What does a Wedding Planner actually do?

Planning a wedding can be a fun and exciting experience especially when you about what you are planning for, a celebration of your marriage. Inevitably, once you start thinking about all the details, decisions you must make, and research to be done, it can quickly become an overwhelming experience. This is likely your first time planning a wedding (or an event of this size) and on top of that, you probably have a full-time job or other commitments where you need to spend your time. Sure, you may have a family member that is particularly good at organizing things and has more free time to help, but what happens when their opinions become too much, or the wedding weekend arrives and they want to enjoy the fun?

That is where a wedding planner can step in and help you through the research and decision-making process, keep you on track, and ensure you and your family and friends can enjoy the moment while making the process a joy-filled one. Wedding planners are experts in the event industry and can be an invaluable resource in what it takes to coordinate an event that is not only personalized to you but beautiful and logistically sound, all while respecting your budget comfort zone. A planner allows you, and your planning entourage the chance to focus on the overall details and what you would consider being the “fun” parts of planning menu tasting, design, etc.) while they handle the logistics and back-and-forth minuscule details with all of the involved vendors.

wedding planner bustling wedding gown

Many planning companies, like Betty Jane and CO, offer a variety of packages ranging from event management (also known as day-of or month-of coordination) to full-service planning. These packages may vary between planning companies, however, at the core of what all these packages include is ensuring the wedding day runs smoothly.
Sounds simple, right? The reality is your wedding planner will spend anywhere from 50-60 hours on an event management package and 180+ hours for a full-service package -and around an average of 12 hours straight on your wedding day alone!
Let’s briefly break down the high-level difference between an event management package and a full-service package, and what a planner might be responsible for in each of these offerings:

Event Management:

  • Typically steps into the planning process around 90 days before the wedding
  • Assists in communicating final details and logistics with vendors you selected
  • Creates a comprehensive wedding weekend timeline to share with vendors as well as you and your wedding party
  • Is onsite on the wedding day directing vendors and ensuring the timeline is being followed and the day runs smoothly


  • Is with you from the beginning, sometimes even before you have selected a date and location
  • Assists you in establishing a vision and realistic budget, and guides you on how to stick with the budget while adhering to your established vision.
  • Connects you with professional vendors to bring your vision to life and will review all contracts
  • Communicates all details and logistics with vendors throughout the entire planning process
  • Helps create a cohesive design based on your vision and budget
  • Is there to guide you during the planning, providing etiquette guidance on aspects such as invitations, family situations, and wedding day flow
  • Creates a comprehensive wedding weekend timeline to share with vendors as well as you and your wedding party
  • Is onsite on the wedding day directing vendors and ensuring the timeline is being followed and the day runs smoothly
wedding planning portal dashboard

Planning packages offer a long list of services and detail a wedding planner will do to help make the wedding process stress-free and enjoyable for you and your family. On top of the service offer listed above, there are so many more moments not listed that your planner steps in to help make your wedding day seamless and let your friends and family have the experience of a lifetime. We like to call these the invisible moments. These could be moments like…

  1. Handles that overly drunk uncle with grace
  2. Sews back the groomsmen’s broken bowtie
  3. Makes an extra boutonniere when one breaks
  4. Fashions a bustle out of safety pins and thread underneath your dress when yours breaks
  5. Sews your bridesmaid into her dress when the zipper breaks
  6. Finds another vendor last minute (without you even knowing) when your classic getaway car breaks down on the day of your wedding
  7. Gives you and your partner (and wedding party) breath mints and tissues before walking down the aisle
  8. Makes sure you have your room key/phone/wallet at the end of the night before you leave
  9. Provides blank notes with envelopes in case you/your partner forgot to write your letter to each other (or a family member/vendor)
  10. Helps out photographer/videographer to get the perfect shot (throws veil in the air for a wind-blown shot, holds extra lights, crouches behind you holding dress so it doesn’t get dirty, etc.)

It’s been said a wedding planner is worth their weight in gold. A wedding planner is so much more than someone who shows up on the wedding day and directs people where to be. It’s important to trust your planner through the entire planning journey and know they always have your best interest in mind. They are experts in their field and are your biggest cheerleader throughout the process of getting you married.

Betty Jane and CO