Do I need a Day-of-Coordinator, an Event Designer or a Wedding Planner? Help!

Visiting Vendors

Essen Event’s Hailey Carlson

This is part of our Visiting Vendors series! Photography is just one part of a wedding vendor team and we want to help you create the best team possible. We are inviting some of our favorite vendors on our blog to give their advice! First off is Hailey, owner of Essen Events. We trust her advice so much that we hired her for our own wedding!

Hello hello! I’m so excited to be guest posting for The Byes today! I’m Hailey, the owner and lead designer over at Essen Events. We’re an event production + floral design biz in the Twin Cities who specializes in making wedding days truly unique. I got my start in the event industry my senior year of college with an internship with another twin cities florist. Without knowing anything about floral design, I got that internship with hopes of just dipping my toes into the event world and I was hooked. I loved the hustle of the event world, and to this day still say that the room flip is my favorite part of a wedding day. 

Enough about me, though. I’m here to tell you all about why it’s so so so important to have at least a day-of-coordinator on your team for your wedding day. I know, I know … your venue already has an event day manager who says they “basically take care of everything that a day-of-coordinator would do.” But how true is that? Bottom line, your event day manager may be a super helpful person, but their job is to keep the venue managed. That’s it. A lot of times, venue managers are also in charge of managing the bar or catering team. When that’s the case, who is going to be there to help you bustle your dress before your grand entrance? We will be! 

It can all be a little confusing, and there’s a lot of different titles that us event planners go by. Here’s a little explanation of the most common ones: 


Perfect for couples who have a clear vision of what they want, and are already super organized on their own. Day-of-coordination is a little confusing because it’s really more like month-of-coordination. The bulk of our work actually happens in the weeks leading up event day.

We meet with our clients about a month out from their wedding day, and go over all the final logistical details. Collecting any information about vendors they’ve booked since we last talked, making sure that if there’s an important tradition they want to be included in their day-of timeline, that we know about it so that it happens. We then take all the stress off their shoulders and take over all vendor communication from that point on. Unless it has to do with getting a final payment in, all those emails from your catering company, rental company, photographer, everyone will be directed to us instead. At that point, we have all the information needed to help those vendors get their questions answered so that you can take that last month and relax! We’re also there on event day to ensure that everyone is where they need to be at the time they need to be there! 

Event designer

An event designer is there to help you when you’ve got a good start to planning your wedding. Maybe you have your venue picked out and are on the right track with getting things organized, but you’re starting to feel stuck in the deep dark hole that is Pinterest. There’s so much inspiration out there for weddings, it’s really hard to narrow it all down. An event designer will do just that.

Typically with our Essen clients, we have a few meetings where we sit down and figure out what elements you like of a certain trend, and a few elements you might want to tweak to make it unique to you and your story as a couple. We also are very familiar with the inventories of all the rental companies in the Twin Cities and can help you pick out pieces that reflect the style you desire for your day. 

Wedding planner

All encompassing. Someone you hire to hold your hand throughout the entire wedding planning process. Typically hired before even booking a venue. They reach out to vendors to inquire about availability, pricing, and negotiating. The way this works for Essen Events, is we jump in immediately after you hire us. We’ve already chatted about everything you have planned so far, and we’ve gotten at least an idea of the vision you’re wanting for your big day. We take note of the vendors you don’t yet have booked, prioritize which you should be booking next, and start reaching out to options that will be a great fit with that client based on price, personality, and style. We have monthly check-ins with our couples to make sure that they’re staying on top of their assignments, too (things like creating their guest list, collecting addresses, finalizing budgets with all contributing members).

On event day, we’re there from the very beginning to the very end. We help set up any of our client’s personal decorations, direct vendors as they arrive on where to go and make sure that everything that our clients paid for is up to their and our standards. We stay through the end of the event and help tear down our client’s personal decorations, as well as greet vendors as they arrive back to the venue to start teardown of their own products / services. We make sure that everyone stays on track to avoid the venue charging those pesky overtime fees.

All in all, hiring a day-of-coordinator is going to secure your sanity on your wedding day. We are there to work for you. It’s not your job on your wedding day to queue your bridesmaids down the aisle. It’s not your mom’s job on your wedding day to set up your decorations. And your Aunt Suzy needs to be over at family photos, not telling the catering company where to park their trailer! 

We’d love to chat with you about your wedding day, and how we can help to make it as smooth as possible, all while reflecting you as a couple. Here’s a link to our website, and follow us over on Instagram to keep up with our daily shenanigans! 

Happy wedding planning! <3

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