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When you think about planning your dream event, a thousand questions probably come to mind: What kind of style am I trying to capture? What color palette should I choose? What flowers, music and food do I want? Needless to say, it can become overwhelming—fast!

Before attempting to answer too many of those questions yourself, ask yourself first whether you want to hire a professional to help guide you through all the myriad decisions that remain to be made. And before you answer that question, it’s important to know what types of pros are available to you. If your chosen venue has on-site coordinators, now is the time to research the difference between venue coordinators and event planners.

A professional event planning service (such as The Event Salon) offers a wide variety of services, from comprehensive advance planning and design to day-of coordination and support.

A venue coordinator is in charge of the venue and its services. While this person is an expert on working with the particular space, he or she typically has a limited set of event support options to choose from.

Event planners and coordinators are interviewed, selected, and hired by you. They are there to listen to your ideas and make sure you’ve considered every last detail, regardless of what venue you’ve selected. Event planners will coordinate with all of your vendors, helping to finalize payments and schedules.

Perhaps most importantly, an event planner will be by your side the day of the much-anticipated event, often staying until your last guest leaves, to make sure the entire event runs smoothly and you can breathe easily and enjoy!