Planning a wedding is a full time job on top of your everyday work, supporting a family, keeping an active social life and more, it is easy to see how you could become overwhelmed balancing all of it. That is how event coordinators specifically those who deal with wedding make their living. These unique individuals thrive off the stress, deadlines and challenges that come with planning a wedding and do it for a living.

Most people don’t hire planners for every day events like a dinner party, holiday gathering or birthday celebrations but weddings are the perfect event with all the small pieces to get the assistance you need to make your big day perfect. Planners come with a multitude of titles that can get a little confusing if you don’t normally seek assistance with planning events. Below is a small primer to help you navigate the new terrain of event professionals.

Venue Coordinator

A venue coordinator is often the sales member of a banquet or hotel you are working with. This professional solely works with the facility and will be there to handle some of the specifics needed to pull of your day-of. Sometimes the venue coordinator may not be the initial sales person you spoke with but is still a part of the sales team was negotiations have been made.

Venue Coordinators work with room lay out which includes chairs, tables, limited linen and food if offered by the venue. If the facility will also be catering the event these professionals will also work with the kitchen and banquet staff to assure a flawless reception. In some cases a venue coordinator may provide you a list of preferred vendors or have relationships with local event companies to offer you discounts if you work with their venue. Venue coordinators will not assist with relationships, negotiations and planning that is outside their facility. If you are planning to take on the responsibility of planning your entire wedding it can help to have a portion of your wedding or the entire event at a facility that offers a venue coordinator as it will relief you of some of the planning burden when it comes to your venue.

Wedding Planner

Probably the most varied professional on this list wedding planners provide a variety of services from start to finish and wear many hats to help you create your dream wedding. Planners take responsibility over your entire affair and will help you work with the numerous vendors you will have to meet along the way. Your planner can provide references for professionals based on past experience, review contracts, timelines, oversee set of appointments and more.

Planners usually offer three prominent services; full-service, day-of and consulting. These services and what they entail may range from planner to planner so be sure to know what each one can provide you. Full-service planners work start to finish for your wedding providing everything from timeline to day of. A day-of planner or coordinating service usually involves a few meeting prior to your wedding day to tie up any loose ends and helps to make sure your day goes smoothly so you don’t have to. Consulting services provided by planners range dramatically from simple timeline assistance to vendors recommendations so if this is the rout you choose be sure to know what you’re getting into.

Wedding Designer

The least common of the three wedding professionals you may work with. Think of designers as the visual artists of your event, these professionals work hand in hand with florists, audio/visual companies, event rentals and more to create lavish professionally designed world that reflect the image you see in your mind when imaging your wedding day.

While wedding coordinators help design your ceremony and reception wedding designers build their career solely around the visual portion of your event. Designers will not help with negotiations, attending appointments outside of what makes the visual appearance of the wedding. The skill to produce an atmosphere is a powerful and uncommon talent that takes not only a specific eye but also a very close relationship with those who provide the many supplies to create this atmosphere. If you feel you have the timeline and negotiations handled but don’t feel you have a strong eye for aesthetics a designer may be the professional you would like to team up with.

Remember the title each of these professionals carry is as variable as the professionals themselves so be sure to always have a one-on-one chat with each potential planner or designer see learn what it is they specifically offer you as a client.