What is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer?

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If you are planning a wedding chances are you are speaking to and negotiating with lots of different suppliers. So, what is the actual difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer? If you want to enlist some help when you start planning your wedding would you benefit from having both or are they actually interchangeable? It’s likely that the tasks they perform will have an element of overlap, but it’s also the case that they each have a very different focus and the initial brief that you give them will be based on this. Let’s take a closer look at each, so that you can decide where the best place would be for you to invest your money to help you make your day a memorable occasion for all of the right reasons.

What does a wedding planner do?

In this case it’s all in the name, a wedding planner is going to be there right from the start with you, helping to plan each aspect of your wedding. A priority within their role is to take the pressure off of the two of you, to help reduce your stress and anxiety levels, suggest themes, make trusted recommendations and negotiate budgets and pricing too. Wedding planning will stick with you right through the process and be present on your wedding day too. They will be helping to ensure that everyone is where they need to be and at the right times so that the day goes as smoothly as possible.

Most wedding planners will be able to help with the following areas:

  • Reviewing your budget, breaking it down, allocating chunks of your budget to different areas of your wedding, and reception, based on your priorities.
  • Creating checklists so that everyone knows what needs to be done and by when.
  • Liaising with suppliers and venues.
  • Support with travel plans and accommodation booking for you or your guests.
  • Set up and removal of different elements on the big day.

And of course – management of everything on the day from ensuring everyone in the wedding party knows what they need to do and where they need to be, through to guest management, supplier liaison and any troubleshooting and problem solving too.

A wedding planner will often put in hundreds of hours of their time into your wedding day, they will know you as a couple inside and out and be on hand to support you each step of the way, resolving as many issues and problems as they can for you. Although you will come to your own agreement with your wedding planner over what they are responsible for and when you can contact them you should think of them as your right-hand man/woman who is there to support you in every way possible.

What does a wedding designer do?

In a nutshell a wedding designer is there to help you with the aesthetics of your wedding – bringing your wedding to life through color, props, and layout. They are going to help you to wow your guests with how your wedding and reception is laid out and the items that you choose to utilize on this day. This could be helping you to finalize a color palette, designing centerpieces for your tables, or sourcing that one ‘wow’ element that you have visualized but need help to bring to life. A wedding designer’s role has very little to do with the overall planning of the wedding. The role of a designer is purely aesthetic – a wedding designer creates a cohesive feel and your desired atmosphere. They’ll offer guidance on fabrics, textures, color palettes, props, furniture, and all décor elements.

Most wedding designers will be able to help with the following areas:

  • Finalizing your color palette.
  • Recommending trusted suppliers.
  • Designing table layouts and centerpieces.
  • They may be able to provide linens, chair covers and embellishments.
  • Sourcing of props and oversight of installation and take down.
  • Making sure the aesthetic vision you had for your wedding comes to life.

A wedding designer can help to remove the stress of all those final preparations and the on day set up of your wedding. They may also be able to save you a considerable amount of money by being able to recommend reliable, trustworthy suppliers, and when it comes to any props, chair covers and embellishments they may have a variety that you can rent which will be perfect for your day and save you the expense of purchasing.

Should you hire a Wedding Designer?

  • If the décor and atmosphere of your wedding is important to you…
  • If you would like someone creative involved who is able to take a blank canvas and turn it into the space you imagined…
  • If you want someone to be wholly responsible for decorating the event space for your wedding…
  • If you’re looking for ornate or difficult to source props or equipment…
  • If you have a specific, detailed theme in mind and need help developing and executing it…

…then hiring a wedding designer may just be for you. Typically, due to the nature of their work, wedding designers tend to book up quite early on so we would recommend sourcing your wedding designer as far as 12 months before your wedding day. This will also give your chosen supplier time to source any obscure or unique items for the day.

In Summary…

While there is an area of overlap between a wedding planner and a wedding designer, they do have very different roles to play when it comes to the planning and execution of your wedding.

Deciding on the level of help you want to invest in will depend on a number of things including how much of the planning you want to do yourself, how much time you have to invest in planning your wedding, how creative you are and of course the budget that you are working with.

You could opt to work with just one, both or neither – the choice is all yours. But, I hope you now feel armed with the information that can help you to make an informed decision about your special day.

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