Photo: Kate Neal Photo
Unless you're deep into the planning process or you work in the wedding industry, chances are you have no idea what the difference between a wedding designer and a planner is, much less whether or not you should hire one (or both).
For starters, you can think of a wedding planner kind of like a house contractor and a wedding designer (or stylist/architect) like the interior designer for the home. "Wedding planners excel with the logistics, such as timelines and budgets, and are often certified in event management, whereas wedding designers excel at visual presentation and creating the overall cohesive look of the event from start to finish," says Lynn D'Ascanio of D'Asigner Events. In fact, many wedding designers are licensed interior designers and fashion designers too.
They can help you with all of the aesthetic and creative decisions, according to event designer Tracy Taylor Ward. "This includes floral design, floor plans, lighting design, linen, furniture and rentals selection (china, glassware, flatware), bride and bridal party styling, invitation design and reception stationary consulting."
If you're still not sure if a wedding designer is right for you, here's how to decide:
You've got a great eye for style (or not at all)
A bride-to-be who is either artistically or fashionably inclined, or on the other hand, completely challenged would definitely benefit from hiring a wedding designer, notes Kristen Ley, owner of Something New for I Do. "A beautiful wedding is important, even for those self-righteously deemed a minimalist," she notes.
Your venue is a blank canvas
"Sometimes outdoor spaces, and even ballrooms, can offer a lackluster vibe," points out Ley. "Draping, artwork and vintage rentals can spice up even the most bleak of venues and a designer can help you create your vision anywhere."
You want to bring your Pinterest board to life, but you're note sure how
"A lot of couples come to us with keywords and/or inspiration images and don't have 'the eye' to be able to determine what works together and what doesn't," explains Ward. "It's our job to get to know our clients so that we can help take their ideas and produce something that feels true to themselves but even better than what they thought was possible."
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You're looking for something truly unique
If you're hoping to find inventive ways to infuse your personality into your big day, look no further than a wedding designer. He or she can help you source special flowers and rentals that are not ubiquitous so that your wedding feels unique and curated just for you, says Ward. "Guests will leave the party feeling like they know you and your spouse better than when they arrived."
You're all about branding
If there's a certain look you're going for from start (save the dates) to finish (reception and thank you cards), Ley says a designer can help you stay "on brand" throughout the entire process to create a unified and imaginative event.
You're hosting a smaller wedding
Typically, brides that benefit from hiring a wedding designer only are ones with smaller, more intimate weddings, reveals Ley. "We can simply bring on a day-of coordinator to assist in pulling off last minute details and wedding day coordination," she explains. Otherwise, for bigger bashes, a wedding designer would normally work in conjunction with a planner.