Poplar Hall Wedding by Gosia's Photography

What is a Wedding Planner?

Premier Bride of Central and Northeast Wisconsin

March 5, 2023

Main photo by Gosia’s Photography

There are so many terms used in modern wedding planning such as Wedding Coordinator, Day of Coordinator, Wedding Manager, Wedding Planner, Wedding Stylist, Wedding Designer.  It is important to note the differences in these roles.

We recently sat down with 88 Events – A Wisconsin based award-winning, full-service wedding & event design company, specializing in Planning, Coordination, Floral, & Décor and asked them to help couple define those roles:


What is the difference between a Wedding Coordinator & Wedding Planner?

A Wedding Planner is the decision maker and a Wedding Coordinator is the one who carries out the plans made for the wedding on the big day. Planners will work with you throughout the planning process, helping to find and secure vendors, create a timeline and layouts of event space and much more. The Wedding Coordinator will then execute the day using time management and problem-solving skills to ensure the day runs smoothly. When hiring only a wedding coordinator, the client still needs to plan most of the details. A coordinator may provide the client with templates to plan with, whereas a planner will create the necessary plans for the wedding.

Photo by Abigail Miles Photography

What are some of the key functions of each role?

A planner can help to recommend wedding professionals, manage guest lists and RSVP’s, create a wedding day timeline, and much more. A planner can be there for the client every step of the way. A coordinator will take control much closer to the day to communicate with vendors to confirm logistics, adhere to timelines, and solve problems on the day of the wedding.

What tasks does a coordinator perform that a planner does not and vice versa. Do any tasks overlap?

A planner works with the client from the time they are hired to the day of the wedding versus a wedding coordinator usually is only in contact with the client in the month leading up to the wedding and the day of the wedding. The planner will take on the roles of both the planner and coordinator while the coordinator focuses mainly on executing the wedding the day of the event. The main difference between the two is that the planner will help to envision, curate, book and seamlessly pull off the wedding day while the coordinator is there to execute the plans that have already been made.

What is a wedding designer?

Many wedding planners also offer wedding design services. This includes helping select a color palette and an overall aesthetic for the event. The planner will help create mood boards and specific event designs such as centerpieces, floral arrangements, tablescapes, and more. For wedding planners that don’t offer this service, they most likely have trusted florists and decorators they work with.

Photo by Michaela Kay Photography

What is the difference between a venue coordinator and a wedding coordinator?

A venue coordinator oversees the on-site staff, to make sure they are fulfilling their contractual obligations, serving food on time, etc. A lot of times the venue coordinator is not there for the duration of the event &/or they have other events they are overseeing on property during the same time. A wedding coordinator works only for you to make every aspect run smoothly, greet all your vendors, finalize a timeline, make sure you are having a great time celebrating and to ensure that your vision has become a reality.

Photo by Colleen Bees Photography