Why Do Wedding Planners Cost So Much?
Updated: Dec 21, 2020
I hear it all the time. Wedding Planners are expensive and yes, it's true. Wedding Planners are a heafty investment into your wedding experience. But as is true with all professional services - these numbers don't come from thin air. Here is what you are really paying for when you hire a Wedding Planner.
Even if you're working with a newer Wedding Planner in their 1st year of business, the reality is that if they've planned only one wedding, more than likely, they've planned more weddings than you have. The more experience a planner has the more they've seen in their career.
We know what to expect from the estate wedding you're dreaming of. That you need to bring in everything from toilets to tables. They know that electricity is likely going to be a challenge for your musicians and for lighting. We know that weather is going to pose a sense of impending doom for the next year as we wait to see how likely April Showers are on your wedding weekend.
We know that when sending invitations over the holidays, that USPS will inevitably delay delivery and so even though The Knot recommends sending invitations 8-10 weeks before your wedding date that you'll actually need to allow yourself 12-14 weeks - just to be safe.
We know that that gorgeous floral inspo pic you showed us in our consultation costs upwards of $100K instead of the $5k you have budgeted.
We have emergency kits with tampons, lint rollers, Sudafed, batteries, extra lipstick and steamer... and that's just a few of the 2 BAGS our team has packed. They also have Spotify playlists for ceremony, cocktail hour and a reception - JUST IN CASE something terrible happens with the DJ's equipment, we can plug into the sound machine without missing a beat.
We know that even though your very talented hair & make up artist has their application times on LOCK that your 2nd cousin that your mom insisted you have in your bridal party WILL be late to her appointment & change her mind on her lip color at least twice and that we'll need to buffer time in the schedule for it.
We know that Murphy and all of his bum ass cousins will absolutely try and crash your wedding & we know how to foresee it & proactively prepare for it.
Most Wedding Planners use a TON of technology when planning your wedding to keep planning efficient and organized. There's client management systems for billing, contracts, checklists, budgets, vendor contacts, design boards, automatic payment reminders, timelines & floor plans. There's scheduling software to cut down the back and forth of finding dates for vendor teams to meet. There's conference & video call software, texting, email, our hotspot that keeps us connected to internet even during our walk through at that gorgeous farm property we found in Bumblebee, IL.
We spend ridiculous amounts of money on our behind the scenes systems to keep us constantly connected so we're always reachable & always have the answers on us.
Did you know that a good portion of a Wedding Planner's job is networking? I'll get into the time investment we make into planning your wedding, but we spend ridiculous amount of nights at networking events getting to know all of the pros in our community so we have the best relationships for you.
I consider part of my job to be that of match-maker. I get to know you well enough to be able to match you with the perfect vendors for your wedding team. Ones you'll like & trust and are a right fit for your budget. But the only way for me to be able to do spend the time networking to build these relationships to be a connector for you.
I mentioned time a bit in the section about my relationships, but I think an important thing to talk about is the amount of time Wedding Planners invest into your wedding day.
Let's start with the basics: the time planning - which for Full Planning couples is usually about 120 hours of planning plus the time on your wedding day - which is on average for me about 3 hours of travel & 12-16 hours onsite. Then consider the amount of time networking, usually for me at least 1 event per week, plus a handful of coffee dates, and a few styled shoots per year (how we test run your vendors ahead of time before we recommend them to you).
Then factor in availability. I invite my couples to call/text me anytime of the day, but every time I look down at my phone to respond to a text I'm looking away from my babies, if even for a minute & taking time from them to give to you. That's valuable to me.
General Operating Expenses
This portion isn't as sexy as talking about the tech we use & our experience in disaster avoidance, but general operating expenses are a real thing that go into our pricing.
Gas & wear and tear on our cars is REAL. We travel A LOT & that kind of travel comes with expenses.
Our couples love it when we treat them to a glass of Prosseco at a Wine Bar for our planning meetings. They also love getting home after a long day to a cute little box of champagne bears, a jar of coconut milk bath, and a coffee scented candle. We love surprising our couples, but again, there are costs attached to this experience we create. This goes for our vendors too. One of the way we continue to develop those relationships I talked about a little bit ago is by treating them to coffee dates & sending them boxes of love.
Think about the way you heard about us. Was it from The Knot? Weddingwire? A bridal show? There's always a cost attached to that too.
Most of us also have assistants and other staff. Maybe there are more talented Wedding Planners out there, but I haven't yet found a way to clone myself or another means of being in 2 places at once, so I have to have staff on the Wedding Day. That means I have to pay them.
Besides everything else we pay for, we also want to pay ourselves. I love you all & I absolutely love what I do, but personal fulfillment doesn't pay the bills or put food on the table. & to be honest with you, I started this business to give my family more than just paid bills & food on the table.
So yes, hiring a Wedding Planner can be a large investment, but hopefully now you have a better understanding of where these numbers come from & what all goes into the back end of planning your wedding.
And even though the expense can be large (recommended to be about approximately 10% of your total budget) we are "totally worth it". Or at least that's what LRE bride, Ashley, says.
Wondering if you need a Wedding Planner?