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

posted 6 months ago in Beehive
Post # 31
3532 posts
Sugar bee

I just don’t think planning a wedding is so difficult that you need to spend 18K. My wedding was in a barn (2013 don’t judge me), and it included nothing in the venue. I found a caterer that partnered with a particular rental company, so the caterer was able to do all the coordinating of rentals and get the accurate number for everything I needed on his own. They just sent me the proposals for me to tweak. If I wanted anything special they didn’t have, I just found that on my own and coordinated it, like vintage china. I think a good caterer and day of coordinator is totally sufficient. There just aren’t THAT many vendors you need to book for a wedding, and as long as you get seasoned vendors, they know how to coordinate their deliveries and set up properly. I think if you’re at all pragmatic, you can skip the crazy expensive planner no problem. 

Post # 33
7442 posts
Busy Beekeeper

thetulle :  I mean those pictures say it all. The $1,100 planner doesn’t even look like a planner was used. The $1,800 planner looks lovely but nothing special. The expensive planner is definitely the best design and execution of all. 

Post # 34
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Honestly unless you are loaded…and are having a 150k plus wedding and are insanely busy (both are doctors, lawyers, business professionals etc anything that requires 50hr+ weeks) I find them a waste of money.

If you work a typical 35hr week a wedding isnt that hard to plan, paying someone 18k to research and send emails is insane to me. 

We had a 160 person… 80k wedding so on higher end (I live in Toronto, Canada) and our venue did come with a month off coordinator and venue planner during the year and that was fantastic.

To add: Im in corporate finance and my husband owns his own business so we both work 50hr weeks or so +

Our decor company was super professional with great reviews and totally put my vision to life, so did our florals so what a planner would have done in that sense other than email I really dont know.

Good 5/5 star vendors are pros at what they do, a month of coordinator and day off one would certainly help tie eveyrhing in and make it run smoothly for a much much lower cost!!!

Like I said if you guys are from old money rolling in it, throwing a massive affair then yes otherwise I think you can totally do without a 20k cost for research.

Also.. your vision looks gorgeous!! Good luck bee 🙂

Post # 35
166 posts
Blushing bee

thetulle :  While stylistically I think the most expensive planner definetly looks the most cohesive, put together, etc – I don’t dislike the others either.

If you are looking for design services, make sure you are looking for a designer – not just a planner! They are different things. Some do both, but some only do one or the other. 

Planners handle logistics – contracts, timeline, payments, making sure everyone is where they need to be when they need to be there.

Designers handle design – making sure your floral, table top rentals, linens, chairs, etc all coordinate together create the look that you want. Creating floor plan layouts so that there is proper flow based on the elements. Like I said sometimes you can get a planner that also does these things. Sometimes you can get a florist that does them.

I would review their packages and the wording very carefully to make sure you are going to get the exact services that you are looking for. Ask lots of questions about their process and how they put a specific look together!

Post # 36
697 posts
Busy bee

Wow. My entire wedding was around $25K (destination wedding in FL) and I’ve had multiple friends and SO’s of friends tell me it was one of the best weddings they ever attended. The financee of my husband’s friend asked me to help plan her wedding because she loved mine so much. The key thing that they remembered? THE BAND and our energy as a couple. As long as you have good food and premium bar to back that up you can’t go wrong.

However, if decor is important to you, I think the question to ask is, what was the overall budget of those 3 wedding pic samples? Because I honestly don’t see the extra $10K planning in value for the expensive one unless those plates are antique china. Don’t let them strong arm you into thinking spending more money is better. I’ve gone to some gorgeous six figure weddings that felt completely souless and disorganized. When those couples finally got their photos back and shared them I remember thinking “wow that wedding looks so much better in pics than I remembered”. People remember how they feel at an event. Keep in mind that you are planning a living breathing event, not an editorial shoot. 

Post # 37
2421 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

thetulle :  Honestly that sounds insane to me. I’m a fiercely independent person and I am a bit of a planner (think Monica Geller lol) so I wouldn’t trust anyone but me to do things the way I want them. 

But honestly, from the things you listed that a planner helps out with it doesn’t sound worth it at all. I think as long as you have quite a few months to plan, you can make a few calls on a lunch break, days off, etc. And if you have friends or family that can help and make some calls, there’s no point in spending that much to hire someone to do the same thing.

Post # 38
224 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2019

My coordinator is doing all of those things minus the welcome bags and RSVP coordination…for just over 3k. 

18k sounds crazy to me 

Post # 39
139 posts
Blushing bee

thetulle :  We went the partial planning package and it was around $6,000. I believe the full services started at $10,000+. In hindsight, I should have paid for the full service. I hated every. single. moment. of wedding planning. And I’m even good at it. I’m super organized, great at research and project management, have a good eye for design, and did a darn good job that my wedding planner was even impressed. But, it wasn’t worth the toll it took on my mental health. I think whether it’s “worth it” is a very individual decision. Some people don’t find these things stressful, whereas I found the pressure of it all incredibly stress-inducing. Only you and your fiance know what is best for you! I do suggest reaching out to at least 3 wedding planners before you make a decision, so that you can compare different prices, styles, etc…Good luck!

Post # 40
3103 posts
Sugar bee

In Miami, I would absolutely have my own partial planner (but not for $13k; I would expect a very good one to be $3-5k). Venues and vendors are super flaky there. 

Post # 41
875 posts
Busy bee

I honestly don’t think a planner is necessary. We had a 175 person, $50k wedding and didn’t need a planner at all. Between Pinterest, this website, and other online resources, it’s easy to see what’s out there and get your vision together. Does the venue include catering and linens? Ours did and it was so easy- we picked foods and linens from the giant book of options provided by the venue. We browsed Minted and had fun together creating our invitations. We priced other vendors using Wedding Wire.  I can’t imagine what a planner would have done. 

Post # 42
162 posts
Blushing bee

Wow. That’s almost my annual after tax salary. I need to change professions. Screw healthcare.

Even if I was rich I don’t think I could justify spending that much on a planner. I really hope that this really includes everything. So That you can just show up on the day. 

Post # 43
740 posts
Busy bee

The more expensive planner will most likely have relationships with more luxury style vendors, high end design shops, calligraphers, etc. Is this in line Wouk your wedding? thetulle :  


My wedding will be over $100k and we went with a $2k DOC. She’s amazing, and has recommended a few vendors she likes to work with, but isn’t a planner by any means. 

Post # 44
546 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

I got married in Beverly Hills and here $18K isn’t unheard of for a planner…they can get outrageously expensive. No way I was spending that though. I ended up finding a really good planner full service, including day of coordination, for $5k (total cost of my wedding including the planner was around $85k). I just did my research and asked friends who got married who they used. 

I think if you are having a big wedding a planner is definitely worth it but you can most certainly find one for under $18k. I was able to find one for a lot less and she was still awesome! She had relationships with all the best vendors and got me great pricing. 

Post # 45
2061 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

I have to say I’m surprised at that price. My planner did all the things you list and she charged $3500 for full services (limited to 15 hours total and all day on the day of the wedding). Her unlimited package was $5000. We did the 15 hour, $3500 plan and that was plenty for 8 months of planning services. I live in a high-priced metropolitan area and my wedding was $60K for 80 guests and included a hosted pre-wedding welcome party and day-after brunch, which she also helped plan. Maybe we got a deal.

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