Do You Need a Wedding Planner?



Weddings are such joyous occasions, filled with love and happiness. They can also bring about their fair share of stress for the bride and groom. There are countless details to take into account, and the desire to make everything absolutely perfect can create quite a bit of pressure. Nowadays, weddings have become a booming business, much like other industries. This leads to the high demand for “wedding coordinators.” So, do you need a wedding planner? That’s the question you need to consider when planning your special day.

Wedding Planners Come In Many Different Types

Wedding planners, also known as “directors,” “coordinators,” or the more traditional term “bridal consultants,” play a crucial role in organizing and overseeing weddings. They are responsible for managing various aspects of the event, ranging from budgeting to arranging place cards. 

Wedding planners come in different categories, each with their own specialization. Their expertise lies in ensuring the smooth execution of the wedding, paying attention to details and logistics. Although they approach their work professionally, wedding planners also understand the emotional significance of the occasion and strive to create memorable experiences for their clients.

Full-Service Planners

They are also known as “full” planners and they take part in the entire wedding celebration, from beginning to end. They are often hired months in advance to find and hire venues and vendors, manage invitations, create a schedule and floor plan, and guide everyone on the big day. According to the Wedding Report, the average amount spent in 2020 on a full-service planner was $2,773. The top-tier professionals can charge anywhere from $4,500 up to $12,000.

Partial Service Planners

Partial planning service encompasses inclusive month-of wedding coordination services, complemented by a thoughtfully curated range of additional offerings provided by the wedding planner. Typically hired during the intermediate stage of wedding planning, a partial planner assists with a specific number of vendor selections and offers valuable guidance throughout the process. In 2020, the average cost of a wedding planner was approximately $1,055, while partial planning services typically range between $1,250 and $6,000, representing roughly half the cost of full-service planning.

Day-of Planners

They are also known as “month of” planners and they usually get involved four to six weeks before the event. They are more interested in coordination than creativity. They act as stage managers for the big day and sometimes the rehearsal. They direct the vendors and wedding participants to the right places, keep everything on time and solve any problems that may arise. The coordinators also help confirm the logistics, organize timetables, and assist with seating plans and any other last-minute details. In 2020, a day-of planner costs on average $825, but rates for more experienced planners can range from $1250 to $3395.

Specialty Planners

They specialized in a specific function or celebration, such as a destination wedding. This type of consultant is a subset called “design and decor”, or more correctly “wedding designer”. Like theater set designers, they focus on the overall look of the wedding, including color scheme, decor and style, lighting, and floor plan. They will interact and engage with vendors and oversee setup and breakdown but they won’t be involved in the non-aesthetic elements of the wedding.


Wedding Planners Charge a Fee

Wedding planners can charge in many different ways. Many wedding planners offer flat-rate packages with a la carte options. Full-service planners often charge a fee based on a percentage (usually 20%) of the cost of the event, including the venue and vendors. Hourly or day rates are becoming more common, particularly among planners who work on the wedding day. The typical range is $75 to $275.


Who Can Benefit From a Wedding Planner

There’s probably a wedding planner to suit every couple, given the wide range of services available and their prices. A planner is invaluable if the logistics are complicated due to the size of the affair, the location, or the number of days/events. They are a necessity for any wedding where guests will have to travel, or for any event that is held at a distance.

One couple, a pediatrician and public health researcher, was based in Seattle, but they wanted to have their wedding near the bride’s childhood home in rural Maryland. The groom said that they needed “someone who could coordinate across-country” to help them find local vendors, do walk-throughs at their rustic venue, and figure out how to arrange tables, place the band, and stage the ceremony.

Wedding planners can be useful for those who have a strict schedule. Although the idea of wedding planning implies a long-range, elaborate affair – and some full-fledged planners do require a period of the advance of several months – planners can move quickly. They don’t have to start from scratch researching florists or stationers. Vendors and venues are at their fingertips, and they can streamline the selection process and sign-off.

So, do you need a wedding planner? A planner is a great resource for couples who are too busy or disorganized to handle the wedding planning process alone. A wedding planner can be the right professional for couples who don’t enjoy reading service contracts or delving into details.


Selecting a Wedding Planner

Anyone can call themselves a wedding planner. This profession is not regulated, and it does not require a license, training, or credentials. It’s possible to see “certified” or a “master planner” next to someone’s name. But that is an industry designation and not a government-approved one.

We recommend that you check if a wedding planner is part of a well-established organization. The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners is the most well-known. Other organizations include the Association of Bridal Consultants, the National Society of Black Wedding & Event Professionals, and the Wedding International Professionals Association.

Planning with a Planner

You should also set your expectations. Ask for references and check out the planner’s professional affiliations. This will help you understand what you can expect to get for your money. It’s also important to hire people who share your values. Hire someone who will be a part of your everyday life and with whom you will spend a lot of time.

It is the planner’s responsibility to make your plans a reality. 


The Bottom Line: Do You Need a Wedding Planner?

Can a wedding planner really save you money, as some websites claim? Absolutely! Contrary to popular belief, hiring a wedding planner is not just an additional expense; it’s a smart investment. Don’t be fooled by the misconception that you’ll receive significant discounts from vendors. While it’s true that vendors who frequently collaborate with wedding planners may offer a few extra perks, such as additional flowers or extended photographer’s time, the real value lies in the overall cost-saving benefits provided by a skilled planner.

A wedding planner can effectively maximize your purchasing power by finding innovative ways to make the most of your wedding budget. They will eagerly assist you in creating a comprehensive budget plan and work with you to stick to it, helping you avoid impulsive purchases and unnecessary splurges that can quickly add up.

By keeping costs down without sacrificing quality, a wedding planner ensures that you get the most value for your money. On average, couples allocate around 8% of their wedding budget to hiring a wedding planner, but it’s highly recommended to set a limit of no more than 15%. When you establish the right financial and emotional boundaries, a wedding planner becomes a truly invaluable investment for any couple.


What Is the Difference Between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Coordinator?

The terms “wedding planner” or “wedding coordinator” may be used interchangeably, but they hold distinct meanings within the industry. Those involved in the wedding business recognize that these terms carry different roles and responsibilities, each catering to specific requirements.

A wedding planner is responsible for the comprehensive planning and flawless execution of a wedding. They collaborate closely with couples, working together to establish a budget, hire vendors, create a timeline, and structure the ceremony and reception. On the big day, they oversee every aspect of the event, ensuring everything runs smoothly. Wedding planners often provide all-inclusive, full-service solutions to their clients, offering a holistic approach to wedding planning.

Meanwhile, a wedding coordinator acts as a professional consultant, offering more limited services. They typically come into play later in the planning process and have a lesser influence on aspects such as wedding design, budgeting, and vendor selection. Wedding coordinators primarily serve as the main point of contact for vendors and venues. They meticulously prepare a detailed wedding schedule and manage the events on an actual day, ensuring everything stays on track.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial when seeking professional assistance for your wedding. Whether you choose to hire a wedding planner or a wedding coordinator depends on your specific needs and preferences.


What Is a Certified Wedding Coordinator?

Certified wedding planners are individuals who have successfully completed an approved educational program within the industry. These programs often cover a range of subjects, including event planning, design, and small business management. 

Moreover, certified wedding planners frequently possess extensive professional experience, further enhancing their expertise in the field. The responsibility of granting certification lies with the educational authority that offers the courses. For instance, Longevity University’s Wedding Planning Institute, which encompasses several colleges, is one such authority that grants certification upon completion of their approved program.

In addition to educational programs, industry associations also offer certification programs for aspiring wedding planners. One example is the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners (AACWP). To obtain certification through AACWP, candidates must demonstrate their proficiency by providing full-service planning at a minimum of three weddings within the last 18 months. 

Furthermore, they are required to have completed two mentorships with an AACWP member and accredited educational programs. Alongside these practical experiences, candidates must also furnish business credentials such as proof of insurance and references from clients. Additionally, they must provide two accounts of national suppliers.

Obtaining certification as a wedding planner is a significant accomplishment, showcasing both the educational background and practical experience necessary to excel in the field.


Need a Wedding Planner in Sarasota FL?

Elevate your wedding experience in the captivating beauty of Tampa and its surrounding areas with DA Event Planning. Our renowned team of wedding planners is dedicated to turning your dreams into an extraordinary reality. Nestled in the heart of Florida’s picturesque landscapes, we specialize in creating unforgettable moments that will leave you and your guests in awe. From the stunning beaches to the charming venues, we know the hidden gems that will make your special day truly exceptional.

At DA Event Planning, we understand that every detail matters. Our meticulous attention to detail and personalized approach ensures that your wedding reflects your unique style and personality. With our extensive network of trusted vendors and local connections, we bring together the best resources to create a seamless planning process and an unforgettable wedding day that exceeds your expectations.

Imagine saying your vows against a breathtaking backdrop, surrounded by loved ones, while our team flawlessly manages every aspect of your celebration. From venue selection and design to coordination and logistics, we take care of it all, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the joy of your special day.

Trust DA Event Planning to create a wedding experience that is tailor-made for you and your loved ones. Contact us today and let our expertise and passion bring your wedding dreams to life. Together, we will craft memories that will last a lifetime.