What’s the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer?

 In Media

With so many wedding related job titles being thrown around these days (with many of them being confused even by those performing the duties) it can be hard to understand the difference between these various jobs and types of services.  In a nutshell, there is a lot of crossover between these roles whether it’s intended or not, but as with anything each individual company or person will have its area of expertise. This doesn’t mean they don’t perform in all areas, it just means they may not be able to perform all of them at the level expected.  It comes down to what YOU feel you need after learning more. The simplest way to explain it is like this…

Full Service Wedding Planner’s job (i.e. a DreamGroup Planner) is to oversee ALL aspects of the wedding planning from ensuring an overall thoughtful and fluid design plan — offering design ideas and suggestions — through to vendor referral and management, budget analysis, stationery consultation, etiquette advice, and on going support and insight on every little and big thing related to the planning journey. Where necessary a wedding planner will involve the right people to support a particular expectation or fill a service need in the right way.  Basically, they are a Project Manager — well versed in all areas of the planning with a strong enough knowledge of each service category to advise and maximize each area of the planning.  Although they themselves may not be the direct performer of a specific service (i.e. not the actual cake maker, florist, or decorator) they have enough experience and insight to know what’s going to matter, what works, what doesn’t work, and provide ideas and suggestions that will enhance their client’s wedding experience as a whole.  The more experienced, reputable, and well connected a wedding planner is, the more value they will bring and in turn increase a couple’s chance of hosting a wedding without regret.

Wedding Designer’s job tends to focus specifically on the more tangible and visual elements of the wedding.  They will help a client hone in on a wedding style and from there bring together a design that takes into account everything from venue analysis, linen selection, tent and logistical elements, lighting needs, colour palettes, floor plan maximization, and many other little things that are par for the course when designing a fluid and successful event. For the record these design tasks listed are all tasks an experienced and dialed in full service planner is capable of performing when needed, albeit often in a less formal way.  Side Note: A Wedding Designer is sometimes also referred to and even confused with that of a Wedding Decorator — who is typically someone who owns, promotes, and utilizes their own in house inventory. Whether or not a decorator calls themselves a designer will come down to brand positioning, confidence, industry awareness, and personal choice. Just know that a designer typically has a more formal level of education where design is concerned.

Now here’s where the confusion can be detrimental to the whole process… Some Wedding Designers call themselves Wedding Planners, but in our experience wedding design is only one aspect (albeit a significant one) of a far greater goal and objective when planning a wedding.  There is so much more to creating a successful wedding than pretty linens, tabletop decor, stationery, and lighting! It’s just harder to “see” and understand intangible over tangible elements and how they affect the outcome, but all of them play a huge part in creating an overall successful wedding experience.

So what do you need to take away from this helpful yet likely overwhelming explanation? Just this… Whether you prefer to keep things simple and rely solely on your planner to offer enough design advice and connections to achieve your wedding style objectives or whether you have your heart set on working with one of Vancouver’s talented and well known Wedding Designers or Decorators, your DreamGroup Planner will tailor their level of design involvement accordingly based on your vendor preferences and design needs.  I hope this has helped clear up the confusion that so many couples are facing when first inquiring into wedding planning support options.  See you soon!

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