The Difference between Planners and Designers

Explaining The Difference Between Planners and Designers

I empathize with most clients who aren’t sure about the difference between what wedding planners do and what wedding designers do.
These two services have become so interchangeable that most of the time, it’s difficult to tell them apart.
Not to mention the local banquet managers from hotels and venues who do not hesitate to tell clients they don’t need a planner. It’s no wonder clients are confused about who does what.
So here’s the difference between the two:

Wedding Planner

A wedding planner is well-versed in wedding coordination, budget allocation, and the best wedding professionals for your budget.  Handling the details of your wedding, this pro has great relationships with area professionals and can also often get you discounts or add-ons.  From day-of coordination to guidance every step of the way, a wedding planner will usually customize his or her services to best meet your needs. A wedding planner is often your best advocate and as someone impartial to a venue or church, they have no ones interest in mind but your own.
A wedding planner’s work begins months before your wedding day. She’s the one to contact once the ring is on your finger and you’re ready to make your dream wedding day a reality. In addition, many wedding planners also act as wedding coordinators since they are highly involved with the planning process and understand your wants and needs for your big day.

Event Designer

While a wedding planner is strongest in the logistics and planning of your wedding, an event designer shines when designing the aesthetics of your wedding.  This is where the ‘wow’ factor comes in.  An event designer doesn’t just refer you to stationery or favor companies, but has the ability to create things from scratch.  If you’re envisioning a die-cut wooden cursive sign hanging above your custom wedding altar made of vintage doors and wrought iron gates, an event designer is the one who can make this a reality.  A great event designer has all of the tools to create the details to make your wedding unique, from a workshop to electronic cutting machines and the inside scoop on where to find the right props for the job.  In addition to floral design, Keitha Thomas Designs specializes in event design, ensuring your wedding has that ‘wow’ factor that is otherwise hard to achieve.
By definition; an event designer is someone who will design and execute an overall look for an event.  A great designer is bringing new and innovative ideas to the table and not just harvesting décor from existing media sources.

Event designers is responsible for understanding your wedding day vision and making it a reality. Event designers, like other professionals in the design field, create a “vision” for your wedding day. Much like an interior designer can take a client’s inspiration and create a whole room, an event designer can take your inspiration and create a whole event. Event designers work in close conjunction with floral designers, rental companies, and caterers to craft a truly custom event. In fact, many event designers also offer additional in house design services such as floral design or linen rentals. While there are differences between the roles and responsibilities of wedding coordinators, wedding planners, and event designers, many wedding professionals offer a mix of these services if not all three. Just remember to ask your wedding consultant exactly which services she offers, don’t just assume.

Here at Keitha Thomas Designs, as your wedding event designers, we will be the artist, idea-makers, and co-creators with you and together be the aesthetic visionaries behind the wedding event.  We will work with you on everything from selecting a color palette to creating a floor plan, choosing linens, furniture and other rentals, imagining, creating and installing the floral designs and even developing branding and personalization for the wedding event.  As wedding event designers, we also offer production services – meaning the actual manpower that brings the designs to life such as building centerpieces or manufacturing backdrops.

We will be the creative force with you, developing the concepts and ideas for your wedding that we will then produce. Give us a call today. We’d simply love to talk about your wedding day!


Keitha Thomas Designs is a floral and event design company based in Richmond, Va and services the Virginia, DC and New York areas. We offer a custom approach to floral artistry and event production such as event styling, theme development, lighting ,draping, custom stationery and couture linens. 

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