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What's the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Designer?

I'm constantly chatting with brides via email, on facebook or even twitter.  Most of their questions I can handle, but sometimes I've got to turn it over to the experts...and lord knows the Lowcountry is home to many!  To shed some light on one of the most popular topics, I decided to bring in Caitlin Sullivan + Lauren Burtis of the fabulous Calder Clark Designs to answer the age old question, "What's the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding designer." So ladies, take it away.... charleston weddings

Newly engaged couples often question the difference between a wedding planner and wedding designer, and which professional better suits their needs. Simply stated, a wedding planner is a logistician. A planner’s role is to lead the client to the correct vendors, determine how to transport guests from point a to point b, help manage the budget, keep the client on track throughout the planning process, and make sure everything runs efficiently on the big day. There is tremendous value in having a planner for your wedding because it allows brides the luxury of enjoying their engagement and they ensure that the months leading up, and the big day, run as smoothly as possible.

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On the other hand, a wedding designer focuses on the look and feel of the day, much like an interior designer. A wedding designer has a good understanding of spatial planning and is, therefore, able to think through the layout and flow, and what works or doesn’t work in an event setting, which is paramount when it comes to an event’s integrity. When hiring a wedding designer, the client can expect someone to translate their ideas and loves into a cohesive look. A designer also understands the importance of basic lighting components. For example, well-designed weddings, like interior spaces, need ambient lighting such as votives and table lamps, task lighting such as pinspots and uplights, and overhead lighting such as chandeliers in order to feel complete. A wedding designer also has the ability to give the bride advice on where they should splurge, and where they should save their money. They know that elements such as a beautiful hand painted dance floor or a floral centerpiece draping from tabletop to floor, have incredible impact on an event, while some elements such as ceremony programs might be less impactful. A wedding designer’s value lies in their ability to create well-designed events with strong emphasis on details and decor.

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We at Calder Clark Designs are a team of both planners and designers; we pride ourselves on our ability to balance all aspects of our job including both logistical planning and event design. We get to know our clients well and pull out elements that are special to them; whether it be serving a family recipe, or including a pattern or color palette that inspired the interior of their home. Our goal is for guests to leave our events feeling like every detail was custom to the bride and groom, and was a reflection of them. Additionally, because we are full service, we give our brides and grooms the ability to step back and be the guests of honor, while their parents host, and everything continues to run smoothly because we are behind the scenes. As wedding designers and planners, we find that every day brings something new, and we love the challenge of balancing it all for every couple’s special day.


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- Caitlin Sullivan + Lauren Burtis of Calder Clark Designs



Contact Calder Clark Designs at:

62 Cannon Street

1st FLOOR  

Charleston,   SOUTH CAROLINA 29403