The Costs of Working With a Wedding Planner

Portrait of an event planner
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Wedding planners can be invaluable vendors for the busy bride and groom, but many couples worry that planners are expensive and unaffordable. The truth is that the cost of wedding planners varies widely, and most couples can afford to hire someone to help them with at least a portion of their big event. There are several types of wedding planners, including full-scale and day-of wedding planners, coordinators and consultants. Consider how the following wedding planners vary in their responsibilities and pricing structure, so you can search for a local wedding planner that fits your specific wedding needs.

Full-Scale Wedding Planners

Full-scale wedding planners handle everything from beginning to end, designing the look and feel of the ceremony and more. They keep everything organized, find and manage vendors and coordinate everything on the actual wedding day. Additionally, full-scale wedding planners might attend meetings without you, make decisions on your behalf and find ways to make things easier for you. Typically, they charge between 10 percent and 20 percent of your total budget, depending on their experience and the size and scope of your event.

Day-Of Wedding Planners

Day-of wedding planners make sure your wedding day goes smoothly by creating timelines, confirming vendors and coordinating all the details on the day of the wedding. Typically, day-of wedding planners charge a flat fee between $500 and $2000, depending on their experience, the size, and scope of your event, and the prevailing costs in your local area.

Coordinators and Consultants

Most couples are looking for wedding planners that do more than a day-of-coordinator but don't cost as much as the full-service couture event designers. The wedding planners that most couples hire help with organization, create budgets, schedules and timelines, offer advice and help avoid pitfalls. Even so, you are still responsible for a fair amount of the work. You still make phone calls and send emails, find vendors, and attend meetings on your own. You make hard decisions. These type of coordinator and consultant wedding planners typically charge between 5 percent and 15 percent of your total wedding budget.

If wedding planners do not seem to fit the bill, consider hiring an event designer or an a-la-carte planner to fit your personal needs. Before you hire anyone or sign a contract, make sure you fully understand what different kinds of wedding planners do. Contracts and wedding planners vary in their responsibilities, so it is up to the couple to ask specific questions. The spectrum of wedding planners varies widely, so be clear on your expectations for wedding planning services to help you choose the option that best fits your personal needs.

Factors That Affect Cost

  • Prices in large metropolitan areas are usually higher than prices in less cosmopolitan locales. 
  • If you plan a wedding in a short amount of time, the price may increase as the planner adds staff and works long hours to meet your schedule.
  • A high budget for the wedding usually indicates a large guest count and a more opulent event with intricate decor, design and additional vendors.

If you are struggling with whether to hire a wedding planner, consider this: A planner may save you money through professional discounts, and their expertise may help you avoid expensive mistakes.

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