What Do Wedding Planners Do? An Inside Look

February 7th, 20248 min

Imagine a wedding with a breathtaking venue adorned with flowers and fairy lights, a romantic song playing in the background and a couple exchanging vows with pure joy on their faces. Sounds dreamy, right? Ever wondered how this magical tapestry of emotions comes together so seamlessly? Enter the realm of wedding planners—the maestros of matrimonial magic!

In today’s feature on “What Do Wedding Planners Do?” we’re breaking it all down for you.

Wedding venues near me with romantic lighting and outdoor courtyard ceremony space

Decoding Wedding Planners and Wedding Coordinators

Planning a wedding requires many vendors, but none are more important or impactful than someone to help you plan it. These unsung heroes are called wedding planners and wedding coordinators, but what’s the difference?

What Do Wedding Planners Do?

Wedding planners are crucial in orchestrating the perfect celebration of love, managing every detail from conception to execution. These seasoned professionals bring dreams to life by curating personalized experiences, handling logistics, and collaborating with vendors. Working with you from the beginning to the final exit, they are who you want in your corner if you want a more hands-off approach to planning your big day, as they will take a lot off your plate.

On the other hand, what do wedding coordinators do? They focus on only the final preparations in the month leading up to the wedding and seamlessly coordinate events on the big day itself. They ensure that every aspect, from the ceremony to the reception, runs smoothly, allowing the couple and their guests to fully enjoy the moment. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for organization, wedding coordinators act as the behind-the-scenes maestros, making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

When you start searching for a professional to help you, it’s important to understand how much guidance you need. Understanding what wedding planners do will help you determine which type of professional you need.

Wedding Planner Duties

When it comes to answering “what wedding planners do,” the list is long, and for some, it may be endless. But for many planners, there are basic duties that most will include in their packages. Today, we’ll outline some of these responsibilities, but you’ll want to ask each planner that you interview to make sure you know what you’re getting.

Refine Your Wedding Vision

What wedding planners do goes beyond logistics; they’re your visionaries, crafting every detail. Beyond just handling logistics, these professionals work closely with you to make sure every detail of the celebration aligns with your wedding vision. From helping select color palettes to themes and tiny details, a wedding planner acts as a creative partner, turning ideas into a beautiful reality. By focusing on refining the wedding vision, they play a crucial role in making each couple’s special day uniquely unforgettable.

Realistic Budget

When you’re diving into the whole wedding planning thing, the first puzzle to solve is the budget. It gets a bit tricky because, let’s be real, most couples aren’t walking around with a cheat sheet on how much weddings really cost. Enter the superhero of the planning world – the wedding planner. They’re like wizards with this stuff. Using their bag of tricks (aka experience), they can give you the lowdown on how much your dream day will cost and help you stretch that budget like a pro.

Wedding Venue Selection

Let’s talk about the crucial task of picking the perfect wedding venue; this is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make because it sets the tone for your entire wedding. When it comes to answering the question,” What do wedding planners do?” this one is at the top of the list.

If you’re struggling to find the right one, you can enlist your planner to help. They are knowledgeable about all the local venues, their styles, the vibe, the services and how many people they accommodate, so they can easily steer you to the perfect one. They will even go on venue tours with you and help you ask the right questions, which will help you make the best decision on which venue is right for you.

Vendor Selection

Another valuable role that planners provide is assisting you with vendor selection. Just as they know all the venues, they typically have a group of preferred vendors that they can recommend. On the other hand, they will also know about vendors you should steer clear of.

They can connect you with your dream team of vendors, from caterers to photographers and even where to buy your dress. This can save you time and stress because you won’t have to interview tons of vendors in each category to find the perfect one for you. And all along the way, they will be right there with you at meetings, helping with negotiations and understanding contracts.


Your planner will also map out a clear plan with deadlines, keeping you on track for the big day. They ensure important tasks like sending invitations, scheduling fittings, finalizing the menu, and arranging transportation are all accounted for in the time.

Vendor Contracts

One of the big mistakes couples can make while planning a wedding is not reading or understanding the vendor contracts. Having a wedding planner in your corner will help you decipher any red flags and that each contract outlines exactly what you’re getting.

Wedding venue reception tables with candlelight

Guest Management

One role that can be a huge help to you is guest management. Managing the guest list, tracking RSVPs, and handling seating arrangements are all part of the wedding planner’s repertoire. They offer advice on etiquette, protocol, and share pertinent wedding-related details with the guests. They can also lend a hand in coordinating guest accommodations and transportation if the need arises.

Day Of Coordination

On the big day, your wedding planner steps into superhero mode as the day-of coordinator. They’re the ones making sure everything runs like a well-oiled machine, from coordinating vendor arrivals to handling any unexpected hiccups that may pop up.

Your planner becomes the go-to person for vendors, the point of contact for any last-minute adjustments, and the behind-the-scenes maestro ensuring the day unfolds smoothly. It’s all about letting you soak in the joy of the moment while they handle the logistics and keep everything on track.

Functional Floor Plan

Once the RSVPs have rolled in and you’ve got a solid headcount, the next task on the agenda is crafting a thoughtful floor plan that caters to your guests’ comfort. It’s not just about squeezing in enough seats but also considering additional tables and space for your vendors.

Your wedding planner takes the reins, collaborating with the venue to design a floor plan that not only accommodates all these components but also ensures a smooth and functional flow for the entire evening. A well-thought-out floor plan isn’t just about fitting everything in; it’s the strategic blueprint that paves the way for a successful and enjoyable celebration.

Handle Issues On the Day Of

No matter how meticulous your planning, unforeseen challenges can crop up on your wedding day. From unpredictable weather to vendor inquiries or even the occasional unruly guest, various issues might surface. This is where your wedding planner becomes your troubleshooter, adept at tackling problems and finding swift solutions.

With a wedding planner at the helm, any unexpected hiccups are managed seamlessly, sparing you and your family from unnecessary stress. It’s all about having a pro in your corner to ensure your wedding day sails smoothly, regardless of the unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

Coordinate The Epic Exit

The grand exit is the ultimate crescendo of the wedding, etching the final memories your guests will carry from your wedding. Entrusting the coordination of this unforgettable moment to your wedding planner guarantees a lasting impression.

Leading up to the big day, your planner dives into the details, sourcing all necessary items for your grand exit in line with your venue’s rules and regulations. When the day arrives, they take charge, ensuring the seamless organization of exit items, corralling guests into formation (and safely, if needed), distributing exit items (like sparklers), and collaborating with your photographer to capture the perfect shot.

They also ensure that your personal items, overnight bags, and perhaps a slice of cake find their way into your getaway vehicle, wrapping up the celebration with precision and care.

What Wedding Planners Don’t Do

Ok, now you know what wedding planners do, let’s talk about what they don’t do. While they love what they do and are your go-to architects for crafting dream celebrations, it’s crucial to understand what might fall outside their typical scope or incur additional charges.

Wedding planners usually don’t handle tasks such as obtaining the marriage license or changing your name, coordinating guest transportation (which might incur an additional charge), negotiating room blocks for guests, or shopping for wedding attire, including dress cleaning and preservation.

They may help you organize and plan ancillary events like engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, or send-off brunches, but it will likely be an additional cost. Additionally, wedding planners generally don’t manage elaborate custom builds and installations, graphic design, or website creation.

Wedding planners also typically won’t take on roles that belong to other professionals, such as serving as an emcee or DJ during the event. They are not a rental company, so they might not handle the setup and breakdown of event items. Creating a wedding registry, serving food and alcohol, transporting gifts, picking up wedding gowns or tuxedos, and managing the return of rented tuxedos usually fall outside the traditional duties of a wedding planner.

It’s crucial that you and your planner or coordinator are on the same page with the expected services and duties that are included.

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These are just some of the questions to keep in mind when searching for the best wedding venue for you. We’ll cover even more in a future article for our Audio Guest Book Insider’s Guide, though, so make sure to follow along by subscribing to our mailing list below!

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