We all know that weddings tend to be the most expensive events people ever host, and so every penny counts! With that in mind, you may wonder… can I afford a wedding planner?
I must start by saying that every wedding planner is different, and pricing structures vary depending on what services you’re after. However, generally there are two main ways that planners will charge you for their service: they will either give you an hourly rate or charge a flat fee.
Usually, hourly rates will apply to “pick-and-mix” type packages where you choose the services you’d like included in your wedding planning package. Flat fees are the most common charges, and these apply to set packages designed by your wedding planner.
Regardless of the service you choose to pay for, you must make sure you have a clear list of duties that your wedding planner will provide for you, so you are 100% clear on what you’re getting for you money!
The amount you will be charged hugely depends on the skill level, years of expertise, location, and niche of your wedding planner. If you’re going for a “luxury” planner, or someone who is based in London, they will likely charge more than a "creative" planner, or someone based outside of a city.
The fee will also depend, on which services/packages you’re after. Most wedding planners offer full wedding planning and wedding day management (on-the-day coordination) amongst other services. Full planning is usually the most expensive package, and day management is the cheapest.
Very simply, here is what these wedding packages include:
Full wedding planning - the wedding planner is with you from the start of your engagement. They can help you with anything and everything from helping create your wedding theme and finding/meeting suppliers, to handling the piles of wedmin and managing events on your big day.
Wedding day management / on-the-day coordination – you’ve completed your wedding planning but you want someone to take control of the day itself so you’re free to enjoy yourself. The wedding planner joins you a few months before your wedding day to gather supplier information and discuss your wedding day timeline. Then on the big day itself, your planner manages everything for you – from overseeing deliveries, to ensuring your photographer turns up on time.
To find out more about what these packages can include, see my services list here.
Full wedding planning packages can range from 10% - 15% of your wedding budget with a minimum fee applicable. This minimum fee varies hugely but you should expect prices to range from £5,000 up to £10,000. Wedding day management / on-the-day coordination usually ranges from around £1,250 - £1,500. The fees set depends on the type of weddings the planner delivers, how many weddings they do a year, and the level of service they provide couples. Ask any planners you contact what their minimum fees are and get a list of services to ensure you compare like-for-like when getting quotes!
The reason for the % charge for full planning is because weddings with higher budgets generally require more planning time and effort. By charging a % of your budget, planners can ensure that they are being paid the correct amount for the work they will be doing for you. You should ask your planner what items in your budget they do not include in their fee calculation - many planners don’t include the cost of wedding rings or the wedding dress in their fee calculations.
These fees instantly look like a huge amount of money, but the key thing to bear in mind here is that it takes on average between 200-300 hours to plan a wedding – so you get a lot for your money and often more hours of work for the money compared to other wedding suppliers. You should also note that most wedding planners are self-employed and have business overheads to cover, so your fee is not 100% profit going into your planner’s pocket!
This is a very important point - you should always ask your wedding planner whether they accept commission; some planners charge you a fee and also accept commission from your other suppliers. This can make a big difference to your final wedding budget spend as the commission fee is added to your costs: read more about this on the UKAWP site here. It is important that you make the right decision for you. Personally, I do not accept commission; any discounts offered to me are passed straight on to you, the couple.
Can a wedding planner save you money?
Wedding planners save you time, save your sanity, handle difficult suppliers (or family members and guests!) for you, and provide location and supplier expertise. We know how to keep you on budget, suggest money-saving techniques, give you alternative supplier options, and could get you discounts (as mentioned above). Plus, we can review your supplier contracts and look for red flags that may tie you into obligations that unfairly cost you money should something happen.
Are wedding planners worth the money?
It’s up to you whether you feel your budget allows for hiring a wedding planner, but if you’re here and you’ve read this article, and if a wedding planner is the right fit for you… we are definitely worth it.
I offer free no-obligation consultation to all couples who are interested in hiring me as their wedding planner. During a Zoom call, we go through what help you need and which of my services best suits you and your budget. You then get the opportunity to ask me any questions you have, and see if I'm the right fit for you.
To get started, just click here to fill in a simple enquiry form and I’ll be in touch soon!