What is the difference between wedding planners and wedding designers?

If you are planning a wedding, you may have noticed that there are different terms and titles thrown around in the industry. There are a few different niche categories among event professionals – two of the main ones being wedding designers and wedding planners. But as a wedding couple or industry professional, how do you know who you need to hire? Although there are planners who offer design services, the role of a wedding designer is ultimately quite different than a wedding planner.

Quite simply, Designers focus on aesthetics and the overall look and feel of the wedding or event. Planners focus on timelines, logistics, and the flow of the event.

Before we get too far into it, Hello. Just in case we haven’t met yet, I am Marcia, owner and lead wedding designer here at Imagine It Event Décor and Design. If you are looking for an event designer in Annapolis, MD, you can read more about me here. I LOVE to help clients bring the vision that they have imagined to life. Nothing else brings me joy than when I get to be creative. Whether you are planning a large event or an intimate gathering, your event should be a reflection of your vision and deserves the attention to detail that an event designer brings.

How wedding planners and wedding designers roles are different

Wedding planners: 

  1. Focus on logistics. Ceremony/venue selection and vendor (photographer, videographer, officiant, caterer, baker, music, etc.) recommendations. 
  2. Creates and follow a detailed timeline for your event.
  3. Acts as a liaison between you and your vendors, are on site for the duration of the event to coordinate setup and final break down. 
  4. Ensures that everything runs smoothly and according to schedule. 

Wedding designers:

  1. Focuses on creating a specific look and feel for the event. 
  2. Create a design concept.  After meeting with the client to learn about their inspiration and the design vision for the event.
  3. Creates stunning inspiration boards that would include color pallets and inspiration photos, to give the overall vision and feel of the direction of the design.
  4. Sources items and products for the event, such as stationery, florals, linens, tables, chairs tabletop décor, etc., always being mindful of ways to be different from previous or other designs.

Hiring a wedding designer

As an event and wedding designer, I am incredibly passionate about designing incredible experiences (both aesthetically and with the overall feeling of an event). The design process begins around 6-8 months before the event but you may actually want to start the hiring process as soon as you save the date to ensure you find a designer who understands your vision and makes you feel confident and excited about your event. If you feel as though I might be the right fit, you can read more about me here or read more about my design services here.

Still unsure about hiring a wedding designer? You should hire a wedding designer if:

  • If timelines and logistics are your strength, but you need help creatively.
  • Décor and the way things look are a priority for you.
  • You desire help with executing the overall vision of your event from the design concept to event production.
  • You have a design vision but need assistance in bringing the vision to life. If you are having a hard time articulating what you want your event to look like, or you want to blend a few different styles, hiring a professional will be well worth the investment.

Should you hire a wedding designer or should you hire a wedding planner that offers design? 

Ultimately, this is up to you. There is definitely value in hiring two professionals that understand their strengths and stay within their zone of genius. I work very well with wedding planners that understand they excel in the logistics, and prefer to focus on what they excel in. The same way I prefer to focus on design. I love starting from scratch and create designs that are truly unique. We want something memorable for your guests. That is where I feel I truly excel.

On top of that, both planning and design are two huge jobs, and it can be a lot for one person to do both. For you, it can be nice to work with two people and keep the tasks separately. When you meet with your designer, you will focus on the look and feel. When you meet with your event planner, you will focus on more the the logistic details.

Are you looking to plan a wedding or event in Maryland?

I hope this clears up a misconception around whether or not you need to hire an event planner or designer. Or both! Being in the industry, I know how confusing it is for people at the beginning of their event planning journey. The terms are so similar but the jobs are truly so different. If you want more wedding design advice and inspiration, make sure to follow me on instagram. Make sure to send me a message saying you found me on the blog! I love connecting with people and will follow you right back. Then when you are ready to hand the reins off to a professional wedding designer, I would be honored to be considered. You can read more about my services here or contact me here if you have any questions about what an event designer does! 

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  1. Iyanna Alphonso says:

    Very informative and detailed