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Cost of Wedding Planners: Our Guide & Tips

Are you planning to hire a wedding planner to bring to life the wedding that you’ve always dreamed of? Are you wondering about the cost of wedding planners? Here’s the thing: There is no set price for hiring a wedding planner. The cost of hiring a wedding planner depends on several factors. 

In this article, we’ll discuss wedding planner rates and how to afford a wedding event planner without going over your wedding budget. We’ll also share some tips on how to avoid wedding planner scams. Let’s get started!

Here’s much a wedding planner really costs.

How Much Should You Pay a Wedding Planner?

wedding planner with couple

If you’re going to hire a wedding planner, you should set aside at least 10-20% of your total wedding budget.

According to Shutterfly.com, the average cost of a wedding planner that offers a variety of services is about $1,800. A more pricey wedding service planner approximately costs over $4,000. More affordable wedding planners can still cost hundreds of dollars. 

Additionally, some wedding planners charge by the hour.  According to weddingwire.com, generally, the hourly rate for a wedding planner is about $75.  As stated by the same source, if you’re going to hire a high-end professional planner, you can expect to pay around $100 to over $200 per hour.

Typically, wedding planners charge a retainer fee (down payment). According to wedding-spot.com, it is also common for wedding organizers to charge a flat fee or take a percentage of your wedding budget.  

However, these are just estimates. The actual cost of a wedding planner depends on the type of wedding planner you want to hire: full-time, part-time, day-of coordinator, etc. 

 

Partial Wedding Planner Cost

Partial wedding planners can help you plan your wedding, but they won’t plan every detail of your wedding. They will only focus on planning some parts of your wedding.

According to weddingwire.com, part-time professional wedding planner’s costs can range from a little over $2,000 to $6,000 maximum. However, if you’re working with a less experienced partial planner, you can expect to pay around less than $2000 as stated by the same source.

 

Full-Service Wedding Planner Cost

wedding budget planner

Full-service planners will take care of every aspect of your wedding- from beginning to end. Wedding-spot.com maintains that hiring a full-service wedding planner costs anywhere from $2,000-$10,000. 

Again, all of the above mentioned wedding planner prices are just estimates- the cost really depends on the type of wedding planner, their level of experience, the number of services they offer, your wedding venue’s location, and the number of hours that they will work on planning and coordinating your wedding.

 

Should I Negotiate With Wedding Planners?

wedding planner with couple

It is not recommended to negotiate wedding planner costs. Wedding planners know how to create a realistic wedding budget for you’re wedding, which means that they charge you the appropriate amount that they think they need to plan your wedding.

Don’t belittle the cost of their services by trying to negotiate prices, especially if they already told you a fixed price or wedding vendor contract. If their price is out of your budget, consider working with someone else who offers cheaper rates, or use online checklists and tips to plan your wedding yourself!

 

What Type of Payments do Wedding Planners Accept?

Most wedding planners will usually accept cash and checks; some might also accept credit cards, but this type of payment is not common. Some will even accept payments through Paypal, Venmo, and Cash App.

Again, it depends on the event planner you hire and what their payment plans are. 

 

Does a Wedding Planner Save You Money? 

pennies in a jar

Oftentimes, engaged couples save money by hiring a wedding planner. A wedding organizer can save you and your partner money by helping you create a wedding budget. Not only do they help you stretch your budget, but they also stick to it. 

On the plus side, wedding planners know the wedding vendors that’ll help you stay within your budget. But wait, there’s more: wedding planners receive discounts from vendors they continually contract.

This means that professional planners can get you discounts and negotiate prices with wedding vendors on your behalf. And the best part is that they’ll handle your wedding budget wisely to save you money. 

 

How to Avoid Wedding Vendor Scams

scam alert

Unfortunately, there exist fake wedding planners who take advantage of newly engaged couples. These scam artists disguise themselves as even planners or coordinators and offer couples cheap wedding services. They often offer wedding packages that seem too good to be true. And, sadly, some soon-to-be-married couples get bamboozled by scam artists because they want to save money on their wedding.

But you don’t have to worry. We provide some tips on how to avoid getting scammed on your special day.  

Oftentimes, wedding scammers advertise false services on websites or social media platforms. They make beautiful websites that appeal to couples that are looking for a wedding planner. Usually, these sites contain photos of happy couples at wedding beautifully decorated venues. Some also provide positive reviews from former clients to brag about their supposed wedding services. Of course, all of these photos and reviews are fake. 

So how should you avoid falling for these scams? The answer: do your research.

Look at the average costs of wedding planners, contact the wedding planner and request to speak with them in person. If they are asking you to pay upfront without telling you all the list of services they provide and without giving you a reasonable explanation about their fees then it’s a scam.

Be aware of any suspicious wedding planner ads, and don’t let those money-stealing artists rob you of your joy on your celebration day.  

Legitimate wedding planners often provide detailed contracts, meet with clients by appointment, have an office physical office at a real location, explain payment schedules, provide receipts from suppliers, and provide contact information of their previous clients so you can call their references. It’s also a good idea to call the vendors they work with. 

Consider all the above mentioned tips before you hire a wedding planner, and you’ll avoid getting scammed. 

 

Who Should Pay For My Wedding Planner?

Typically, the bride’s family covers the big wedding planning expenses, including the cost of wedding service planners. However, many modern couples do not receive financial support from their families, and instead pay for their wedding expenses on their own.

It is up to you to decide how you and your family will divide up your wedding costs. Talk to your family about their intentions before you assume that they will be paying for your wedding. 

 

When Should You Pay a Wedding Event Planner?

 bride with wedding planner

Generally, engaged couples pay their wedding planners before the wedding. It is common for wedding planners to require the full payment a few weeks prior to the wedding. 

Some require to be paid upfront while others take monthly payments. It really depends on the wedding planner you hire. Just know that there are some pros and cons of paying your wedding planner in advance. 

As stated by plannerslounge.com, you’ll want to consider the following advantages and disadvantages of paying a wedding planner prior to your big day. 

 

Advantages

  • You, the client, don’t have to worry about paying your wedding planner during your big day. 
  • Your wedding planner will be happy to receive the full payment that you agreed to pay for the services they provided. 
  • Paying upfront or weeks before the wedding gives you and your wedding planner enough time to resolve any payment issues. It eliminates the risk of bounced checks (non-sufficient funds) and declined debit or credit card issues. No funds mean no wedding services on the day of your big day. 
  • Paying upfront will ensure that you have all your wedding services performed on the day of your wedding. 

 

Disadvantages

  • You fear that the wedding planner will fail to deliver all the service they promised for your wedding. 
  • A wedding planner might not show up to your wedding after they’ve received full payment.
  • You are not satisfied with the services that your wedding planner provided.
  • The unexpected happens- your wedding gets postponed or canceled after you’ve paid the planner for all their services. 

 

Should You Tip Your Wedding Planner? How Much?

tip jar with cash

Usually, wedding planners don’t receive nor expect a tip, but you’ll want to tip them to show gratitude. If you think they did an amazing job of giving you your dream wedding, then you can further thank them by offering them a generous tip. 

A 10 to 20 percent tip is recommended, especially if your wedding turned out better than you envisioned. Your professional planner will undoubtedly appreciate and accept a tip for all their hard work. 

It is also advisable to tip your wedding planner’s assistants that contributed to your event- $50 – $100 or more will do the trick. But, the tip amount is up to you!

Another way to tip your wedding planner and their assistant is by setting up a tip jar at your wedding reception. This method allows your guests to help you pay for the tip.

 

Wrap Up

Planning a wedding is not easy. That’s why wedding planners exist; they are there to help you plan for your special day. But you still need to do your research before you hire a wedding planner to organize your dream wedding.

With this wedding planner cost guide, you are now ready to begin that research to find the wedding planner that best fits your budget and that will plan out the type of wedding you want. You also know how to identify which wedding planners are fake-sters that are just trying to steal your money. Good luck with the rest of the wedding planning! 

Comment below to let us know how this wedding planner cost guide helped you save money on your wedding. For more wedding planning tips, check out our page for more wedding planning tips

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Ruth Morales

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