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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Borerro


“Oh wow, you charge a lot for just setting up a wedding.” 

“How much would it cost if you just set-up on the wedding day?”

“Doesn’t a planner just set things up for the wedding?”

Have you ever heard these statements or have been asked these questions before? I sure have, and I love that we get the opportunity to educate potential clients when we ear them! There are many differences when discussing the role of a planner versus a decorator, and it is essential that we are clear what the expectations are come event day for both roles.

The major difference between a planner and a decorator really falls in the names – A planner plans and a decorator decorates – simple as that! To provide more context, a planner handles the logistics before and during an event day, while a decorator assists in the design of an event, setup and breakdown of rentals and any other provisions they may use to decorate the event. These roles are both essential and crucial to understand why they are different and necessary. 

While many planners will include setup of personal items from the client, such as their guestbook, party favors or linens, that does not include setting up drapery, chairs or tables.  Why? A planner has a million other tasks on event day that pull them in many directions, all while orchestrating every detail to make the day perfect. As wedding planners, we have the task of setting up the personal items, supervising over 30 hired vendors to ensure that the couples vision is coming to life as one cohesive look, ensuring that it is done in the correct order so that nothing is left out or undone, and things are completed properly. Not to mention the fact that we are also in contact with the couple, their family, and their entire wedding party for most of the day.That is why a decorator, or rental company and florist combo, will come in and handle the necessary setup of everything the client has paid for. 

One common question we have seen for weddings is,if there is a planner present, why isn’t there a decorator? As stated before, planners normally partner with the rental company and florist to bring the client’s design to life. In the wedding industry , the planner can offer design services that do not include supplying the florals, decor or rental items. The wedding planner!  will collaborate closely with the couple to actualize their design vision. This entails curating a selection of wedding professionals that align with their style and budget, crafting a comprehensive design board to consolidate all elements, actively participating in vendor meetings to address both design and logistical aspects, and meticulously overseeing every design detail throughout the planning journey.

In the party/social events world, many companies claim they are event planners when in reality, they are event decorators. These companies typically offer rentals such as chairs and tables along with full party design like backdrops and balloons.These all-in-one companies are wonderful and get the job done completely on the decorating portion, but depending on the services they provide,  they may not handle communication with the additional vendors, create layouts, or manage the day and more, as a planner does. 

 As wedding professionals, it's crucial for us to educate ourselves, as well as our engaged couples, enabling them to understand the unique roles of wedding planners versus wedding decorators. Cheers to fostering wonderful collaborations between both!

Content provided by Amanda Ferreira-Borrero, Owner of For the Love of Events and Certified Educator for the CWP Society. She holds the following certifications: CWP Society Certified Educator and Certified Wedding Planner.  Her educator specialty is cultivating vendor relationships.

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