What I love about weddings is that they’re never they same. They can be large and elaborate, small and intimate, one day or multiple days. And even if my couples get married at the same location, the weddings are never identical. Each wedding reflects the styles and preferences of the couple. But because of the confusion between wedding planners and venue coordinators, most brides aren’t clear about what a wedding planner does.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
Wedding planners (or wedding coordinators) do it all. They’re a crucial component to a successful wedding day. Their main responsibility is to organize the details and manage the logistics. They give advice about vendors, provide industry insight, and guidance creating an experience for your guests.
My job as a wedding planner is to steward the details and logistics while couples celebrate the beauty of their marriage. I love hearing my couples say “I didn’t know you could do that!” Because the scope of what a wedding planner can do includes more than most brides think. From scheduling meetings to executing welcome bags and mediating disputes, a wedding planner provides extra hands to make everything happen.
01. Manage your wedding budget
They help you develop a realistic budget for the size, location and style of wedding you want to have. A wedding planner can manage your budget to ensure you’re staying on budget and keep track of when payments are due.
02. Handle distribution of final vendor payments and tips
You’ll make most of your vendor payments in advance. But there are still final payments and tips that need to be distributed on your wedding day. A wedding planner can take care of making sure the vendors get paid so you don’t have to worry about it.
03. Manage and track your RSVPs
Collecting RSVPs via your wedding website is an option, but many brides prefer to have their guests mail in their RSVP. Updating your guest list when RSVP information isn’t difficult. A wedding planner can track all that information for you, freeing up time in your schedule. That means you can spend your time sipping mimosas with your girlfriends instead of entering RSVPs into a spreadsheet.
04. Create a wedding day/wedding weekend timeline
A timeline is one of the most critical pieces of information for your wedding. It’s the document that tells vendors and your wedding party where they need to be and when. Your timeline is even more important if you’re having a wedding with different events or that lasts several days.
Your wedding planner has planned wedding before. They know when you need to start getting ready and when you need to allow for extra time. They know how long things actually take and how all the details will come together. They’ll be able to create a comprehensive timeline that allows everyone to move effortlessly through the wedding day.
05. Put together your welcome gifts
A wedding planner can create those thoughtful welcome bags for you. The task of wrapping ribbons on bottles or placing stickers on a bag isn’t hard. But they’re one of those tricky projects that end up taking longer than you think.
06. Create floor plans and layouts
A wedding planner will help you figure out where your food stations should go and how-to layout your reception tables. They can help determine where to put your wedding favors and if there’s space to create a lounge area without interrupting the flow.
07. Manage seating charts
You want your girlfriends want to be close to your table. But figuring out how to seat your six girlfriends and their dates at a table for eight can be a challenge. A wedding planner will take care of figuring that out that for you, so you don’t have to stress about where people sit.
08. Act as a mediator
The wedding planning process can be emotional. A wedding planner can mediate and help you navigate the emotions of making decisions. They’re your spokesperson and can convey your wishes when you don’t want to deal with it.
09. Manage guests
You don’t need to have other people to spoil your wedding day. When one of your guests has one drink too many, your wedding planner will take care of it. It’s their job to take care of the guest without the bride and groom noticing.
10. Inform important people of special moments
The first dance, your cake cutting, and grand exit are a few of the special moments during your reception. A wedding planner makes sure the important people like your parents, grandparents, and bridal party don’t miss a moment.
11. Handle emergencies
Whether it’s fixing a boutonniere or finding a backup microphone, a wedding planner handles all those emergencies. That means all you have to do is bask in the bliss of your wedding day and know everything will be taken care of.
12. Make sure you’re looking picture perfect all day
Think of them as your personal stylist for the day. Your wedding planner will make sure you’re looking picture perfect all day. They’ll make sure to reapply your lipstick after all those stolen kisses, keep stray hairs off your face, and fluff your dress.
13. Confirm your vendors
The days leading up to your wedding are going to go by in a flash. Instead of dealing with last minute questions and returning phone calls to your vendors, let your wedding planner handle all that. They’ll work with everyone to confirm times and locations.
14. Stuffing, stamping and sending off invitations
Recruiting your bridesmaids and family to do another wedding project may not be their idea of fun. Whether it’s for your wedding, rehearsal dinner, or bridesmaid luncheon, your wedding planner can get everything ready to mail for you. You get to check another thing off your list and focus on the fun of being engaged.
15. Provide etiquette advice
There are definite do’s and don’ts when it comes to weddings. A wedding planner is your go to resource for any etiquette advice. You can be confident about knowing if you need to invite your boss, give everyone a plus one, or invite children.
A Wedding Planner Can Do It All
Your engagement goes by in the blink of an eye and you want to enjoy every moment. Working with a wedding planner allows you to spend your time focusing on more important things while they take care of the rest. Their goal is to make the process fun and to keep you excited about the new life you’re starting together.
Photos by Fernando Weberich