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How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge

The Biggest Disadvantage For Wedding Planners Charging A Flat Fee Is Limited Earning Potential

HOW DO WEDDING PLANNERS CHARGE? Revealing the pricing models and what they mean for clients

As an experienced wedding planner knows, scope creep is real.

For example, let’s say there is a wedding that you quoted a flat fee of X amount of dollars. It started with 150 person guest list and a budget of $100,000. What happens when it quickly becomes a multi-six-figure event with upwards of 250 guests?

With a flat fee, will you be compensated for the extra work, time, and staffing?

What Factors Into Wedding Planner Costs

Giving an exact estimate for how much a wedding planner will cost is difficult because so many factors can influence their fee. Things that can influence a wedding planners fee include:

  • Location. Like most independent professionals, fees for wedding planners will be hugely influenced by location. If you live in a big, expensive coastal city, expect to see higher rates than you would in a small town in middle-America.
  • Experience. With experience comes reputation, and wedding planners with good track records tend to charge more money.
  • Amount of guests. Many wedding planners structure their pricing based on the total cost of your venue and vendors. A bigger guest list means a more expensive weddingand a higher price tag for your planner.
  • Services offered. The more time and energy you need from your planner, the higher you should expect their fee to be. Part-time planners and coordinators are great options if you dont have the budget for a full-time wedding planner.
  • Tipping the wedding planner. Should you tip your wedding planner? Most planners work independently, and tipping isnt something they expect. However, if they absolutely knock it out of the park and you want to show your appreciation, 10-20% is an acceptable amount for a tip.3

How Much Does Wedding Planning Cost

Opting to hire a wedding planner is one of the most effective ways to reduce the stress of planning your wedding. But how much should you expect to pay to hire a wedding planner in the US?

The price that youll be quoted for planning your wedding will depend on your wedding budget, the size of your wedding, and your location. Although there is no fixed rate for hiring a wedding planner, a breakdown of average costs in the US is given below.

Average cost of a Wedding Planner
Average cost

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How Is The Average Cost Of Wedding Planners Calculated

Its pretty simple. The wedding planners cost is based on the overall cost of the wedding. It makes perfect sense that a wedding with a $200,000 budget has a lot more details to coordinate than a wedding thats budgeted for $50,000.

Experts say that couples should set aside 15% of their wedding budget to go towards wedding planning.Of course like any industry, there are bargains if you look for them, and there are high-end professionals well-worth the premium.

Now that you have a better idea of what all of this is going to cost you, its time to see if you can justify the expense.

What Alternatives Can You Use

How much does a wedding

If you feel like getting a wedding planner isnt for you, or you cannot afford one, its best to get or assign a wedding coordinator. If you have a wedding coordinator, you can focus on the wedding event and enjoy every detail of your wedding. The best alternative to wedding planners is usually coordinators or consultants. However, there is another alternative that works almost as well as planners .

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How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge

When you decide to start a wedding planning business, one of the most important and most difficult questions you will ask yourself is, How much do wedding planners charge?

The wedding planning industry has changed over the last few years from primarily charging a percentage of the cost of the wedding to charging a flat fee based on the services offered.

Most wedding planners offer three types of packages. These packages consist of:

  • Consulting
  • Full Service Wedding Planning

The Wedding Planner Offers A Free Consultation

They should also come to the client consultation having done their research prior to the appointment, wearing professional attire, and ready to ask you some foundational questions. When you offer up your opinions and ideas, the wedding planner should also offer up some value in the form of recommendations or ways to improve on your vision.

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Whats Included In A Wedding Planners Fee

All wedding planning companies are different, so who you choose and whatâs included comes down to your preferences and their way of organizing. Hereâs a list of common inclusions to give you an idea of what you should look for:

  • Planning consultation
  • Wedding vendor sourcing, communications, and negotiations
  • Wedding vendor contract management
  • Guest list and RSVP management
  • Accommodation recommendations
  • Catering negotiations, liaising, and menu design
  • Stationery production

Charging Percentage Pricing As A Wedding Planner

How much do Event Planners Charge? Know your value!

This is one of my favorite ways for full-service wedding planners to charge. Partly because I feel it’s the fairest, and partly because it’s the most profitable. Here’s what percentage pricing boils down to: you take a percentage of the client’s overall wedding budget, almost as a management fee. Depending on your location, I’ve seen this percentage range between 10-18% of the total wedding budget.

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Wedding Planner Services In Dallas

Wedding planner services include planning meetings and correspondence. You should initially have monthly planning meetings with them to discuss vendors and the venue. As your wedding date gets closer you can then have weekly meetings to discuss finer planning details.

The planner should also provide you with a list of vendors that they have worked with and would recommend. They should be able to get preferential rates and discounts from their preferred vendors. They will confirm all the vendor bookings and pay them in good time.

You can also put your wedding planner in charge of the organization and preparation of all the wedding details. They should give you a schedule of when everything should happen. This includes the rehearsal, the cake delivery, the event décor, the bridal photo shoot, the speeches, and even the bouquet toss.

Full Service Wedding Planning

The Dream.

These are the clients you want to work with. Many wedding planners who are well-established will only do full service since this gives them full control of the look and feel of the wedding that they are putting their names on. In this package, the wedding planner is practically running the show from conception to execution. Full service wedding planners recommend the vendors, which gives them the opportunity to work with vendors they are familiar with and can trust. They also typically are very involved with the planning of the décor, flowers, linens, rentals and printed materials. They also take care of all of the details included in the Day of Coordination package.

According to The Association of Bridal Consultants, the average total cost for a wedding consultant is $3,636 in the northeast and $2,635 in the south. The national average is $3,262.

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Roles Of A Wedding Planner

What does a wedding planner do to earn so much per wedding? Wedding planners do a whole lot more than most people observe during the wedding process. Like we mentioned earlier, some of them have packages that will determine the exact role a wedding planner will play at your wedding.

However, irrespective of the package or contract, these are the typical roles of wedding planners.

Do I Need A Wedding Planner What If I Want To Plan My Own


Hosting your own wedding doesnt happen too often , so you deserve the best. But a planner isnt a requirement. You may want to have a friend or family member run everything. Or you may want to run it yourself. DIY weddings, in recent years, have gained much popularity.

But to run your own wedding is a lot like giving yourself a tattoo you can do it, its just incredibly difficult, incredibly stressful, painful and in many cases, it wont come out the way you mightve pictured in your head. Most tattoo artists dont even tattoo themselves. So if you want anything done the way you imagined it be it a tattoo or a wedding day hire a professional.

Planners are great for couples with demanding jobs and long hours and for destination weddings in general, where its difficult to work directly with wedding suppliers and to file all the necessary documentation and paperwork.

For example, lets say you want to get married in Italy. Did you know that US citizens marrying in Italy require a Nulla Osta plus an Atto Notorio for it to be considered legal? Probably not. But your wedding planner will.

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How Much Do Wedding Planners Cost Fixed Fee Services

If a wedding planner quotes you a fixed fee for their services, it is really important that you ask the planner to qualify their fee. You need to establish any limits to their service that this fee is based on.

If one planner costs less than another planner, this is not necessarily a good thing as it may mean there are limits to the:

  • number of hours,
  • scope of work,
  • number of assistant coordinators present at your wedding

You may also wish to ask a planner quoting a fixed fee about the number of weddings they will typically plan in an average year.

Planning a wedding can amount to between 150 and 250 hours work. A luxury full service wedding planner will only book a small number of weddings each year, in order to be able to devote sufficient hours to each one.

So, if you are paying a fixed fee, do make sure you are clear about exactly what level of service you are going to receive and how many other couples you are vying with for attention.

What Affects The Cost Of A Wedding Coordinator

Everything from the type of wedding support to the style of the wedding can affect the cost of a wedding coordinator. Many wedding coordinators customize pricing to meet each couple’s unique needs. Denean’s Party by Design of Catonsville, Maryland, bases pricing on the number of times a couple wants to meet with the planner, the number of vendors the planner will help secure, the complexity of the decor for the wedding, the number of guests and the distance the planning team needs to travel.

Type of support

Some couples would like to occasionally consult with a wedding coordinator on wedding planning but handle most of the details themselves. Others want help with wedding vendors or a day-of coordinator. Still others want a full-service planner to take care of every little detail from the first day of wedding planning through the wedding date.

Day-of wedding coordinators help the couple execute their plans on the wedding day and tie up any loose ends, usually for a flat fee. The most expensive option is to hire a wedding planner to handle every last detail for the wedding.

Each level of service will have a different price, and most wedding coordinators will customize pricing for each job. Your price may increase if you want your coordinator to help you secure a venue, find vendors, or do additional services like guest accomodation coordination or RSVP and invitation management.

Type of wedding

Wedding coordinator vs. Wedding consultant

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How Does A Wedding Planner Charge

To understand how much do wedding planners cost, you need to ask a wedding planner how they charge for their services. There are a number of different ways that wedding planners charge and in very broad terms these can be summarised as:

  • The most usual way in which a wedding planner will charge for planning services is based on a percentage of the wedding spend or budget this can range between usually 10% and 15% and will depend on the planners experience and level of service
  • Other planners charge a fixed fee for their services
  • And others charge a minimal fee, and earn their income by taking commissions from suppliers
  • Finally, there are some, albeit only a few, planners who will charge based on an hourly rate

How Much Should Brides Parents Pay For Wedding

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Parents of the bride and groom collectively contribute about $19,000 to the wedding, or about two-thirds of the total cost, according to WeddingWire. The brides parents give an average $12,000, and the grooms, $7,000. Just 1 in 10 couples pays for the wedding entirely on their own, according to TheKnot.com.

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Ial Wedding Planner Cost

Partial wedding planners can help you plan your wedding, but they wont plan every detail of your wedding. They will only focus on planning some parts of your wedding.

According to weddingwire.com, part-time professional wedding planners costs can range from a little over $2,000 to $6,000 maximum. However, if youre working with a less experienced partial planner, you can expect to pay around less than $2000 as stated by the same source.

The Wedding Coordinators Portfolio Features Styles That Match Yours

Experts say this is one of the key things to look for in a wedding planner because it helps determine how compatible your tastes are. If you see an example of their work that closely matches your dream wedding, you know youve hit the jackpot. Or, if not, you might notice some common themes that youd really love to include in your wedding plans.

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Who Pays What Wedding

Traditionally, the bride and her family are responsible for paying for all wedding planning expenses, the brides attire, all floral arrangements, transportation on the wedding day, photo and video fees, travel and lodgings for the officiant if he comes from out of town, lodging for the bridesmaids (if you have offered

The Wedding Planner Specializes In What Youre Looking For

How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge?

Some event designers have specific skills like cake decorating or dress styling. Others routinely find themselves pulling of spectacularly elegant weddings with strict budgets. Still others might even own a flower shop or have planned long distance weddings at your chosen location for years now.

Whatever your wedding priorities are, make sure you be up front about them. You might even find out that the planner has a unique experience that makes them more compatible with your wedding than anyone else!

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