What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

A wedding is about the love a couple shares. Ensure your focus remains on only the most essential things with the help of a wedding planner. 

Hiring a wedding planner is one of the best things you can do to celebrate your nuptials. Here’s my guide to understanding the surprisingly comprehensive duties of a wedding planner and if you should choose a wedding coordinator or wedding planner.

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

So, what does a wedding planner do? A wedding planner manages all of the logistics of your wedding day while staying under budget. These professionals help with every stage of the wedding process, from initial planning to the big day.

What is the Role of a Wedding Planner?

Early in the process, wedding planners arrange tours of possible wedding venues and schedule cake tastings. Because wedding planners can purchase flowers, food, and venue rentals at a bulk price, many couples pick up savings by buying and renting wedding items through a wedding planner.

Your wedding day becomes a blissful, romantic experience with the help of a wedding planner. 

Essential Duties of a Wedding Planner

On your wedding day, a planner will be:

  • coordinating flower and food deliveries
  • checking sound, lighting, and technology
  • directing the photographer and videographer
  • keeping the ceremony on time

An unappreciated perk of having a wedding planner is having someone to answer questions. I have heard horror stories of brides and grooms needing to direct traffic for kids looking for bathrooms, bridesmaids running late, and a mother-in-law who needed a snack. 

Instead, a wedding planner becomes the point person of the day and handles every issue, large and small.

All of these logistical details of the day must be handled by someone. Many brides and grooms appoint a personal attendant or another point person on the day or choose to handle these details themselves. 

I am glad I chose to hire a wedding planner so I could truly focus on enjoying the significance of the day.

Optional Opportunities for Your Wedding Planner

As weddings become more elaborate, wedding planners offer more services for happy couples. Today, wedding planners walk alongside the bride and groom before, during, and after their wedding day.

Some couples bring a wedding planner along for all aspects of the journey. Wedding planners can help send various invitations, including bachelorette and bachelor parties, wedding showers, and ceremony invitations. A wedding planner may also track all of the RSVPs. A couple may enlist a wedding planner to assist with proper wedding etiquette or dancing lessons to help them shine on their big day. 

A wedding planner, or even an additional wedding designer, may offer updates on wedding fashion, trends, and color palettes to develop a beautiful event.

Even after the ceremony, a wedding planner can also assist with the first days of your marriage. Some full-service wedding planners offer honeymoon and travel planning options as part of their comprehensive array of services.

Wedding Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner

Another kind of wedding planner is a wedding coordinator. Wedding coordinators serve as helpers on your big day but offer fewer services. 

How do you know if a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner makes more sense? Consider the following factors: available time, budget, wedding expectations, and personality.

Time Frame

A wedding planner may be a better fit if you want to hold a ceremony within the next few months. Wedding planners are full-service professionals who can quickly meet your needs to prepare you for the ceremony. 

Wedding coordinators appear about four weeks before the ceremony and assist on the day of the ceremony. 

These professionals serve to help brides and grooms once they have already chosen the significant aspects of their wedding day, like the venue, caterer, and photographer. As the name implies, the wedding coordinator ensures logistics run smoothly but does not lend their expertise throughout the entire planning process. 

Also, consider your free time when deciding on a wedding coordinator vs. a wedding planner. A full-service wedding planner will take all pre-wedding, ceremony, and post-wedding plans. A wedding planner takes care of everything from addressing invitations to planning the honeymoon.

However, a wedding coordinator typically remains an employee of the venue and not someone dedicated to coordinating your special day. Brides who have more time researching options and have a specific point of view regarding their wedding can save money by choosing a wedding coordinator instead.


If you desire the comprehensive services of a wedding planner, anticipate setting aside between $2,000 to $7,000 for a full-service wedding planner budget. Depending on where you live, a wedding planner’s rate can fluctuate. Many planners claim to spend 200 or 300 hours planning just one wedding.

Wedding coordinators represent a much smaller investment. This service can often be rolled into the total venue rental agreement. Anticipate adding about $400 – $600 to your rental fees to support a wedding coordinator.


A wedding coordinator capably delivers beautiful weddings for clients every day. Wedding coordinators know the specifics of their preferred vendors and specific venue. Many brides appreciate the limited support of a wedding coordinator on their big day. 

A wedding coordinator cannot help you choose your bridesmaid dresses or agonize with you over the seating chart. However, every bride and groom can appreciate someone lending a professional helping hand on their special day. A wedding coordinator will manage crises, direct vendors, and keep the ceremony running on time.

In contrast, a wedding planner acts as a fairy godmother for everything wedding-related. Wedding planners devote hundreds of hours to the happy couple to decide every detail, from groomsmen tuxes to party favors. Brides and grooms who struggle to visualize their wedding day or cannot dedicate the time to planning can expect comprehensive support from a wedding planner.

If you desire an elaborate wedding, a destination wedding, or a large wedding pulled off within only several weeks, a wedding planner is your best bet. It is too much to expect of a wedding coordinator to plan grand ceremonies on short notice. Also, since coordinators often work for a specific venue, they do not plan destination weddings.

Your Personality

Some brides and grooms love to delve into the wedding details, down to the unique pillow the ring bearer carries down the aisle. If you have strong opinions or a specific visualization of your day, a wedding coordinator may be your best option. 

Wedding planners save the day when happy couples have no time or interest in the wedding ceremony. Planners step in to help every step of the way and can work independently at the couple’s request.

Wedding planners can also be helpful for couples with big plans as planners have connections to vendors who can locate a horse-drawn carriage or exceptional artistic performer. If you are dubious of professional advice that departs from your vision of the perfect wedding day, the guidance of a wedding planner may not be a good investment.