How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

Prior to the early modern age, weddings are not very complicated for the average person. In many close-knit cultures around the world, the details (e.g. dowry) are easily managed by immediate members of the couple’s families. The concept of a wedding planner (for average citizens) seemed inconceivable until after World War I.

Adults who don’t have a personal secretary understood the difficulties of budget and logistics for caterers, florists, print artists, and tailors. Over several generations, weddings are veering away from the strictly traditional, especially since people are becoming conscious of how globalization shapes civil status-quo.

Wedding couples

The encompassing advantages of fast-paced and streamlined information (internet) have made it even easier for couples to experience their dream wedding amidst the daunting practical challenges. As of 2015, around 26% of the couples in America hire wedding planners.

Coverage & Price Range

The median price range of wedding planners in the United States is around $950 to $2,500 per event. The actual cost may be lower or higher than these figures specifically due to the scope of obligation you may prefer. The prices are dictated by the following service plans/packages:

1. Day of Coordination

The cheapest comparable service that event organizers can offer is the limited role of the planner to direct and supervise the flow of the program during the wedding day. This option is preferable for couples who plan every aspect of their nuptials and only requires the finer touch of a more experienced professional. The average wedding coordinator cost starts at $800.

2. Partial Wedding Plan

This package requires wedding planners to smoothen the rough edges of what the couples have managed to put together a month before the wedding day. Apart from the basic wedding day coordination, he/she will be in charge with the overall setup and logistics of the reception. This plan also includes a better flow of the program. Expect to pay an average starting price of $1,050.

3. Full Wedding Plan

As the description goes, this plan incurs the highest possible wedding planner’s cost. This service is available for those who dread dealing with any heavy-duty organizational tasks. If you prefer to hand over all aspects of the wedding preparation from start to finish, this is the best (and only) option suited for you. Considering the brunt of the overall task (see Benefits & Obligations section), the lowest asking rate costs $2,950.

Benefits & Obligations

Misinformed cheapskates rarely appreciate the advantage of spending at least $950 just to avoid the task of planning one’s nuptials. However, several facts presented by Business Insider disprove the argument that paying for wedding planners is a wasteful folly.

An overwhelming 96% of the survey respondents describe DIY wedding planning as stressful, with roughly 40% experiencing extreme levels of anxiety. The difficulty of dealing with strict budget constraints, lofty standards, and waves of disagreement caused alarming physical symptoms. At worst, there’s 8% chance that the wedding gets canceled due to the physical and mental rigors of the task. Why risk going through those tough odds if you can let someone else do the following:

1. Correspondence:

Hiring a wedding planner is pretty much like hiring a personal secretary. His/her first obligation is to connect you to the important wedding vendors. In fact, the wedding planner serves as the principal point of communication between you and your suppliers. Most importantly, he/she will advise your group of vendors about your specific preferences and conditions.

A significant brunt of the overall wedding consulting fees would come from correspondence, accounting for nearly 30% of the entire commission. Although this task begins at the earliest phase of the wedding preparations, planners will continue to be constantly in touch with you until the wedding day.

You can make the jobs of wedding planners much easier by requesting for some kind of questionnaire about your wedding preferences – especially the type that comes in a form of multiple choices and checklists. The recap of details will be more efficient.

2. Venue Screening & Visits:

Another task that wedding planners have to perform is the selection of venue. Whether or not you already have the desired location, planners can make the most out of your preference by suggesting better alternatives. It is also a part of their job to accompany you with your site visits to some of the potential candidates.

You can lessen the constraints of this time-consuming task if you only seek one venue for both the ceremony and reception and let the planner narrow it down to three best alternatives. Examine each of the feature galleries on their website to help you decide which best place to visit.

3. Vendor Screening & Meetings:

Since the planner always communicates with one’s own network of wedding suppliers, it stands to reason that part of his/her job is to choose the right candidate for his/her list. As with the venue selection, planners may also recommend some alternatives to your preferred vendor with more favorable terms. Around 20% of his/her time is allocated to the screening process.

Choosing the right wedding planner may often come down to the number of suppliers in his/her business network. In most cases, these well-known planners already have deeper partnerships with some of these vendors. Ask for a service provider who he/she shares with great confidence in order to avail better deals (e.g. discount patronage).

Avoid hiring someone outside your wedding planner’s set of contacts. If not, let your planner investigate the outsider’s business profile for a more objective cost-value assessment.

4. Organizing Documents:

Like every important civil identification process, getting married also has its own laundry list of legal documents to comply and keep. This is the one tedious part of the marriage planning any person would prefer to hand over to others. A California-based private counseling enterprise called Great Officiants also have their list of important documents to acquire before being granted the marriage license. 

Clients are entitled to avoid organizing documents by themselves. However, it would benefit you (in the long run) to have those papers backed up with duplicate papers and soft data copy. Better be safe than sorry.

5. Wedding Preparation:

To any wedding planner, the busiest and most stressful schedule is roughly three weeks before the wedding day. The planner is now set on finalizing the draft for the ceremony rituals and the flow of the reception’s program. It is his/her job to orient the staff (e.g. entertainers) with cues regarding the actual coordination that will take place during the wedding day. It is also her task to inspect the arrangement of guest seating, décor, catering stations, and booths.

You can aid the best result of this task by maintaining excellent physical and psychological condition. It may come as a surprise to a lot of clients that their planner tends to be a bit edgy. After all, it is their obligation to shoulder all the struggles. Planners will be able to bring out their A-game if they have a client that inspires them with positive energy and good vibes.

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