The Difference Between Planners and Coordinators

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Hi, I'm elizabeth

When it comes to difference between planners and coordinators, there are a couple of questions you need to ask yourself.

1. How involved do you want to be in your planning?

2. Do you know exactly what you want your wedding to look like?


Full Planning

Some planners will take care of all of the design and vendor details. All you have to do is give them a direction and approve the design. This is extremely helpful to those who have demanding jobs and have very little time to plan or are planning a destination wedding. Full planning services may include; sourcing venues, budget managing, payments to your vendors, keeping track of your RSVPs, attending all of your design meetings, guide you, and, most of all, a piece of mind. There are planners who have built relationships with your local companies and may be able to provide a small discount on things such as rentals or linen, just one more perk to hiring a full-time planner.

Partial Planning

If you know exactly what you want and possibly have already started the planning on your own, maybe you just need a little coaching and help sourcing vendors. A partial planner might be what you are looking for. Partial planners will be there to help you stay on track, wedding logistics, such as planning timelines. Some may even offer to attend design meetings. This is a very hands-on option for those of you who want to be heavily involved in the planning process.

Wedding Coordinators

There’s a BIG difference when it comes to coordinators and planners. A planner will be involved in all aspects of your wedding while a coordinator will be involved in only the logistics. They are stepping in later in the planning process after all the planning has been done. Typically a coordinator will begin helping about 1-3 months before your actual wedding day. Their job is to finalize details and fine-tune your wedding day organizing deliveries and making sure your vendors know what is expected from them. One question to ask yourself when choosing a coordinator is; Would you want to be the main point of contact for 10+ vendors with detailed questions? or would it be a better idea to have a planner help you navigate vendor questions and negotiations?

Venue Coordinators

Venues have started to offer on-site coordination, and it is a great option if you are looking to cut costs. One thing you have to keep in mind is that a venue coordinator isn’t going to help you the same way. Most of the on-site coordinators will only help with the logistics once you step onto the property and dinner service. They will create a simple timeline and give you their design options within their inventory. They are not going to communicate with your vendors or be a point of contact.



There are so many options out there, and there is no right or wrong answer. There’s just the answer that is right for you. Decide on the tasks you can take on, and the tasks you would need to delegate. Or simply don’t want to do and worry about.

When it comes to pricing, there are services all over the spectrum based on the level of your event. Some planners require a minimum investment or percentage of your total budget, and some offer set collections. In California, an average planner with a wedding budget of $50,000 will cost anywhere from $6,000- $8,000. If planning is something that’s not within budget, I would highly recommend at least a coordinator.

Booking any vendors can be a little intimidating, and I get that. It is why it’s so important to do your research, read reviews, and ask for references! Work with vendors you get along with and who understands your vision and values. Most vendors will book about 12-18 months in advance, and now due to COVID-19  and all of the unfortunate postponements, the wedding industry will be impacted and may book out faster than usual.  We predict that 2021 and 2022 will be one of the busiest years in the industry.


If you are planning a wedding in California, and you’re still looking for the right photographer who will be all the support you need and more! Head over to our contact page and send us a message. I can’t wait to hear more about your wedding day. Want to see what our couples are saying? See our reviews

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