What Do I Charge? It Depends!


Bride on Laptop


If I had a loonie every time I received the following email, I could retire. Or, at least, buy myself the lovely Coach bag I’ve been lusting after.

“Hi there. My fiance and I are looking for a wedding planner for our October 2015 wedding. Can you tell me what you charge?”

The quick, smartypants answer:  “No. No I can’t tell you what I charge.”

I’m not trying to be difficult. Truly. But determining my fees is a bit more complicated than that. Maybe this example will help illustrate my point:

Let’s say you and your fiance are planning a three-week honeymoon in Europe. And let’s say you send this email to a travel agent:

“Hi there. My fiance and I are planning a three-week honeymoon in Europe for October 2015. Can you tell me what it will cost?”

If I’m that travel agent I’m going to give you a similar answer:  “No. No I can’t tell you what your honeymoon will cost.”

The agent will have a zillion questions to ask you before she can give you even an estimate of what your trip might cost, such as:

  • how many countries are you hoping to visit?
  • are you planning to camp, or stay in historic 5-star hotels?
  • do you want a meal plan?
  • how do you plan to travel between destinations? Fly? Rail pass? Hitchhike?
  • should I include airfare, or will you use your own air miles points?
  • are you interested in guided tours in any of the cities or towns?

I think you get my point. And it’s no different when couples want a quick, easy quote on their wedding planning costs. I need to ask you a zillion questions first, such as:

  • is your ideal venue your parents’ backyard or the Fermenting Cellar?
  • how many guests are you expecting?
  • casual Sunday Brunch reception, or a gourmet, five-course sit-down dinner?
  • wine and beer only, or full premium bar, including signature cocktails?
  • DJ or live band?
  • simple flowers, or lush, extravagant decor including florals, draping, complex lighting and sound?

See? There are many variables to consider. Complex events require more time. The more hours involved, the higher the fee. The fee is NOT based on a percentage of your budget, but on the hours I estimate will be required to help you have the wedding of your dreams. (And this always includes day-of wedding coordination.) My usual approach is to meet with you and your fiance to learn as much as I can about your wedding goals, dreams, and budget. Then, if you think we’re a good fit, I will prepare a customized quotation based on your unique, specific needs. No two couples are alike. No two weddings are alike. The quote I prepare for you will be based entirely on your needs.

Sound good? Then let’s meet for a coffee – my treat – and get to know each other. It’s a simple, risk-free way to ensure your wedding planning quote is fair and accurate.

Let's Meet For Coffee

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