Planning Tips, Your Event Career

How Much Should You Charge for Event Planning Services?

Charging clients for your services is tricky – unless you’ve been running your event planning business for a while, there are a number of factors to consider before offering a quote. Depending on the type of event, how many guests you’ll be working with, and how much work you’ll be doing, your compensation can change drastically!

Read on to find out how much you should be charging for your event and wedding planning services!

Wedding Planning Prices

Charging for wedding planning services

Full Wedding Planning

As a full wedding planner, you’re in charge of your clients’ every detail. They can sit back and relax as you work your magic! So how much should you charge for planning a full wedding? Well, it depends…

According to expert Dr. Joe Goldblatt, wedding planners generally charge their clients about 15% of the total cost of the event – that includes venue, caterer, décor, florals, and anything else your clients want. Depending on your level of training and experience in the industry, you can gauge your fee higher or lower than the average. However, you still want to remain competitive!

So, if you’re a trained wedding planner who’s been in the game for a while (say you have 5 weddings under your belt) and the total cost of the wedding is $15,000 USD, you’ll make $2,250 if you charge 15 percent. At 20 percent, you’d make $3,000.

Of course, you’ll charge on a per-service basis which means you need to show your clients the final cost of each detail. This ensures transparency and builds a trustworthy name for your event planning business!

Partial Wedding Planning

As a partial wedding planner, you’ll obviously be making less than you would by providing full service – nonetheless, you can still make a pretty penny! Considering the fact that you’ll have more time to plan other weddings, you can make a killing by offering partial wedding planning services.

With this model, it’s probably easiest to charge your clients an hourly rate. Track what you’re in charge of and how many hours of work you put into their wedding. If you’re in charge of venue, catering, and transportation, you’ll need to time your meetings and conversations to keep an accurate count of your hours.

Most event and wedding planners pro-rate their hourly fee at 30-minute intervals. So, having a 45-minute meeting with a caterer means you’ll still be paid for a full hour. As this is a common standard, most clients will be expecting it.

The typical hourly wage for a planner running their own business lies between $50-$75. Of course, there’s always room to increase your fees as your experience and business grow.

Charging for event and wedding planning packages

Event Planning Prices

Corporate Events

When it comes to planning corporate events, it’s important to take the size and expectation into consideration when outlining your fees. Mainly, you need to know how many guests will be attending, and whether the event will be low-key or high-functioning. This will determine the scope of work you’re taking on for each event!

For instance, say you’re planning a corporate fundraiser for a large company, and they’re expecting approximately 500 employees to attend. If the company asks you to plan a three-course meal plus dessert, a band for dinner and a DJ for dancing, as well as an open bar, you can assume the cost per person will be around $150-$200:

$150 x 500 = $75,000

With such a high budget, you can easily charge a percentage of the total event cost. But you could also work out an hourly wage based on both the amount of work you’re doing and the budget of the event. It really depends on how the numbers work out for each individual event!

Event Décor

When you’re hired to plan the décor for an event or wedding, this means you’ll be in charge of the event style or theme, florals, and much more. Working as an event stylist will allow you to dive into the creative aspects of event planning, and make great money while you’re at it.

For an event stylist, the average compensation varies depending on the level of services needed. Some events will only require table settings and centerpieces, where others will ask for a full styling of the venue. To give a proper quote to clients, provide service bundles and build-your-own package offers.

Have your own list of what you charge for each service, with a variant for the size of venue and number of guests. This will help you build a stable pricing model!

Pricing event decor services and styling

Event Logistics

As an event planner, you usually have much more to do than just worry about scheduling and management – however, there are times where clients will only want these services! To please every client, offer event management or coordination on a per-service basis as you would for event styling.

This structure is quite similar to offering partial wedding planning services, so using an hourly pay structure can simplify your fees!

However, you go about pricing your event planning services, be sure not to undersell yourself. Do your research and know what your competition charges, and base your own fees on your level of experience. Your salary will be booming before you know it.

Is your event business gaining ground? Find out how to raise your professional event planning prices!


6 responses to “How Much Should You Charge for Event Planning Services?”

  1. Brilliant Post!!! Thanks so much

  2. Anne Theodora says:

    This note has enlightened me enough and I think it will help me alot. Especially inorder not to undersell myself.

  3. Nicole says:

    Thanks for the info! I have a fairly new event planning business and I think the hardest part for me was creating my pay structure! The online event and wedding planning course really helps in terms of providing different options (charging a percentage, flat rate or hourly rate). So that, along with comparing my business with my surrounding market has been very helpful!

    1. Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback! We definitely understand that for new planners entering the industry, setting your rates for the first time can feel like a bit of a daunting task. But with the right tactics in mind, and knowing what to look for, it doesn’t have to be! 🙂

      We’re so happy to hear that your QC training helped you and your business!

      All the best,
      The QC Team

  4. Shawniece says:

    Deciding how much to charge for services is something that is always in the back of a wedding and events planner’s mind. Throughout the wedding and event planning course you will learn exactly what it takes to be a planner and the average amount clients budget for their planners. Unit F “Starting your own business” goes into detail as well as provides insight into how to come up with pricing so that you can confidently share your pricing with clients based on the service that they decide to book.

    1. Sarah-Lynn Seguin says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and share your feedback, Shawniece! We’re happy to hear that your QC course has provided you some informative insight into how to properly go about pricing your business services. 🙂

      All the best,
      The QC Team

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