I get emails like this one a lot:
I am recently engaged and we are looking at October 2018 for our wedding. I have been to a lot of weddings recently and know that a coordinator can make a huge difference, but I’m not sure what exactly I need. Can we meet to talk about how you might be able to help?
In this series that’s sort-of turning into Wedding Planner 101 (read these posts on how a coordinator can save you time, money, and sanity, or this one about how to find the right coordinator for you), I wanted to follow-up with a post that helps you answer this question when determining how much to invest in your wedding coordinator.
Some coordinators offer a wide-variety of packages…but honestly, that can overcomplicate what can already be an overcomplicated wedding planning process. Here is an outline of two packages offered by the majority of wedding planners.
This is the one you see in the movies. The coordinator is there every step of the way, available to answer questions or concerns as they arise, attending vendor consultations with you, keeping track of your deadline tasks, helping you source decor and rentals, and developing the perfect timeline for your event. Depending on her areas of specialty, she may be able to help with creative tasks like graphic design, floral arrangements, or decor design. She will help run the rehearsal, and will be onsite for the duration of your event, most likely with a team of assistants. The average price for this type of service around U.S. is between $1,500-$2,500, or 10% of the total wedding budget. With wedding budgets a little smaller than the national average, Missouri falls near the lower end of this scale.
Day-of Coordinating is much simpler, and therefore typically costs much less than full-planning. The coordinator will meet with you initially to get an idea of the basic details and your overall vision. She may offer vendor recommendations to get you started on the right foot. Generally, you won’t meet with her again until between 4-8 weeks before the wedding when you will confirm details and she will help you iron out a timeline for the day. She will usually follow-up with the vendors and be available for limited hours on the day-of to help make sure everything gets where it needs to go. There may be an assistant onsite depending on the planner, but usually the bride will either hire most of her vendors for set-up or provide helpers that will be responsible for certain tasks. The cost for this varies widely, but starts around $500 and fluctuates based on specific factors like size of wedding and duties performed. Occasionally planners will add on additional services at an hourly cost, such as running the rehearsal or set-up and tear-down.
Which is best for you?
Full-service is best for brides who have full-time jobs, school, or other obligations that need attention, since wedding coordinators can help them book the right vendors for their vision and budget in half the time. It’s the only choice for brides who want that Pinterest-worthy look at their wedding that requires lots of attention to detail on the big day, and for couples who want family and friends to just come and enjoy the day without getting put to work. Interestingly, it’s also the best choice for brides on a budget, as hiring a skilled planner can save costs in other areas.
Day-of Coordinating is best for brides who want to keep their weddings really simple and small. The guest list should be around or under 100 guests for maximum benefit, and the couple will need to have invested in skilled vendors in other areas (a great venue, DJ, and caterer are musts for the best wedding experience) and, though the planner can help with set-up and tear-down, will likely need to make arrangements for the bulk of this themselves.
Ready to talk to a consultant to see which one works best for you? Contact us for your consultation!