Ask the Expert: Wedding Planner vs. Event Designer

by Ryan Conner | June 19, 2013


Jessica and Chris Gatlin on their wedding day. Wedding planned by Wendy Kidd of Each & Every Detail.

Thank you to Wendy Kidd from Each & Every Detail for answering this week’s reader question:

What is the difference between a wedding planner and an event designer? How do I know which kind of person I need to hire?

The terms designer and planner get thrown around a lot in the wedding industry. While there are independent planners and independent designers, there are also venue coordinators who use the title planner, planners that use the title designer, and florists who use both titles. It can be very confusing.

To determine the difference, you must look at the types of services that are being offered. Is the person offering to create an agenda, floor plan, or budget?  That’s a planner. If they are coming up with an inspiration board of pictures, drawing up designs for your reception, or helping you pick out the perfect linens, they are a designer. Some planners offer both services, so they might use both titles. Just be clear on the services offered, and you can get a better idea of which they are.

So how do you know which one you need? Well, it comes right back to what kind of service you need. If you feel overwhelmed with the idea of coming up with a theme for your wedding, you need a designer. If you are looking for someone to guide you through the decisions that need to be made and help finding your perfect team of vendors, you’re looking for a planner. Many offer both services – maybe you need both! Look at what they are offering so that you are clear on what you’re getting.  Always compare services, and you’ll find your answer!