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What is the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer?

Planning a wedding can be extremely overwhelming. There are so many different vendors to contact. The roles that each vendor plays can be confusing, especially when trying to understand the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer. Enlisting some help for your wedding planning process is a great idea. So let’s talk about what each position is and what they do. You may decide that you only need one or maybe you want both! Let’s take a deep dive into each, so that you can decide where you want to invest your money for your wedding planning needs.

Let’s Start With Wedding Planners? What do they actually do?

Wedding Planner

In this case it’s all in the name, a wedding planner is going to be there right from the start with you, helping to plan each aspect of your wedding. A priority within their role is to take the pressure off of you and your partner, to help reduce stress and anxiety, suggest themes, make trusted recommendations and negotiate budgets and pricing too. Planners will stick with you right through the process and be present on your wedding day too. They will ensure that everyone is where they need to be, when they need to be there so that the day goes as smoothly as possible.

Most wedding planners will be able to help with the following areas:

  • Managing your budget based on your priorities

  • Providing checklists, schedules, schematics, etc. so that everyone knows exactly what to do and when to do it.

  • Communicating with suppliers and venues.

  • Support with travel plans and accommodation booking for you or your guests.

  • Set up and removal of different elements on the big day.

  • And of course – management of everything on the day from ensuring everyone in the wedding party knows what they need to do and where they need to be, through to guest management, supplier liaison and any troubleshooting and problem solving too.

A wedding planner will often put in hundreds of hours of their time into your wedding day, they will know you as a couple inside and out and be on hand to support you each step of the way. They will resolve as many issues and problems as they can for you. They will be your right-hand man/woman who is there to support you in every way possible.

So, what about wedding designers? What do they do?

Wedding Design

A wedding designer is there to help you with the aesthetics of your wedding – bringing your wedding to life through color, props, and layout. They are going to help you to WOW your guests with the layout and vision for your wedding and reception. This could be helping you to finalize a color palette, designing centerpieces for your tables, or sourcing that one ‘WOW’ element that you have visualized but need help to bring to life. A designer’s role has very little to do with the overall planning of the wedding. The role of a designer is purely aesthetic - a wedding designer creates a cohesive feel and your desired atmosphere. They’ll offer guidance on fabrics, textures, color palettes, props, furniture, and all décor elements.

Most wedding designers will be able to help with the following areas:

  • Finalizing your color palette.

  • Recommending trusted suppliers.

  • Designing table layouts and centerpieces.

  • Coordinating linens, chair covers and embellishments.

  • Sourcing of props and oversight of installation and take down.

  • Making sure the aesthetic vision you had for your wedding comes to life.

A wedding designer can help to remove the stress of all those final preparations and the on day set up of your wedding. They may also be able to save you a considerable amount of money by being able to recommend reliable, trustworthy suppliers, and when it comes to any props, chair covers and embellishments they may have a variety that you can rent which will be perfect for your day and save you the expense of purchasing.

When to hire a Wedding Designer?

  • If the décor and atmosphere of your wedding is important to you

  • If you would like someone creative involved who is able to take a blank canvas and turn it into the space you imagined

  • You want someone to be wholly responsible for decorating the event space for your wedding.

  • If you’re looking for ornate or difficult to source props or equipment.

  • You have a specific, detailed theme in mind and need help developing and executing it.

…then hiring a wedding designer may just be for you.

Wrapping it up.

Whilst there is an area of overlap between a wedding planning and a wedding designer, they have very different roles to play when it comes to the planning and execution of your wedding.

Deciding on the level you want to invest in wedding planning help will depend on a number of things including how much of the planning you want to do yourself, how much time you have to invest in planning your wedding, how creative you are and of course the budget that you are working with.

You could opt to work with just one, both or neither – the choice is all yours but hopefully you now feel informed enough to make a decision that’s right for you!


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