Wedding Designer vs Wedding Decorator

March 13

After countless hours of conversation, emails and blog posts, I want to discuss something that leaves many people [most to be honest] confused and with question…

“What” they ask, “is the difference between a wedding decorator, a planner and a stylist”?

More often then not, people assume they’re the same thing.

Truth be told, the wedding industry isn’t regulated and largely, companies choose for themselves what they do and how they’ll do it. Decorators/ designers offering planning. Planners offer decorating and design. And then, with the infusion of “styled shoots” [ie: editorial management and styling], styling entered the mainstream wedding service repertoire.

It left not only vendors confused as to what it is, “people like me do,” but also clients!

“Are you a planner, a decorator or a stylist?” I hear this day, after day, after day…

But it’s more than just a trite stock answer. Because here’s the thing-  9 out of 10 “planners/stylists/decorators” will tell you something difference. We’ve each got our own spin on things and in a competitive market, everyones trying to find their niche and fill a need.

According to one definition a STYLIST is “a person whose job is to arrange in an attractive way.”

And from the same source, a DESIGNER is a person who plans the form, look, or workings of something before its being made or built, typically by drawing it in detail.

Finally, a DECORATOR is ” someone who makes (something) look more attractive by adding items or images.”

Any clearer? Like mud, right?! 


Think about planning your wedding like building a house. Hiring a wedding planner is like hiring a builder or contractor. And hiring a designer and/or stylist is like bringing an interior designer to the team. A decorator is like the places and stores in which the designer/stylist will go to buy the physical items that will beautify the home. 

While that analogy is simple, in essence, every professional will bring these roles to life in their own unique light and talent.

For Kailey Michelle Events, this is what it means…

Wedding Planning

While I could be all frilly and paint you a pretty picture, in essence wedding planning is this: You “personal shop” while we handle the logistics and stress of planning every major and minor detail. From budget management, vendor referrals and negotiations, to detail tracking and extensive timeline and floor plan creation, we’re here to be your guide, your organizer, your reminder and your right hand!

Then come wedding day, we’ll orchestrate magic to ensure all unfolds precisely as you’ve planned and you’re left [your friends + family too] to simply enjoy every single moment. From sorting seating cards, overseeing set up, handing out boutonnieres, to making sure you [and everyone else for that matter!!] are where they need to be when, organizing the flow and cueing of the days events and trouble shooting when needed; we play host so you’re nothing but the bride.

In a nutshell, planning is the brain behind your event, not the fluff. 

Read more on the role of a wedding planner | The truth about Wedding Planners Part 1 +  Part 2


Wedding Styling

After you’ve spent countless hours decor hunting, crafting hand-made touches and planning the picture perfect design, you’re left wondering who will set it all up on the day and ensure it looks fabulous, while you’re busy being the bride…

After all, it takes great patience, exquisite attention to detail and a natural flair for the creative to make a setting that looks intentional, striking and romantic, not just thrown together. Why have family attempt to recreate your minds eye when you can leave it to a professional? A stylist will ensure perfection and WOW you by recreating your minds eye.

Think of a stylist like an interior decorator but for your wedding! At KME that means we’ll review your vision,  unpack your decor, set up every detail and stylize ‘till perfection.

Largely, styling is for clients who choose NOT to work with a decorator or decor rental company, or have a vast amount of personal items being added to the overall design, which the decor rental company is not responsible for putting out.

In a nut shell, styling is the fluff of the event, not the brain. 



Wedding Design

When you don’t know where to start or what you even want, a wedding designer is the answer. Just as your wedding needs to be planned, so does your decor need to be conceptualized. How else will you pair down, build a solid cohesive look and bring your never ending pinterest board of inspiration to life?

Through inspiration of your story and life, we’ll help enhance, sort and translate your ideas in a reality, threading your event with personality and sophistication. So when guests arrive, they’ll be wowed by the reflection it is of your two hearts.

From initial theme conception to design of your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, well develop visuals for your viewing and book the vendors needed to make your design dream happen. For KME, this includes design consulting, story board assembly, floor plan creation, sourcing and securing of your decor related vendors, such as, florist, cake designer, stationery, decor and venue rentals.

In a nut shell, design is the brain of the fluff for your event. 


So now you’re probably asking, where does a decorator come in?

A decorator, also a decor company or decor rental company, is a company who handles and warehouses the physical decor needed to bring your event to life. Most decor companies will have one, if not a few, designers on staff who can do the above, all while working within their roster of decor available for rent. While they also act out the function of a stylist and a designer, their primary business is focused on distribution of their physical inventory, whether that be through setting it up themselves or renting it out to clients and other professionals.

Which brings me full circle, to the intent and purpose of this blog post – to clarify the confusion that because KME offers styling and design, we are also rent out decor.

While some designers/stylists may offer their services like that of a decorator, this is not the case for KME.

We are traditional in the sense that we act as the third party creative pairing clients with the companies and means to bring their vision to life.

We do not house or carry in house decor available for rent. Rather, our services focus on and offer exclusively the consulting and labour of planning, design and styling.


I thank you friends, for your grace and understanding of this post.

My hope is that is serves to answer any lingering questions about all that is included in Kailey Michelle Events boutique wedding planning, design and styling services.


See Real Weddings planned, designed and styled by Kailey Michelle Events



 Photo Credit top to bottom: Studio Jeanie, Dragonflight Photography , FRESH photos



About Kailey-Michelle

Grace clinger. Marriage lover. Moment savourer. Passionate Creator. Seeking to inspire this generation as a Professional Wedding Planner, Speaker, Writer and Business Coach, to focus on what matters most in life and leave a legacy of love and service.
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Posted in Events & Design, KME Weddings & Events

One Response

  1. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, you helped me a lot in deciding to which field I want to step in. There’s a lot of confusing information out there.