You just got engaged and your excitement levels are through the roof. Until you enter the daunting world of planning a wedding.
The amount of decisions you have to make can be intimidating. Add in that so much of this is totally new ground to you and it can take all the joy out of your upcoming wedding. So you say to yourself “I need to find someone to help me with this.”
Enter wedding planners and wedding coordinators.
Wait. Which one do you need? What even is the difference? AHH! Another decision.
Let us help you.
First we’ll talk about the difference between them, what each does, why you might need one, and finally we’ll tell you our picks for the best Houston wedding planners and coordinators.
The difference between a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator is that, well, one plans and one coordinates. A planner is usually one of the first wedding vendors you hire and helps plan your wedding vision in full from the very beginning. A coordinator typically steps in at the end, usually about a month, and executes what you have already planned yourself.
A wedding planner is a logistical and creative powerhouse. They help you define your wedding vision and set and a realistic budget to execute it. A planner may even manage that budget and vendor contracts for you.
One of the most beneficial responsibilities of a planner is to help you find and hire other wedding vendors that will be in line with your vision and budget. They’ve worked closely with a lot of different vendors and can tell you what those vendors are REALLY like.
A planner will plan as much or as little for you as you want them to. But some of their key services that distinguish them from coordinators are:
According to The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study, the national average for wedding planners was $1,700.
It’s important to note that this is the average across the whole nation. A wedding planner in a low cost of living area will be less than one in a major city like Houston.
You should also consider that the more experience a planner has or the extent of their planning services will likely raise this number.
A wedding coordinator is also logistical, but leaves the creative planning elements of your wedding up to you. They help your wedding weekend to be seamless and smooth by communicating with all vendors leading up to your wedding.
A good wedding coordinator will organize all of your planning in a way that helps find overlooked details as well offer advice on how to help your wedding day be as stress free as possible.
A coordinators main duty is to organize and communicate.
Some of their key services are:
Wedding Wire’s planner cost guide reports that the national average starting fee for coordination services in $800.
Again, this is a national average and things like location or experience will change the cost. Starting rates for higher end planners are on average $1250 to $3395.
Yes. After photographing 100s of weddings over the last 10 years, it is our opinion that the best way to have a fun and stress free wedding is to have a professional handling all the logistics.
Investing in a planner or coordinator means you don’t have to be the one solving problems. You’ll never get to live your wedding day again. When you hire a planner you’re buying yourself more time to experience the biggest and best day of your life.
But which would you hire? Keep reading to help decide if you need a planner or coordinator.
The number one reason to get a planner over a coordinator is time. Planning a wedding is A LOT of work.
One of our favorite Houston planners, Julia of Set in Stone Events says, “I have clients that come to me that know they can’t handle the planning. It’s almost like a part-time job that people have to focus on during their off-time.”
But you may also want to decide on a planner if you’re having a complicated wedding with lots of moving parts, like an Indian wedding, or if you’re having a destination wedding.
If you know you’re not a great event planner, hire a professional. They have all the experience, insider knowledge, and connections to help you throw the greatest party ever to celebrate your marriage.
On the other hand, if you’re a Pinterest expert who knows exactly what they want from every detail of their wedding, you may not need a planner. But we still suggest you hire a coordinator.
Why? “Peace of mind,” Julia says. “I almost view myself as an “Insurance Policy” or “Investment Protector” since I am making sure that vendors are showing up & following through with what they promised/guaranteed the client.”
Even with all the planning in the world, there will still be last minute problems or communication that needs to happen to help your wedding go off without a hitch. Where are the flowers? Is hair and make-up running behind? What time does dinner service need to start?
Having a dedicate point-person on site to take on those responsibilities takes a weight off your shoulders. A weight you don’t want to be carrying on your wedding day.
Most coordinators and planners offer both services and can help you decide which one you need.
Convinced? Here’s our list of the best coordinators and planners in Houston.
We’ve personally worked with every one of these vendors, have talked to our couples about their experiences, and have checked their reviews on google, The Knot, and other websites to vet them. These really are the best Houston wedding planners and coordinators if you’re looking to have a stress-free wedding where your guests have the time of their lives.
Once you’ve found the perfect planner or coordinator, the next thing you’ll need is the perfect photographer to work alongside them.
We’re The Ramseys. We’re Houston wedding photographers who believe that marriage matters, and the entire process from start to finish should fill you up with joy.
Our favorite wedding moments happen when you let loose, forget about the details, and have a blast with your friends and family. We’ll get right in the action to catch you gettin’ down on the dance floor, taking shots, and living life with your forever person.
We’d love to hear more about your wedding. Reach out to us on our contact page.