Stevens Point wedding planner Marsha VanArk

Photo by Ann + Lee Ilagan Photography

What Does a Wedding Planner Actually Do?

In the wedding industry, professions like event planners, caterers, photographers, ect. These creative entrepreneurs have the unique ability to define their craft.  In other words, there are no rules. 

However, the diversity within these roles can create confusion for potential clients as the lines between these roles become blurred. In these creative fields, the functions of a wedding planner, coordinator, designer, and stylist may not always be clearly defined.

We wanted to shed some light on these roles within our own wedding planning company. Of course, I can’t speak for other planners in the industry, but this is what a wedding planner role looks like when you work with Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events.

Bride and groom walking hand in hand through grass

Photo by Chloe Ann Photography

Defining these roles within Distinctly Yours Wedding & Events:

Wedding Planner (back-end)

Wedding planners outline, devise, and organize all of the wedding-related tasks. This portion of our job is predominantly done through emails, phone calls and online project management tools – in conjunction with client meetings.

Working alongside you, we’re choosing vendors and we are building a framework (our 15 year vetted phase-base planning system) for your wedding planning journey. Much of the planning is working through all the logistics. Specifically, we are building a strategy for plans A, B and even C for the wedding itself. 

As the big day approaches, these plans get more and more detailed. We are outlining several room layouts, seating charts, rental quantities, transportation schedules, vendor communication and tons more.

The largest part of our wedding planning duties is creating a weekend itinerary for you as a couple, your VIPs, your guests and vendors. That timeline is the key to a seamless transition from wedding planner to wedding coordinator roles.

Bride and groom snuggling and laughing under trees
Bride and groom kissing before ceremony

Photos by Beau Petersen Photography

Wedding Coordinator (front-end)

On your wedding day, we transition from being the planner to being a wedding coordinator. We become the contact person for your vendors and the venue. In addition, we there to execute all of the plans that we made together.

The wedding coordinator executes the plans, and ensures that they’re all being brought to life. We do our very best to ensure other vendors fulfilling their contractual obligations.  We facilitate the entire event from start to finish – checking off all of our to-dos, and key points from the timeline. A lot of the responsibilities as the coordinator involve facilitation and inter-vendor communication.  

Outside of that, as a coordinator, we are putting out fires (on the DL). No wedding day goes perfectly, no matter how proficient you are in planning. Perhaps on the day, we’re missing the correct microphone for your officiant, or we’re short 10 napkins for dinner. These are all instances where we, as coordinators, step in and problem solve as quickly as possible. 

Wedding Designer (back-end)

As a wedding designer, we are doing all of the same things that we’ve done with planning…just aesthetic-focused. With design, we are working with you on how you want your wedding to look, feel, smell, taste. What colors do you want to incorporate? What design elements are important to you? 

From there, as the designer, we identify what’s needed to make these designs a reality. If you want a cozy lounge space at your reception, we are sourcing the specific pieces for you. Identifying delivery and retrieval days/times for those items, etc. 

The design process happens on the back-end, just like planning. All with an emphasis on inspirational photos and gathering all the materials required. 

Bride and groom with beautiful autumn flowers

Photo by Ruxin John Photography

Wedding Stylist (front-end)

And finally, the wedding stylist. This is the creative and decisive part. Just as the coordinator puts wedding plans into action, the stylist actively breathes life into all of the wedding designs. 

As a wedding stylist for example, we place lounge furniture, arrange wedding decor, give directives to your wedding signage, layer the reception tablescape and so on. When we are  styling a wedding, we working very closely with the florist and the rental companies, who are (also) bringing your vision to life.

From the ceremony, we are looking to repurposing florals and decor into the cocktail and reception spaces. Flowers are moved, installations are adjusted, signage is updated, more candles are lit…the styling is always unfolding as the event continues on. 

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