wedding planners posing with wedding reception setup in background

Should I Hire a Wedding Planner? Pros and Cons

Jul 20, 2022
By Wedding Spot

After the congratulatory phone calls, texts, tearful video chats, and celebratory outings wind down post-engagement, it's time to get down to business and start planning your wedding. At this point, many engaged couples find themselves faced with their first big wedding planning decision: "Should I hire a wedding planner?"

From picking your wedding venue to finalizing the ideal menu, wedding planning takes a lot of work. Many couples go back and forth debating if hiring a wedding planner is worth the cost, or if they should try to tackle the tasks themselves. In this post, we look at what wedding planners do, how much their services can cost, and the ups and downs of working with one to help you answer the question, “Should I hire a wedding planner?”

Should I hire a wedding planner? Here's everything to know

What does a wedding planner actually do?

Wedding planners are expert organizers, negotiators, planners, and coordinators who help engaged couples prepare for and execute their wedding. Services vary from planner to planner (more on that later), but wedding planners can specialize in everything from creating a timeline of wedding events to negotiating services and managing your budget. They are also available to provide feedback, share their network of resources, and give their professional opinion on all things wedding planning.

Wedding planning professionals come in all varieties, with different skill sets and areas of expertise. Many wedding planners are also stylists and designers. Some wedding planners have a team of assistants while others work alone. Depending on your wedding location and the available planners in your area, it may take some searching to find the right fit for your wedding.

Types of wedding planners

It’s important to thoroughly review all of the skills and services potential wedding planners offer and choose a wedding planner who fits your needs and budget. We recommend discussing different wedding planner types with your partner and all other pertinent parties before deciding while also keeping in mind that every wedding planner is different, so what one full-service planner offers may not be exactly the same as another. That said, the below descriptions should give you a good idea of the general services offered by each planner type and send you on your way to deciding if you should — or shouldn't — hire a wedding planner. 

1. Full-service wedding planner

If you're planning a large wedding with a long guest list, or are juggling a full calendar, you might be searching for a wedding planner that can oversee the process from start to finish. Full-service wedding planners, also called full-time or all-inclusive wedding planners, take engaged couples step-by-step through the wedding planning process. They typically work with venues, negotiate with vendors, manage wedding finances, set up hotel room blocks, assist with invitations, help draft your ultimate wedding timeline, and so much more.

In the weeks leading up to the wedding, a full-service wedding planner may coordinate the rehearsal events, provide itineraries to the wedding party, and prepare all of the wedding materials. In addition, they coordinate and manage the event on the day of your wedding, ensuring that the setup, decor, seating, music, lighting, and all of your other wedding details match your vision.

While they are the most expensive wedding planning professionals to hire, full-service wedding planners are capable of handling every major and minor wedding planning detail.

2. Month-of wedding planner

Month-of wedding planners (also known as part-time or limited-service planners) typically start working with couples 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding day. Couples who work with a month-of planner have usually booked their venue, confirmed wedding vendors, and finalized design details.

When a month-of wedding planner takes over, they may review your current contracts to confirm all of the services and products that your wedding venue and vendors will be providing. Leading up to the wedding day, they may communicate event updates to vendors and ensure the execution of services. Month-of planners may also work with you to create a wedding day timeline, and most handle day-of coordination, ensuring the smooth execution of the wedding order of events.

Depending on your wedding location and the services you’re desiring, hiring a month-of wedding coordinator can cost between $2,000-$4,5000, according to Woman Getting Married.

3. Day-of wedding coordinator

Maybe you don’t want all of the stresses of wedding planning on your plate, but you would still like to be hands-on and have a lot of input in the process. Many couples who plan their own weddings find themselves looking for a little extra help on their wedding day, or in the final days before the wedding. If this is the case, a day-of wedding coordinator may be the right option for you.

Day-of coordinators take over the day of the wedding, or the wedding weekend, to finalize and execute wedding plans already in place. They are available to communicate with and direct vendors, answer guest questions, handle event organization, solve unexpected problems, and ensure the timeline of events stays on track.

Depending on the duties the coordinator undertakes, and how long they work with the couple beforehand, day-of coordinators may charge anywhere from $500-$2,500.

4. Destination wedding planner

Are you planning a destination wedding? If so, you may be finding it difficult to organize the event from afar. Hiring a destination wedding planner could help streamline the process. Similar to day-of wedding coordinators, destination wedding planners can be hired for as much or as little preparation as needed.

Destination planners may be hired to work behind the scenes in the weeks leading up to the wedding (typically charging hourly rates), creating contingency plans for weather, planning the timeline, and reviewing VIP information and travel arrangements. They may also be hired for day-of assistance only, escorting guests, coordinating entertainment, and so on.

Prices for destination planners vary by location. Contact your destination wedding venue for recommendations.

Discover the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner

With so much wedding planning to do, it may seem like hiring a wedding planner is the natural next step. But it may not be right for everyone. Before signing a contract, weigh the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner.

Pros of hiring a wedding planner:

  • Hiring a wedding planner helps take a lot of the stress of wedding planning off your shoulders.
  • You’ll have more time to focus on other tasks and enjoy being engaged.
  • You have an expert to call on for advice and inspiration.
  • Collaborating with a professional can help engaged couples avoid common wedding planning mistakes.
  • Planners can negotiate with venues and vendors on your behalf.
  • Professional wedding planners tend to have a large network of stylists, vendors, suppliers, officiants, and wedding entertainers they trust.
  • Hiring a wedding planner makes it easier for couples to enjoy their wedding day without worrying about last-minute hiccups or logistical issues.

Cons of hiring a wedding planner:

  • Hiring a wedding planner can be a big expense and affording one could require cutting other parts of your wedding budget.
  • It can be difficult to find a wedding planner you trust or who sees your vision the same way you do.
  • Your personalities could clash, leading to uncomfortable conversations, stress, and wedding drama.
  • Working with a wedding planner could cause you to feel pressured to agree to details or vendors you’re not happy with.
  • Online wedding planning sites and resources provide ample free planning tools, tips, templates, and hacks. With so many resources at your fingertips, you could hire a wedding planner and end up wishing you had done the job yourself, for a lot less money.

Now you know the pros and cons of hiring a wedding planner!

Are you still asking yourself if you should hire a wedding planner? While hiring one certainly has its benefits, it's not a necessity for all couples. The truth is, it varies from couple to couple, and the choice is completely up to you.

Enjoy brainstorming design ideas, touring venues, and preparing for a once-in-a lifetime event with your partner? Check out the Wedding Spot blog for hundreds of posts to help you navigate your wedding planning journey. 

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.