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Wedding Planner Cost

How much do wedding planners really cost?

You may or may not have heard, but at the end of the day, someone will play wedding planner.

What do I mean by “play” wedding planner?

Well, either you’ll invest in a professional wedding planner that does this for a living or you will leave it to chance to see what happens.

A wedding planner will run your entire event day while putting out every fire without your knowledge OR someone less qualified will try to manage the event and subsequently end up pulling their hair out in the attempt to play wedding planner for the day.

Why does someone have to be a wedding planner?  It’s inevitable that something will go wrong at your wedding.  Let me repeat that…

It’s inevitable that something WILL GO WRONG AT YOUR WEDDING.

Unfortunately, when that situation arises, you aren’t able to step in as the BRIDE-to-be… Who steps in to fulfill that role as the problem solver? 

The fires that will come…

The truth is, it isn’t an if, it’s a when and what, I can’t foresee into your big day and tell you that your husband-to-be will forget his dress shirt or that the florist will arrive with the wrong bouquet.

Nevertheless, it will happen.

The unplanned….the unforeseen, the one thing you feared would happen on your big day would actually become a reality and be far worse than you imagined.

Think about it, it’s your wedding day and all those wedding nightmares that you have been having, yes that is normal too, they finally happen right before your eyes.

As you sit there dumbfounded that all your planning couldn’t stop the inevitable it’s now up to someone to fix it.

SOMEONE WILL PLAN WEDDING PLANNER…

Chances are your mother or sister or even the groom will step up and try to put the fire out.

But at what cost??

You are now swirling in your head of all possible outcomes and while you are powerless to fix it yourself because of course you are the bride and no one wants you doing anything, you feel helpless and can’t do anything about it.

Let’s talk about the ceremony chairs that were rented out at a pretty penny and are literally two hours late and the groom has called the rental company numerous times to get an answer.   

Literally, going out of his mind, his blood pressure started to rise, and he still had no chairs without any contingency plan on how to seat the guests as they arrived.

My point to all of these “real-life stories” is this, someone ultimately is stuck fixing the day of nightmares that undoubtedly pop up.

It’s not up to the venue manager or the assigned planner to you to take care of items that are not within their realm of responsibility.

They aren’t going to go get a new shirt or find a florist to fix the bouquet.  Their job is to ensure the venue is all ready for your wedding. But what about the other 90% of your wedding that isn’t in their hands?

Someone will play the part…and, unfortunately, it causes undue stress to the person who steps up to play wedding planner.

THE DAY OF…

Let’s talk about the timeline.

You didn’t hire a planner, no one to run the timeline and make sure everyone is where they need to be.  So, who makes sure you are on time and everyone is where they need to be? It can’t be someone in the bridal party to ensure the vendors have arrived, so who makes the day keep going forward?

The vendors…someone will try to create peace in the chaos. It’s only natural, especially in the event industry.  We can’t just stand by as things start to fall apart, it’s in our DNA to step up and work together. 

So, if there is no wedding planner then who is the one in charge?

Typically, the photographer will rise to the occasion.  And oftentimes, it’s an unspoken rule that the photographer ends up running the timeline.  But let me ask you, the amount of money you have invested in paying this photographer, did that price include day-of coordination?

No, it did not.  You are paying them to do a service, use their talents to capture and tell your story through pictures.  Do you really want them interrupted by doing someone else’s job?

Or, do you want the investment you have put in to go 100% to their talents and let them have the creative freedom to capture every little moment you may not even be able to see?

Another well-known player in the day of coordination is the DJ or bandleader.  While they are a great part of maintaining the timeline they are not hired to go fetch uncle Harry from the men’s room or aunt Sally from visiting with all the guests.

And they definitely are not there to put out fires, they are there to entertain and get the party started! They don’t have time to step away from the DJ booth to attend to a disaster going on elsewhere.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PLANNER…

At the end of the day, you will pay to have someone to be a wedding planner at your wedding i.e., photographer or the DJ. It’s up to you if you hire a professional to do the job or you will throw it in someone’s lap at the last minute and hope they are willing and able to coordinate the events.

To me that is a gamble you don’t want to take, to me planning your wedding for over a year you want to ensure your plans are implemented by a wedding planner exactly how you envision.

The only way to do that is to hire a wedding planner. Someone who’s only job is to run the timeline, make sure everyone is where they need to be when and can put out ALL the fires without you even knowing about it.

That is also worth repeating, WITHOUT YOU EVEN KNOWING ABOUT IT.

I often joke with my clients and tell them no matter how big the fire I will not tell them until they come back from their honeymoon or weeks later.

It’s so much better to have a good laugh on the other end of it, rather than for you to know what is going on.

As a wedding planner, it is my job to make sure you have no idea what is going on, I like to say I’m like the offensive line protecting you from everything. And that comes with a price.

HOW MUCH CAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND ON A WEDDING PLANNER?

You can expect to spend between 10-20% of your overall budget on your wedding planner.

Now, to break this down I hope you understand that you should NOT exceed that amount.  So let’s say someone is on a tight budget and only has $2,000 to spend for a wedding planner.

My advice would be do not hire for more than what you can afford!  With a $2,000 budget, you are not going to get a planner to plan every detail for the entire year with you.

You have to set realistic expectations for your budget, month of coordination starts at $1,500 at Visions Event Studio and goes up to $2,500.  There is a range so that we are able to customize each quote to match the needs of every client.

But again, you need to remember this is an investment to protect your entire wedding, it’s not a luxury, it’s not an option. It’s guaranteeing someone who is professionally trained and has years of experience for you to place your wedding in their hands and for them to run your event.

To me that is priceless, there is nothing I wouldn’t pay for the peace of mind.

And that brings me to the final piece of hiring a wedding planner and how much does it cost.

Make sure that you aren’t just asking all the standard questions while interviewing planners to find the right fit.  Make sure you trust them it is something that I have seen time and time again. If you can’t trust them, then, you will likely feel uneasy handing over the details when it comes time to release control.

The hands-off of all wedding details should feel as if you have been granted more hours in your day, a sigh of relief that you are not the only one carrying the load anymore.

About Jenée Strickland

Visions Event Studio specializes in luxury events, including proposals and couture weddings. Jenée Strickland, owner, and lead visionnaire, has been an integral part of hundreds of weddings and proposals. Her job is a privilege; her work is a passion.

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