Planner vs. Coordinator vs. Designer vs. Stylist vs. Creative Director…What is the Difference?

Written by Becca Atchison of Rebecca Rose Events

Ever wondered why there seem to be so many different titles for the people you’ve always thought to be “wedding coordinators”? Have you been considering hiring a wedding planner, or coordinator, or director, or designer? Perhaps you’re not sure what you need, or who to hire because those titles are confusing. If so, you are not alone! I’m here to define some industry terms that often leave many folks scratching their heads. Allow me to me pull the wool back a little and get somewhat academic for a moment to chat about what these terms actually mean.


What is a wedding planner? With NC planner, Rebecca Rose Events



An event or wedding planner is responsible for – you guessed it – planning the wedding or event. Planning implies a full logistical process of careful preparation over a period of time and encompasses much more than merely directing a ceremony or orchestrating details on the day of the wedding. If you’re someone looking into event day management for your wedding, then you shouldn’t actually be looking into wedding planners, as their services as much more comprehensive than what you seek (though we always suggest that you consider a more thorough scope of services if your budget allows for such!)


An event or wedding coordinator is not held responsible for planning the wedding. Instead, they’re merely responsible for coordinating details. This person is someone you might hire to oversee the wedding day or provide “month-of coordination services” to help execute details that have already been previously planned.


A wedding director performs the simple task of directing the ceremony and/or logistics on the wedding day. They have no role prior to the wedding day other than to learn the details that have been planned/coordinated for them to execute. A ceremony director at a church fits this title perfectly.


What's the difference between a wedding planner, coordinator, and designer?



An event designer’s role has very little to do with planning, coordination, or direction. This is a popular title (dare I even say it is trendy?!) in the industry and many young planners use it to describe themselves. There are some planners who are also designers – our company certainly provides a good example of this hybrid approach. More often than not, however, we see a misuse of the term “event design” to describe a planning process that relies solely on other designers (a floral designer, a rental company, a graphic designer, etc.) to develop a creative vision. An event designer or event design team is the person or company that is actively developing or creating the aesthetic design and vision for the wedding.


The term stylist refers to many different roles, such as a wardrobe stylist, personal stylist, hair stylist, etc. In reference to weddings and aesthetics, the term stylist is perhaps best defined as someone who styles the wedding, meaning he or she is responsible for creating/implementing a cohesive aesthetic. This is often similar to (or the same as) an event designer. More specifically, a stylist often approaches his/her work with the same eye and attention to detail used in an editorial process.


This is the title I’ve chosen to most adequately describe my own role at Rebecca Rose Events. I am an event designer and stylist, and I actively work with flowers, linens, and different materials to design products, props, and installations. I also work closely with our in-house graphic designer to create beautiful custom stationery and paper elements. But even beyond all of that – before any of those details come into play, I work with our clients to develop a cohesive vision. I’m responsible for developing the design plan, and for overseeing the development of all creative content and the entire creative process itself.


What does a wedding stylist do? With Rebecca Rose Events in North Carolina


Is it possible for one person to hold more than one of these titles? Yes. Absolutely.

I hope you found this helpful and feel better equipped to seek out, interview, and hire the right professionals for your wedding. Best wishes to you!



Wedding Planner vs. Coordinator vs. Designer vs. Stylist vs. Creative Director...what is the difference? With North Carolina planner, Rebecca Rose Events


Photography by Nancy Ray

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