Unless you happen to be a seasoned event planner, it is unlikely that you even know where to begin when it comes to planning your own wedding. Luckily, the industry has been graced with people who are solely dedicated to bringing your wedding day vision to fruition. These absolute godsends will be your right hand man, if and when necessary, so that you can actually enjoy the process – versus a stress induced headache. Keep reading to learn why you may need a wedding planner, and how much one might cost.

What Does a Wedding Planner Do?

The role of a wedding planner is pretty simple to understand, but its important that you understand the nitty gritty of their profession. It will not only help you decide whether you need one, but what type and for which tasks in particular. After all, these are details that you will need to convey to your wedding planner, should you decide to hire one.

To start, a wedding planner is someone whose entire job revolves around helping you pull of your big day. You can hire a planner to assist with pre-wedding tasks, day-of tasks, post-wedding tasks, a combination of these, or the whole shebang. Some planners may even allow you to hire them hourly, to perform specified tasks.

These tasks may or may not include:

  • Budgeting and research.
  • Crafting a wedding plan, down to napkin colors or guest favors, based on an in depth discussion of your vision. If necessary, leading you in creating a vision.
  • Helping you make decisions.
  • Booking venues and vendors, reading and negotiating contracts, setting up venues and vendors, and any and all correspondence.
  • Handling invitations and RSVP’s, tracking gifts, and so on.
  • Ensuring organization.
  • Day-of timekeeping and troubleshooting.
  • Wedding decor set up and tear down.
  • Planning and/or booking your honeymoon.

Why You May Need One

There are several reasons you may need a wedding planner, from a short engagement to the reality that life is busy. Every couple has their own reason for choosing to hire a wedding planner. To help you decide, here are some of the most common reasons people decide to prioritize a wedding planner in their budget.

  1. You are behind schedule. A wedding planner will help get you back on track, and do all of the leg work for you.
  2. Wedding planning is not of any interest to you, or fills you with absolute dread.
  3. You have no clue what you want, or where to start, or are having serious issues coming to an agreement with your fiance.
  4. You don’t have any extra hands, such as immediate family or friends, to help out.
  5. Life is busy. You both work full time jobs, or have kids with after school activities, or other commitments that seriously impinge on your ability to do any planning.
  6. You intend to have a destination wedding.
  7. You need or want some general leadership, and an opinion that isn’t biased.

How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

How much a wedding planner will cost depends on the type of planner you hire. That is, a day-of wedding planner, a partial wedding planner, or a full wedding planner. Once you have determined a budget, and which tasks you will need assistance with, you can use the following estimates, compiled by WeddingWire, to compare the cost of local wedding planners.

A day-of wedding planner is present the day of your wedding, and essentially runs the show. They remain behind the scenes to ensure everything and everyone is keeping to schedule. They do not assist with various aspects of the planning process. The starting cost for a day-of wedding planner in the U.S. averages $800, with starting rates for higher-end planners averaging $1,250 to $3,395.

A partial wedding planner assists with smaller tasks that need to be executed closer to your event date. The type of help provided varies by each planner and will need to be discussed thoroughly prior to signing. It can include a few or all aspects of the planning process, day-of coordination, or post-wedding needs. The average starting rate for a partial wedding planner in the U.S. comes in at $1,250, but can range from $2,300 to $6,000.

A full service wedding planner is typically hired 10 months to a year in advance of your wedding date. They provide assistance throughout the wedding planning process and the event itself, from start to finish. The average starting rate for a full service wedding planner in the U.S is about $3,000 with professional planners ranging from $4,500 to $12,000.

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