How a wedding planner can help you and how much they cost
- Wedding planners play an important role at weddings for many couples, but people who have never worked with them may not fully understand what they are doing.
- Insider spoke to Emily Monus, a New York-based wedding planner, about her work.
- Monus shared with Insiders how planners can help make weddings go smoother, how a planner differs from a coordinator’s day, and how to choose a planner that suits you.
- She also provided insight into the cost of a wedding planner and divided it up based on the type of services a couple uses.
- You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.
Right after you get engaged, you are likely to experience excitement. But soon after, you may get nervous as you think about how much work you need to do to make your dream wedding come true.
When you envision your big day, you can hire a wedding planner to help you run the event.
However, hiring the right person can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure what exactly a planner is doing.
Insider spoke to Emily Monus, a New York-based wedding planner who specializes in vegan and LGBTQIA + weddings, about what her job involves and why couples planners can make such a difference.
Imagine a wedding planner as a project manager
Monus told Insider that a wedding planner is not unlike a project manager or a stage manager.
“At its simplest, a wedding planner is your wedding project manager,” she told Insider. “They will guide you through supplier selection and communication, organizing details, seating plans and layout arrangements, and coordinating schedules.”
“Then they oversee the execution and production of your special day,” said Monus, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than saying, “I know.”
Wedding planners ensure that the event runs smoothly.
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“A show would never be so successful without a stage manager or production manager to organize things and run things in the background – a wedding really is no different,” she added.
The advantage of having a planner is that you don’t have to spend as much time on the details of your wedding.
A professional who knows exactly how you want the day to go will do this for you and make it easy for you to choose as they can guide you to good options in terms of venues, flowers, decor, and more.
And, as Monus Insider told, planners often provide emotional support to engaged couples as well.
“I can act as a sounding board and trusted advisor throughout the process,” said Monus of her role. “We keep our couples’ best interests in mind at all times, whether it leads them through family struggles, staying true to their vision of the day, or emotional support.”
When hiring a planner, it is best to do it early in the planning process
You don’t need to have a wedding planner to have a beautiful wedding, but if you want to hire a planner and can afford it, it is best to book one before making big wedding decisions.
“If you really want someone to help you from soup to nuts, find the planner first,” Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor-in-chief of The Knot, told Insider. “They’ll often know about venues and little nuggets. That’s their job.”
Monus echoed Cooper, telling Insiders that planners can make every part of the planning easier.
“Often times, wedding planners have relationships with other vendors, which makes the wedding planning process very smooth as they may have worked together before,” Monus told Insider.
Plus, planners can help you save money when making these important decisions because they know the industry inside out.
“They can help you negotiate better prices with vendors, and many have partnerships with services that can give you discounts on your stationery,” she said. “They know all kinds of tips and tricks to save money that you may not even know because you’ve probably never planned a wedding before.”
You can also use your venue’s coordinate day instead of hiring a separate planner
Some couples use day coordinators.
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Wedding planners will help you with the entire marriage process, but some couples do not need or want someone to be so involved in the process.
A coordinator’s day or wedding manager is a great solution for people who need help but don’t need hands-on planning for their entire engagement.
“A wedding planner is usually there from the start, planning and guiding you through the entire process, while wedding management comes in later – usually in the previous month – to find out all the details you have already planned and to clarify any open questions with sellers, “Monus told Insider.
A coordinator’s day is a great option for many couples, as long as they understand the limited scope of their role.
“It is important for a customer to understand this difference as well as their own limitations so that they have the right expectations about what services the planner will provide,” said Monus.
The cost of a planner depends on the services you are receiving and where you live
There are no fixed costs for every wedding planner. Indeed, the cost varies from planner to planner, although the location and type of service determine the price.
According to a study conducted by The Knot, the average national cost of a wedding planner in 2019 was $ 1,500. Where you live and how much help you need determine the cost. The more you expect from a planner, the more expensive it becomes.
“You can expect a minimum fee of around 5,000 US dollars for the full service, but this tends to increase depending on the size and scope,” she said. “Often times, full-service prices are calculated based on a percentage – usually 20% – of your wedding budget.”
If you’re only paying for a wedding month or coordinator day, the cost is more like $ 1,800 to $ 2,000, according to Monus. And many planners offer something in between, allowing couples to customize the services to suit their needs.
“I have developed a mid-sized service that I call wedding counseling that offers a set number of hours of counseling or planning and wedding management – my most popular offering – for $ 2,800. If necessary, the counseling or planning time can be extended.” Said Monus.
It’s best to find a planner that you connect with personally, especially since you work so closely with them
You should keep your budget in mind when looking for a wedding planner, but it’s also important to think about the type of person you want to work with.
Couples work with planners for the duration of their engagement. Hence, it’s important to hire someone you get along with – and who understands your vision for your wedding.
One way to narrow down your options is to examine how a planner has positioned themselves in the industry. Many planners, like Monus, specialize in certain types of weddings, which makes it easier to know if they will suit you.
Work with a planner you connect with on a personal level.
Kosamtu / Getty Images
Monus recommends asking potential planners a mix of personal and professional questions during the interview.
“Ask them about some of their favorite weddings that they have coordinated and why this wedding is particularly important to them. Ask them about a challenge they faced during a planning process or the production of an event and how they solved it.” she advised. “Find out what they like to do for fun and how they got involved in event work in order to get a good feeling for their personality.”
Whether or not you hire a planner, you can find a way to celebrate the wedding of your dreams. A planner will only help you relieve the stress along the way.
Learn more about Monus’ work here, and learn more about planning a wedding here.