When you first get engaged, it can be quite overwhelming to decide whether or not to hire a wedding planner. It may seem like there are only two options: either you go all-in with a full-service event planner to handle everything, or you take on the task of planning it all yourself. Now, as full-service wedding planners based in Rochester, New York, you know we're biased towards the first option! But hey, we're also here to empower you in making your own decisions when deciding which type of wedding planner is right for you. And the truth is, there's a range of wedding planning services out there.
Whether you're envisioning a big, dazzling celebration or an minimalist and intimate affair, the choice of your wedding planning service relies entirely on your personal wedding day vision and (more importantly) your expectations. Below, we are going to break down the different wedding planning packages you'll see offered, and some insight to help you choose the right option for you! Have questions? Send us a DM over on Instagram, or learn more about working with us here!
1. Full Service Wedding Planning
Full service wedding planning is one of our favorite services to offer couples, because then we get to be involved in all aspects of your wedding planning journey. If you're looking to be involved in the fun aspects of planning your wedding day without having to handle all of the logistics that come along with it, it's probably the right choice for you!
Having a full service wedding planner means an experienced professional is overseeing every detail. From budgeting and vendors, to timeline management and design, we do it all. You'll have one point-of-contact coordinating all aspects of your day. This means no confusion or miscommunication between vendors and last-minute surprises on your wedding day. Not only that, but they can also provide expert advice on vendor selection (based off their experience working with them in the past), timeline optimization, and overall atmosphere advice to make sure that everything is perfect for your special day.
If there is one thing we wish more couples knew, it's that full-service wedding planning isn't about losing control. Our couples still get to be a part of absolutely everything they care about and want to be apart of! They just get to ENJOY it, instead of anxiously cram the 200 hours it takes to plan a wedding into their work lunch breaks and weekends off.
2. Wedding Design
Oftentimes, couples assume that wedding planners and wedding designers are the same. In fact, they are two completely separate services. Wedding design includes curating and managing all of the aesthetic elements and details that come together to create the overall look and feel of your special day. This could include anything from finding and creating the perfect theme, deciding on a color palette, choosing centerpieces, lighting, décor, floral design, and more. All of these components come together to bring your unique vision for your wedding to life!
While we personally include wedding design into our full-service wedding planning packages, it's also not uncommon for couples to hire a wedding designer for design services only, and hire their wedding planner separately. There are some wedding planners who simply don't want to be involved in the design. Some want to focus on the logistics only. That being said, if your wedding planner also provides design services, it is more efficient to have them handle both aspects rather than coordinating with separate vendors. This streamlines the process and ensures seamless collaboration.
3. Partial Wedding Planning
Partial wedding planning strikes a balance between hands-on involvement and professional guidance. It's an excellent option for couples who want to take charge of certain planning tasks (or don't have the budget for full-service planning). But, they still value the expertise of a wedding planner for specific aspects or vendor recommendations.
This service is often customized to your specific needs, whether it's budgeting assistance, vendor selection, or design inspiration. It provides you with the flexibility to be active in the planning process while still benefiting from professional guidance. When shopping for partial wedding planning packages, some wedding planners offer a “set list” of inclusions. On the other hand, some will allow you to purchase a bundle of a set number of hours (ie. 10 hours, 20 hours, etc). Decide what works best for you and the type of support you desire.
4. Wedding Management (Wedding Coordination)
Next, we have “wedding management” which has taken on several different names in the wedding industry. If you see wedding planners advertising packages like “day of coordination”, “month of coordination”, or “wedding management”, they are usually referring to the same thing. This type of wedding planning package is designed to help couples who have already planned the majority of their wedding, but want assistance managing all of the details leading up to and on the day of the big event. A coordinator will usually come in a month or two before your wedding date to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Is this the right service for you? Our wedding planning templates might help you in the planning process!
5. Venue Scouting
Lastly, we have venue scouting, or venue selection services. This is probably the most underrated wedding planning service there is, in my opinion. Regardless of if you are on the fence about what type of wedding planner service is right for you, this is a great option. We've talked a lot about the importance of choosing the right venue here on the blog (check out this post for red flags to avoid in your venue search), but here is the short version: your wedding venue has huge influence over what your final guest count will need to be and where a majority of your budget is allocated (especially if there is a minimum food and beverage charge). It's a good idea to have a wedding planner with experience help you make this decision and guide you through what to look for!
Wondering if you should hire a wedding planner before you book your venue? Read this post next!
Which Type of Wedding Planner is Right For You?
Choosing the type of wedding planner you want doesn't have to be an “all or nothing” decision. It's a spectrum, ranging from the holistic approach of full-service planning to the more specific offerings like venue scouting. Every couple has unique needs, and thankfully, there's a service tailored for everyone. Whether you require full service or not, the right wedding planner service is out there waiting for you. Remember, it's not just about planning an event; it's about curating an experience that will last a lifetime. If you would like to work together to plan your heirloom occasion, get in touch with our team here!