Yay, you’re engaged! Now it’s time to start the planning, but where to start? With the many to-do lists, all the different choices of photographers, planners, designers, florists, bakeries, stationers, and venues, it can all be quite overwhelming for many brides!

Being a stylist, planner, and event designer myself (and recently taking on a bit of floral design), I can completely understand when brides come to me with questions about what each service entails! Many wedding stylists and event design companies overlap in many of these areas as well, but it’s good to know what you’re getting before you pay your deposit and sign any contracts.

So what is the difference between all of these different titles and how do you know who to hire for your wedding?

Wedding Designer/Stylist: From my experience, many brides think that wedding stylists and designers just assist with the table centrepieces, prop sourcing and details, but much of the design work is in the small details and working with your entire supplier team. These creative minds bring to life an inviting and aesthetically pleasing environment that reflects you and your partner. If you have many varying ideas and different design desires, wedding designers can help you narrow down your wedding style and assist you in the realization of what is really important to you and your fiancé for your wedding.

By taking inspiration from you and your partner, wedding stylists assist you in selecting your color palette and inspiration board, creating a mood or vibe for your wedding and how you want your guests to feel when they enter your wedding environment – to vendor curation and referrals, working with your floral and stationery designers, choosing linen selections and table centre pieces, prop and detail sourcing, right up to the installation on your wedding day and much more. Their main focus is to guide the whole look and feel of your event, ensuring that your supplier team is on the same page, working collaboratively to create a cohesive flow of your wedding aesthetic and style and bring all the design elements together on your wedding day.

Event Designer: Essentially the same as a wedding designer, except that they typically specialise in a variety of events : rehearsal dinners, birthdays, anniversaries, bridal showers, engagement parties and corporate events.

Creative Director: A creative director, sometimes referred to as an art director, oversees the creative presentation and style of a wedding, editorial shoot, or other project. Their job is to make things interesting and beautiful, sometimes by sourcing the right props, wardrobe, or other items. They ensure the work the design team is hired to do (florists, photography, stationery, lighting, etc.) is of a certain quality, implementing the client’s vision throughout the process.

Wedding Planner: A planner assists with all logistical management, development of wedding day timelines, handling vendor sourcing and referrals, telephone calls and emails to all contracted vendors, and handling bookings, negotiations and contracts. As well as making sure every supplier’s end goal is in relation to the client’s vision and design for their wedding.

Wedding Coordinator: Typically ‘day of’ or ‘month of’ coordinators for your wedding take on the time management of your entire wedding day, communicating with all other contracted vendors, working behind the scenes with the venue staff and overseeing that everything runs on schedule.

Keep in mind that when making your decision about who is right for you and your wedding dreams:  Connect with their style and don’t be afraid to ask questions and share your desires and opinions. It’s the only way they will really get to know who you are and achieve the style you’re wanting.

It takes a lot of trust to put your wedding dreams in the hands of someone else, especially when design is not tangible, but rather visionary and something that has to be seen to be experienced. However, if you have faith and trust that they will do the job that you’ve hired them for, they will make it magical.

Article by Alise Taggart