Kim Hymes Photography is a documentary wedding photographer rooted in Atlanta and travels to destinations around the world.


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Wedding Planner VS Coordinator – Who is Right for YOUR Day?

There are so many details and decisions that go into planning a wedding. While the fun stuff like vision boards and color palettes can be fun and exciting at first, eventually, other details start knocking on the door, most of them relating to the un-fun and all-encompassing budget. If you’re not much of a planner, hiring a wedding planner to assist you throughout the planning process can totally transform the way you approach your wedding.

Then, when the big day arrives, you should absolutely get to enjoy every moment of the day! But without a wedding coordinator, you may find yourself having to set up your tablescapes the morning of the wedding or cleaning up trash at the end of the night. So, what’s the difference between a wedding planner vs coordinator? I thought you’d never ask.  

A bride in a silk white dress stands in a sunroom holding her pink bouquet wedding planner vs coordinator    Newlyweds walk down the aisle together after their ceremony wedding planner vs coordinator

What is a Wedding Planner, and How Do They Differ From a Venue Coordinator?

There are plenty of people who want to help your wedding go as smoothly as possible, but not all of these roles look the same or offer the same services. Let’s take a moment to clarify. 

A wedding planner is a vendor that you hire to help you make some of those important decisions throughout the planning process. Maybe you don’t find the creative elements of planning enjoyable, or you’re looking for insight from an industry professional. That’s where a great planner comes in. You can often hire wedding planners early on in your planning process, but you can also hire them to come in and help clean up any last-minute details the month(s) leading up to your wedding day. 

Unlike a planner, a wedding coordinator is a little more hands-on than a wedding planner. Whereas a planner is more about decision-making and helping with difficult choices, a coordinator is the person who helps to pull everything off. If a planner gets everything set up, a coordinator makes sure it all falls into place. Personally, I think a coordinator is invaluable on your wedding day because they’re the person who will make sure everyone and everything is in the correct place while you can focus on enjoying every moment of your wedding day. 

Also some wedding planners also work as coordinators, and vice versa! If you find a planner or coordinator you love, check out what packages they offer to determine which one may work best for you and your budget. 

Newlyweds walk holding hands along a stone wall in a garden wedding planner vs coordinator

Venue Coordinators

But wait, don’t a lot of venues provide a wedding coordinator, too? Yes, and a great venue coordinator can be a big help on your wedding day. But more often than not, they’re there on behalf of the venue, making sure that everything on their end is working the way it’s supposed to. They may even help with setup and teardown, though typically, their commitment goes as far as setting up the chairs and tables according to your floor plan. A venue coordinator will work hand-in-hand with your wedding coordinator to make sure your wedding goes as smoothly as possible, though it’s true that their jobs are, in fact, different. 

Whether you need assistance with planning your wedding or simply pulling it off on the day of, the right wedding planner vs coordinator choice can make all the difference. 

Newlyweds celebrate surrounded by their wedding party on a patio wedding planner vs coordinator

Atlanta Wedding Planners I Love Working With

If you’re coming around to the idea of hiring a wedding planner, I have a few in the Atlanta area that I’d love to recommend. I’ve loved working with these incredible people, and I’ve witnessed firsthand the way they work their magic on a wedding. 

Your Best Guest – Your Best Guest literally does it all. In addition to full and partial planning and coordinating, they also offer full floral design and installation services and decor rentals (seriously, check out their catalog of things available to rent, your imagination will start to soar.) Their goal is to help you bring your wedding vision to life, and with all of the resources they need right at their fingertips, pulling off your dream wedding is as easy as can be. 

Newlyweds walk down a side street between buildings holding hands while wearing a white suit jacket and fur coat wedding planner vs coordinator

Wildflower Wedding Planning – The women behind Wildflower Wedding Planning are all incredible professionals who use their connections and expertise in the wedding industry to ensure your wedding is everything you want it to be. They offer exclusive wedding planning packages that will assist you from start to finish of your planning journey, as well as elopement planning, month-of coordinating, and even honeymoon planning! 

Newlyweds celebrate surrounded by sparklers while exiting their wedding

Lace Co Weddings – Consider the girls at Lace Co Weddings your wedding planning BFFs, there to help you every step of the way! They’ll pay attention to every little detail leading up to the wedding, especially the ones that you, the one getting married, don’t need to be thinking of. Plus, they’ll be your personal firefighters throughout your planning process and the day of your wedding, putting out any little fires that may arise without you even knowing there was a flame (metaphorically, of course.) 

A bride toasts champagne with her bridesmaids in black and white pajamas wedding planner vs coordinator

Havens to Hold – Havens to Hold is a small team of women who are dedicated to helping couples plan and execute the wedding of their dreams. They have a passion for local and small businesses, so while you’re in charge as the COH (Couple of Honor) of your wedding day, should you need vendor recommendations, they know the right people to contact and support. Plus, their event designer is also an artist who can create customized invitations, venue paintings, and other unique details for your wedding!

Newlyweds hold hands during their ceremony while listening to the officiant wedding planner vs coordinator

Lydia Greenway – With over 12 years in the wedding planning business, Lydia Greenway has built relationships with vendors and couples all over the Atlanta area. Not to mention that she just planned her own wedding in 2021, so she has all the real-life experience you could want in a wedding planner! Lydia’s philosophy is that kindness, hard work, and joy can make any dream a reality, and she’ll bring her effective people skills, attention to detail, and professional experience to the table for your special day. 

A bride holding her large pink bouquet stands on a porch with her bridesmaids all in pink dresses

Gloria Schulz Events – While Gloria Schulz Events offers partial and day-of coordinating, where they really shine is their full planning packages. From the moment you say “Yes!”, they’ll be by your side helping you plan. Saving you time with vendor recommendations, managing your budget, and keeping you and your partner on track, Gloria Schulz Events is happy to be with you every step of the way. 

A bride in a white lace dress stands in a window putting on her earrings

Average Wedding Planner Cost in Atlanta

The cost of a wedding planner vs coordinator varies depending on the planner themselves, as well as the package you choose for your event. Typically speaking, smaller and less inclusive wedding planning packages cost between $1500 and $2000, but a more in-depth package can stretch you anywhere from $3500 – $6,000, depending on what you need. Yes, hiring a planner is definitely an investment, but I promise that you’ll look back and realize how worthwhile the decision was when you’re reminiscing about every perfect moment of your wedding day instead of how you spent your first hours as a married couple running around and cleaning up after your guests. 

Newlyweds exit their wedding while their guests throw white rose petals over them Details of a wedding reception set up with white and pink florals

Wedding Planner vs Coordinator

If you’re still on the fence about hiring a wedding planner or coordinator, I hope you’ll consider finding a way to work one into your budget. They’re incredibly important to executing the stress-free wedding experience you deserve! Take some time to think about whether you’d prefer a wedding planner vs a coordinator, and then start reaching out to some of the fabulous planners mentioned above. You’ll be so glad you did!!

Choosing a wedding team is a huge step in the wedding prep process! Now it’s time to find a photographer! I love helping couples capture the emotion of their special day in pictures. Just how you remembered it. So reach out today to chat about your dream wedding photos.

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Journalist. Documentarian. Artist

As a documentary wedding photographer, my photography style embodies connection and draws couples with a deep love for family.