::Why do Wedding Coordinators Cost So Much?::

One of the most common misconceptions about wedding coordinators and planners is that they tend to be overpriced.  As a wedding planner, it is difficult to pinpoint just one way I play such a vital role in your wedding day. No two couples are the same. Every couple has their own specific needs, resulting in many varying factors that have to be taken into consideration for each individual event.

Many couples wonder why the average cost for a wedding coordinator is $2,000 while a full service planner is typically $6,000 or more. In order to support oneself as a vendor, these price points are absolutely necessary.

Most couples immediately breakdown the amount they spend with their coordinator in an hourly rate for the wedding day plus maybe a couple hours of prep. So, $2,000/12 hours must = $166.66 per hour, right?

Not even close.

For calculations, we will work with our average of $2,000. A full time wedding coordinator will work anywhere from 15-20 weddings per year or more, so I will use 20 weddings per year as an average.

Time spent working on a wedding from beginning to end:

-1 hour in initial emails

-1 hour pre-booking consultation

-1 hour onboarding process- contractual paper work, introductions, etc.

-1 hour consultation

-5 hours answering questions throughout engagement via phone or email

-2 hours for venue walk through

-10 hours in emails and communications with client and client vendors in the final reconciliation process

-6 hours average travel time - site visit, rehearsal and wedding

-8 hours wedding day coordination

-1 hour posting to blog, social media and client gallery after wedding

-1 hour creating client debrief of event details

Total hours involved in a wedding: 37

So we have gone from $166.66 to $54.04 per hour. Now let's look at the list of expenses to consider (budgeted average costs for $2,000 price):

-Wedding Day Assistant - $150

-Liability + Equipment insurance (total divided by 20 weddings per year) -$25

-Privately Secured Health Insurance (total divided by 20 weddings per year) -$45

-Office Rent (total divided by 20 weddings per year) - $435

-Marketing (total divided by 20 weddings per year)- $150

Total: $805 in expenses per wedding + other expenses not calculated into this total: transportation, planning software, website fees, office space overhead, city business fees, etc. So let’s round up to $1000 in expenses per wedding.

Hourly wedding coordinator profit: $1000 divided by 37 hours worked= $27.02 per hour

While weddings are expensive, it is easy to see the value in spending that little bit extra for a coordinator. In the grand scheme of things, a coordinator will be a very small fraction of your overall wedding day costs. When you take into account the amount of work that is invested into a single wedding for a coordinator, the expenses, the quality of work, and the value of the peace of mind you are receiving, makes all the sense in the world as to why wedding coordinators are priced the way they are. If not under-priced.

Additionally, when spending so much on a wedding, why would you put your vendors in a car without a driver? A coordinator is crucial to ensuring your vendors are capable of serving you as desired, rather than feeling scattered and unsure of the event. Sure, the photographer and the DJ have worked many weddings and can manage a timeline, but the DJ can’t leave the table to cue the photographer. And the photographer can’t see all angles at all times. So if leaving it in their hands, you’re getting less from them than you paid for them. For example, I always say that if you spend $5k on a photographer but expect them to manage the timeline, you’ll get $4k worth of images because they have to stop taking pictures throughout the whole day to fill a coordination role.

Wedding coordinators all have one thing in common. They are incredibly passionate about what they do, and why they do it. Any who aren’t, quickly leave the industry after realizing the high stress level, expense, long hours, and how strenuous the nature of working a 10-12 hour day of overseeing every aspect of a 150-300 person event.  I am so grateful for all of the wonderful opportunities and incredible individuals I have encountered while on my journey as a wedding coordinator. I absolutely love what I do, but it most certainly is a difficult job.

On that note, did you know that several sources consistently site being a wedding planner as the number 4 and number 5 highest stress jobs in America? That is above corporate executives and policemen. For this reason alone, their value does not need to be questioned. If coordinators do not charge their worth, they experience burnout, resentment and tension in client relationships.

While planning your wedding and determining your budget, keep in mind all of the ways that a wedding coordinator will benefit your wedding day. Book someone who has enough experience, testimonials and knowledge. Also make sure you connect with them personally, as they will play such an important role in your wedding day. You are entrusting this person with your memories, and trusting in their advice and expertise. Being able to completely relax knowing that your coordinator cares just as much about your day as you do, being able to fully enjoy your wedding day festivities, and most importantly this precious time with your new groom or bride, makes it worth every penny invested in a professional.

And if you still struggle to believe the value- you should know that I regularly save my brides hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars with my knowledge when hired from the beginning.

Amber AndersonComment