Is a Wedding Planner in My Budget? (Absolutely!)

Wedding planner header

When you consider hiring a wedding planner, do you automatically write off the idea because it’s out of your budget? Do you sigh and think to yourself, “My fiance and I just can’t afford that. Who can?” 

Wedding planner affordable

You are NOT alone. Lots of couples are holding themselves back from the stress-free wedding of their dreams because of financial restraints. 

But what if I told you it didn’t have to be that way? 👀

Keep reading. 

Let’s break down this common misconception – because, from where I stand, you CAN afford a wedding planner. 

While some premium planners can charge thousands for their posh services, you will find that many are actually more affordable than you think.

Beyond reasonable prices, a wedding planner can save you from many sleepless nights, arguments with your loved ones, and premature gray hair – priceless. What would that be worth to you?

Regardless of how tight your finances are, it is definitely possible for you to work a planner into your budget. Not only that, but it’s important that you do.

Wanna know how I can be so sure? I’ll tell you.

Reason #1: Day-Of Coordination

Alright, listen up. I really, really want you to remember this option. 

If you take anything away from this blog post – this should be it. ⭐️

Hiring a day-of coordinator is one of the BEST things you can possibly do for your wedding.


A day-of coordinator is:

  • Less expensive than a full or partial planner
  • There to handle setup, tear-down, vendor communications, and timeline management
  • Your point-person for fielding questions, problems, and keeping the peace so you can enjoy your day. 

How much does a DOC cost?

Many brides ask me about my day-of coordination services because it gives them the best of both worlds. Low cost, organization, and low stress. What could be better?

Most day-of coordinators charge around $800 for the full day. However, some planners just starting out (like me) are willing to charge even less! In my case, I charge $50 per hour for my day-of clients.

For example, if you have a 10-hour rental, the entire day-of coordination package will only cost you $500. Now, if you compare that to a full-service planner, you’ll save about $3,000 at the very least. Hello, savings! 💸

If you’re willing to handle the heavy lifting on your own, this service is perfect for your budget. 

Fair warning: if you’re feeling overwhelmed before the big day, this type of planner may not fit your needs. However, there are other types of planners out there that just might fit the bill!

Reason #2: Partial Wedding Planners Exist

If you’re new to wedding planning, you might not know about all of the different types of wedding planners out there. 

In case you didn’t know, hiring a partial wedding planner is totally a thing. A glorious thing that will save you some pretty major headaches. 

So, what exactly is a partial planner? Essentially, a partial planner is a wedding professional who steps in to fill the gaps that you are struggling with. She can handle a variety of tasks that you find confusing or overwhelming and bring your vision to life! It’s pretty magical to watch it unfold. ✨

It’s important to note that partial planners offer more services than your day-of coordinator will. On top of handling day-of tasks, she will likely provide services like correspondence, vendor recommendations, organization/prep, and then post-wedding duties.

While your partial planner does NOT have to be your day-of coordinator too, most partial planners offer that as a package add-on. 

What does a partial wedding planner cost?

Similarly to day-of coordinators, partial planners are less expensive than full-on planning services. While you’ll pay more than you would for a DOC, it’ll be worth it if you’re struggling.

Wedding Wire says, “The average starting rate for a partial wedding planner in the U.S. is $1,250, but can range from $2,300 to $6,000 if you’re working with a more experienced pro.”

In my case, I charge $100 per week so I can gain experience. I broke down my pricing by week so I can make adjustments based on my couples’ needs.

If price is important, spending time researching local planners and their packages will be worthwhile in the long run.

Side note about the industry

A quick note here: the wedding industry is weird. We’re one of the few industries that do NOT share pricing or availability information upfront. If you want to know, you have to ask. You might find the information on the wedding professional’s website, but that is rare and time-consuming. 

The best thing you can do is narrow your search down based on price range, estimated availability, style, and location. Then, reach out to your top three choices. Take notes about what you like about each vendor and update those as you begin to hear back from them!

Reason #3: Wedding planners can save you money with vendor discounts

If you love saving money, then you’ll love that vendors can use their connections to earn you vendor discounts! 

Sometimes, it really does matter who you know. 

Vendors are much more likely to offer special discounts if they know their friend is working the same wedding! (We love working with our friends, which explains why we rely on preferred vendor lists so much). 

You can try to negotiate with vendors, but your future vendors will be more lenient with someone they already know. 

The amount of money that you will save with these discounts is highly subjective, I can guarantee you that it’ll be one of your favorite perks! 🤩

Reason #4: Your wedding planner knows how to manage your budget

She’s trained for this.

She’s been around the block a time or two.

You can trust that your planner will know how to manage your budget with confidence. 😎

She has a clearer understanding of how much things cost, so she can tell you if you’re overspending. 

One of the main reasons that weddings are so expensive is because many couples spend more money than they should. That’s not because everyone has extravagant taste, either. 

You overspend when you DON’T know what things should cost or how many vendors you’re going to pay for. 

Wedding planner chart

Think about it. 🧠

After you first get engaged, you probably started to panic once reality set in. I’m sure you had a million questions running through your mind about what to expect and how to get started. 

When you started DIY-ing it, you probably realized quickly that it’s hard to find pricing information and book with confidence.

Engagements last HOW long?

The tricky thing about planning a wedding is that it usually takes a while. Most engagements in the US last around 12-15 months. You definitely won’t be booking all of your vendors on the same day!

In fact, most curated wedding planning timelines suggest that you should try to book around 1-2 vendors each month. That wait time leaves a lot of room for you to rack up miscellaneous expenses along the way or procrastinate researching future costs.

It is SO easy to overlook an expense when you plan a big event like this. Unfortunately, this is one of the main reasons why DIY budgeting is so difficult for most couples. 😅

A planner is there to answer your questions and ensure that you stay on track so that you can relax and enjoy your engagement.

Hiring your planner is one of the most crucial investments you’ll make!

Conclusion: You CAN afford a wedding planner!

If you’re on the fence because of financial restraints, you should think it through.

Your wedding planner can offer:

  • Day-of coordination at a fair price
  • Partial planning to help with the heavy lifting
  • Special vendor discounts from other pros that he or she is connected with
  • Better budget management

Remember, I’m a wedding planner, and I’m here to help you navigate this season of life. Feel free to reach out HERE if you need any advice!

So there you have it! Can you afford to miss out on all of THAT? 🤑

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As Seen on The Knot
As Seen on The Knot







hi there!

I'm Calla Hamlin, a native Texan girl in love with all things weddings and online marketing for girlboss entrepreneurs. Now, I'm sharing my passions to simplify wedding event management for the lovebirds and the pros!