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How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

10% of your total wedding cost

    How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

    Nothing matches the excitement of deciding to tie the knot. It is one of the biggest days of your life, and you want everything to be perfect. However, the perfect wedding day requires hours of planning, and you might not know where to start. There may be little details that you did not even consider, and they can spell disaster.

    A national survey in Australia found that the average cost for a wedding planner was around $2,002 for a $20,000 wedding, which is about 10%. Many planners charge a percentage of the total wedding expenses—some charge by the hour, with the average cost of wedding planner services around $70 to $150/hour. The costs can differ according to the area. Wedding planners are typically more expensive in larger cities. Here are a few examples of how prices in different locations might compare.

    City Average Wedding Planner Cost
    Sydney $4,200 – $4,500
    Melbourne $1,800 – $2,200
    Brisbane $1,600 – $1,800
    Canberra $1,900 – $2,200
    Perth $1,600 – $1,800
    Darwin $1,500 – $1,800
    Hobart $1,400 – $1,600
    Adelaide $1,600 – $1,800

    Why Hire a Wedding Planner?

    Trying to plan everything and figure it out by yourself can turn your dream into a nightmare. This is especially true if you must try to do it while working a regular job. A wedding planner will take care of all of the details, leaving you free to enjoy looking forward to the day.

    Wedding planner rates – Wedding planner rates can seem expensive, but when you add up the hours that you would spend planning, and what else you could be doing with your time, they are cheap. Some wedding planners charge by the hour or have package deals. However, another popular scheme is to charge a percentage of the total final wedding bill—this rate averages around 10%.

    You’ll have a wedding expert – There is nothing like having a seasoned professional who knows the little details to make things go much more smoothly. They are used to negotiating contracts with vendors and know how much time to plan for certain activities. This experience can be a valuable resource.

    They take care of all the paperwork – There is more paperwork involved in planning the wedding than most people realize. This takes time, and sometimes, an expert eye can spot things that you might overlook.

    Can save you money – Even though a wedding planner might seem like an extra expense, they can save you money. They often get discounts from service providers, and they can grab package deals. Little things add up, and this can save you considerably on your final bill.

    Keep things stress free – The best part about having a wedding planner is that it takes the pressure off you. You don’t have to spend your time making phone calls, following up with vendors, and taking care of hundreds of small details. You can just let your planner take care of it and get on with life.

    Can get you discounts – This has already been mentioned, but the extent of the discounts that the wedding planner can get you can be significant. For instance, they often build relationships with airlines, cruise ships, and hotels. These relationships can mean substantial savings for you.

    When to Hire a Wedding Planner?

    The next question that you might have is when you need to think about hiring a wedding planner. The easy answer to this is as soon after you get engaged as possible. They are often booked ahead so that you might have competition. The further out you can plan, the more likely you will be to have success in finding one that is available when you want them. There are several different time arrangements that you can choose.

    Day of – Day of planners work with you the month before your wedding. You take care of all the details, and then the planner shows up to make sure everything is in place when it needs to be. The fees for this type of service are dependent on whether they require a Wedding coordinator fee or charge an hourly rate.

    Month of (partial service) – This type of service is like a partnership between you and your planner. Some smaller packages offer a set number of hours of services or work only in some regions of the planning process. These services almost always include day of services.

    Full Service – Full service is the most expensive, but it might be best for couples who do not have the time to take care of the details. With this service, you can take a hands-on or hands-off approach to make the decisions. They can design the wedding details, or just take care of the phone calls, leg work, and paperwork.

    Factors Impacting the Cost of a Wedding Planner

    A bit of research reveals that many factors can influence the cost of a wedding planner. There are also different pricing schemes, too. Here are a few of the factors that can affect the cost of a wedding planner.

    Type of service offered – Whether you choose day of, month of, or full service affects the cost. Full service is the most expensive, but day of might not be enough. Many couples find that partial or month of services offer a nice compromise.

    Budget – Many planners charge a percentage of the final cost of the wedding. This means that you might pay around the national average of $2,000 for a $20,000 wedding, but an $80,000 wedding would cost around $8,000. The more you spend, the more your planner will cost. This is because bigger weddings are more work.

    Timeframe – Wedding planner fees also depend on the timeframe. If you wait until the last minute to call a planner, you might not be able to find one. Also, you will pay more for them because they will have to work harder to get things like caterers and venues arranged.

    Experience – You can expect to pay more for an experienced wedding planner. Still, you will also get the benefits of this experience. An experienced wedding planner is much better at adapting to changes and making sure that things run smoothly.

    Price Estimates for Different Service Types

    Here are a few examples of the type of duties you can expect for different service types.

    Day of

    • What they offer: Shows up the day of to make sure everything is in place, serves as a point of contact for final payment of vendors, creates seamless operation on the wedding day.
    • Hours spent: 8-14
    • Cost: $1,000

    Month of (partial)

    • What they offer: works out what their duties will be with the bride and groom. You can have them help with one area, such as rentals, wait staff, entertainment, or other responsibilities that you negotiate.
    • Hours spent: 70 on average, but varies
    • Cost: $2,500

    Full service

    • What they offer: helping you pick colours, theme, vision location, and then secure the service contractors to make it happen.
    • Hours spent: 140 hours or more
    • Cost: $4,200

    What is the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator?

    Many people think that a wedding planner and a wedding coordinator are the same, but they are two different roles. A wedding planner helps with budgets, organization, phone calls, and offers advice throughout the process. A wedding coordinator simply comes in and makes sure everyone is in their place when they need to be. A wedding planner will often offer wedding consulting services as part of their packages.

    A wedding coordinator is more like a day of wedding planner. However, you can also hire a coordinator for the last minute details the month of the wedding. A day of wedding coordinator price ranges are often less expensive than full-service wedding planners. Wedding coordinator prices depend on the duties that you want them to do. A month of wedding coordinator cost can vary, and many offer a package of services for a flat fee.

    How to Hire a Wedding Planner

    One of the most challenging tasks can be obtaining an accurate estimate, especially for services that charge a percentage of the final wedding cost. Here are a few tips.

    • Lay everything out in writing – Make sure that you and your planner layout what is included and what is not in writing.
    • Have clear expectations – Know what you want and the duties that you expect. State them clearly, and get them in writing.
    • Avoid last-minute changes – Last-minute changes can quickly drive up the price of the wedding planner, so try to avoid them if possible.

    Licencing and Qualifications

    You must have a wedding planning certificate to become a wedding planner. Some also have a degree in hospitality management. Here are a few questions to ask your wedding planner before you hire them.

    • How long have you been in business, and what is your background?
    • What is your philosophy and approach to weddings?
    • Do you have any references or examples of past work that you can provide?

    How to Save Money Hiring a Planner

    When it comes to hiring a wedding planner, low cost is not always an indicator of the quality of service or the person’s talent. Here are some low-cost wedding planner ideas to help save you money.

    • Start planning early – If you wait until the last minute to call a planner, they might charge extra fees for the rush.
    • Compare packages – When comparing prices, avoid focusing on the final price, but also pay attention to what is included in the price.
    • Be flexible – The more rigid you are in your plans, the more your planner might have to work to make them come true, and this can add up to a bigger bill.
    • Consider partial wedding planning – Full-service wedding planner cost might be a bit steep. Partial wedding planning cost is an excellent way to save money if you have the time and desire to do much of the work yourself.


    How much is a wedding planner for a small wedding?

    The most common pricing scheme is a percentage of the total cost of the wedding. If your wedding costs $10,000, then you would only pay around $1,000. Wedding planner prices vary, and some have different pricing schemes for different sizes of weddings. Some offer a flat fee service for smaller weddings.



    * The cost data is based on Oneflare and third-party sources

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