What's the Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist?

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What is the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Stylist? If you don’t know the answer don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! This is a question we often get asked so we thought we’d put together this post to highlight the key differences between wedding planning and styling.

The Role of a Wedding Planner

These days the concept of wedding planning as a career is widely recognised and accepted. Many of us have seen those Noughties films, The Wedding Planner and Bride Wars. As well as popular TV shows such as Don’t Tell the Bride, Say Yes to the Dress and My Fair Wedding with celebrity planner David Tutera. Many of you may have worked with Wedding Planners for your own weddings.
Wedding Planners are experienced professionals who plan, organise and coordinate the logistics of a client’s wedding celebrations. This can be one day or several and can incorporate various different events that need to run flawlessly and in tandem. They are in charge of bringing together all of the elements that make up a wedding day, from sourcing and liaising with venues, managing the wedding suppliers, overseeing guest list and RSVPs, to creating and managing the wedding budget. On the actual wedding day, the planner will coordinate the suppliers, ensure the event runs on schedule and resolve any issues if and when they arise.

The Role of a Wedding Stylist

On the other hand, wedding styling is a relatively new role in the wedding industry. Where previously planners may have also undertaken the design and styling of an event (and like me, in many cases still do) it’s now become popular to hire a Wedding Stylist. This is particularly attractive to couples who love the planning side and take care of that themselves, but who need help with the aesthetics.
A Wedding Stylist (sometimes referred to also as Designer) is the creative visionary behind your wedding. They will take your wedding ideas, your favourite things, and your couple story and use that to inspire a wedding concept or theme (basically the look and feel). Stylists will create colour palettes and consider all the visual elements such as florals, linens, furniture and prop hire, stationery, lighting, backdrops etc. When it comes to the actual event, the Wedding Stylist will be in charge of set-up, overseeing visual suppliers and styling the ceremony and reception spaces so they look perfect.

Client Expectations

Couples who hire a Wedding Planner typically do so because:

  • They want to hand over the stress of wedding planning to someone else, outside of the family.
  • They don’t have the time to plan their wedding.
  • They have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and they are looking for guidance and support.
  • They are looking for someone to make supplier recommendations and negotiate the supplier contracts.
  • They want someone who can handle interfering family members with professionalism and delicacy.
  • They want their wedding to run flawlessly and want someone there on the day who they can trust to oversee and manage everything.
  • They need someone to determine and manage the wedding budget.

Whereas a couple who hire a Wedding Stylist may do so because:

  • They cannot make sense of all their theme, decor ideas and inspiration images and need a professional to step in.
  • The aesthetics and creating something visually impressive is a big part of the wedding for them.
  • They want to do the planning themselves and are confident that they have that under control.
  • They need help sourcing and creating visual elements for the day.
  • They need a professional on-site on the wedding day to make sure everything is styled to perfection.

So there you have it, some of the key differences between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Stylist. We offer courses in both Wedding Planning and Wedding Styling, or if you want to do it all, we have a combined Diploma course in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design! Discover your local Academy campus to find out more about training with us.

Martha Tobyn is a UK Academy graduate, the Academy Brand Manager and the Founder and Wedding Planner & Stylist behind Modern London wedding business Anemone. She loves being creative and helping couples have the wedding they really want.


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David Tutera

Leading Wedding & Entertaining Expert, David Tutera is hailed as an artistic visionary whose ability, uniquely creative talents and outstanding reputation have made him a tremendous success in the lifestyle arena. Tutera has created a name for himself by taking his passion for designing spectacular events and transforming it into a lifestyle.

He continuously exceeds the expected with an unmatched level of inspiration, imagination and innovation to create the latest trends in entertaining. Tutera’s grandfather, a successful florist, first noticed his grandson’s artistic ability at an early age and encouraged David to pursue his destiny. At age 19, with the sound advice of his grandfather and only one client, David opened his own event planning business.

Today, David Tutera presides over an award winning company built from experience, dedication and Tutera’s natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision. David Tutera has a natural talent for transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. His name has become synonymous with style, elegance, creativity and vision.

Honored by Life & Style Magazine as “Best Celebrity Wedding Planner,” David’s impressive client list includes Jewel, Star Jones’ wedding, Real Housewife Taylor Armstrong’s wedding, Los Angeles Clippers’ Chris Paul’s wedding, NY Giants Antonio Pierce’s wedding, Shannen Doherty’s wedding and events for Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Brandy and Ray J, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Lil’ Kim, the Official Post Grammy Parties in New York City, Elton John, Barbara Walters, the Rolling Stones, Nancy Reagan, Prince Charles, The White House, private events for the Vice President, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Susan Lucci, The John F. Kennedy Center, as well as countless film premieres and celebrity parties for royalty, politicians and socialites.

Tutera has also designed events for several charities including the Prevent Cancer Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Association, DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting Aids) and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. David has made guest appearances on Today, Extra!, Good Morning America, The View, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, The Talk, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and many more. In addition People, USA Today, In Touch, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Bridal Guide and Town & Country have all featured his work.

Tutera has also made special television appearances in the popular daytime soap, The Young & the Restless and TV Land’s The Exes. David lives in Los Angeles with his husband Joey, daughter Cielo and their rescue dog Lucy.