Hello many of you have been inquiring on our pricing lately and what exactly a wedding planner does.
Please contact me for a full pricing pamphlet that shows all levels of budget pricing, pricing for our other services, or you can request our brides packet which includes pricing, contract and a few other things to help our brides.
Below I have added two blog post written by a former wedding planner that accurately describes why wedding planners fees are what they are, as well as exactly what we do for our brides, and why you definitely need us!
Please check both blog post out, they are very informative, and may make you look at what I do just a bit differently. It will also make you aware of things you may not have realized went into planning a wedding. It may also cause you to smile, and even laugh a bit! Check out the reviews at the bottom of the blog, by vendors about working with wedding planners.
Our price for day of coordination only is $500. If you want to add decorating it can be added for an additional $100. Full wedding planning starts at $850. We have built graduating budget levels. Example $850 is for the brides budget level of up to a $5,000. We slowly graduate up from there. Our fee is for design, planning, coordination, and decorating. We then build you a budget for all of the other vendors, décor, and necessary items you will need for a beautiful event. You do not have to know you budget before signing with us, as a matter of fact most brides don’t. Unless you work in this business most people don’t know what a wedding actually cost.
You can anticipate for a moderate sized wedding, our fee to be between $1,100-$2,000 for your event. We offer our brides budget friendly deposits and payment plans. We also off military discount!
When you have a good wedding planner this fee is more than covered, by saving you costly mistakes and time, stress, headaches, and most importantly money!
I absolutely love my job, and working with each of you. I wish there were more hours in the day and more dates on the calendar, so I could work with each and every one of you! Unfortunately there are not, and our dates do fill fast.
Set up a consultation and lets get to planning!
“Because happily ever after begins with a love story!”
I will begin creating your story today!
The Truth about Wedding Planners
The Truth about Wedding Planners
April 10, 2013
I hope you weren’t expecting a fluff piece on wedding planners. This is the real deal. I wanted to share this post for two reasons:
1. As a wedding planner, it’s hard to tell everyone why your role is so valuable without it coming off like a sales pitch. I’ve got no wedding planner services to sell anymore so I feel like I can share with you honestly with no one thinking I’m just biased.
2. I used to get emails daily from girls wanting to be wedding planners. What we blog or share in Instagram photos can make the job look like a big party every day. It is so rewarding, but there is also so much more that goes into it.
My goal isn’t to complain. Wedding planning isn’t going to war or performing brain surgery, but I do hope to give a better picture of what is involved. We’re not allowed to say it’s hard normally because we eat cake and look at pretty flowers all day, and it would seem ungrateful. (Not true by the way).
At the end of last year, I kindly bowed out of wedding planning. I said it was to start a family, and it was (see growing belly. But more specifically because I didn’t think I could handle that level stress with a family. I’ve got that much more respect for all those wedding planners who do plan weddings with a family.
Wedding planning is definitely a role that is undervalued when it comes to all vendors couples plan to hire. They could spend $20,000 + on flowers, food, music, etc, but don’t see the value of hiring even a day of coordinator to make sure all those things they spent a year saving for actually come out the way they hoped.
There are some really great articles on what a wedding planner’s job looks like on a daily basis. See links below. I’m hear to talk about the other things. MYTH #1 – Everything has to and will go perfectly. It’s a wedding after all!!
Just like any industry, mistakes happen every day, in every profession. Part of why wedding planning is so stressful is that any small mistake is not acceptable to many people.
When I was working at our local paper, I laid out the front page and had a story jump to another page…only the story didn’t jump anywhere!! This is a HUGE mistake and had me quivering for 12 hours at the wrath I’d receive. I don’t even think I got a slap on the wrist, just a few calls from readers who we told would have the whole story the following day. Much smaller mistakes related to weddings can induce a lot more fury than a few frustrated readers. And sometimes, if it’s on the wedding day, there are no redos or second chances. This might be why your photographer is so expensive, because they’ve purchased a back up camera so if one flakes out, the error doesn’t affect the client.Mistakes still happen though. It’s a hard pill to swallow for brides. And to be honest, just as much for your wedding planner, too, whose job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. A planner’s stress level is proportional to how many fires they’ve got to put out. This is a prime reason why hiring a planner is so helpful. Your planner will only recommend great vendors who help make a wedding run smoothly. I said great vendors, not perfect vendors. A great vendor is someone who, even when a mistake is made, can acknowledge the mistake and work to find a solution even better for the clients.
MYTH #2 – Wedding planners are overpriced.
Adding up the number of weddings someone has in a year won’t give you your planner’s salary. I was so guilty of this early on in my career!! Once I ran a few numbers, I thought I could be rich in no time planning weddings. The truth? A lot goes into owning a business. ALOT. My second year in business, I had 10 weddings plus my own and took home a whopping $7,000 after taxes. I was not living it up making millions of dollars overcharging for weddings. This was the year I was living at home with my parents, so I could focus on growing my business and save money to pour more back into my business. This rule can apply for any business owner, but I think it helps to know the cost of owning your own business to know you aren’t being taken advantage of. Assistants, office rent, advertising, marketing, accounting fees, taxes, etc all take a piece of what a client pays. And the wedding planners I know are so passionate about what they do, that they go above and beyond their job roles to make sure a couple is completely happy!
PARTIAL TRUTH #1 – Wedding planners get to work on the happiest days of people’s lives.
One of my favorite parts of the job was getting to be one of the last people talk to the bride before they walked down the aisle, or simply being witness to so many couple’s wedding days! It really was an honor and I was so thankful so many brides trusted me with those moments. I still look back fondly and miss those times!
The other part of this though is that it is one of the most stressful times in many people’s lives. Moms and daughters who never fight, will probably fight. Brides who are normally very patient, won’t be patient. Groom’s who are rarely speak up, will get ugly. Planners always joke that part of their job is counselor and it is so true! Your wedding planner wants the entire process to be smooth for you, so she’s happy to give advice when it comes to family matters. My heart would be sick to hear some of the things future mother in laws were capable of, so I was glad to do anything I could to help.
If you want to be a wedding planner and don’t like confrontation or can’t handle it well, this may be a major stressor for you. If you are a bride, this is a part of the job description that is rarely itemized or charged for in your package, but can actually take significant time.
PARTIAL TRUTH #2 – Wedding planners can’t get you discounts.
A big reason people hired wedding planners in the “ole days” was for discounts. Asking for or expecting discounts is frowned upon these days in the wedding industry. Somehow years ago, the wedding industry became the exception to the rule of paying what something is worth. No, people don’t just charge more because it’s the wedding industry. Honest ones at least. (If you want to know why they charge what they charge, check out the links below!) You’d never go to the bakery and say, “I see your price is $5 for this loaf of bread, but I’m on a budget and can only spend $3.” Or “Can you cut off the crusts and let me pay only $2? I really don’t need the full thing.” To be honest, it can be a bit insulting and basically says you don’t value their services to pay what they are worth.And if a planner has worked with a great vendor and understands why they charge what they charge, they know they are worth it. So, no planners may not be able to get you tons of discounts BUT what they can save you from their knowledge and the value they get from vendors can be worth more than what you actually paid to hire a planner. Wedding planners have relationships with vendors that WILL benefit you! I’ve had vendors meet after their normal hours, florist squeeze me in during the week of Valentine’s or Mother’s Day, do special tastings when they don’t normally offer it or make an exception to their rules if I ask. They would prioritize my clients because they valued me bringing clients to them.
Vendors value working with good wedding planners and you will reap the benefits of it! After emphasizing the no discount policy, I actually do offer discounts to brides who are working with a wedding planner for one very big reason. That planner eases my workload by giving their client information about our collection, pricing and how to order. This is worth it for me and doesn’t devalue my service because I can spend less time on logistics and instead simply design when a planner who knows my process is involved.
TRUTH #1 – Your wedding planner is in your corner.
Brides, you know this. And if you don’t fully know it, you will realize the lengths your planner will go to for you at the end of the big day when they held your dress while you used the restroom, or removed your heels off your feet to give you comfy flats, or hiked a garter up your leg.
Bridesmaids and mother in laws, may not. Sometimes a planner’s toughest critics are those close to the bride.
They always have the BEST of intentions and want to stand up for the bride, but they forget that as a bride’s planner, you want the same thing too! Planners are so wholly invested in their couples! My motives for the wedding day are purely that the couple has the best day possible. It’s not uncommon to have people micromanage your job thinking they know best, question you as you set up or as you handle the bride’s expensive belongings and give advice. It’s an obstacle a lot of people may not realize a wedding planner has to confront often amidst standard wedding day to-dos. My sensitive heart didn’t always know how to handle this sort of opposition. I couldn’t imagine anyone thinking I wanted anything but the bride’s best.
TRUTH #2 – Your wedding planner sacrifices a lot of family and personal time to do her job.
Between late weekday meetings, Friday night rehearsals and full Saturdays, the number of hours a wedding planner can work a week is pretty insane. And Sundays? Those are typically wedding hangover days spent simply trying to recoup from barking dogs (hurt feet), blisters, stuffy ears from loud music, stuffy noses or headaches from smoke and just an general fogginess.
Now that I have Saturdays off, I have that much more respect for all those who work wedding days! They may take Mondays off, but if their spouse is at work or kids at school, this doesn’t replace a Saturday. And honestly, I know many planners who don’t take Mondays off because they’ve got to get ready for the next wedding.
I really hope this sheds some like on why I love wedding planners so darn much and think they are 100% worth it!! It’s easy to think it’s all J. Lo with a headset, but it’s truly work and I think part of what makes them so good at their job is that they make it look so effortless knowing part of their role is to keep a couple calm!
I have to say thanks to all my clients who truly understood the value of a wedding planner and trusted me fully with their big day. I was blessed to work with some many clients who appreciated even the smallest gestures of help. I’ve saved so many cards and texts from grateful clients. Those words meant so much to me and always make the hard work worth it!
Julia ~ Mrs. Vintage April 11, 2013 at 2:28 am
Amen! I always ALWAYS tell my brides how important hiring a planner is, even if it is the ‘day-of’. As a vendor, I LOVE working with my planners and most certainly go out of my way to accommodate them. Thanks for this!
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Stefanie April 17, 2013 at 4:28 pm
I’ll also chime in with a hearty amen! SO well put, Val! Thank you for sharing so honestly in this post! Hugs!
Jenny leu August 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm
Loved reading this! So very true and honest. Spoken from a true professional. Congrats on the reprieve and focusing on your priorities in life. Wishing you al the best.
What Wedding Planners Really Do
Having been a wedding planner in my “past life”, I often think back to the last wedding that I “officially” planned. It was a super amazing wedding, for a super amazing couple. I always say that if I had continued to plan weddings, they and my second-to-last couple were my absolute “ideal couple”. They had their own vision and their own opinions about things, but they also trusted my opinion. More times than not, they asked me before making any decisions. And by the end of their wedding planning, they weren’t just a couple that I planned a wedding for- they were my friends. [See the end of this post to learn more about why I don’t plan weddings anymore.]
The thing that I always remember from my time planning weddings is how every bride I worked with would say at some point during the process, “Oh my goodness, I don’t know what I would do without you!” Looking back, it’s occurred to me that at first, some of those brides weren’t even sure if they needed a wedding planner. But it was mostly just because they didn’t realize all of the things that a planner *really* does… which is exactly why I’m going to share some of those things with you today! – Planning Checklist & Schedule. Ah, what every bride has to have, right? I mean, you really can’t plan a wedding without knowing what has to be done right? Having a planner create a custom checklist and schedule for you- and remind you when it’s time to get crackin’ on the next task- is pretty awesome. Besides, they have planned a wedding before- you haven’t. 😉
– Budget. Yes, the dreaded word. A planner can most certainly help you create and stick to your budget. And when you want something that just might be completely unfeasible, your planner will tell you instead of letting you get your hopes up.
– Vendor recommendations. A planner is going to give you solid vendor recommendations of people that they have worked with before and who they trust. In fact, if you want to, ask about their experiences working with certain vendors. Sometimes they may even NOT recommend a particular vendor because of a bad experience working with them. It sounds awful, but it happens.
– Vendor communication & liason. This includes contacting vendors to find out availability, emailing, phone calls, texts, and most likely a meeting or two.
Sometimes if you want, you can even have your planner communicate with all of your vendors (or just a select few) and just have him or her email you with updates, questions, concerns, etc. Oh, and let’s not forget the reminders that you’ll get from your planner about when it’s time to make a payment to one of your vendors.
– Your wedding design. Now, not all planners are experts in wedding design. In fact, there are even wedding designers who JUST design weddings- and they are awesome. However, no matter what services your planner offers, he or she will most definitely help you figure things out when it comes to your wedding’s design. Whether it’s a specific idea or helping you pick out colors, they’ll be by your side to help guide you along. – Meetings & Consults. Having a planner can also mean that he or she deals with scheduling your meetings. Sometimes it can take several emails or phone calls to figure out the right time and place for a meeting or consult to take place. That’s time- time that you might not have! Having a planner, you can just them a few potential days and times, and then they can get to work scheduling!
– Etiquette. You know you’re going to have a question about whether or not to invite so-and-so’s new girlfriend, dress code, or maybe even how much alcohol to serve. A planner knows the etiquette for all things wedding. Sometimes “etiquette” things aren’t even etiquette anymore, and it’s just really what works best for you and your wedding, but sometimes there are still things that are “tacky” or not. 😉
– RSVPs. Some wedding planners will keep track of your RSVPs for you. This is SUCH a tedious task- meals, seating, guest counts, etc. I myself have never handled RSVPs for my brides, but I have several friends that do. Just another thing that you don’t have to do! 🙂 -Reminders. Yes, reminders. Plain and simple. Because chances are that you might possibly forget about something– whether it’s big (like a DJ) or small (like menus), a wedding planner will most definitely be able to give you little reminders about things that could have potentially forgotten!
– Vendor Confirmations. The week before your wedding is going to be craziness. You do not want to have to deal with emails and phone calls back and forth with vendors to confirm times and places. Your planner will handle that. 😉
– Wedding Day Schedule. You absolutely always need to have a timeline for your wedding day. How else would you know what time to start getting ready, when to tell people to deliver things, etc? Of course your wedding planner will handle this for you, making tweaks and updating vendors as needed.
– Wedding Ceremony Coordination & Rehearsal. Sometimes a wedding ceremony can be like a huge cluster of chaos. People think they know what to do, but when it comes down to it, they really don’t. Having a planner will ensure that your ceremony runs smoothly and everyone involved knows what to do and where to go!
– Wedding Day Coordination. I talk about this ALL the time. You definitely don’t want to be the one dealing with setting things up on your wedding day. Making sure the cake is delivered on top, the favors get placed at each placesetting, and that adorable ribbon chandelier you made gets hung. Not only that, but what about when it comes time for your wedding to *actually* happen? Who’s going to tell you when it’s time to leave for your ceremony, or when to cut your cake? Oh and who will sew your bustle when it breaks or find your best man when he’s missing for toasts? Your wedding planner, that’s who! 😉
– Wedding Details. Who’s going to put our your escort cards, make sure favors are at placesettings, and set up your special cake-and-dessert display? You don’t want to entrust these tasks to just anyone. Your planner will take care of the wedding details that I’m sure you will painstakingly and lovingly create for your wedding, making sure that they will be setup to meet your expectations. And then, he or she will take everything down at the end of the night and give it your parents or keep it for you to pick up when you get home from your honeymoon.
– Wedding Gifts. Yeah, so those gifts that everyone brings. What do you do with them?! It’s something that is commonly forgotten, but your planner will be sure to load up all of your gifts for a designated person to take home and keep safe and sound for you. And if they’re like me, they will tuck all of your cards into your overnight bag. 😉
Oh my, now that I’ve listed all of that out… WOW! It’s SO much! When I was reminiscing about my last wedding, I was reminded of just how much work planning does entail, and so of course I wanted to share it with you all! (And it also reminds me of why I stopped planning- it takes SO much time!) And sure, while being a wedding planner seems fun and glamorous, it’s also a lot of work. But luckily, a planner really can do A LOT for you as bride- and take a lot of things off your plate too!
I’m hoping that by sharing all of this, it will perhaps help some of you who are in the same position as my brides were in before hiring me. Because friends, YOU ALL deserve to have amazing weddings, and to enjoy it too! If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email asking! 🙂
PS: Any wedding planners have things to add to this list? Feel free to comment with additions!!
[Editor’s note: Don’t get me wrong- I LOVED planning weddings. I still do. But it was a decision that I had to make when faced with what direction my business would go. I either had to continue on with Every Last Detail as a wedding blog, or Every Last Detail as a wedding planning company. I decided to continue on with ELD as a blog, and I have never regretted the decision. The fact that I can reach thousands of couples with the advice and inspiration on ELD, as opposed to just a few via planning is so important to me- because I want to help as many brides and grooms as I possibly can.]