How Much Does A Wedding Planner Cost In The UK?
Every time you hire a professional to do anything for you, you’ll want to find out about the quality of their service and their reputation before you commit. But invariably, one of your first questions will be how much will it cost me?
Everyone likes to feel like they are getting value for their hard earned money. And with a wedding, there can be extra pressure here if your family are contributing to the cost of your wedding.
You want to be sure you use their money wisely and hiring a wedding planner can really help here. A good planner will manage your budget for you, make sure you get the best value and quality from your suppliers and keep a close eye on your spend throughout.
A planner can often save you significant amounts of money through their network of suppliers and advising you about where you prioritise your spend. Remember you’re paying for their experience and knowledge as well as the practical help they provide.
So what does it actually cost?
The cost of a wedding planner can vary based on their location and experience.
But as with most things, it comes down to the service which you choose. There are 3 main services which most planners offer. Many have other services which might work for you if you just need help with a specific element, such as a venue or supplier search.
Let’s look at the main 3 options.
Full Wedding Planning
This is the most comprehensive service you can book with a planner. Your planner will undertake everything for you to deliver the wedding of your dreams.
So this includes sourcing your perfect venue and suppliers who are a good fit for your style and budget. It includes all the administration which goes with planning a wedding (wedmin as it’s called in the industry).
Your planner will accompany you to meetings with your venue and suppliers. They will also pull together every single detail of your big day into a comprehensive schedule of the day.
On the day they’ll manage everything so you can sit back and relax and enjoy your day.
Most planners charge a percentage of your total wedding budget spend as their fee for this service. Weddings with higher budgets generally require more planning effort. So by charging a percentage, planners can be sure they are being paid the correct amount for the amount of work they are doing for you.
Prices generally range from 10 to 15% of your budget. The percentage charged is usually determined by the complexity and location of your wedding. For example, a marquee wedding needs much more planning so the fee is likely to be nearer to 15%.
Ask your planner if there are any items which they don’t include in your budget. For example, many planners won’t include the cost of the rings and wedding dress in the budget when calculating your fee.
Most planners also have a minimum fee. So if your budget is around £10k for example, chances are you’d be paying their minimum fee rather than a percentage of your budget. Minimum fees tend to start at around £3000 but again these vary and can be much higher.
Remember, the average wedding takes around 250 hours to plan so you’re getting a lot of hours for your fee. And most planners are self- employed so have all the overheads of running a business too. The fee you pay them isn’t all profit!
Partial Wedding Planning
This service is ideal if you start your wedding planning but then realise you need some help. So you might have booked your venue for example, and then just feel totally overwhelmed at the thought of sourcing all your suppliers.
Or your circumstances may change part way through your planning so that you have a lot less spare time available to do any planning,
This service allows you to bring in a planner at any stage to basically pick up where you left off. They will assess what is left to do and base their price on the amount of work this will need. Some planners will only take this on three months before your wedding, but my partial planning service can be booked at any stage.
So this service is usually a fixed price, rather than a percentage. Again prices can vary a lot but you can generally expect to pay anything upwards of £1500.
Wedding Day Management
This service is ideal if you have nailed your wedding planning but need someone to manage your actual wedding day so you can relax.
So for example, if you have hired a ‘dry hire’ venue where you have to bring in all your suppliers, hiring a planner to manage the day is a bit of a no brainer. You can read my blog about dry hire venues and why hiring a planner makes sense here.
Most planners will meet with you around 6-8 weeks before your wedding to run through all the details with you. From there they’ll contact your suppliers to introduce themselves and agree the detailed schedule of the day.
Your planner will be there throughout your wedding day to oversee everything, ensure make sure everything runs to plan. My Wedding Day Management service starts at £650 depending on the complexity of your wedding.
Remember that Full and Partial Planning include Wedding Day Managements as well in their price. Your planner will usually be the first person to arrive and the last to leave and they won’t stop all day! These are seriously long days but we love every minute of it!
Make sure you know exactly what is and isn’t included in the service you choose. There are differences between what planners include in their services. So while the service might have the same name, it’s definitely worth checking the details to be confident you’re comparing like for like.
Ask if your planner takes commission. Some planners receive commission from suppliers on top of the fee they charge you. It can mean you pay more for your wedding overall as suppliers will add this commission to the fee they charge you.
You can see more info on this on this blog from the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners.
As a member of the UKAWP, I don’t accept commission from suppliers. Any discounts I secure are passed on in full to you.
I hope this has helped to give you a better understanding of pricing. Couples who use a planner always say the cost was worth every penny.
You can see more details about my planning services here. And I offer a free consultation to all couples who are considering booking me as their planner so get in touch to arrange yours. I’d love to hear from you.