$18K?! How much was your planner and was it worth it?

posted 7 months ago in Beehive
Post # 2
68 posts
Worker bee

I usually read a planner should be around 10% of your wedding budget for a full service planner. 


My planner was between 12 and 15k. I haven’t had my wedding yet so I can’t say if she’s worth it or not? She helped source the venue and the vendors we have picked out thus far. Our band did give her a heads up when a couple without a planner requested our date, so that particular vendor valued their professional relationship and gave us preference. Her excel budget for us has been great. She’s done this before and we haven’t, so she’s got experience there. 


Her package includes unlimited meetings.  She contacts 5-7 vendors for each category, makes sure they are open for our date and then puts together a clickable presentation on them. We can see examples of their work, reviews, their pricing, etc. This has made wedding planning really easy thus far, but I’m sure some people love doing the research and finding their hidden gem. She tracks payment schedules, puts together a style guide for our day that helps with decisions like bridal party attire and gifts, my accessories, linens and napkins, chairs, and all the little details I would forget about or not know how to make cohesive. And then she and an assistant will run our rehearsal and the actual wedding. 


Its a a ton of money. We’re spending a ton of money on the whole weekend, so it made sense to invest in someone that can make my vision come to life. 

Post # 3
68 posts
Worker bee

Oh! Venues that come with planners are great, but their job is to work for the venue and not you specifically. I’m sure they’ll say the opposite, but they get paid no matter what bride books the venue, so they have loyalties. I would encourage getting at least a month of planner on your own to advocate for you and to run interference between ALL of your vendors, including the venue. 

Post # 4
1422 posts
Bumble bee

I got a day of coordinator and paid her $600. For me it was worth it to not pay a planner since I could do the planning at my leisure up to the wedding. What I really needed help with was making sure it all came together. Also, my whole wedding cost 18k, that much for just a planner is a bit ridiculous to me. Planning a wedding wasn’t hard enough to be worth that much money to get someone else to do it for me.

Post # 5
2479 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

It’s not unheard of.  It’ll depend on your area, demand and expertise of your planner etc…some celebrity planners charge upwards of $50K to plan a wedding..big or small.

How is the quote broken down, is she charging you a flat rate, hourly or a percentage (usually 15%) of your wedding budget?

My full service planner was $7K+.  Had she charged us a percentage of our wedding budget, it would’ve been $16K – $24K so she was definitely worth her weight in gold.

Post # 6
3194 posts
Sugar bee

My partial planner was a little over $3k. And I had to bring everything into the venue. He had two people on site day of.

Post # 7
2404 posts
Buzzing bee

Our partial planner charged us $13,000.  Yikes!!!

It was more than I wanted to spend but we desperately needed help as my SO has not exactly understood the sense of urgency with wedding planning.  (true story: my beloved thought you ordered wedding invitations a month before the wedding). The extra and unexpected expense has me stressed out, but at least shit is getting done now!

We hired her about 6 months before the wedding and she includes DOC services as well as staff to do decorating/decor tear down.  We already had a venue, photographer, and caterer before we hired her but there was still quite a bit to be done. Our venue is also kind of persnickety with a bunch of random rules (historic registered building), so I am glad we have someone to lay down the law with vendors and help enforce those rules.  

Post # 8
3838 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Woahhh. My entire wedding was $18k so that is insane! I think that is way too much. We didn’t find it particularly hard to plan everything ourselves. Maybe if you have a huge budget and a really elaborate vision but otherwise I don’t see the need. If everything else about the two venues is equal though, may as well pick the one with the planner! 

Post # 9
900 posts
Busy bee

I cannot believe planners are that expensive – and really not necessary! If you’re organized, have research skills, and know what you like, you can easily hire all major wedding vendors yourself and save your $10k++. Then just get a “day of” coordinator on board with about 6 weeks to go so they can confirm all final details and make sure the day runs smoothly. 


We planned a large expensive wedding in a major US metro area and I hired every single vendor myself. Negotiated, contracted and booked. Then we spent about $1500 on a day of coordinator who got us through the month or so leading up to the wedding. She was worth her weight in gold! 

Post # 10
764 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

thetulle :  I am planning a 3-hour small wedding with less than 50 people and I hired a DOC who charges $45 per hour plus trav and she is also willing to do other work besides coordinating so I’m pretty happy with that and think she’s worth it. 

Post # 11
8420 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: Dorset, UK

Holy shit. That seems insane to me, but then we are only spending £13k on the wedding (which still feels mad to me), I really enjoyed planning and was happy to invest the time doing it myself, getting quotes from vendors and researching them really isn’t difficult. I spent lunch breaks, evenings and weekends doing it but that was fine for me. 

Post # 12
133 posts
Blushing bee

The wedding industry… I’ll be surprised if my wedding costs that much. I think we need to take a deep breath and realize it is a party, which will be the most wonderful day anyway since we are getting married so all the extras are just that: extras.I would love to have that amount to pay for my student loans so it’s a no for me but to each her own!

Guests might remember the dress (it was white lol) but not all the little things that add up to a lot of money and definitely not whether the planner costs 18k or if there was even one! But they will remember how you made them feel i.e. long breaks, no heat/AC, lateness, horrible food. What stays are the pictures (great videographer) and the friendships (no bridezilla). So maybe a great day of would be good, so you can relax a bit and enjoy yourself. For a less than 1/10 of that planner.

If you have time, research a bit and see how far you can go on your own. It’s really just scheduling, tracking, chasing and thinking on the fly. And there are a lot of templates online as well as blogs from brides who did well. That’s what I will do.

Post # 14
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

thetulle :  That sounds totally crazy to me. I hired a day of coordinator for $600.00 – her prices increased this year to $1000 for that service, but her full service planning was only $2,000 last year, and this year I believe it is only $3,000. 18K seems like a REALLY steep fee. Does it cover the cost of all the rentals and flowers and everything as well? Because if its 18K for just her time, and her making phone calls and organizing everything that seems kind of high IMO.

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