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Get help planning a big wedding

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Planning a big wedding can be overwhelming. You’re excited, anxious, and full of questions, and that’s before you even start your guest list. We might be biased, but we believe professional planning help allows couples to create—and enjoy—the event of their dreams without losing their minds.


An expert helping hand can help you find the best vendors, make sure details are in place, and even help run the big day. Did you know there are several types of wedding professionals? People often confuse a wedding planner with a wedding coordinator or a wedding designer. We’re here to decode the differences, so you can find the help you need for your event.


What does a wedding planner do?

A wedding planner will be your partner through every single phase of planning. They’ll brainstorm concepts, help you find and contract the right vendors, book hotel blocks and coordinate out of town guests, manage your budget, run your rehearsal, and oversee everything on your big day.

A wedding planner will put anywhere from 100 to 250 hours into planning one event. They’ll minimize your stress before and during the event by ensuring you don’t have to worry about things like whether or not the bartender has enough ice when you should be enjoying your guests.


Who should hire a wedding planner?

• Anyone who wants the least amount of stress possible

• People with little free time to commit to planning

• Those in a time crunch who need expert help to meet the deadline

• Those planning weddings long-distance


How much will it cost?

Expect to spend about fifteen percent of your total wedding budget for a full-service wedding planner, or an average of three to five thousand dollars.


When should a planner be booked?

Most wedding planners book well in advance; we’ve already got events scheduled for 2020! As such, we recommend booking a year to eighteen months before your event. This will give you the most return on your investment and make the process smoother and less stressful, since your planner will be there from the beginning.

You’ll be working together closely, so check reviews online and chat with planners before hiring so you know you’re a good team. Instagram is also a great tool to ensure that your planner’s style is cohesive with your vision for the big day.


What does a wedding coordinator do?

A wedding coordinator takes the reins for what you have already planned. They’ll solidify your vision and determine what else needs to be secured to bring it to life. Most will be able to assist with selecting remaining vendors and can recommend services to fill in the gaps.

Wedding coordinators will also be the point people for your vendors and venue on the day of your wedding. They’ll prepare timelines, call and confirm vendor drop offs and pickups, and be there for the set-up, wedding day, and breakdown.


Who should hire a wedding coordinator?

• Brides who want to be involved in planning

• Organized people with a keen eye for detail

• People who want more freedom in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding

• Those who want a less expensive alternative to a full planner


How much will it cost?

Expect to spend an average of two to four thousand dollars depending on the level of service.


When should a coordinator be booked?

We recommend that booking a wedding coordinator seven or more months in advance. This will give you the most return on your investment and make the process smoother and less stressful. Have all details ready to be handed off to your coordinator.


What does a wedding designer do?

Wedding designers have very little to do with planning; their role is purely aesthetic. Designers are the architects of your vision and are responsible for making it come to life by creating a cohesive feel for your desired atmosphere. They will offer guidance with fabrics, textures, color palettes, props, furniture, and décor.


Who should hire a wedding designer?

• Those whose priority is the décor and feel of the wedding

• Someone who’s a good planner, but not necessarily creative

• Couples with time to dedicate to decorating the event space

• People lacking resources for hard-to-find props or equipment

• Brides with a specific, detailed theme who need help developing and executing it


How much will it cost?

Expect to invest three to five thousand dollars, depending on the intricacies of the design and how much time there is to complete the project.


When should a wedding designer be booked?

Especially when sourcing specific items, book a designer six months to a year from your date. Because of the intense creative nature of wedding design, professional designers only take a few projects a year. Better to book early than miss out on the designer you want.


At Social Maven (socialmavenbuffalo.com), we offer all three levels of service: planning, coordinating, and designing, as well as custom packages designed to meet our couples’ needs. Hybrids of all three services are our favorite! Our goal is for you to make an informed decision about your wedding team so your expectations are met and your wedding is the flawless day of your dreams.


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