Having a wedding planner  used to be looked at as something that was only for celebrities and luxury weddings. If you were spending six or seven figures on your wedding, then yes, of course, it made sense that you would be investing in wedding planning services.

Bride and Groom with their dog

Photo by Nina Lily Photography of Liza and Andrew’s Pocono Lake Preserve wedding

But, here’s the thing: Wedding planners are not just for luxury, high-end weddings anymore.

Wedding planners are more accessible and affordable than ever. And when you’re investing thousands of dollars into your event, wedding planners are the insurance you need. They’ll help you plan a smart, beautiful and well-planned day for your guests.

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Of course, the question then becomes: Can I afford to hire a wedding planner?

I’m never one to tell someone how to spend their hard-earned money. I don’t believe in money-shaming someone for what their budget is. But, I DO believe in sharing helpful information so there are realistic expectations.

In the days where Pinterest is a-plenty with dance floors sitting pretty under chandeliers dripping in pearls and florals and seaside open tenting with perfect skies, it can be really easy to let your imagination run wild and your dreams soar.

But real talk for a second: Outside of your marriage license and officiant, everything else that you’re investing in for your wedding ceremony is “optional”. So if you’re choosing to spend $30k, $50k, $100k or better on your wedding, that’s completely up to you. (Or maybe your parents. But that’s a whole other discussion, isn’t it?)

Investing in a great wedding planner will save you time, money and stress.

Planning a wedding is a full-time job. It is so easy to dump a TON of hours into Googling the entire “Internet of Weddings”.

Depending on where you live and where you’re planning to get married, there are hundreds if not thousands of vendors offering services and products in your area. On top of that, there are MILLIONS of wedding planning articles out there. Each one telling you what to do, what not to do, how to do it, and why your wedding just isn’t complete without [insert whatever trendy thing is happening at the moment].

Yes, we have great resources at our fingertips but weddings are personal. No two couples are exactly alike. Therefore no two weddings are exactly alike. Different venues, vendors, guests, tastes, personalities, themes, vibes, etc.

So, how are you supposed to know what’s best for you?

This is where a wedding planner saves you time.

They’ve seen a lot. They’ve seen things succeed and they’ve seen things fail. If they say they haven’t, they’re either lying or don’t have enough experience. They know their market. They know their vendors. And they know the magic recipe that will make your event successful. An experienced Wedding Planner will guide you and your wedding party throughout your wedding day

Instead of feeling like you need to know, interview and stalk every photographer to find the best fit for you, a wedding planner is going to recommend the best wedding photographers that your budget will allow.

Instead of spending an entire afternoon trying to navigate a transportation schedule, they’re going to put one together in no time. They’re going to send it to your transportation company and make sure you’ve got the most efficient schedule and vehicles for your guests.

They’re going to help walk you through each step. And they’ll give you insanely helpful answers very specific to you and your event.

And you can bet your bottom dollar that a wedding planner will save you money.

What happens when you don’t have a wedding planner and you’re trying to navigate the world of planning a huge event for the first time?

You’re going to make mistakes.

And that’s ok. You’ve never done this before. It’s to be expected and totally understandable.

But mistakes often cost money.

I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t have stacks of extra money laying around to make costly mistakes and NOT have it stress me out.

Having a wedding planner on your team means you’ve got an extra set of eyes and ears always looking out for what’s best for you. Whether it’s reviewing contracts or building timelines. Coordinating long rental lists or booking reputable vendors – they’re going to make sure that all t’s are crossed.

I can’t tell you how many costly mistakes I’ve found. Mistakes where couples were being charged for something they shouldn’t have been. Or times where they’ve accidentally booked a super expensive product or service and I was able to find a way to achieve the same result for much less.

Weddings are stressful enough without the added pressure of everything having to be “perfect”.

If you know me, you know that I HATE the pressure that’s put on couples for events to be perfect. It’s unattainable and unfair to put that onto someone’s shoulders. Especially when they have little-to-no experience in ever planning a wedding before.

But know who HAS planned a wedding before? A wedding planner.

They’ve got the experience and know-how to expertly guide through the entire process. They can help you make decisions that feel amazing to you. You won’t go to bed each night wondering what you’re forgetting or if you’re doing the right thing. You’ve got an EXPERIENCED EXPERT in your back pocket watching your back and helping you every step of the way.

If that doesn’t help relieve some stress, I’m not really sure what does.

But what does it actually cost to hire a wedding planner?

That’s a great and super-fair question. What you’ll invest in a wedding planner depends on many different factors. These can include where your event is taking place, the scope of your event, and what level of help you’re getting from a planner.

If your budget is on the tighter side, I would still 1000% still recommend having a Wedding Manager on your team. A wedding manager is going to be managing your event on the wedding day and allow you to be the gracious, wonderful hosts to your guests. This role has often been called “day-of coordinator” but a shift is happening since the role expands far beyond just the “day of” the wedding.

Wedding Management services from reliable, experienced planners will typically run from $2000-$4500+. Again, this is dependent on your location and scope of your event.

And just a reminder that a Wedding Manager is STILL NEEDED even if you have a venue coordinator(Read more here on that topic.)

To work with an experienced full-production wedding planner, you’ll likely be investing $5000-$12000+ on their services. But it will involve MUCH MORE guidance, help and budgeting than just having a Wedding Manager.

So I leave you with this…

Think that you can’t afford to hire a wedding planner? You may want to ask yourself if you can afford NOT to hire one.