Monday, March 12, 2012

What is the Difference Between a Wedding Coordinator and a Wedding Planner?

Do you know the difference between a wedding coordinator anda wedding planner? The terms are often used interchangeably but in regards toplanning a wedding, there is a very big difference. So how do you determine whichone will work best for you?

Many hotels and venues offer a Wedding Coordinatorwho isusually free or included in the price of your wedding package. On-site weddingcoordinators are someone who works for the venue where you are having yourwedding ceremony/reception.  Their mainfunction is to facilitate and oversee the running of the wedding on the day itself.They are familiar with the location and are sometimes called Catering Managers.They plan, organize and develop the food and beverage services at your venue. Theycan also respond to many emails and phone calls from prospective brides andmanage a large volume of files, all in an effort to book the venue. Somecoordinators will coordinate up to  fiveor six weddings a day or 200 hundred weddings a year. They are expected tomaintain files on each wedding, including all of the relevant information foreach particular ceremony. The resort or venue coordinator usually starts playinga major role in your wedding about a month before the wedding by compiling theinformation for the wedding day and finalizing the details including finalizingdetails with the vendors. They are there on the day of the wedding to make surethat everything goes according to plan but may not be at your wedding for theentire time.
Zoli and Anna with wedding planners, Cathy and Muriel
A Wedding Planner is experienced in all areas of  the wedding and will be able to professionallyguide the wedding couple through  theentire process. Through feedback from the bride and groom, they will get to knowthe personal style of the couple and work to keep within their wedding budget. Theywill be involved with the overall organization and theme of the wedding. They help with the venueselection, vendor referrals, and overseeing them as well as planning a detailedday-of itinerary for the day of the wedding and communicating with all of the persons involved in thewedding. They are responsible to ensure that the theme of the wedding is reflected  throughout the entire wedding. Everythingfrom the napkins, to the flowers, the place settings, the décor, and thewedding dress need to be in sync with each other. Most planners will suggestideas for the full wedding experience and give you personal wedding etiquette andadvice where needed.

An onsite coordinator can only handle questions you haveabout your venues whereas the wedding planner can handle questions about your entirewedding.

One of the ultimate reasons forhiring a wedding planner is that you will have the peace of mind  to actually enjoy your wedding day knowingthat someone who has the knowledge of the wedding industry will have helped youplan all of the details and supervise your wedding coordinator and othervendors. How much is peace of mind worth to you?

Muriel MacRae, owner of Del Sol Travel,is a Calgary travel consultant and WPIC wedding planner who specializes indestination weddings and romantic getaways to tropical locations such asHawaii. Mexico, the Caribbean, Costa Rica and the South Pacific. Located inCalgary, Alberta, she plans destination weddings for couples in and around theCalgary area and throughout North America. For more information about planningyour destination wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her orphone 403-477-0643.

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