A wedding planner, floral designer or day-of coordinator — the options for minimizing your workload and wedding day stress are many, but what is right for you?

Learn the roles, then take our quiz on the following page to see who you should hire. Plus, be sure to check out Arkansas Wedding Planners & Coordinators: Meet 13 We Love.

Quiz: Who Should You Hire       

Are you a do-it-yourself-er? Are you design obsessed? Or are you a no-stress seeker? Let’s pretend money is no object and pair you with the ultimate wedding helper for your dream day! Take our quiz to see which planning professional best matches your wedding needs.

1. You just got engaged (congrats!), but now your friends won’t stop asking you about wedding plans. Your reaction to their questioning is to….

A. avoid them (and their questions).

B. describe in detail the wedding you’ve been dreaming of since you were 6.

C. whip out your wedding planning binder with all your to-do lists.

D. tell them you want a fall wedding, but aside from that, you’re clueless.

E. excitedly show them your inspiration boards on Pinterest.

2. Your parents gave you a budget. It’s lower than expected. You decide it’ll be best maximized if you…

A. elope.

B. don’t hire a wedding planner.

C. forgo the band, photo booth and fireworks (the décor is non-negotiable).

D. do a lot of DIYs.

E. heed your florist’s advice and use whatever flowers are in season.

3. You booked your venue. It’s absolutely perfect. What do you do next?

A. Think, “That decision was hard enough, how will I ever make 100 more?”

B. Start calling photographers, reserve your dance band and research the difference in price between ranunculus and orchids. You got this.

C. Begin interviewing people to see who can create the most amazing décor.

D. Feel lost. What order should vendors be booked in?

E. Start fantasizing about the florals, but can’t figure out the number of arrangements needed to fill the space.

4. You’ve been dreaming of your wedding day forever, but when it comes to the actual planning process you…

A. have no desire to plan.

B. know exactly what you want, and your mom wants to be super involved.

C. are really organized, just not creative.

D. would love the help of an insider to maximize your budget.

E. can’t wait to plan the décor. You’ve been tearing out pages of magazines for years.

5. The ceremony is about to begin when someone tells you the bakery hasn’t shown up yet with the cakes. Which of the following happens?

A. That would never happen. No one would dare tell you about anything going wrong on the day of.

B. A friend or family member will jump in to handle it so you can finish getting ready.

C. All you can do is hope that the cakes get there before the reception starts.

D. You paid good money for everything to go perfect, so false alarm. The cakes arrived early, in fact.

E. No big deal. The florals are going to steal the show anyway, so it’s fine.

So what did you end up with? Mostly A's, B's, C's, D's or E's? Click on your letter to see what you should expect or read on to see them all!

A’s — It’s gonna take an all-inclusive planner.


“We collaborate with our couples using their inspiration to create a one-of-a-kind comprehensive design for their wedding that encompasses every possible detail — as extravagant as 360-degree custom room design and as subtle as the fragrance of the room,” says Elizabeth Gorman, wedding and event designer for Kate & Company. “It includes mock-ups, diagrams and sketches, down-to-the minute production timelines for vendors and customized family/bridal party timelines.” And that’s just scratching the surface she says.

But don’t expect them to…

“Honestly, we will help with just about anything,” says Amanda Reed of Bates-Reed Brides. “For the most part, we like to have our touch on just about every aspect of the wedding to ensure cohesion at the end. We have just about done it all. (We will even hold the dress while you pee — if you’re REALLLLLLY nice.”)

One last thing…

“Planning a wedding should be a happy, stress-free process for a bride and her family,” says all-inclusive planner Todd Bagwell, owner of dtbparties. “Without a planning professional involved, many times it is not.”

B’s — A day-of coordinator is all you need.


“I am there start to finish on the wedding day, making sure everyone gets down the aisle and nothing falls through the cracks,” says day-of coordinator Devan Malone. “My brides don’t want to make any decisions on the wedding day, they’ve been making decisions for months. They want to enjoy the day and let someone else do the thinking for them.”

But don’t expect them to…

“I’m not available for anything happening before the wedding rehearsal, minus a few meetings to lay out the schedule,” Devan says. “So when I step in on the day of the rehearsal, I can’t tell you the context of why certain flowers were chosen or why someone opted out of a photo booth. Day-of coordinators aren’t always able to answer every question, but if they’re good, they work to quickly find the answer.”

One last thing…

“A bride would benefit from hiring a wedding planner, because she has likely never planned an event of this magnitude before,” says Natalie Scott, owner of Natalie Scott Events. “The day is full of moving parts and quick decisions. The bride, her maids and her family all deserve to just sit back and celebrate. Leave everything else to the professionals. You only get to live this day once.”

Rick Steiner, owner of Steiner Event Group, agrees. “Often, the bride, her mother or a family member will be the ‘planner’ in the beginning, but as the wedding gets closer, they wish someone else was taking care of the details.”

“You want your family to be able to just drive away at the end of the party knowing everything is taken care of,” says Amy Hardin of Details Weddings & Events.

C’s — Your vision can be reality with an event designer.


“When you hire an event designer, they focus solely on the aesthetic of the event; the logistics of the day do not get in the way of event design,” says Tanarah Haynie, owner of Tanarah Luxe Floral. “I feel event design and floral design should go hand in hand — it’s paramount to aid in selecting linens, chairs and other event décor to achieve a cohesive look.”

“Hiring a wedding designer is insurance that the couple will not be disappointed in the level of design,” says Elizabeth of Kate & Company. “[We] take the time to get to know the couple on a deeper level to understand their personality and tastes, individually and as a pair. When the couple first walks into the reception, it will feel like they have been there before in their dreams.”

But don’t expect them to…

“...promise brides something we can’t deliver,” Tanarah says.

One last thing…

“Brides can easily become overwhelmed in our DIY culture,” says Jessica Zimmerman, owner of ZIMMERMAN. “There are so many moving parts that are required to make an event happen. It is crucial to hire someone you trust with your vision, and then let them run with it.”

D’s — Hire a wedding planner.

“Being a bride can be a tough job,” says Anne-Claire Allen Owens, founder of Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design. “It’s hard to understand the industry lingo, dissect vendor proposals or choose the perfect florals when this is something you do once in a lifetime. That’s where we come in!”

Amy of Details Weddings & Events says, “We are there as a sort of ‘general contractor’ for each wedding. Our first job is to source venues and vendors for our clients. We then tackle the design of the event through layout creation and décor selection. All of this happens while we are managing the client’s budget. The weekend of the event, we run the rehearsal, the ceremony and the reception. We are the first to arrive and last to leave.”

“There are so many details involved; it is easy for it to become a full-time job for a bride,” says Shelia Vaught, a Little Rock wedding planner. “Having someone to make sure those bases are covered is priceless.”

But don’t expect them to…

“I am not a caterer, waiter or bartender,” say Elizabeth. “I am not a carpenter; we are capable of some amazing DIYs, but we have to outsource some installation. And I am not a referee (we won’t fight with your future mother-in-law).”

And Amy reminds brides that unless her company has been hired to, “we don’t do the rehearsal dinner — same with bridesmaids’ luncheons or morning after brunches.”

One last thing…

“Anxiety already visits a bride before her big day because of excitement, but anxiety due to failing plans and incapable people on your team is a disaster waiting to happen,” says Tish Bullard of Tish Bullard Events. “We know what to do, when to do it and who to help us do it.”

E’s — A floral designer is just the ticket.


“We offer the complete floral design for your wedding, from bridal flowers and the ceremony to the reception and pre-wedding events likes luncheons and the rehearsal dinner,” says Chris Norwood, vice president for Tipton & Hurst. “We love to help the bride and groom reflect their personalities, and we pride ourselves on attention to detail. It’s those little details that put the final touches on your wedding day.”

But don’t expect them to…

…stick around for the wedding. Floral professionals typically arrive early to stage their décor as planned and deliver designated flowers to the wedding party. After all is in place and the bride or wedding planner is happy, the florist will depart, often for other weddings that they’ve booked that same day.

One last thing…

“There is a lot of over-promising and under-delivering in how weddings are portrayed on social media,” says Chris. “Hiring us ensures quality products and design value you would not find in a DIY project, and again, takes the stress off of the bridal party and family and lets everyone enjoy the day more.

Also see The Matter of Money and What's the Craziest Mishap or Catastrophe You Had to Fix?