Post # 1
I am in complete sticker shock at the moment as I am just taking initial steps in planning our event but..
I have literally been engaged for almost 5 years. My fiance and I are to the point where we’ve decided what we want to do. No formal ceremony, we’ll elope in Aruba and then come home and have a nice reception for our close friends & family to celebrate.
I have a pretty busy career and it feels like if I was going to put the burden of planning a full wedding or even just the reception on myself I would have done it already. I also would like someone far more creative than I to help put my vision for the event into action. So, I’ve worked to get a few prices of a full service event planner to assist me with the reception.
The pricing, across the board, Dallas/Ft. Worth area is going around $7,000.00. My budget for the entire event was maximum $25,000 to $30,000 for around 75-85 people max.
It’s difficult to think that a planner alone is going to cost around 20-25% of my budget. Is this normal? Is this even worth it?
Post # 2
We paid $7K+ for our planner.
But our budget was 5 times more for a 300 person wedding so it was definitely worth it. Have you looked into partial planning?
Post # 3
I think I’d pick a talented friend or family member to plan and then hire a day of coordinator. Prices in the Houston area seem to run 500-2000 for day of.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
My full service planner was $4k including day of coordinating. Most planners in my area are outrageous and charged $8-15k or more so she was a bargain (and amazing). $7k is not an outrageous number for a major metropolitan area, but I’d shop around some more and see if you can find someone who is a little less. I found my planner through an acquaintance who had recently gotten married and she was definitely worth it.
Post # 5
This is a normal (high-end) price for for your area. I’m an event planner, and while I don’t do weddings I have a few contacts who do.
I’d ensure you’re getting the full range of services for this price. People think event/party planning is just fun and games, but it’s actuslly a lot of hard, detail oriented work. You want someone to ensure the planning and execution go off seamlessly and that doesn’t come cheap. An established planner will also be able to do things like negotiate best rates for you as far as vendors go.
I completely disagree with the previous poster about offsetting this job to a family member or friend. If you’re not able to do the pre-planning yourself, it’s absurd to ask a family or friend to do this for free because it really is an entire job.
Post # 6
Do not under any circumstances hire a family memmber or a friend to do this. I’ve seen way too many posts about people hiring family members or friends for a wedding and shit going down.
Post # 7
I think the way to get around this is to choose a reception venue that specializes in weddings and that will deal with 80-90% of the logistics for you. Make sure it looks nice enough by default that you don’t need to put particular effort into decorations. Then you can just get a partial planner/month-of coordinator rather than paying someone to create a whole vision from scratch.
Basically, the question is how much you really care about putting *your* specific vision into action, versus just having a nice but typical reception. The guests will be happy as long as the food is good.
Post # 8
If you’re giving over all the planning (arranging tables, doing decorations, locating decorations, contacting vendors, keeping track of payment deadlines, etc) to your planner, then this is a reasonable price. I went for just day of coordinating and in my area it started around $1000 for just a single day. For planning the whole thing it was in the range you saw.
I also had a (very relaxed) wedding for 100 people in Southern California (read: expensive area) for 18K including all food, alcohol, coordinator, dress, suit, photography, tips for vendors, etc. So I think after you take out 7K for the planner, your budget should have plenty of space to host all your guests if you’re ok with doing something a little more relaxed.
Post # 9
You could just pick an all-inclusive reception place? Unless you have a specific and complication vision you really don’t need a planner imo.
Post # 10
Were we are having are wedding they give you a wedding planner no extra cost and for someone who has no idea what to do and gets overwhelmed easy it’s been great but I think if your on a tight budget paying out of your pocket for one I wouldn’t do it. You should look for a place that’s all-inclusive. It is really nice you only deal with one person and they can give you a better price estimate upfront because your not having to factor in different vendors.
Post # 11
I third not hiring a ‘talented friend or family member’ that is just asking for trouble.
Never mix business and pleasure!
Good luck Bee 🙂