I’m getting real today, friends. I feel that I need to put this information out into the universe not just for myself but to inform all you sweet brides and lovely MOBs on the truth. I hope that you soak up my thoughts and consider them heavily.
Professional wedding planners cost more than $1,500 and coordinators cost more than $500. Truthfully, a reputable coordinator will be in the $1,500-$3,500 range and a high quality planner will be anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000 (or more!). And yes, there are absolutely some out there that charge $500. To be perfectly honest and transparent, I did… at first. In my first few months in business back in 2009, I charged between $500 and $750 for coordination service and was happy as a clam. Then I quickly realized I have to pay my taxes, marketing costs, office supplies, gas, time, knowledge, rent, continuing education, cell phone bill, my website/email/blog, staffing, and the list goes on. I simply could not support myself with 20 weddings a year at $500 a pop. That’s only $10,000 a year. Minus all those things I listed before and I would be living in a box eating PB & Js. Not realistic folks. I made more than that waiting tables in college.
But it’s not about the dough. I think it’s all about perception. Caterers give you food–you can taste it, see it, smell it. Photographers give you images–you get to relive your day through them and share with family and friends. Wedding planning and coordinating services are just that–a service, an experience. I can’t take my vendor knowledge, design eye, and mad time line making skills and put them in a box. I wish I could but I just simply can’t. Instead, I give you relaxation on the day of your wedding because I’m styling all of your gorgeous details. I give you great photos because I do everything in my power to set your photographer up for success. I give you a tasty, hot dinner because my time line is spot on and your caterer can serve your guests’ meals on time. I want you, your family, your friends, and your vendors to have the absolute best experience possible because it’s my job and my passion.
Just know that in the wedding industry, you almost always get what you pay for. There is an exception to every rule of course and I’m sure there is a planner out there that is awesome, just starting out, and charging peanuts.. just like I did. But know this, any professional planner and coordinator is worth their weight in gold. We are worth more than $500. We do our jobs not to make a bunch of money. Trust me, if I was in this business to make a lot of money, I would be driving a brand new BMW instead of my Honda. We do this job because we have passion for hospitality. We enjoy making people happy. We simply love love.
I share this information with you today not to spark a great uprising (although I appreciate all respectful opinions and comments!) or sound like a snooty, fancy pants wedding planner. I work just as hard for a $50,000 event as a $150,000 event. And I charge the same pricing structure for all my clients. I share this with you so you’ll think about the value of your vendors and not just their dollar signs. We’re people just like you, trying to keep a roof over our head and do what we love.