By Hafeedoh Balogun

Event planning made easy

To make a wedding happen, many parties often come together, from the couple themselves, family and friends, and external parties such as planners and vendors. Nigerian weddings can be a big affair, and couples these days are now getting professionals to help carry most of the burden of planning a Nigerian wedding.

If you’re planning your wedding or have been part of a wedding, you might have come across the terms ‘wedding planner’ and ‘wedding coordinator’. Who exactly are these people, and what do they do? This article would help you properly differentiate between a wedding planner and coordinator, as both are (wrongly) used interchangeably when they have different responsibilities.

Who is a wedding planner?

Wedding planners have broad responsibilities when it comes to weddings! They are professionals who help decide on a wedding vision, plan for the various aspects of a wedding, and execute on the big day! They are more involved in the running around, from sourcing vendors to managing dress fittings!

Wedding planners are typically hired early in the planning process, whether after the couple is engaged or in serious discussions about marriage. Wedding planners do not have the final say on what happens at your wedding - think of them as a representative and advocate for the couple throughout the planning process.

Duties of a wedding planner

A wedding planner’s responsibilities involve planning, curating, and actualizing the couple’s dream wedding. This includes:

  • Develops an understanding of the couple and helps the couple decide on a theme for the wedding
  • Helps the couple to create a wedding budget and tracks the budget as planning progresses
  • Suggests wedding vendors for the couple to hire
  • Consults and negotiates with potential wedding vendors, all in line with the budget and needs
  • Organises and attends venue tours
  • Coordinates with the couples’ outfit vendors, including dress fittings
  • Manages the guest list for the wedding event(s)
  • Manages all aspects of the wedding day ceremonies, ensuring all parties are working towards a successful event
  • Follows up with vendors on deliverables eg, photographers
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Who is a wedding coordinator?

A wedding coordinator can be seen as the wedding planner without the initial planning responsibilities. So a wedding planner would not be involved in keeping track of the wedding budget, for example. They are hired to ensure that the vendors deliver as agreed, so the wedding goes to plan. Wedding coordinators typically start to work with the couple a month before the wedding and are in charge during the event.

Whilst wedding coordinators may offer some advice along the way, this would not be at the level of a wedding planner. To expect them to take on the same responsibilities is unrealistic and not advisable. Their role is to take over after the planning has been finalised, and to ensure the execution of the wedding is seamless.

Duties of a wedding coordinator

The key duty of the coordinator is to manage all the other vendors so that they are all in line with the program order of the day. Their responsibilities include:

  • Meets with the couple a month to two months before the wedding to understand the outcome of the planning phase
  • Creates the event day timeline and flow plan (e.g.event food flow plan)
  • Makes amendments to the floor plan, as required
  • Organises and attends the vendor meetings to discuss the wedding timeline and flow
  • Manages the guest list for the wedding event(s)
  • Manages all aspects of the wedding day ceremonies, ensuring all parties are working towards a successful event
  • Follows up with vendors on deliverables, e.g. photographers

Deciding between a wedding coordinator and a wedding planner boils down to what you require for your wedding planning support. Whilst budget is always a key factor in the decision, couples should also consider their availability, experience, and willingness to be heavily involved in the planning of their wedding.

Event planning made easy
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