How Do Wedding Planners Charge For Their Services?
Wedding Planners Have Three Pricing Options: One: Consulting
You may decide to hire a wedding planner. So how will he/she charge you? There are basically three options. The first is a fee paid to the wedding planner/consultant for a consultation, or you may be charged for a “consulting package”:
*A wedding planner/consultant will charge an hourly fee, or a “package” fee, to a client for advice including referrals for wedding vendors/venues, contract advice, seating advice, time-line, etc. It’s basically involves a meeting, paid hourly, or as many as the client desires, to answer their wedding questions and to get professional wedding advice.
So how will you be charged? There are two factors: The experience of the consultant and their “name”. And the second is demographics. In other words, do you live in New York City or Camden, Alabama? You’ll pay far more in NYC than in Camden.
A consultation, therefore, may cost you anywhere from $20 per hour, to upwards of $100 per hour depending upon where you live and the planners’/consultants’ experience and name. Or you may purchase a “consulting package” that may cost from a few hundred dollars to about $1,500 on average, which will address all your basic wedding questions and needs.
Wedding-Planner Pricing: Option Two: Day-Of Wedding Planning
Many brides hire “day-of” wedding planners to assist them with their day. In my opinion, they are a must! No bride should be without one.
A day-of planner will ensure that the vendors arrive on time and that things run smoothly. They will make sure the “time-line” is followed (as close as can be) and support the bride throughout the day. They will orchestrate the processional/recessional and the “introduction” of the bridal party—and act as mediator between the bride, groom and their families and the vendors/venue.
You will pay a few hundreds dollars for a day-of wedding planner/consultant, up to $1500 or more. Once again, it depends on where you live and the experience of the planner/consultant. It also depends on the size of the wedding and whether the wedding planner/consultant would require an assistant, which means the price would be higher.
In Summary: A day-of planner frees the bride and her mother of responsibility for the day and permits them to thoroughly enjoy the wedding and the reception.
Wedding-Planner Pricing: Option Three: Full-Service Planning/Consulting
This service is for the bride-to-be who wants complete direction and help when planning her wedding with advice from the planner/consultant on every aspect of the wedding and reception.
The wedding planner/consultant will refer vendors and venues, help with color coordination, menus, seating, etiquette, and proper invitation wording. They will also give contract advice (but will not negotiate contracts), and meet with the referred vendors/venues with the client for color selection, for example, and tastings.
Day-of wedding planning may also be included with this package, although some charge additionally. Once again, what you pay for this type of wedding planning/consulting depends on where you live and the experience/”name” of the consultant/planner.
For example, you will pay about $3,700 for a wedding planner/consultant in heavily populated areas (major cities) in the U.S. and about $2,600 in more rural areas. Either way, they are well worth the investment.
How Do You Know if YOU Need a Wedding Planner/Consultant?
Let’s start with this premise: The average cost of a wedding is about $30,000 (according to “the Knot”).
Now if you were to invest $30,000 in the stock market, without any knowledge of the market or any expertise, would you do so without an investment banker or professional? I don’t think so. That wouldn’t be a smart move.
Why is a wedding any different? Unless you’ve planned weddings, how do you know what they involve? Which vendors/venues are honorable? How to order liquor so you don’t get ripped off? How to negotiate the “guarantee” to your best advantage?
Just like the stock market, if you don’t know what you’re doing when you try to plan your wedding, you can lose a lot of money. But a wedding doesn’t give you latitude. If there are mistakes made, you can’t host another wedding the following weekend.
Moral of the Story: Hire a wedding planner whether for the advice they can give you; or to make your wedding day run smoothly; or to take you through the wedding-planning process step-by-step. The choice is yours—but no matter what, you’ll be making an educated decision guaranteed to make your wedding day successful.