Note: Average Cost is based on the spending of couples recently married not wedding vendor prices. This includes all types of weddings, event locations, purchases of both new and pre-owned items and purchases of services from professionals, someone that simply provides the service, or a hired family member or friend. Spending and prices can vary widely.
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Even without the costs of treating your wedding planner and his or her assistants to the meal at your reception, planner's packages for getting started will often cost a higher-then-expected amount due to the importance of these foundational decisions. A wedding's success or failure rests with the quality of the location and vendors in every wedding planning category, and this is the task entrusted to the wedding planner in this type of package.
You may not want or need a planner to help with the setup of your wedding, but rather your plans don't require much artistry and setup. You may simply want help finding and hiring the best wedding vendors in the business, and having a professional give you the inside scoop on all the top wedding venues in town. This portion of a full planning package is all you need, and it might not make initial sense that it isn't priced at a fraction of a full planning package, as you might expect. When a planner agrees to such a portion plan, there is always far more time and effort going into it than you might expect (or ever will know about, since your planner might not be one to blow her own horn about the 8 hours she spent searching for the wedding venue with a westward view over the ocean and a sunset timed to the close of your ceremony on the calendar date of your wedding, plus the correct amount of space for your guest headcount, and the fire tables you wanted.)