Knowing how much it will cost to hire a wedding planner is a bit like asking how much a house costs. It all depends on exactly what you”re looking for, the size, quality, and location. Except for the size, the cost of a wedding planner is exactly the same. It depends on exactly what you want. Wedding planners have different methods of charging for their services so be sure you know how much they charge as well as how they charge. The five methods below are the most common.
1. Consultation fee “” Some wedding planners charge for an initial consultation while others do not. Depending on where you live, whether in a rural setting or a metropolitan area, this fee can range from $150 to $500 for a full 3-hour consultation where you preliminarily outline details for the wedding. If you want more than just an initial consultation, this cost can be included in the entire package price.
2. Percentage of the wedding budget “” This is probably the most common method used in hiring a wedding planner. The typical wedding today costs $28,000 and the typical percentage for a wedding planner is 10-15%. Some experienced wedding planners can charge as much as 20%, depending on their clients and reputation. Based on the average wedding cost example, a wedding planner charging 15% would cost $4,200.
While this may seem like a lot of money, keep in mind that wedding planners often negotiate the vendor costs down to compensate for their percentage of the wedding. You would want to ask about this at your initial consultation but if they do negotiate vendors down to a lower price, you might not even notice the cost when factored in to the whole wedding.
3. No charge to client — Occasionally wedding planners will not charge their clients anything but instead, will take their pay from the vendors they hire for the wedding. Some clients take issue with this method, considering this “kickbacks” from vendors. Just be sure you ask if the wedding planner tells you there will be no cost to you.
4. Hourly fee — If you are looking for a wedding planner to complete certain limited tasks for you, this could be a good option. Because wedding planner hourly wages vary, make sure you know their hourly rate before agreeing to this pricing structure. Fees can range from $50 to $100 per hour, depending on what you need done.
5. Flat fee — Occasionally you’ll find a wedding planner who will work with you for a flat package fee. In this case, make sure you have a written contract to clearly outline what the wedding planner will do and what they will NOT do. (The “not do” is more important than the “do” because it eliminates all confusion later.) This fee can range from $500 to $5,000 and cover many responsibilities.
Also remember that most of the time wedding planners require a deposit at the initial consultation with the remainder due on the wedding day or sometime shortly before or after. Also, if you are planning the wedding 9 months or more in advance, they might also require monthly payments. So be prepared when you go for your initial consultation to provide some form of payment, based on your previous arrangements.
No matter which payment option you choose, you should know in advance how much it will cost you and have a written agreement spelling out exactly what will be done and when. This will make your job easier and give everyone involved a clear outline of their responsibilities.