How Much is a Wedding Planner?

Everything you need to know about the cost of a wedding planner, including the different types of coordinators, their average rates, and factors that can affect the cost.

By Jane Chertoff and Georgie Darling

Hand holding hundred dollar bills on graphic background
Photo by Zola

There’s a reason why wedding planners exist — planning a wedding is tough! Their expertise and experience can be invaluable as you prepare for your wedding, and on the day of.

The cost of a wedding coordinator or planner ranges widely, and varies based on time, experience and service. It could be included in your venue cost, or you could spend tens of thousands of dollars. We’ll help you determine which option is right for you and your budget.

Expert Advice: If a wedding planner or coordinator is not in your budget, don't worry! You can absolutely plan your own wedding, or call in a favor from (organized!) friends or family to help you out. While planning a wedding can be a lot of work, it’s certainly not impossible to do yourself. Especially with all of the free planning tools and resources available these days.

That said, if you do plan to use one, read on to find out how much a wedding planner costs, and which kind of planner is best for you.

What’s the average wedding planner cost?

  • Venue event coordinator: Included in your venue or $1,000 add-on
  • Day-of wedding coordinator: $1,500-$8,000
  • Month-of wedding coordinator: $2,000-$8,000
  • Full-service wedding planner: $5,000 up to $50,000 for a high-end destination wedding

Full-service wedding planners typically only have experience with larger weddings (and larger budgets). So if you’re planning a small wedding and/or have a small budget, a “Day of” planner might be a better option.

Types of wedding planners

The main types of wedding planning services include Venue Event Coordination, Day or month-of Wedding Coordinator, Wedding Management, Partial Planning & Design, and Full Service Planning & Design. Prices start at around $1,000 and go up to $50,000+, depending on how much expertise the planner has.

How much do wedding planners charge: price estimations of each service

Most wedding coordinators will work with you to create a custom package best suited to your needs. Keep in mind, tacking on additional services such as having them plan a rehearsal dinner or being in text contact, can cost extra. On the flip side, don’t be afraid to remove and save on services you don’t need.

Venue event coordination: $1,000 average

Best for: smaller weddings, particularly those that take place in an unfamiliar location to you and your spouse-to-be.

Some venues come with an event coordinator, employed by the venue to manage the events hosted in the space. Because they run events every week and weekend at the same location with (generally) the same timetable and maybe even a select group of vendors, they’re able to swoop in on the day-of to make the event go smoothly.

A venue event coordinator will communicate directly with you, give you a timeline based on previous events at the venue, and have limited contact with your vendors. If you’re wondering how much a wedding planner is and assuming it’s out of budget, this option might make you think differently.

They will also direct set-up and tear-down, manage the timeline, handle unexpected issues, and generally ensure the day runs smoothly. However, keep in mind that their main focus is on making sure that the event goes smoothly for the venue, not necessarily you and your guests.

They want to make sure people get in and out of the venue at the right times, are taken care of, and behave responsibly for the security of the venue. Some venue coordinators may go above and beyond to take care of you, but don’t expect them to play referee between warring family members!

Day-of wedding coordination: $1,500-$8,000 average

Best for: the most budget-friendly bespoke option that lets you focus on having fun on your big day.

A day-of coordinator, like the name suggests, is in charge of making sure your wedding day runs smoothly. They’ll follow your plans and schedule on the day rather than working behind the scenes in advance. They typically do tasks including:

  • Creating a detailed itinerary for the wedding day and distributing it to all the vendors and key people involved.
  • Supervising the setup of the ceremony and reception venues, making sure everything is in place according to your vision.
  • Managing the flow of the events, like directing guests, cueing music, and announcing speeches.
  • Admin like handling emergencies, caring for personal items, and dealing with transport and vendors.
How Much Do Wedding Coordinators Cost Photo Credit // Emma Mcdonald Weddings

Month-of coordination or “wedding management”: $2,000-$8,000 average

Best for: smaller weddings with lots of details (and/or family members) to keep track of.

You may think the hard part is over when your wedding is only weeks away, but most couples are surprised and overwhelmed by the little things that come up in the final days before they say “I Do.” Month-of coordinators ease this stress and ensure everything is ready for the big day.

In addition to coordinating and communicating with the couple, the wedding party, and the wedding vendors, a month-of coordinator will take on all last-minute planning details and ensure your wedding vision comes to life. You may also hear this service referred to as “Wedding Manager,” as it can be broader in terms of timeline and responsibilities. These additional responsibilities can include:

  • Planning the seating chart and day-of timeline in advance
  • RSVP management (and chasing up wayward invites, if need be)
  • Checking in with vendors and distributing tips
  • Reviewing contracts and vendor information

Month-of-coordinators will also be prepared for any unforeseen issues, including broken bustles, managing difficult family dynamics, and finding wayward wedding party members during photos.

Partial planning & design: $2,500 up to around $10,000

Best for: Working alongside an industry expert to bring your dream wedding to life.

You know you can handle most of the planning, maybe because you’ve been in a dozen weddings already, or have an elaborate Pinterest board and many saved Real Wedding photos, but you want someone to step in and check your work. A lot of full-service wedding coordinators and month-of coordinators offer partial-planning packages as well for couples that fall in this boat.

Most planners will require at least a venue to be booked for partial planning services. These packages are most-often custom, although you will come across coordinators with three-month and six-month options. Extra services can include managing invitations, offering design ideas, securing specialty vendors, assembling favors, handling paperwork, and lots more.

Full-service planning & design: from $5,000 up to around $50,000

Best for: Larger weddings where you’d rather hand off the entire project (and stress) to an expert.

Alternatively, how much is a wedding planner when you want someone to look after everything? Fees for full-service coordinators can reach $50,000, however, the starting rate hovers around $5,000 in medium/high cost of living areas. If you live in a rural area, you can sometimes find wedding planners for much less.

While you may be paying a pretty penny for these planners, they come with service and insight that can be worth the extra funds. Some wedding planners work similarly to interior designers in that they take a percent of the total wedding spend.

For help and design advice from engagement to “I do,” a wedding planner offering complete planning and event design is the way to go. Unlike a coordinator, a wedding planner will be there from the very start and can help with everything from your color palette and mood board to wedding venue selection.

A full-service wedding planner is especially helpful for destination weddings or large weddings with lots of moving parts. They can also help lower costs and save you time by recommending vendors that are within your price range. They may even be able to secure discount pricing or added perks if they have existing relationships with your vendors.

Consider your budget, style, and personality when choosing a wedding coordinator. Shop around, get on the phone, or meet in person with a few favorites to get a feel for how you’ll work together. Apart from your fiancé, your wedding planner or coordinator will be the person you communicate with the most about your wedding. Plus, they’ll be directing everything on the day, so it’s important to not only get along with them but also trust them completely.

What’s included in wedding planner cost?

Sure, it goes without saying that your wedding planner fee includes, well, planning the wedding. But, when you’re calculating how much a wedding planner is in total, keep in mind that the fee you pay may not cover all of the following pieces of the puzzle.

How Much Do Wedding Coordinators Cost Photo Credit // Tim Ryan Smith Photography

Travel and accommodations

Are you having a destination wedding? You’ll need to factor your wedding coordinator’s flights, room, and food into your budget. But covering travel and accommodation costs isn’t limited to destination weddings. Gas,transportation, and a hotel the night of or before your big day are other typical wedding planner costs. It’s essential you read all agreements with your wedding coordinator as these expenses may not be included in their rate but are required under the contract.


Does your wedding coordinator work with a team? If so, are their team member’s wages included in the overall rate, or do they come at an additional cost? Additional help on your wedding day can come with extra fees for labor, travel, food, and tips.

Food and drink

Be sure to include vendor meals in your catering budget for coordinators and any team members working during the reception. If your coordinator is also attending the rehearsal dinner or joining your food tasting, consider their meals as additional line items on your budget as well.


Tipping wedding coordinators is highly recommended, especially if they’ve played an integral part in your wedding planning. If your coordinator exceeds your expectations, it’s appropriate to tip them and their assistants on the day of the wedding. A good tip is 10-20% of the wedding planning services costs in total.

Be upfront with your coordinator about all costs before you sign the contract. Ask about their policies concerning travel, if they’ll be hiring additional team members to help, and if the tip is included. Ask about their payment structure, as many will not require a lump sum payment in advance, but rather a deposit.

Final things to keep in mind when hiring a wedding planner

So, is a wedding planner worth it?

Although wedding planners and coordinators do come at a cost, your coordinator can end up saving you money on your wedding day. A huge part of the coordinator’s role is to help you stick to your budget.

They offer expert advice and helpful suggestions to help you make tough decisions and find budget-friendly options. These tasks alone could ensure you don’t overspend. Wedding planners and coordinators are also experts in the field and have often worked with your venue and vendors before. These established relationships can help secure deals, discounts, or trades that can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Even if you don’t see direct savings thanks to your coordinator, a wedding planner will surely save you time, energy, and stress. And that’s practically priceless for some.

Thinking you want to plan your own wedding? Here at Zola, we help make wedding planning stress-free and fun. Take a tour of everything we offer, starting with our free wedding planning tools.

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