Feb 14

Wedding Planner vs. Designer: How to Choose the Right Vendor For You

As a wedding stationery artist, many of the couples I serve seek my opinion on whether they should hire a wedding planner or designer. And the truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer! It’s all dependent on the couple’s personalities and the time they have to allocate to wedding planning. But before you make your choice, it’s helpful to understand the differences between a wedding planner vs. designer.

It’s true that many of the tasks these vendors perform overlap. However, at the same time, they have very different overall focuses. Below we’re taking a closer look at each, so you can make the best investment possible!


Differences between a wedding planner vs. designer


Wedding Planner vs. Designer

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

A wedding planner will be your right-hand person from the start of the wedding planning process! They’ll meticulously help you plan each aspect of your wedding, from finalizing your guest list to making your grand exit at the end of the night. Their primary priority is to remove pressure from you and your partner so you can enjoy your engagement stress-free. They’ll also suggest overarching themes for the day, make trusted vendor recommendations, and help you negotiate on pricing to make the most of your budget.

If you want a seasoned professional to be present with you throughout the planning process and on your wedding day, a wedding planner may be right for you. On the big day, they’ll ensure everyone is where they need to be (and when) so that your timeline runs as smoothly as possible.


Wedding planner vs. designer responsibilities


Wedding Planner Responsibilities

Most wedding planners will be able to assist you with the following:

  • Reviewing and allocating your budget based on your priorities

  • Creating a checklist of what needs doing and when

  • Coordinating with suppliers and venues

  • Setting up and removing decor elements

  • Wedding day management (e.g. managing guests, acting as a point of contact for suppliers, troubleshooting and problem-solving, etc.)

Because of the time you’ll spend working together, a wedding planner will get to know you as a couple inside and out. You can think of them as your ally and support system who is there to assist you in any way possible!

What Does a Wedding Designer Do?

A wedding designer’s primary role is to help you with the aesthetics of your wedding by bringing your vision to life through colors, props, and overall layout. They’ll ensure that your wedding ceremony and reception have that elusive “wow” factor to really impress your guests!

From finalizing your color palette to designing centerpieces for your tables, a wedding designer will take what you’ve visualized and execute each element expertly. With that said, their role has very little to do with the actual planning of the wedding. They’ll offer guidance on fabrics, textures, colors, props, and decor, but won’t coordinate with suppliers or manage the wedding day itself.


Turnage and Watts - MD Wedding Stationery Artist


Wedding Designer Responsibilities

Most wedding designers will be able to assist you with the following:

  • Finalizing your color palette

  • Designing tablescapes and centerpieces

  • Sourcing props and overseeing installation/tear-down

  • Recommending trusted suppliers

  • Some may be able to provide linens, chair covers, and other embellishments

  • Bringing your aesthetic vision to life

A wedding designer may also save you a considerable amount of money by recommending suppliers who are reliable and trustworthy.

In Summary

While there are some areas of overlap in the role of a wedding planner vs. designer, they generally have different roles to play in the planning and execution of your wedding.

The right choice for you will depend upon several factors, including:

  • How much planning you want to do on your own

  • How much time you have to invest in planning

  • Your creativity

  • Your budget (in general, a planner will be a bigger investment)

And there you have it! I hope this breakdown of the roles and responsibilities of a wedding planner vs. designer has helped you get a better idea of which vendor is right for you. If you’re a local bride, be sure to check out our lists of our favorite Baltimore and Eastern Shore wedding vendors! Or feel free to shoot your planning questions our way—we would love to hear from you!