There can be a lot of confusion around the different terms associated with wedding planning, design, and coordination services, so we thought we would clarify what those terms actually mean and some differences between them so that you know what you are getting when searching for and booking your vendor for your wedding day!
Before we make some more general blanket statements, we want you to know that each business may go about these various roles differently, and it’s wise to have an absolutely clear understanding of what exactly you’ll be getting when you’re booking a particular service with them.
Okay, let’s dive in, shall we?!
WEDDING COORDINATOR: Booking a Wedding Coordinator or Manager, whether month-of or day-of, means that they typically don’t come onto the scene until shortly before your wedding day and can be hired on at any point of your wedding planning process. Some will leave the full planning process up to you but still be available to consult with you on general questions or other planning details, while others are hired ahead of time to get your date locked in but be in little to no additional contact with you until just before your wedding. Wedding Coordinators/Managers will probably put in somewhere between 15-35 hours of work in total with you from first point of contact to day-of service. Some of the roles of a day-of or month-of coordinator should include:
- setting up decor
- being a point of contact for all vendors on wedding day
- running the timeline of your day and cueing
- general crowd control and directing guests
- running errands and tear down may be included or come at an additional rate
Now, we know what you may be thinking. “But my venue offers an on-site coordinator, so why would I need to hire someone else?” And that is a very valid question! Here’s what the job of a Venue Manager or On-Site Venue Coordinator often entails:
VENUE MANAGERSare strictly responsible for tasks related to the venue-only. They are going to be focusing on what your general setup looks looks like, making sure vendors are loading in and loading out properly, and any other areas that are included through the venue such as AV or bar service. They are generally not going to be focusing on things such as when your first dance is supposed to happen, how the dinner centerpieces are supposed to look, or having an emergency kit for when a false eyelash becomes loose. Many venues may also have multiple events happening the same day as your own, for which one person is responsible for moving back and forth in between.
WEDDING DESIGNER: A Wedding Designer is a person or business who works with you exclusively on the look and feel of your day, and building a cohesive design that all pulls together in the end. They will work with you on elements such as rentals, floral, stationery, and setup, to create something that provides a completely personalized experience to you and your guests. They don’t handle many logistics such as timeline, and their actual time the day-of may be limited exclusively to setting up the space (if that). Some Wedding Planners/Producers will also provide design services either included in their rates or at an additional cost. We highly recommend looking at a designer’s previous work and portfolio to get a feel of their style and if it seems to be a good fit for you as a couple. Wedding Designers can put in around 30-50 total hours of work for you, focusing exclusively on these ambiance elements of the day.
WEDDING PLANNER: A Wedding Planner is someone that can usually be hired at any point in the planning process, but is typically done so towards the very beginning to middle. This is a person who will work with you to evaluate options, make decisions, provide personalized recommendations, give advice, coordinate logistics, and guide you through nearly all angles of what it takes to plan a wedding. You will work together to build your timeline, meet with vendors, and generally execute all tasks to make your day exactly what you want it to be. On the day of your wedding they will fill the Coordinator/Manager role as discussed above. Communication with your planner is generally on a regular basis throughout the months leading up to your wedding through email, phone, or in-person meetings. This is usually at least monthly for check-ins, if not weekly as you get closer to the date. Some companies will do custom or a la carte packages for you depending on what you already have done, or what areas you are looking for the most help. For others, it will be all or nothing. Packages are another option you may stumble upon as well.
WEDDING PRODUCER: A Wedding Producer is similar to a planner, but likely a seasoned vet with more years of experience – typically a minimum of around 10 years in the industry! Production refers to the actual execution of an event, and covering all the details that it takes to pull it together. Occasionally, you may also see rental, AV, and lighting type companies labeled as Event Producers. They can be considered this way because a majority of the actual physical items and labor going into the event is running through them. It’s not entirely wrong, just more of a gray area. Wedding Planners and Producers can put in between 100-200+ hours of work in total for you, depending on at what point they hired and what they are most utilized for within your process.
Phew! While that may be a lot of information, we hope you feel a lot less confused when it comes to the titles and roles that each of these vendors play in the planning, designing, or executing of your big day! And with that knowledge, we hope you are able to make the best decision for you and your partner looking to get married.
Here at HUE, we provide each and every one of the services listed above: management, design, and planning/production for couples in the Madison and Southern Wisconsin area! Recently, we have reworked our collections to serve you and your love even better as you get ready for your wedding day. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
We ensure your wedding day runs perfectly as planned.
- Initial Consult
- Unlimited Email Communication
- Personalized Vendor Recommendations
- Wedding Coordinator Assigned 3 Months Out
- Check-in Meetings + Calls as Needed
- Work Directly with You to Generate a Day-Of Timeline
- Attend Venue Final Walkthrough
- Attend All Final Vendor Meetings + Take over as Point of Contact at each
- Create + Distribute Specialized Wedding Weekend Itinerary for both Vendors + VIPs
- One Lead Wedding Coordinator + One Wedding Assistant for Day-of Service (8 Hours)
- Point Person for Vendors Weekend of Wedding
- Rehearsal Attendance + Direction
- Ceremony/Reception Setup + Execution
- Access to HUE Vendor Discounts
FULL-SERVICE PLANNING + DESIGN
We guide you through defining your vision + making it happen.
- INCLUDES ALL SERVICES FROM WEDDING MANAGEMENT COLLECTION
- Start to Finish Service w/ Your Assigned Wedding Planner
- Wedding Planner + Budget Guide Completion and Review
- Event Design
- Budget Setting + Management
- Personalized Vendor Recommendations + Selection Assistance
- Coordination of Vendor Logistics Throughout Planning Process
- Personalized Planning Checklist to Stay on Track
- Errands, Storage + Transport
- Start to Finish Weekend-of Service
With our Full-Service Planning + Design collection, we are all in with you from the moment you book! For our Wedding Management collection, we are all in with you beginning 3 months before your wedding day – a much more robust service than generic month-of or day-of coordination! If you’re looking to add on more services to your collection or are unsure you need what our entire collections offer, we also provide some A La Carte options here at HUE!
THE STARTER KIT
(Venue + Budget)
- Unlimited Email Communication Until Venue is Booked
- Check-in Calls/Meetings as Needed
- Master Planning + Budget Guide Completion and Review
- Venue Research + Selection Assistance (including tour attendance – travel fees may apply)
- Budget Mapping + Planning
Included w/ Full-Service Collection
- Develop Vision Boards Based on Inspiration Secured Together
- Secure Vendors Capable of Executing Vision
- Counsel on Most Effective Use of Budget Based on Goals
- Continue to Collaborate + Evolve Design Throughout Planning Process
- Coordinate All Details for Venue, Rentals, Lighting, Stationery + Floral
WEDDING PLANNING ROADMAP
Included w/ Full-Service Collection
Happy to plan but need some help getting started? We have you fill out our in-depth wedding planning questionnaire, then provide a customized planning guide for your process. This will include a breakdown of tasks to complete month-by-month, a recommended/realistic budget to work within, specific vendor recommendations and other general advice that fits your preferences and budget
EVENT TEARDOWN SERVICE
Included w/ Full-Service Collection
Available as add-on to Wedding Management Collection, which includes 8 hours on-site service, typically ending after dancing has started. Let us hang with you all night long, wrap things up, and tear down decor so that you and your VIPs can just walk out and either continue the party or crash into bed (no judgement on choice!)
Here at HUE by Sarah Davidson, we provide a planning partner to talk + bounce ideas off of, a calm, collected voice of reason, attention to detail, local knowledge + expertise, comfort in decisions made, professionalism, sanity + peace of mind, and more time for you to do other things! You only get one wedding. TREAT YOURSELF!
Click HERE to contact us today!
Chief Strategist and Creative Director of HUE by Sarah Davidson, Sarah is a sought-after event industry consultant, planner, and strategist based in Madison, WI. Follow her work on Instagram at @huebysd.