Last Updated on April 1, 2023 by Brian LaBrada
Hey there! Are you looking for the perfect wedding planners in Orange County, Ca? You have come to the right spot! Before we get started with our list of the top-notch wedding planners in The OC, let’s first take a look at what a wedding planner is and why they’re so successful in their field.
So with that being said, let the planning begin!
Full-Service Planning, Partial Planning VS. Coordination/Management
Full-Service Wedding Planning
In general, this is the most popular choice for busy working professionals or full-time students. You will typically start this process 12+ months before your wedding date. Full-service event planning usually includes budgeting help, venue selection, vendor referrals, wedding design, and so much more. Imagine your wedding planner is the General Contractor helping you build your dream home. You’ll need an architect, engineer, and designer. You’ll also need the concrete guy, the plumber, the framer and the window installers, painters, electrical, etc. When you get full wedding planning services these referrals and vendors are included. With full wedding planning, you are expertly guided through the entire process.
Partial Wedding Planning
If you have already set your budget, and chosen your venue, photographer, and a few other select vendors, partial wedding planning might be for you. This option is typically recommended 6-8 months before your wedding. Design, theme, and idea execution is one of the benefits of this option.
Using the same Dream Home analogy – you have the foundation, exterior walls, and roofing complete but need help with the windows, bathrooms, flooring, and interior design. Partial wedding planning will help you complete your wedding day vision if you’ve already hit the floor running.
You might see this described as “wedding day coordinator” or “wedding management” but do not confuse it with “Venue Manager” or “Venue Coordinator”, more on this later.
Wedding Coordination/Management is best for couples that have the majority of their wedding day planned. Your vendors are booked, the design and theme are complete, and details are purchased and ready to go, but you need a little help with execution, vendor management, and want to be able to enjoy your wedding day. That is where a wedding day coordinator/manager will be a huge help.
Typically, you will meet with your day of coordinator/manager 2-3 months before the wedding day. They will usually discuss overall wedding day timelines, detailed photography timelines, venue layout, set up, and details scheduling, along with vendor setup and breakdown coordination. These are definitely items and tasks that a bride and groom or their families should not have to deal with on their wedding day.
Your wedding day coordinator/manager is there to ensure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day. It’s time for you to relax and concentrate on having a great time celebrating your love for each other.
Our biggest tip when it comes to weddings is this: if your venue is an empty blank canvas and you have to hire all your own vendors from rentals to staffing etc., bringing a planner on board will make a huge difference in your overall experience.
No matter if you opt for full wedding planning or if you want to do some of your own planning, I hope you can see that at the very least everyone should have a wedding day coordinator/manager. In my almost 20 years of experience, I’ve never had a bride and groom regret hiring a wedding planner.
Venue Coordinators and Venue Managers
Many venues offer their own onsite coordinators or managers, but you must verify what their role will be, especially the day of the wedding. In my experience, most onsite wedding managers are only responsible for managing the venue, such as air conditioning, on-site catering, lights, and bathrooms. They are usually not involved in pre-wedding design, scheduling, setting up decorations, coordinating with hired vendors or handling the schedule of events. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you and your venue are all on the same page about what the onsite managers role and responsibilities are. Before signing any contracts, we strongly suggest double-checking with your prospective venue if outside professional coordination is required. That way, you can rest easy knowing that all aspects of your big day will be taken care of! 🙂
What does a Wedding Planner do?
Having a wedding planner is the perfect way to make sure all of your dream nuptials come true with ease and efficiency! They specialize in taking care of every detail from start to finish and ensure nothing is left to chance. With the help of a wedding planner, you can rest assured that your big day will be worry-free – easing any stress or anxiety that may have been building up.
What makes a great wedding planner?
To be a successful wedding planner, it is essential to have the right experience in planning and executing weddings. Being organized, detail-oriented, and having strong communication skills are all musts when dealing with vendors like florists, caterers, DJs, and more! In the end, you will choose the planner that you find to be the “best”. Be it design ideas, vibe, or even budget, pick the planner that passes the “gut check.”
Wedding Planners in Orange County | California
Now that we know what characteristics make a great wedding planner, let’s check out some of the top-rated ones in Orange County, California. While this isn’t an exhaustive list, I have worked with many of these Wedding Planners and know my clients were absolutely overjoyed and blown away by their designs and guidance.
Rebecca Calagna Events creates magical experiences for couples on their special day. From the initial meeting to the big event, her experienced and passionate event planners will be there every step of the way to ensure you are stress-free and that your wedding is everything you’ve dreamed of and more.
Rebecca offers full and partial wedding planning and design services, as well as Wedding Day Coordination and Management. She and her team cover all aspects of a wedding, customized timelines, and exceptional coordination. Rebecca and her team also offer Save the Dates, Escort/Seating Cards, Table Names/Numbers, Signage, and so much more. They service Orange County, Los Angeles, and surrounding areas.
Melissa and her team provide Full Service Wedding Planning & Design, Wedding Management, and Surprise Proposals to couples all over Southern California and beyond. She is a perfectionist at heart, drawn to exceptional design and thoughtful details. Melissa believes in developing real relationships with her couples to create a one-of-a-kind experience for them and their guests. She services Orange County, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire and San Diego County.
Ray and Simon, along with their team, offer full and partial wedding planning, as well as Month of Management. They offer a boutique wedding planning experience and have an outstanding reputation of customer service.
Radleigh and Sage also have in-house floral design services, PETAL, that offers some of the most exquisite, beautifully designed arrangements around. In addition to wedding planners, they offer photobooth services and even wedding officiant services to round our their vendor services. They service Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, and beyond.
Natalie and her team offer full-service planning that ensures you’ll be able to relax and focus on what matters most – each other! At Good Affair Wedding Planning, they know how important the details are and work diligently with you to ensure the wedding planning process is a breeze and your Dream Wedding Day comes to life.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing brides’ design boards and design books, which had left me truly in awe of her and her team’s work. They specialize in creating memorable multi-day wedding weekends, complete with welcome events, rehearsal dinners, day-after brunches, and more. Plus, they offer full production and logistics services so you can be sure all of your rental, vendor, and venue management needs are being taken care of with the utmost care. A prestigious Orange County wedding planner, A Good Affair designs events all over the world.
Carrie and her team offer Full-Service Wedding Planning and Design, Partial Planning, and Wedding management. They specialize in bringing out the luxury in your wedding design. They offer a boutique experience where they make all of their wedding and events look and feel like a million dollars by helping select the best wedding vendors. Carrie and her team are based in Orange County and design weddings all over the country.
LVL Wedding & Events is a wedding planning boutique with over 15 years of experience offering full-service wedding planning services – from venue selection to budgeting to vendor management – she has done it all! Lindsay and her team will help you through your planning process with ease. They also offer custom design capabilities for those who want something truly unique on their special day! Lindsay and her wedding planners team service Orange County and Luxury Weddings all over the world.
There you have it! The 6 best Wedding Planners in Orange County, California, and beyond. When you’re searching for the perfect wedding planner, whether it be from the above list or anywhere else, make sure to find one with relevant experience, organizational savvy, and detail-oriented capabilities, along with great communication skills. These qualities are crucial when it comes to planning an extraordinary wedding day and having an expert who can turn your vision into reality is key. The combination of creativity, skill, and passion is what sets ordinary designers and luxury designers apart – so be sure to keep these things in mind as you look through all your wedding planner options here in the OC!
How much does a wedding planner cost in Orange County?
Depending on the wedding planners’ experience, the investment for their services can range anywhere from $1000 for Wedding Management Services to $15,000+ for Full-Service Wedding Planning. My couples typically spend anywhere from $7,000-$20,000+ for their wedding planner’s services which typically include design.
How much of your budget should a wedding planner cost?
The investment for a wedding planner can range anywhere from 10-15% of your total wedding budget. This all depends on the planners’ experience, the services you are receiving, and if your wedding design is included.
What’s the difference between a wedding planner and a wedding decorator?
Wedding planners and wedding coordinators/managers focus on wedding day logistics, scheduling, vendor referrals, setup, etc. Wedding designers/decorators focus on the theme, layout, and design of your wedding day. Wedding designers/decorators help with decorating and making your dream wedding a reality. While some wedding planners are also designers/decorators, not all designers/decorators are wedding planners.