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Exploring the Various Roles of Wedding Planners

In our experience as wedding photographers, we’ve collaborated with numerous wedding planners, and many of our clients opt to enlist their services to manage the intricacies of wedding planning. Whether it’s due to hectic schedules, residing in another city, or simply to alleviate the inevitable stress associated with wedding preparations, hiring a wedding planner is a choice that many find beneficial.

From our vantage point, the value of having an experienced wedding planner becomes evident as they adeptly navigate unforeseen challenges. While hiring a wedding planner is a personal decision, we’ve consistently witnessed satisfied couples who have chosen this route. However, we still work with those who opt to forgo a wedding planner, and surprisingly, we’ve yet to hear any regrets from either camp.

Frequently, our clients seek recommendations for wedding planners, indicating a common uncertainty about the diverse services offered by these professionals—ranging from full planning to day-of coordination. In this post, we aim to demystify the different types of wedding planning services available, helping you make an informed choice that aligns with your needs.

Bride posing onto of rocks at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park

Understanding the Distinctions: Planner vs. Coordinator

Before delving into the various types of wedding planners, it’s crucial to grasp the distinctions between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator to make an informed decision for your special day.

Do you envision someone handling every aspect of your wedding, from aesthetic design and vendor selection to budget management? Or do you simply need assistance with day-of logistics and vendor coordination? A wedding planner can cover all these aspects and more, providing comprehensive design and day-of coordination services.

On the other hand, a wedding coordinator typically focuses on day-of or month-of coordination, ensuring that pre-planned elements fall into place seamlessly. They assist with vendor coordination, schedules, and logistical details without delving into the earlier phases of planning.

Unpacking the 5 Types of Wedding Planners and Their Roles

  1. Full Planning:
    • Encompasses the entire planning process, from save the dates to vendor selection and design.
    • Clients make decisions with the assurance that the planner has curated recommendations and details.
    • Ideal for those who want comprehensive assistance.
    • Best booked 1-2 years before the event.
  2. Event Designers:
    • Specialized in crafting the visual aspects of the wedding.
    • Focus on aesthetics, leaving logistical aspects to the couple.
    • Perfect for those who primarily need assistance in visual design.
  3. Partial Planning:
    • Assists in bringing your vision to life.
    • Helps with vendor selection, design, logistics, and on-site execution.
    • Clients can still be involved in core vendor bookings.
    • Best hired 6-12 months before the wedding.
  4. Month-of Coordination:
    • Logistically focused, ensuring pre-planned elements are executed smoothly.
    • Ideal for couples who want to plan but seek support in the final stretch.
    • Takes over communication with vendors 4-6 weeks before the wedding.
  5. Day-of Coordination:
    • Allows couples to be in charge of planning while enjoying the celebration.
    • Coordinator takes the reins on the wedding day, handling day-of details.
    • Best to meet with the coordinator at least 1 month before the wedding.
  6. Venue Coordinator:
    • Oversees venue-specific bookings and arrangements.
    • Manages venue-related details but not overall wedding planning or budgeting.
    • Advisable to have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator as the main contact on the wedding day.
portrait of bride and groom during their River Cafe wedding in Calgary

While a wedding planner is not mandatory, their expertise can alleviate the stress associated with planning. Whether you choose full planning or day-of coordination, the key is finding a balance that suits your needs. As wedding photographers, we appreciate the support of planners in ensuring all vendors are taken care of, ultimately contributing to a well-organized and memorable celebration. No matter the type of planning you choose, hiring a wedding planner or coordinator is a decision you’re unlikely to regret.

Lastly, we want to share a list of some of our favourite wedding planners that are at the top of their game!

Julianne Young Wedding

Lynn Fletcher Wedding

Moments by Madeleine

Blush and Co Events


David & Breanne

Please check out our website to learn more about your favourite Calgary Wedding Photographers.

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