How much does a wedding planner cost?
A wedding planner can be an absolute lifesaver for busy couples, ensuring that the planning process and actual event run smoothly. As a professional who’s been through the process before, they can also offer countless wedding planning recommendations and tips. It’s important to know wedding planning is not a one size fits all service - your wedding vision is unique and a wedding planner will customize their offering to fit your needs. Because of this and the wide range of services these professionals provide, pricing varies widely with most couples in the U.S. spending at least $1,500 on wedding planner services for their big day. Wedding planner costs also differ based on the planner’s level of expertise, among many other factors, as more experienced pros typically come with a higher price tag (and with that comes top-tier service!).
What services does a wedding planner's fee include?
The services a wedding planner’s cost includes vary depending on the type of professional you’re hiring — whether it’s a full-service, month-of, or day-of planner, or a planner who specializes in destination weddings. Here are some of the most common services that your wedding planner may include in his or her package:
- Correspondence: About 30 percent of a wedding planner’s time is spent communicating with you and your vendors via email and phone. Think of your planner as the “coach” of your vendor team who ensures that all of your wedding pros work together well—and frequent communication is a huge part of that.
- Venue and vendor selection: Your planner likely has a lot of connections in the wedding industry and can help you pick the right venue and vendors that can help bring your wedding vision to life. Often, your planner will attend interviews and meetings with you and your vendors, too.
- Organization: A big part of wedding planning is... paperwork? Yes, unfortunately it’s true. But wedding planners can make sure that all of your budgets, contracts, timelines, etc. are properly organized and easily accessible if needed.
- Wedding prep: There are lots of seemingly small tasks that go into creating your perfect day both before and on the day-of from creating a wedding-day timeline, assembling invitations, setting up your favor display, assisting with your seating chart, and much more.
- Day-of coordination: You might not see your wedding planner much on the day of your wedding—and that’s how it should be! Your planner will arrive long before your ceremony begins and stay well afterwards, making sure that everything runs on-time and smoothly from behind-the-scenes and any issues are handled quickly and quietly so that you and your new spouse can enjoy the day, stress-free!
- Post-wedding tasks: There will likely be several important tasks to handle after the wedding, from ensuring clean-up and breakdown occur properly to returning rental items and making sure vendors receive their tips.
What wedding events does a planner's fee cover?
In most cases, a wedding planner will assist with the wedding itself—both ceremony and reception. However, if you are able to increase your wedding planning budget and costs, your planner can also help plan your rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch. If you’re having a destination wedding with lots of events over the course of the weekend, your planner may assist with those as well—but expect to pay more.
How much does a day-of wedding planner cost?
A day-of wedding planner isn’t heavily involved in the wedding planning process and is usually hired closer to the wedding, but has a big role to play on the wedding day, ensuring that the events run on time and everything is running smoothly. On average, the starting cost for a day-of wedding planner in the U.S. is $800 with starting rates for higher-end planners averaging $1,250 to $3,395.
How much does a partial wedding planner cost?
A partial wedding planner usually comes on board a month or so before the wedding day and assists with last-minute tasks—helping with the seating chart, confirming vendors, and day-of responsibilities. The average starting rate for a partial wedding planner in the U.S. comes in at $1,250, but can range from $2,300 to $6,000 if you’re working with a more experienced pro.
How much does a full wedding planner cost?
A full wedding planner helps to plan your wedding from start to finish and is usually hired early on in the planning process—at least 10 months in advance. The average starting rate for a full service wedding planner in the U.S is about $3,000 with top-tier planners averaging $4,500 to $12,000.
What is the hourly rate of a wedding planner?
If you don’t need a full wedding planner, but just want a coordinator to assist with a few wedding-related tasks, you may hire a planner by the hour (be aware that not all planners offer this service and only offer packages). As an hourly rate, the average starting cost of a wedding planner is around $75, but higher-end professionals typically range from $100 to $275 an hour.
Does a wedding planner save you any money?
It may sound counterintuitive, but spending money on a wedding planner can absolutely save you money! Not only will a planner ensure that you stick to your wedding budgets and help you avoid overspending, he or she can also hook you up with wedding vendors who are within your price range—and perhaps use his/her connections to get you discounts on certain products or services.
Do you have to tip your wedding planner?
Traditionally, wedding planners don’t receive tips, but if you feel that yours has provided exceptional service, you can tip between 10 and 20 percent of your total wedding planner cost. Writing an online review of a wedding planner is another great way to show your appreciation.
What questions should I ask a wedding planner before hiring?
A big part of hiring a wedding planner comes down to personality and trust. Reading online reviews of wedding planners in your area is a great way to start the research process, but it’s also important to meet with any wedding planners you’re considering (in person if at all possible). There are several questions you should be sure to ask:
- How many weddings do you have per year? Per month?
- Have you planned weddings similar to mine before in terms of guest count, location, style, etc.?
- How does your payment work? Do you offer packages or a per hour rate?
- Do you work alone or with a team?
- Will you personally be at our wedding?
- How do you communicate with clients?
- Can I see a contract?