We’ve broken down the different types of services that wedding planners typically offer to help you figure out how much wedding planning help you need.
Wedding planners- media portrays them as a swiss army knife, do-it-all, type-A (stereotypically) female. Mary, portrayed by, Jennifer Lopez in The Wedding Planner, equipped with an earpiece and all, is at her clients’ beck and call. We see her fill the role of everything from therapist to decorator to motivational speaker.
Don’t get me wrong, these planners do exist, but if you remember correctly, Mary wasn’t planning your average wedding. These were high dollar weddings where the word “budget” didn’t exist. The bride’s father even says to Mary in the film, “You give my little girl whatever she wants, no expense spared.” No expense was spared on the wedding planner. In fact, if we had to guess, Mary’s full-service wedding planning probably costs them upwards of $20,000. That’s right, $20,000+ just for the wedding planner.
It would be great to have a Mary as your wedding planner, and it’d be even better to have an unlimited budget like her clients. Real life isn’t always a rom-com movie, but here’s the good news: you can still have the wedding of your dreams and receive the help you need, just make sure you do your research. Wedding planning isn’t a one-size fits all type of deal, which is why we’ve broken down the different types of wedding planning to help you figure out just how much help you need.
There are three main services that wedding planners offer: full-service, partial planning, and day-of coordination. The price on these varies drastically depending on who you’re talking to, mostly because of how much experience they have and where they’re geographically located. But we’ll get to cost later. First, let’s outline what these planning packages even mean.
Full-service wedding planning is your top-shelf option. Mary is an example of a full-service wedding planner. Your full-service planner is involved from the beginning of the planning process all the way through the “I do’s”. They’re helping with everything from some of the biggest decisions like finding a venue to detailed decisions like which font to use on your invitations. They’re there to help with organization and logistics, but also to help with the design and style of your wedding. In summary, they really do it all. We typically see full-service wedding planning start around $4,000 (national average is $2,754). With Wedfuly Premium you can work with the planner of your choice, all online. We offer unlimited chat with your planner, making it a great alternative to full-service planning for a fraction of the cost- $250/annually.
Next up is partial planning, sometimes referred to as month-of coordination. This option is geared towards couples who have the big picture figured out and can handle the detailed decision making on their own, but want help with organization and filling in the gaps. People don’t typically know what they’re doing when planning a wedding. Can you blame them? This isn’t something you do every day, so it’s helpful to have professional expertise to help you figure out what goes into it all. This planner is also present on your actual wedding day to make sure everything runs smoothly. We typically see partial planning start around $2,000 (national average is $1,058). If you hire your Wedfuly Premium planner for day-of coordination, then Wedfuly Premium covers all of this and more.
The most commonly used planner nationally is a day-of coordinator. Most of the day-of coordinator’s work happens on the actual wedding day. They are the director, conductor, and leader of your wedding so that you can sit back and enjoy the time. In order to know how the wedding day is supposed to go, couples typically meet with their day-of coordinator a few times leading up to the wedding day. Unfortunately, since they’re not with you from the start, there can be some confusion due to the small amount of communication that occurs ahead of time. If you’re just working with a day-of coordinator, make sure you have everything uber organized and ready to hand off. This planner will help you create your wedding timeline and deal with vendor direction on the day of the wedding. Your day-of coordinator will be making game-time decisions and dealing with any crisis that comes up on the day of the wedding. Make sure you trust them.
At Wedfuly, to prevent any gaps in communication, we encourage our couples to work with their planner online from the start so that nothing is forgotten. In fact, our planners prefer to work with their day-of clients online beforehand so that they can put their best foot forward on the actual day of the wedding.
Now that we’ve covered the basic types of planning, there are a few other roles that couples sometimes confuse with wedding planners and we want to clear the air.
First up is the venue coordinator. So often, I hear couples say they don’t need a day-of coordinator because their venue has a coordinator. RED FLAG! Yes, this venue coordinator sometimes doubles as a day-of coordinator, but that usually not the case. Typically, the venue coordinator is there to tend to the venue and the venue only. For example, if someone spills wine on the floor or people want access to the outside space, the venue coordinator is there to clean it up or open the doors to the outside. They can show the vendors where things are in the venue and how they work, but they’re not there to cater to you as a couple. You should never assume your venue coordinator will act as your day-of coordinator. Always ask! While it may be financially enticing to forgo working with a coordinator in this situation, make sure your venue coordinator will do everything you think you’ll be needing help with.
For example, need someone cueing you to cut the wedding cake or eat your wedding dessert at 8 PM? Nope, your venue coordinator will not be peeling you away from the dance floor to remember the dessert. Your dessert purchase will most likely go uneaten in that scenario.
Next up is an event designer– someone who helps design the overall look and aesthetic of your wedding. As we discussed in our section about full-service planners, these planners also typically help with the design of the event so they can be considered event designers as well, but an event designer is not a wedding planner. An event designer solely helps with the vision of your wedding day. Usually, they are the artistic mind of the planning process and have very little to do with the actual organization of the event. Sometimes, couples will hire an event designer as well as a day-of coordinator. Event designers can double as your place for event rentals as well.
Getting professional planning help, regardless of the type, can be time-saving, stress-saving and, in the grand scheme of things, money-saving. But we also know that it can be expensive and sometimes there are not enough funds left to allocate towards planning. That’s why we created Wedfuly. Whether you’re working with a professional planner online to get help with all aspects of your wedding or working with a Wedfuly vendor concierge to find your perfect vendors, we’re making professional planning accessible and affordable to all couples.
Learn more about Wedfuly wedding planning options here!