Full-Service Planning vs. Event Management: What’s the difference? And which one is right for you?

December 2, 2022

If you’ve recently discovered Little Valley Weddings, our little sister company, then you know we’re an event management planning company serving couples in Beaver Creek, Vail, and Aspen – backed by our big sister company (and full-service provider), Kelly Karli Weddings & Events.

Although we are two different companies, we have the same goal: To help guide couples just like you through the planning process. And provide exceptional service every step of the way. 

So what’s the difference between event management and full-service? And how do you know if LVW or KKWE is right for you?

Here’s the scoop:

What is event management? 

First, let us tell you what event management is not. 

For starters, it is NOT partial planning, month-of planning, or day-of coordination, as we strongly believe these types of planning services should not exist. 

No one, even the most skilled planner, can come in on the day of your wedding and produce your event. Not to quality, anyway. A planner showing up without prior knowledge of your priorities or vision simply and realistically cannot execute your vision. And if someone tells you they can make it happen, proceed with caution

Little Valley Weddings is an elevated combination of what many couples perceive as partial and month-of planning. But unlike those services, we play a much bigger role.

While other month-of or day-of coordination companies start 30 or even 60 days in advance, we start six months out. We guide you through monthly planning meetings, vendor recommendations, and helpful checklists. And, perhaps unlike most other planning companies, we offer design services. 

Although we’re with you for longer, you still have complete control of your wedding plans from the get-go. In other words, we’re not stepping in and planning your whole wedding for you. Instead, we’re simply providing direction.

Only two months before your wedding will we step in and take the reins – making sure all I’s are dotted and T’s crossed. Which gives us ample time to create a detailed timeline, communicate with vendors, and change any last-minute details or plans (if needed.)

What is full-service wedding planning? 

Kelly Karli Weddings & Events is a full-service wedding planning and design company. Oftentimes, they’re hired right after a couple gets engaged to guide couples throughout the entire planning and design process from beginning to end.

Because KKWE is not a volume-based business, only taking a limited number of events per year, they help you with all of the decision-making and provide enlightening suggestions. They help you determine the right venue, prepare a thorough budget, create detailed design boards, and navigate family dynamics. They also help with the vendor selection process and align you with the right people to execute your vision based on your style and budget.

Because there is a more significant design component to full-service planning, it also requires a more personal connection with your planner. As a KKWE couple, you’ll share more information about your favorite places to shop, interior design style and preferences, and dining establishments. All of this is essential for your planner to know so they can take your vision from an abstract idea to a stunning and highly personal event. With as little or as much involvement as you prefer.

Is event management or full-service planning right for me?

Still on the fence about which planning service is right for you? Try answering these two questions to get a better idea:

  1. How much do you want to be involved?

Event management is for those who want to be more hands-on in planning. If you have the time and experience, or you’re confident in getting things done and already have a vision of what you want your wedding to look like, Little Valley Weddings might be the best fit. 

On the other hand, full-service wedding planning and design through KKWE provides step-by-step guidance throughout the entire experience. Many couples know they need full service from the start, as they are often busy professionals who do not have the time to devote to wedding planning. But still have high expectations and/or a particular vision of how they want their wedding to look and feel.

As a KKWE couple, your planner will play a much bigger role in making your wedding happen. You’ll get everything an event management couple gets and much more, including unlimited communication and design curation (instead of just guidance.)

  1. What is your budget? 

To put it simply, full-service wedding planners are more costly because they are more involved. So other than knowing if you can afford a full-service planner or not, you also need to understand your priorities surrounding your wedding day. Check out our blog post about pricing.

Before hiring a planner, spend some time figuring out those priorities. This could be discovering you prefer a live band (more expensive) vs. a DJ (less expensive.) If fewer people and more flowers are more important than more people and fewer flowers. Or if saving money is worth more than spending time with your partner, family, and friends over the next year.

It also helps to have a realistic view of what things cost and what you’re willing to spend on them. Only then can you make an informed decision on whether to invest in event management or full-service planning.  


We hope this post gives you a better idea of what LVW and KKWE have to offer. 

For full-service planning, head right this way. And if event management feels more like your speed, let us know here

Either way, we look forward to helping you plan your wedding!   

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