“How much money do wedding planners make?”
This is one of the most popular questions about getting starting in the wedding and event planning industry. What is the typical salary of an event planner who is self-employed?
Wedding planner salaries vary greatly from a few hundred dollars per event to many thousands of dollars. There are event planners who easily earn more than $100K a year and those who barely make $15K. The difference in a wedding consultant’s salary depends on the following:
Factors that Influence Wedding Planner Salary
- The number of years in business – For most event planning businesses, it takes 2-4 years to become profitable. Many planners start out by planning events part-time while maintaining another job or career until their business grows. It can take a few years before you are fully booked with clients.
- Business knowledge – Understanding cash flow, basic accounting, budgeting, and taxes enables business owners to price based on their expenses and desired salary. Business savvy planners know what they need to charge and understand that raising prices on a regular basis is critical to their long-term success. If you need help with your business, consider hiring an experienced business coach for event planners to help you set up your business for success and stability.
- The area you live in – Event planners in New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington DC will make significantly more than wedding planners who live in rural areas or areas that are not a popular destination wedding location.
- The reputation of the business – If you are recognized as one of the leading planners or designers in your market, you will be able to charge more for your services. You will also benefit from word-of-mouth and referrals from past clients and other wedding professionals.
- Marketing knowledge – Being able to market yourself to your target clients can make a significant difference in how much money you make as an event planner. If you haven’t signed up for the Planner’s Lounge email list, you can sign up here to download our complimentary marketing guide. You can also read through our previous posts on wedding business marketing and branding.
- Types of services offered – For newer planners who are offering “day-of” and “month-of” planning services, the salary will be lower than an experienced planner offering full-service planning and design.
- Number of planners on staff – If you have a team of event planners taking on events or staff who support large-scale productions that you plan, your business will usually make more money than a solo business owner.
- Other sales – Some planners also sell retail items, provide event decor, maintain a rental inventory, or sell invitations to increase their salary.
Typical Income and Benefits for a Wedding Planner
According to Payscale.com, the annual salary for a wedding planner who has been in business between 1-4 years ranges from $18,873-$60,133.
Here are salary ranges you can expect as a wedding planner:
Working part-time: $5,000-$15,000
Working full-time in a rural area: $25,000-$75,000
Working full-time in a major city: $55,000-$150,000+
Typically, skilled planners with five to nine years experience will see a rise in compensation for their skills.
For wedding planners who work for an event management company, employee benefits frequently include sick time, paid vacation, access to company-sponsored retirement accounts, and health care plans.
Your wedding planner salary will depend on your experience, education, location, and how well you market yourself. When you become a wedding planner, you may book 6 weddings your first year and charge $1,500 per wedding. That would be a gross income of $9,000 which you would likely reinvest back into the business to upgrade your website and search engine optimization, pay for advertising, hire a wedding business coach, upgrade your computer, invest in a promotional video, or attend a wedding planner conference. The following year, you would raise your rates and ideally book more weddings since you have more experience, a portfolio, references from past clients, a better website, and you have a higher level planning and/or design skills than your first year.
Charging what you are worth and continually increasing your fees as you gain experience is a key factor in how much money you make as a wedding planner. If you aren’t sure how to price or package your wedding planning services, the professional guide, Pricing With Confidence, explains the how/what/why of pricing for wedding planners. It also has ready-to-use wedding planner package templates as well as pricing worksheets with examples.
Ready to learn more about how to price your services as a wedding planner and what to include in your planning packages?
Pricing With Confidence empowers wedding planners with the knowledge and tools necessary to be confident with all aspects of pricing (how you charge, what you charge, when you charge) and the services (packages, custom proposals, individual services) you offer to clients. Learn More…