What's A Wedding Planner, Coordinator, Designer? Should You Hire A Full-service Planner?

What are the differences between a planner, coordinator and designer?

A planner is someone who is with you every step of the way. For our full service clients, we have four planning meetings and we are also with our clients at their vendor meetings and site visits to make sure the questions they wouldn’t think to ask their vendors are covered and nothing is forgotten. We are also there with them to run the rehearsal and the day of activities from start to finish.

A coordinator is someone who comes in on the day of to implement the brides’ plan. It is very different from a planner as they are not involved with the planning process. Their job is to implement your work.

A designer is someone who takes your vision and makes it a reality. If you need someone to look over your ideas and put the plan together for the décor, they can do that. Or, they can be the people who actually implement your plan on the day of for your décor needs.

When planning, what are the five or six primary services that brides are searching for?

The first need is a venue. That determines a lot of the additional pieces to the vendor selection puzzle. The next vendor is usually a planner. A planner should be able to help you book the perfect vendors based on the budget, your specific needs and their resources. It is important to be able to trust your planner that he or she is suggesting people that they trust and know will take care of you. Your planner should be your biggest advocate.

A photographer is always very important to our clients. There is so much to consider when booking a photographer. We always encourage an engagement session with your photographer so that you can feel out their personality behind the camera. Next is food! Does your venue have a preferred caterer, in-house caterer or can you bring in whomever you would like? This will make a difference in the selection of your caterer. 

The next vendor that is highly requested quickly in the planning process is music. What will your ceremony music be like? Will you have a DJ or live musician? DO you want a band for your reception? This is a very fun piece to the planning puzzle because these people, whomever you chose, really set the tone for the night when it comes to your guests having a good time.

What are some areas of the wedding planning process that newly-engaged brides sometimes overlook?

It is easy to overlook how much time and effort it takes to actually plan a perfect event. One of the most important things to do is to hire good vendors. It isn’t always smart to hire the vendor who provides a service at the lowest price. It is important to pick vendors who will do the job that they are hired to do. Your photographer should be able to get the family in line for family photos, your caterer should take care of all set up, bussing and breakdown of your food, your DJ should be able to speak on the microphone.

Tell us about the full-service planning Regalo offers. Why is it something brides should consider?

Our full-service planning package includes four planning meetings in our studio to discuss your individual needs in regard to budget analysis, vendor selections and contract negotiation. In addition, we are with you for site visits, food tastings, cake tasting and additional vendor meetings if need be. Your flowers are at wholesale cost since we are your full-service florist and all of your decoration are included, such as draping, lighting, centerpieces, cake stand, candles, arches and anything that is related to the flowers and décor.


Why is having some form of coordination, whether partial or full planning, important for brides to consider adding to their wedding budget?

It is important to at least have a day-of coordinator. You and your family should be able to enjoy the day. Day-of coordination can however be tricky because this person has not been involved with the planning and so there are pieces that can be missed. We encourage a full-service planner and believe it is well worth the money as there are so many pieces to planning a big life event that most would not even think of. It is so important to be able to build a relationship with your planner so that they can make good decisions on your behalf.

All photos of Regalo Design weddings


Special for Nashville couples: Between now and December 1st, Regalo Design's full-service planning, floral and decor package is 15% off. For more details on this limited time savings, click here.