How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?

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kitson Posts : 11 Registered: 2/16/12
How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 1:47 AM

I am in the process of developing my own wedding planning business and have got many things worked out except for timing. Just a few questions - how long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding? Is there a specific amount of time the wedding planner should plan the wedding in? How often should the planner meet with the client and over what length of time? Just anything at all about timing and wedding planning would be great. What is the best way to do it? Also, I am going to be a more budget-friendly planner, not charging heaps so any marketing advice would be helpful too. Anything you know is much appreciated. Thanks!

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MrsM2009 Posts : 422 Registered: 3/16/08
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 12:36 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

I think one thing most people would expect a wedding planner to know is how long it takes to plan a wedding.

P.O.O.P. - People Offended by Offended People

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Aunt Posts : 794 Registered: 12/31/10
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 2:50 PM Go to message in response to: MrsM2009

Dear Mrs M

Yeah, we're not here to train wedding planners. I was wondering why the OP had so many off-the-wall questions.

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 17, 2012 3:04 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

Hello,

Planning a wedding is not a fly by night project. There is a lot to consider. If you are not planning to charge heaps of money then you are better off getting a job at Wal-mart. You'll work fewer hours and earn more.

There's a reason planners charge what they do. They are on-call many hours of the day. There is marketing, staff to consider and much more. The day of the wedding the planner can work 12 hours or more without a break. Then if anything goes wrong, it is the planner's fault. That's why they have to have insurance. Also, the day of the wedding typically requires the planner to hire assistants who don't work for free either.

In planning the wedding, you're going to spend hours running around town with the bride visiting venues and all of the various vendors. You're going to have to have a nicer car that can comfortably fit three passengers.

If you truly want to learn how to do this right, I strongly suggest you visit a local Association of Bridal Consultants local networking group meeting. Every state has an ABC state coordinator who can keep you informed of the meeting schedule. I wish you the best of luck.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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Syringa Posts : 115 Registered: 1/18/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 18, 2012 1:44 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

I have been a wedding planner for many years. There are no hard and fast answers to your question. I have planned weddings that we spent 20 months on and I have planned weddings that occurred 5 or 6 weeks from start to finish. First, you will need to decide what services you are going to offer. I charge more if a client wants me to attend merchant meetings with them. If they feel comfortable receiving merchant referrals and then visiting merchants on their own, the fee is less.

In most areas of the country planners charge a flat fee, not a percentage of the client's budget. Therefore, you need to have a pretty good idea of about how many hours you will be spending with a client. Sometimes you will have a client that needs more hand holding than others. You will earn less per hour when computed, but you will make up for it with the clients who are very easy to help.

Most independent wedding planners don't have a staff unless they are located in a very large metropolitan area. Instead, we use independent contractors to help at specific events and that cost is passed on to the client.

I don't meet in person with my clients as often and we "meet" by phone or email. I have clients all over the country and occassionally in another country who are coming here to be married. Therefore, I am willing to accept calls early in the morning and in the evening. You need to be accessible when someone has an issue or just needs a listening ear.

Since you are just starting, you will need to become familiar with consumer protection laws in your state and with Better Business Bureau standards for ethical business actions. In most states, your contract must include a cancellation clause and other specific information.

Be certain you do all your research before opening your doors, including being legally registered with your state, having a business license if required and that you have met any other requirements of your state and city, or you could risk serious problems.

Edited by: Syringa on Feb 18, 2012 1:51 PM

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MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 18, 2012 4:17 PM Go to message in response to: Syringa

Instead, we use independent contractors to help at specific events and that cost is passed on to the client.

S,

You should be really careful about this and check with your accountant concerning the IRS rules for an Independent Contractor whom you 1099 or an employee (W2/W4). Personally, I expect it would be quite difficult for a wedding planner to hire an independent contractor for an event where the planner is also in attendance and in control of the actions of the assistants. It is my understanding with that level of control, you have an employee relationship. You can get in big trouble if you have misclassified a person as a contractor when in fact they are an employee. See IRS Site

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


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Syringa Posts : 115 Registered: 1/18/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 20, 2012 10:15 AM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

Hello Howard,

Actually, it is very easy to use independent contractors for events. First, they have to be asked if they want to work a particular event, not scheduled. Then, they are told what needs to be accomplished, but they are responsible for accomplishing it in whatever way they choose. They are often not at the same place I am. For instance, if the ceremony is in one location and the reception in another, they are at the reception location until I arrive, then they usually leave. I stay with the bride. Very few weddings require two people to be on site at the same time unless the independent contractor is assisting with child care or something similar, which occurs in another room or area.

We are very aware of the legal implications and we meet the IRS and state department of labor regulations. This is just the way it is done in this industry. Most independent event planners who don't live in large metropolitan areas don't need assistance more than a few hours a month, if that, so the cost of workers comp, unemployment insurance and other related employee costs makes it prohibitive to have employees when they can't work even 20 hours a week.

Edited by: Syringa on Feb 20, 2012 10:16 AM

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vintagevhs1980 Posts : 1 Registered: 2/27/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 27, 2012 8:56 AM Go to message in response to: Aunt

I would give them 6 months at least. In my opinion only

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jjjune Posts : 60 Registered: 1/6/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 27, 2012 1:19 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

While I wish you success in your business venture, I would be very scared to find out my planner had been asking questions like these on a wedding site. I wouldn't hire you.

I'd expect my planner to have interned or assisted for an established planner and taken planning courses or even have a degree in hospitality and/or event planning.

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Eva8120 Posts : 5 Registered: 2/27/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 27, 2012 9:58 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

In my city, more than 6 months to prepare it..

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divinemomentsph... Posts : 1 Registered: 2/28/12
Re: How long does a wedding planner need to plan a wedding?
Posted: Feb 28, 2012 7:14 PM Go to message in response to: kitson

Seems like something you'll learn with experience.

Do a few jobs, cheap, to get a feel for timing.

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