Many newly engaged brides-to-be will begin their wedding planning research online and one of the first questions they will Google is “Do I really need a wedding planner, and what is their average cost?” as well as the more specific, “ How much does a wedding planner cost in Orange County?".
According to CostHelper.com, the average price for a full service wedding planner (one that will provide complete wedding planning for all of the major and intricate details) is about $5,000, depending on geographic location, demand, and the planner’s experience. However, with the rise in popularity of luxury and big budget weddings, you can expect a seasoned and experience wedding planner in Orange County to cost 10-15% of the overall wedding budget, and up to $10,000 depending on their status and the services they provide.
Now that’s a harsh dose of reality, but don’t be too scared – finding the right fit for your taste and budget is what matters most in your search for a wedding planner and there is someone out there for every bride. There are less experienced wedding planners that will charge as low as $2,500 for full service wedding planning, yes, but the old saying of getting what you pay for rings strong in the wedding industry and if you are truly a busy and discerning bride who wants every detail expertly planned and curated, then you will be making an investment in your wedding day and you need to account for that in your budget.
At Dolce Vita Events, our full service wedding planning starts with a minimum investment of $6,500 and can go up to $9,500 on average – depending on the details, length of time we are working with you, and the custom services we will provide. Now you might ask why such an investment is a good idea when wedding planning is just one line item in the wedding budget, and while I won’t get into all of the nitty-gritty of “why” you should hire a wedding planner, I will say that on average we work with our full service wedding planning client from 8 months to 1.5 years during their wedding planning journey, so consider that final cost to be a very competitive and value driven price when you consider having one of Southern California’s top professional wedding planners as your go-to, always-by-your-side-for-important-details, personal consultant and wedding coach for that length of time. Working with each individual bride and their wedding day is comparable to a full time job, so let’s get real - $6,500 for a year’s worth of professional work by an expert in the industry is definitely a bargain! (But I digress.)
Keep in mind that many planners also offer a range of services and pricing for their wedding planning packages. While the above numbers reflect full service planning (venue/caterer scouting and selection, site visits, vendor meeting coordination and attendance, budget forecast and management, etc.) there are other affordable options for partial planning and wedding management only (Day of Coordination), that are a more affordable option for budget conscious brides.
In Orange County, California (The OC), the average cost for partial planning in 2017 will vary from about $3,500 to $5,500 and, again, is dependent on the scope of work and details that the planner will provide. Day of Wedding Coordination, now called Wedding Management by most wedding industry professionals, will present an average cost of $1,500 to $2,200. (Contrary to common assumption, this is typically a service that begins four or more weeks prior to the wedding in order to efficiently manage the entire wedding day; so this is not the cost of work for just one day - Read more about that here).
At Dolce Vita Events our partial wedding planning service can start at as minimal as $3,800 and is a completely customized service depending on each bridal client’s needs, while our wedding management service for Day of wedding coordination starts at $1,750.00.
While it’s safe to say that hiring professional planning and wedding management services for your wedding can seem like an expensive investment, we can’t reiterate enough that it will be one of the best investments you make in your overall wedding planning experience.