The Stylist, the Partial Planner/Coordinator, the Operational On-the-day Coordinator, the Full Wedding Planner. There are so many titles used to describe similar roles. It can make choosing the right person, to help create the meaningful wedding you’ve been dreaming of, difficult.
I’m first and foremost a Full Wedding Planner (with a few alternative services for UK weddings – see my post ‘Heartfelt weddings in the UK’ for more information). For over a decade I’ve specialised in Italian destination weddings. More recently I’ve started offering UK weddings for local couples or those coming from elsewhere in Europe. I’ve seen many titles/terms come and go over the years and numerous services offered by different businesses. To help you decide if a Full Wedding Planner is right for you, I’m going to delve into what the role involves, from my own perspective, and give you an overview of a few other titles.
Independent Or In-house
One of the biggest differences between the various roles in the wedding planning industry is whether the person you work with is independent or in-house. An independent planner (like myself) works with and for the client. An in-house planner (often called a Wedding Coordinator) works with the client but for a venue.
Independent planners can carefully select which weddings they work on during the year, and how many. They connect with a couple, building a relationship. They listen to what you need. The broad terms of their role will normally be the same for each client, but they offer a bespoke service to help create the personalised celebration you want.
In-house planners work on numerous weddings throughout the year, aiming to meet the venue’s quota. They usually have a meeting with you at the start and then maybe one nearer the day. They should also respond to the occasional question you ask in-between. A generous in-house planner will try to accommodate your wishes, as best they can but, ultimately, they are tied to the rules and interests of the venue.
The Stylist And The On-the-day Planner
A Stylist can mean varying things in the wedding business. Generally speaking, they help bring the visual elements of your wedding together. For some that might mean offering you a service from the beginning of your planning journey – creating moodboards and sourcing items. For others it might mean helping set up and ‘style’ your day, perhaps doing a bit of supplier co-ordination and making sure everything looks nice.
On-the-day Planners usually don’t have much to do with the lead up to your wedding. Instead they step in on the day (as the title suggests) to help the day run smoothly. Their service might cover some of a Stylist’s role, overseeing the set-up of visual elements. They then stay for the rest of your wedding day to help things run to time and be a point of call for your suppliers.
As a Full Wedding Planner my services crossover both these roles. I help bring your creative vision to life, like a Stylist. However instead of only focusing on the appearance of your day I also think about the experience. I partner you with talented suppliers who connect with your lifestyle and organise everything so you can relax knowing your wedding is in the safe hands of a trusted and experienced planner.
I’m not only there on the day to ensure everything goes without a hitch, I’m also there in the weeks and months before. Getting to know you, your requirements, and what makes you tick is part of my job and an aspect I love. My service is about more than just working out the logistics for your day and making things look good. A Full Wedding Planner makes you, the couple, their priority and makes the magical moment of your personalised union a reality.
My Approach As A Full Wedding Planner
After your initial inquiry I respond via email to introduce myself and how I work, giving an expectation of budget – based on a wedding for 50 guests including all the ‘usual’ services. I give you an idea of the planning timeline, related to the size of your wedding. I also provide links to previous weddings and, if relevant, my latest blog.
The next phase is a discovery call. I answer your questions, listen to your priorities, and ask about your style. I then email across three anonymous venue options that match your guest numbers, budget, and style.
You may or may not find the venue of your dreams in these three options, but they give you a good indication of what is possible and whether I am the right planner for you.
If you want to go ahead and pursue more options, we then move to an agreement for the full planning service.
Full Planning Service
The service starts with a wedding vision and design, bringing in venue and location research. We decide the scope and scale of your wedding, and the type of suppliers you will need.
I produce a detailed budget plan. I also set expectations of what to expect if you’re planning a destination wedding in Italy.
Next, we move into the wedding project management phase. I source your wedding team – selecting suppliers who meet your requirements and understand how to make your hearts sing. I oversee contracts, monitor your budget, act as the main point of communication, provide progress updates, ensure supplier timelines are met, and do other tasks specific to your unique day.
With all this information, and a mountain of logistics, I then build a detailed itinerary for your wedding. This includes everything from when suppliers need to set-up beforehand to when the food gets served. I also detail a timeline for the legalities, to make sure you know what must happen ahead of your ceremony to make your union recognised by law.
I continue to be your supplier’s contact in those final weeks and manage everything, getting things ready.
On the special day itself (or multiple days if you’re extending the celebration) I’m on hand from start to finish. I coordinate all your suppliers, bring your ideas to life, and help the day run seamlessly.
Last, but not least, I manage communications after your wedding. Some suppliers like to be debriefed, others might need questions resolved from the day. I look after the post-wedding logistics so you can simply enjoy and continue your celebratory adventure together.
Think a Full Wedding Planner is what you’ve been searching for? Want to inquire about my bespoke service? Let’s talk.