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Wedding Planners Have So Many Packages. Which Style Is Right for You?

What's the difference between a full-service wedding planner and an event designer anyway?

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Stefano Santucci

From in-house coordination to full-scale planning and design firms, a venue or wedding planner you're considering might offer a range of different big-day planning packages. How much assistance you'd like may depend on your work load, overall budget, wedding inspiration, and the venue you've selected. But when you're looking at all of the different packages, how are you supposed to know which one is right for you? Here, we take a look at the most common options to help you determine which best fits your needs.

 

Related: Hiring a Wedding Planner vs. DIY

 

In-House Coordination

Many venues and catering companies offer an in-house coordinator or event director to oversee the details of your wedding's timeline. Their focus tends to be on ensuring the food and wine program run seamlessly and that your guests get from place to place easily. These coordinators are less likely to be involved in managing any vendors besides those that the venue itself is responsible for, but this may vary from property to property. Using an in-house coordinator is a great option for couples with a limited budget. You'll know someone is running the show behind the scenes, but you won't have to pay an additional fee.

 

Day-of Coordination

Hiring someone unrelated to your venue or vendors to manage the set-up of your ceremony and reception is typically referred to as a day-of coordination package. The title is a bit misleading, as most day-of coordinators require a site visit, calls and meetings with your vendors, and some pre-wedding day organizing to get the job done properly. If you have a tight budget and have already coordinated many of details and just need someone to manage them on the big day, a day-of coordinator can be a tremendous help.

 

Month-of Coordination

A month-of coordination package typically includes the final stages of managing your wedding planning process. This could mean holding a site visit with all of your wedding vendors, putting together a detailed production timeline, and overseeing all the final details on the big day. If you and your future spouse are comfortable hiring and negotiating with all of your vendors but still need a little bit of hand-holding, this option is right for you. The month-of coordinator is meant to come in and bring up any questions you may not have thought through while ensuring the wedding goes off without a hitch.

 

Month-of Coordination, Plus Design

By adding assistance with design to the month-of coordination package, you'll be able to talk through ideas for linens, attire, flowers, and personalized event installations with your planner. You can, of course, discuss these things with your florist or stylist, but having someone to corral all the pieces to create one cohesive look and feel that's communicated through all aspects of the wedding is really helpful. If you think you'll need some help with coordination and organization in the final stretch and also want help with creative direction and execution, you and your future spouse would benefit from a planning package like this.

 

Full Wedding Planning Services

The crème de la crème of wedding planning options, full-service planning guarantees all the help you're looking for. Everything from venue selection and hiring and negotiating with vendors to selecting rentals and décor can be done through your wedding planner. Depending on the planner, they may liaise with your guests throughout the planning and they may be able to help you navigate tricky family dynamics too. This is the best option for couples who'd like to have all the help they can get. Typically, this includes managing only the wedding, not additional events, but it depends on the planner and their customized options.

 

Full Wedding Planning and Design, Plus Additional Events

Full wedding planning and design services for the wedding day, rehearsal dinner, welcome party, post-wedding brunch, and more is the ultimate package for planners who specialize in multi-day and destination weddings. If you're not concerned about budget, this premium option will ensure you've got all your planning bases covered.