Thinking about hiring a wedding planner, but no idea where to begin? If you’ve never planned a wedding before, it’s understandable to be feeling confused about what a wedding planner actually does, how much they cost, and what to expect when working together.
In our opinion, wedding planners are worth their weight in gold when it comes to a stress-free wedding experience, so we wanted to break their role down for you in simple terms below! From costs involved to job expectations, keep reading as we share everything you need to know about working with a wedding planner.
What Is A Wedding Planner?
First things first, let’s get clear on what a wedding planner is (and what they are not!).
Simply put, a wedding planner is essentially the “project manager” behind your event. They are responsible for planning, managing and executing all of the logistics required for your event to run smoothly from start to finish.
Think about all of the practical, nitty-gritty details involved in bringing an event to life – from managing different suppliers and creating a timeline, right down to organising someone to empty the rubbish bins at the end of the night! Your wedding planner is your go-to contact for all things wedding-related, and is there to handle all of the organisation, communication and task management on your behalf.
So, is a wedding planner also a stylist? Not always. A wedding stylist is responsible for the overall look and aesthetics of your event – like creating a colour palette, putting a decor concept together and sourcing styling elements like flowers, stationery and lighting. Some wedding planners do offer styling and design as part of their service, but others focus purely on project management.
There can often be some overlap, so it’s always best to double check these details upfront. You can read more about the differences between a wedding planner, stylist and coordinator on the blog.
Why Should I Hire a Wedding Planner?
Now that you know exactly what a wedding planner is, you might be wondering whether you would benefit from working with one.
Here’s our point of view: a wedding planner is an investment to save you time, stress and even money throughout your wedding planning experience. A wedding planner is there to take the pressure away and manage all of the wedding details on your behalf, so you can relax and actually enjoy your engagement.
There are some situations where a wedding planner is even more beneficial. For example, if you’re planning a destination wedding, or a wedding at a “blank canvas” style venue that requires additional planning and coordination. A wedding planner would also be ideal if you and your partner are both time-poor and juggling wedding planning around full-time jobs, family commitments and a social life.
Along with epic organisation and multitasking skills, working with a wedding planner also means investing in their knowledge, expertise and industry contacts. A wedding planner will have endless connections and can source trustworthy suppliers on your behalf – saving you a bunch of research time, and ensuring you receive the best value for money.
And finally, a wedding planner is a great investment if organisation simply isn’t one of your strong points! Let’s be honest – if the mere thought of planning your wedding makes you feel instantly stressed and overwhelmed, you might prefer to hand over the reins to an expert.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
So, what exactly is your wedding planner responsible for? The role of a wedding planner usually includes (but is not limited to!) the following:
- Sourcing ceremony and reception venues, along with managing all contracts and communication with your venue
- Sourcing suppliers, presenting them with a brief, and managing all contracts and communication with them
- Creating and managing your wedding budget
- Attending site visits and supplier meetings
- Creating a detailed timeline for the day including responsibilities of all suppliers
- Confirming and distributing your timeline to everyone involved in the wedding
- Creating floor plans and seating charts
- Countless hours of research and admin
- Organising and attending your wedding rehearsal
- Ongoing assistance for any questions
- Coordination and management on the day itself, including coordinating suppliers, managing set-up details, handling last-minute emergencies and ensuring you and your guests are happy and comfortable
Most wedding planners will have a range of different packages to cater for couples at different stages – whether you want someone to act as your project manager from start to finish, or someone to come in 4 weeks before the day to tie up any loose ends!
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Wedding Planner?
Like all suppliers, the costs to hire a wedding planner will vary greatly depending on your location and venue, industry experience and package inclusions. As a rough guide, you can expect between $950 – $1500 for wedding day coordination, between $1500 – $3000 for partial planning, and upwards of $4000 for complete wedding planning and project management.
Many wedding planners will be able to customise a package based on your individual requirements, so don’t hesitate to ask them for their recommendations. It’s always best to arrange a consultation so you can A: get to know each other, and B: figure out the best plan of attack to suit your needs.
When you think of it as an investment to improve your overall wedding experience (and save your sanity!), you can see why we’re such big advocates for wedding planners and the benefits they bring to couples. Need some help choosing the perfect wedding planner? Check out our complete guide (including a list of must-ask questions) right here.