As an event planner, you work hard to coordinate an outstanding event. Organization is the key to your success. As an event stylist, you work hard to bring a memorable atmosphere to an event. Creativity is the key to your success. Though an event planner often performs stylist duties, they are two different careers with their own sets of specific responsibilities.
Style over Function
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The event stylist is the creative part of the event-planning machine. As a stylist, you take your client's vision for the event and bring it to fruition. Your responsibilities include the selection of flowers, table settings and lighting. Your design decisions create the mood that guests will experience upon entering the venue. If the event has a specific theme, you are responsible for choosing items that bring that theme to life. Though you must consider the styling budget, you are mainly concerned with the aesthetics and overall appearance of the event, according to Petit Delights.
Function over Style
The event planner is the overall coordinator of the event and is ultimately responsible for every detail from beginning to end. As the planner, you are responsible for choosing the venue, finding entertainment and coordinating the menu. You handle the progression of the planning, ensuring that deadlines are met. You are also responsible for managing the budget, as you find and secure necessary vendors. The planner negotiates contracts and makes sure that all vendors are paid. You also serve as the head coordinator during the event, ensuring that vendors are doing their jobs correctly and efficiently. The event planner receives the praise for a successful event and the blame if anything goes wrong.
Who's in Charge
When a client has contracted both a planner and a stylist, the planner is ultimately in charge. The planner negotiates the stylist's contract and ensures compensation. The planner also monitors the progress of the stylist and has authority to veto ideas if they do not fit the overall goals of the host. While the stylist is only responsible for the mood of the event, the planner is responsible for the event as a whole. Even if the stylist is at fault, the success or failure of the event ultimately lies with the planner.
Who Gets Hired
Unless the event is very large or has a specific theme, a host rarely needs a separate planner and stylist. According to LoveLuxe, a weddings a parties website, most event planners are also event stylists and will offer their services as a package. For a small event, the host may decide to personally plan the event and only hire a stylist to assist with the theme. The size, complexity and budget of an event often determine whether the host will hire a planner, a stylist or both.
Erika Winston is a Washington, D.C.-based writer, with more than 15 years of writing experience. Her articles have appeared in such magazines as Imara, Corporate Colors E-zine and Enterprise Virginia. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University and a Masters in public policy from New England College.