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What’s the difference between a wedding stylist and a wedding planner?

If you’re planning your dream wedding and feel like you could use some help, then hiring a wedding planner or a wedding stylist might be something you’ve started looking into.

But maybe you’re feeling unsure about what these people actually do, how they can help you, how their services differ and which one (if any!) could be most helpful to you in making your dream wedding happen.

If you are indeed wondering these things, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one. This is a question we get asked sometimes so we created this post to highlight the key differences between wedding planning and styling. This way you can make an informed decision about whether either could be helpful to you!

Wedding planner

Let’s start with wedding planners.

This role became much more well-known to the world after J-Lo’s iconic appearance in the 2001 film, so you may have some insight or inkling as to what they do from that!

What do wedding planners do?

In short, wedding planners are essentially logistics ninjas who can plan, organise and coordinate the practical elements of your celebration. Their strengths lie in spreadsheets, organisation, problem solving and logical thinking.

They will support you with your planning and logistics, helping you to manage the piles of ‘wedmin’ necessary to make your wedding happen.

This might include booking and managing caterers as well as other suppliers, being a point of contact for the venue, creating a realistic schedule for the wedding day, helping to manage invitations, RSVPs and dietary requirements; basically ensuring that all elements of the day have been thought about and planned properly.

Wedding planners are also there to support you with solving logistical problems as and when they come up through the planning process (suppliers cancelling, last minute requests from guests etc - you name it, it happens!)

This management-type role that a planner provides, helps to ensure that EVERYTHING is being thought about, so that your wedding day prep involves as little stress as possible and your day goes without a hitch.

Services and packages differ between planners, but on the day some wedding planners will be there with you to firefight any challenges popping up, and to ensure that things are going exactly to plan!

Why hire a wedding planner?

Hiring a wedding planner is a good solution for couples who don't want to take on all the chaos and stress that comes with planning a wedding, and who want to outsource a large part of their ‘wedmin’ work.

Couples who hire a wedding planner usually do so because:

  • They don’t have time to plan their wedding.

  • They want to hand over the work and stress of wedding planning to someone else.

  • They have no idea what is required to plan a wedding, or don’t have the organisational skills.

  • They want someone to manage their wedding budget.

  • They are looking for someone to make supplier recommendations and negotiate supplier contracts.

  • They want someone who can handle interfering family or friends with diplomacy and professionalism.

  • They want their wedding to run flawlessly and for someone to be there on the day to oversee and manage everything.

Wedding stylist

A wedding styling is a relatively new role in the wedding industry, compared to a wedding planner, so this role can be a little less well known. If you’re not quite what a wedding stylist does, then here’s the low-down on what we wedding stylists do…

What do wedding stylists do?

Ultimately a wedding stylist’s goal is for couples to set foot in their venue and be blown away by how thoughtfully and creatively their celebration has been brought to life.

A wedding stylist is essentially the creative visionary behind your wedding and the person with the skills to bring that vision to life. Having the knack to produce beautiful cohesive aesthetics is a skill us wedding stylists specialise in and they are truly masters of their craft.

A wedding stylist will create a colour palette and comprehensive design plan that considers and brings together the way you want your wedding to feel. This design plan will encompass all your wedding’s visual elements including florals, table dressing, furniture, prop hire, stationery and lighting.

We’ll then go about sourcing and making all the aesthetic elements required to bring your design plan to life. This can involve finding and managing suppliers, working closely with a florist, making decorations, hiring props, painting signage, and much more.

A stylist is usually with you throughout the whole wedding-planning process (though we can also step in later if needed!), and has a key role to play in the designing and execution of your wedding.

This role has a practical element to it as well as a creative one. From deciding where the bar should be positioned, to creating a comfortable rest area for guests, stylists are strategic in helping you to make the most of your wedding venues.

With a stylist’s help, your venues will feel like truly wonderful spaces to celebrate in, and will work for the guests’ practical needs, as well as look beautiful!

When it comes to your wedding day itself, a wedding stylist would also typically be in charge of set-up, overseeing visual suppliers, as well as styling the ceremony and reception spaces, so they look just as you dreamed they would!

Why hire a wedding stylist?

A wedding stylist is a great solution for couples who want help with the visual side of creating their dream wedding.

It’s also a great option for couples who care about how their day will look and feel, and who want to make sure their wedding is a breathtakingly beautiful occasion.

Wedding stylists are also ideal for couples who don’t have the time or headspace to design and create their own wedding, as well as for couples who want to concentrate on the fun pre-wedding pampering and celebrations rather than the stressful small details of the day!

Couples who don’t want to be dressing the venue the night and morning before, when they could be sipping a glass of bubbles, should seriously consider hiring a stylist too!

Honestly, I’ve seen the stress that couples can go through when dressing the venue themselves and it’s really worth asking yourself at the start of your wedding planning if you want to be doing this!

Couples who hire a wedding stylist usually do so because:

  • They want their day to look and feel really special and to truly reflect their partnership and personalities.

  • Their wedding’s aesthetics are very important to them.

  • They cannot make sense of all their decor ideas and want professional input, guidance and advice.

  • They have lots of ideas, but lack the creative skills to make them a reality.

  • They need help sourcing and creating visual elements for the day - for example props, rugs, candles, vases, tableware, linens, lighting, and more.

  • They want a professional with them on the wedding day to make sure everything is styled to perfection, so they can relax.

How my wedding styling services work

So while this covers the basics of what a wedding stylist does, it’s worth pointing out that the way wedding stylists work does vary.

To help you understand what’s actually included, I’ll give you an idea of how my wedding styling services work.

Firstly, I’ll have initial consultations with you to find out about who you are as a couple, your personality and your vision.

I’ll visit the venue with you to brainstorm decor ideas that will help you, and your guests, get the best from your chosen space.

I’ll then create moodboards from all this and use them to draw up an initial design plan. This is a collaborative process - one that we work on together.

As such, I’ll listen to your feedback and we’ll communicate regularly until we finalise a design plan that you’re truly happy with.

This design plan can then be shared with all your other suppliers to ensure everyone is working to a cohesive and clear vision.

Once I have the design plan finalised, I get busy collecting, sourcing and making all the decor elements that I plan to use.

This extensive prep time often includes dying fabrics, sourcing vases, making table decorations, finding lighting solutions, cleaning candle holders, as well as making any bespoke items.

Included in my wedding styling package, is the hire of anything you want from my large collection of in-house props and decorations, including ceremony arches, candle holders, fairy lights, lanterns and more.You can literally pick as much as you want from this wealth of gorgeous things!

Where needed, I will also advise on other key suppliers that will be needed for styling - i.e. floristry, stationery, furniture, tableware, etc. I continue to work with these suppliers throughout the whole planning stage to ensure we bring to life your carefully curated wedding design.

I also arrange the logistics, delivery and collection of any other items in the design plan that we need to hire from other suppliers. This means you don’t need to organise any of this!

On your wedding day I’ll be there early to start styling! While styling, I coordinate with your florist and anyone else involved, making sure everything is set up perfectly. I also keep a design eye over all the various elements to make sure every last detail is just how you imagined it would be. I even light the candles just before the first guests arrive.

Then, after the big day, I’ll coordinate packdown, so you can get on with basking in your newlywed afterglow! I’ll make sure any hired items go back to their suppliers, and the venue is left as it should be.

Here at Wonderlands, we specialise in providing the creative skills and the artistic flair guaranteed to make your dream wedding vision shine through.

You can read more about my wedding styling package and what’s involved when working with me here.

#wedding #jersey #weddingstyling #weddingdecor #weddingtoptips

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