According to the WedAlert website, an average wedding takes about 250 hours to plan. Many people with busy lifestyles cannot afford to take that much time out of their lives to plan a wedding. However, many couples want a "perfect" wedding, so they resolve the problem by hiring a wedding coordinator. Wedding coordinators can plan the entire event or simply manage the details on the actual wedding day. The level of service chosen depends on the size and venue of the event as well as the couple’s budget.
Wedding Coordinator's Function
Planning a wedding involves sending out invitations, hiring a caterer, finding a venue and organizing countless other details. A wedding coordinator assists a couple with scouting out locations, compiling guest lists, and locating and booking vendors. The coordinator's relationships with vendors can also translate into discounts for budget-minded couples. Some wedding coordinators are destination specialists and will help plan a wedding in an exotic locale. The wedding coordinator can sometimes act as a counselor to stressed-out brides or mediator for intruding relatives.
Cost of a Wedding Coordinator
According to the Cost Helper website, a full-service wedding coordinator costs, on average, $5,000 as of July 2011. This price could increase to almost $10,000 for in-demand coordinators with more experience.The method of calculating fees is different for every coordinator: Some charge based on number of guests or with an hourly rate, while others charge a percentage of the overall wedding budget.
There are other levels of wedding coordination that couples may find more affordable. For example, a wedding consultant can recommend vendors and provide advice but leave the actual booking and scheduling to the couple. She will show up on the wedding day to ensure that everything happens according to plan. As of July 2011, the cost for such a consultant ranges from $2,635 to over $3,636 in certain regions of the country.
Cost for Day of Service
The cost for a wedding coordinator for the day of the wedding is significantly lower than a full-service planner. The service for this day includes managing the time line of the wedding and making sure that everything is on schedule. The coordinator will also be on hand to instruct vendors as to arrangements and setup of food, tables, etc. The wedding coordinator will almost certainly meet with the couple beforehand to finalize the details before the big day. The cost for this service typically begins at $750 as of July 2011, according to the Bride World website. The Cost Helper website adds that the cost of a "day of" planner can skyrocket to $3,700 depending on the level of service.
Although a wedding coordinator can be a welcome resource, some couples may find the expense excessive. There are alternatives to a wedding planner that may offer some savings. Websites such as The Knot offer online checklists and wedding planning advice that a couple can use to plan their wedding.
Alternatively, choosing a wedding date that is off season such as in the winter can lower the price of a wedding and wedding coordinator. Do not be afraid to bargain for coordinator services, especially during the off season when coordinators may be scrambling for work.