What’s the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer?

December 15, 2022

If you are currently planning your wedding, chances are you are speaking to and negotiating with lots of different vendors and suppliers. If you want to enlist some help, would you benefit from having both a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer? Or are they actually interchangeable? Although the tasks they perform will have an element of overlap, they each have a very different focus.

Let’s take a closer look at each to help decide the best place to invest your money so your big day is a memorable occasion for all of the right reasons.

What does a Wedding Planner do?

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

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

  • Reviewing your budget, breaking it down, then allocating chunks of your budget to different areas of your wedding and/or reception based on your priorities.
  • Creating checklists so that everyone knows what needs to be done and when.
  • Liaising with suppliers, vendors, and venues.
  • Assisting with travel plans and accommodation booking for you or your guests.
  • Set up and removal of different elements on the big day.
  • Management of everything on the day of the ceremony. From ensuring the wedding party knows what they need to do and where they need to be, through to guest management, supplier liaison, troubleshooting and problem solving.

A Wedding Planner will often put in hundreds of hours of their time, they will know you as a couple inside and out, and will be on hand to support you each step of the way. Although you will come to your own agreement with your Wedding Planner over what they are responsible for and when you can contact them, you should think of them as your right-hand – there to support you in every way possible.

What does a Wedding Designer do?

In a nutshell a Wedding Designer is there to help you with the aesthetics of your wedding – bringing your wedding to life through color, props, and layout. Their job is to wow your guests with how your wedding and reception are laid out and the items that you choose to utilize. This could be helping you to finalize a color palette, designing centerpieces for your tables, or sourcing that one ‘must-have’ element that you can visualize but need help to bring to life. A Wedding 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.
  • They may be able to provide 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 final preparations and day of setup of your wedding. They may also be able to save you a considerable amount of money by being able to recommend reliable, trustworthy suppliers. When it comes to props, chair covers and embellishments, they may even have a variety that you can rent to save the expense of purchasing.

You should you hire a Wedding Designer 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.
  • 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.

Due to the nature of their work they tend to book up quite early, we recommend sourcing your Wedding Designer as far out as 12 months before your wedding day. This will also give chosen suppliers time to source any obscure or unique items.

In Summary

While 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 of help you want to invest in 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, how creative you are, and of course the budget that you are working with.

You may opt to work with just one, both or neither – it is totally up to you! Hopefully you now feel armed with the information necessary to make an informed decision.


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