My assistant and I at a wedding in Boston in 2003. Many thanks to Craig Strong (yes, the Lensbaby inventor) for the photo.
Today's big question: "What are the different kinds of wedding planning services, and how much do they cost?" I can only answer this for my own business, and please know there are MANY fantastic business models out there. This is just what has worked for me for the past 14 years:
I offer three main types of planning, all with set, flat fees. After I meet with my client, I am able to create a customized proposal for them – sometimes all with one type of planning; but many times using elements of several, to get them exactly what they need.
– Hourly consulting: We meet at my office, or at a specific place (e.g., invitation store, venue tours) and work on a specific project. Typically, after the project is complete (I find them a venue, we co-create decor designs or themes), I do not work on-site at the wedding.
– Wedding month-of coordination (Also called "Day-Of Coordination"): The client leads all the planning themselves, but comes back to me about two months before the wedding and shows me all vendors booked, and explains how they would like the site to be laid out, how they want the day to flow. My assistants and I then take it from there and create/distribute the event plan communications, and coordinate at the rehearsal and at the event.
– Full planning and design: The client is in creative control, but I lead the planning process, in that I push action items to the client. (e.g. "It's time to book your caterer"; "It's time to create your overall reception design".) This is our most popular program of service.
Planner-led vs. client-led is a spectrum; ask your coordinator what options are available to you based on your preference and budget.
You can read more in detail about these planning types and get pricing information over on the business website: ejpevents.com
I hope this info is helpful to you – please leave any questions in the comments, or email me! Are you a couple who has found the perfect wedding planner? Tell us about him or her! Or – are you a wedding planner, who has found success in a different business model? I would love to hear your ideas.