choice between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator comes down to how involved you want to be in the planning process and where you need the most help.


Whether you choose a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator, remember that their ultimate goal is to help you have a stress-free and joyful wedding day. Assess your needs, consider your budget, and decide how involved you want to be. Then, choose the professional who best fits your vision and relax knowing your big day is in capable hands.

Feel free to drop any questions or share your experiences in the comments below. Happy planning!