What is Included in Full Service Wedding Planning Packages

Wondering what’s included in a full service wedding package? Let Zola help you clear up the confusion. Continue reading to learn more.

By Maggie Mahoney

What is Included in Full Service Wedding Planning Packages
Photo by Zola

The First Look ✨

  • Full-service packages have varying meanings and aspects that they include, but generally, they entail detailed planning from pre to post-wedding services.
  • Full-service packages always include services like booking venues and catering, managing vendors, negotiating contracts, budgeting, creating timelines and lists, coordinating logistics on-site, and executing a wedding theme.
  • When deciding if you want to go the full-service route, take into account you and your partner’s personality types, your intended budget, the level of involvement and personalization you want in the planning, and your intended location.

Wedding planning is an overwhelming and important task. Doing it yourself often means long hours and a lot of stress on you and your SO. Hiring an experienced wedding planner or planning company can be a great way to forgo that excessive strain leading up to your special day. However, the process of finding a planner for your dream wedding can be daunting and, at times, confusing.

During your search, you may ask yourself questions like:

  • What does wedding planning entail?
  • How do I decide which company to go with?
  • And what does a company mean when it says a package is “full service?”

Here is what you should expect when it comes to all-inclusive wedding packages.

What Is a Full-service Package?

The meaning of full-service wedding planning varies between different companies and individual wedding planners, as it is a subjective term. This is why doing in-depth research into the companies you’re considering working with and asking specific questions like the number of guests they can accommodate with their package is highly important.

However, generally, a full-service wedding planning package means creating a timeline for the whole wedding planning process, from the lead up to the wedding to the special day and even post-wedding events like the honeymoon. You can expect a few major things to be included in a full-service package:

Venue Booking

Booking a venue for your reception is always included in full-service packages. However, ceremony location booking isn’t always. If asked, many wedding planners can provide a space for wedding ceremony locations. Just ensure that you communicate your interest in both ceremony and reception booking upfront and include any ceremony location constraints you are working with. For example, if you want your ceremony to be in a Catholic church, make sure to communicate that with your full-service wedding planner.

Vendor Management

Wedding planners handle everything from researching, vetting, and recommending a wedding vendor to interacting with them, negotiating prices, confirming the dates, and making sure you have every professional that you need from a caterer to a DJ booked for your wedding day.

Contract Signing and Budgeting

If reading the fine print isn’t your thing, full-service packages have you covered. These planners will often create a master budget for you, as well as a wedding checklist, and handle all the paperwork involved in wedding vendor booking.

Catering

Food will be taken care of with a full-service package. All-inclusive wedding venues generally handle aspects like catering, linens, decor, table settings, flowers, and music. Before booking, make sure to talk to your full-service wedding planner about the type of cuisines you want to serve and the serving style you prefer (buffet or plated). You can also ask your planner if you can schedule tastings to narrow down your food choices.

On-Site Logistics and Wedding Roadmap

A full-service package means all the coordinating will get done, from wedding party photos to clothing steaming and beyond. Your wedding planner will craft a full wedding roadmap, detailed schedule, and wedding checklist that works for your dream wedding and execute it. They will often be on-site during the special day to jump in if a problem arises.

Managing the Wedding Theme and Design Scheme

Your expert planner will help you create and execute your artistic wedding vision. They will also ensure that your theme, wedding colors, and design style is cohesive across all aspects of your wedding.

Before proceeding with a full-service package, make sure you and your planner are on the same page about what the expectations are. Full-service packages may have some opportunity for customization if you ask, however, add ons usually come at an added cost.

What to Keep in Mind

When deciding whether or not you want to opt for a full-service wedding planning package, you need to weigh a few critical factors:

Your Personality

If you are a Type A personality who wants everything to be done a certain way to execute your vision, a full-service wedding package may not be for you. However, if you don't sweat the small stuff and are looking to alleviate stress and free up your personal time, then a full-service package is a great option.

Desired Level of Involvement and Personalization

Similarly, when considering a full-service package, you and your SO also need to keep in mind how much customization you’re looking for. Full-service packages will give you options, but they will likely be more limited. If you have a specific taste or want to add a lot of personal touches to your wedding, you may have to pay extra on top of a full-service wedding package.

Wedding Budget

A full-service wedding planning package is an investment, but experienced planners know how to negotiate and save you money. According to WeddingStatistics.org, the average cost of a full-service wedding coordinator is roughly $4,000. However, this price will vary depending on a company or wedding planner’s prestige, location, and service offerings. Upgrades or add ons will likely increase the total price.

Wedding Location

If you’re planning on having your wedding overseas or at some other unfamiliar destination, a full-service wedding planning package can decrease the burden on you and your partner. Researching far-away wedding vendors in unfamiliar places can be difficult. That’s where an expert wedding planner comes in handy.

Full-service wedding planners offer couples their expertise, a keen eye for detail, negotiation abilities, and strong organizational skills. These packages also allow couples to relax leading up to their wedding, while someone else handles the heavy lifting and logistics. However, full-service wedding packages can sometimes be more limited or lack full personalization capabilities.

Now that you know what full-service wedding packages entail, you can better make an informed decision about if these packages are the right choice for you and your SO’s special day.

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