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POSTED ON

November 2, 2022

How Much Does a Wedding Planner Make? Wedding Planner Salary Revealed

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One of the most common questions I hear from women interested in joining the Wedding Planner Academy  is ‘How much does a wedding planner make?’

Obviously, I can’t make any promises or guarantees, but after spending more than a decade in the industry and seeing hundreds of planners go through the Academy, I know a thing or two about what you can expect.  So, I’m pulling back the curtain and revealing a wedding planner salary in today’s post.

Let’s dive in. (You can also listen to this message via my podcast (linked below), Youtube (linked below), or read the transcript (below).

*VIDEO OF THIS EPISODE PROVIDED BELOW*

What money is coming in?

In calculating how much you can expect to make as a wedding planner, let’s start with your rate. This can vary wildly by location. A wedding planner in NYC or Washington, D.C., is likely going to charge double or triple the rate of a planner in a small, rural town. However, the varied cost of living typically equalizes this difference in rate.
 
So, let’s look at some average wedding planner rates. 
According to TheKnot.com: $1,700
According to Shutterfly: $1,800
According to Loverly: $3,000
Wedding Wire says couples typically spend at least $1,500 on planning, with full planning running around $3,000
 
To be honest, I think that these averages are low for bigger cities, whereas they may be more accuarate in rural areas.  They also don’t reflect the cost of full planning and design services. In my experience, planners who work with couples from start to finish usually charge at least $4,000. 
 
The budget range you’re willing to work with will have a huge impact on what you can expect to charge for your planning services. Many planners charge couples between 10-15% of their overall wedding budget. Using this kind of percentage model is often one of the best ways to ensure you’re fairly compensated for your work. As a wedding budget increases, so does the amount of work that goes into planning. 
 
At Chancey Charm, I really like to charge one-flat up front price.  SO, we really try to hash out a fair budget, that reflects what the couple is saying they would like at the beginning.  As planners gain more experience, they are better able to estimate and charge a fair, flat-price at the beginning of the planning process.
 
Why do I like one up-front flat-fee?
For me, I like the transparency of it.  I also think that it wins client trust.  Our clients know that we are not trying to get them to spend more money, because we’ll benefit.  All of our suggestions contain our very best, honest advice.  Some planners hate this system, but it’s really worked for our brand.
 
Another important thing to consider is that you don’t have to only offer full planning services. Doing so can be lucrative, but draining and time consuming. You can also offer partial planning, design consultations, day-of coordinating, and even destination wedding planning. 
 
At Chancey Charm we offer full planning and day of (or month of planning) on our site.  This is because all of our partial planning services start with the full planning service list, and we remove the services they have completed, then create a custom price from there. A little pro tip, if a client has not yet completed certain services on their own, it is wise to charge them for that service, even if they insist that they don’t need it.  Why? Because, once you dive in, it’s likely to be handed over to you as you complete the wedding. Trust us. 😉

 

 
In doing day of or partial planning services, you can aim to plan 1-2 weddings a month and supplement your income with less time-consuming services. So, you can multiply your average rate by the number of weddings you expect to do in the coming year, to get an estimated salary.
 

What money is going out?

A wedding planner salary depends on more than how much you charge. Like any business owner, you also need to consider the costs and expenses associated with entrepreneurship. These can include:

  • marketing (website, ads, etc.)
  • education
  • business registration costs
  • insurance
  • employees

You also need to invest in your future, which means setting aside money for your taxes each year. I am not qualified to give financial advice, but I will share that most professionals recommend setting aside 30% of your income. And, of course, don’t forget that you’ll also need to be investing in some sort of retirement account!

 

Give me a number already!

I wish I could, my friend!

While I can’t provide a definitive wedding planner salary, here’s what I can give you: a formula.

To calculate how much you can possibly expect to make as a wedding planner, 

YOUR RATE (taking into consideration average planner fees in your area) 

X

 THE NUMBER OF WEDDINGS YOU CAN TAKE ON EACH YEAR

Set that as your goal. 

It may sound cheesy, but it’s true: The number one factor that will impact how much you make as a wedding planner is your mindset. 

Once you believe in yourself and your own abilities, you’re already halfway toward meeting your income goals.

Happy planning!

Sarah & The Chancey Charm Team

WHAT’S INSIDE THIS EPISODE:

  • 1:39 – #1 The importance of setting goals
  • 2:10 – #2 National Averages 3:00 – #3 Month of / Day Of Price Formula 
  • 5:00 – #4 Full Planning & Design Formula + Flat Fee Explained 
  • 8:34 – #5 Starting With Day Of / Month Of Coordination 
  • 9:45 – #6 Typical Planning Business Expenses 
  • 10:45 – #7 Planner Salary Formula Revealed

 

PIN THIS FOR LATER!

How much does a wedding planner make? | Learn how to become a wedding planner

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Chancey Charm

Behind this blog is a team of experienced wedding planners, in destination wedding locations across the country. With over 200 published weddings and editorials under our brand, we’ve served 800+ happy couples since 2011. We’ve been named a top planner by Southern Living Magazine and featured on Martha Stewart. This is our place to trusted planning advice with YOU, so you can plan without the stress.  We also have a heart for educating new planners through the academy, so you’ll be sure to see some of that content here as well.  Cheers!

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