How To Start A Wedding Planning Business

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how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Do you have a talent for the logistics of event planning?

Do you have a heart that beats to arrange every perfect detail to make the special day come off as a dream come true for brides and grooms?

If so, you just might have what it takes to start a wedding planning business.

A knack for working with a budget, coordinating with suppliers and service providers, and the interpersonal skills to listen to someone else’s vision and turn it into a reality will be a big part of your success as a wedding planner.

You’ll need to have the business sense to handle the administrative and legal details of your venture.

You will also need the aesthetic instinct and problem-solving skills to pull together the organizational and decorative details of the wedding day while making it seem painless and seamless.

If you can do all that while maintaining a cool head under pressure and handling the emotionally-charged requests or demands with aplomb, you may have a future as a wedding planner.

How Big Is The Wedding Planning Industry?

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

According to IBIS World, 12,606 wedding planning businesses employing 13,492 people compete for their share of the one billion dollars in revenue that the wedding industry generates every year. The Association for Wedding Planners International reports that over two million weddings take place every year in the U.S. alone. They expect accelerated growth in the next five years.

Why Starting A Wedding Planning Business Now Is A Good Idea 

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

As the economy has gotten stronger in the past five years, couples have increased their disposable income, married more frequently and spent more on hiring wedding planning help and other services for their big day.

The internet reduces your marketing costs and increases your profit margins as it makes your business more accessible to potential clients.

It also draws more brides and grooms to your door looking for someone to help them make their nuptials unforgettable and special.

It’s a growing business that offers opportunities for lucrative returns for your efforts if you have the skills and the capital to make a name for yourself as a wedding planner who can deliver dreams on any scale.

Wedding Planning Business Facts

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Here are some facts and figures about the wedding planning business you should consider:

Wedding planning business startup costs

Entrepreneur estimates that a wedding planning startup can run between $2,273 to $9,237. This would include office supplies, equipment, and furniture; financial, word processing and wedding planner software and a computer.

How much do wedding planners make?

 $9.91 to $50, per hour or $20,640 to $89,659 per year, according to

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

How much do wedding planners charge?

Depending on the services provided and your experience in the field, the services of a wedding planner can run anywhere from $600 to $10,000 or more. Wedding consultants average between $40 to $150 per hour while day-of coordinators generally charge $600 to $1,800 per event. A full-service wedding planner can expect $2,000 to $10,000 per wedding. Some planners charge 10 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost instead of a flat or hourly fee.

How do wedding planners find customers?

Print ads can include the Yellow Pages, bridal magazines, brochures and business cards. Networking with other wedding service providers such as churches, wedding chapels, bakers, florists, photographers and wedding dress stores may land some referrals. Listing your business in several online directories can also help brides find you. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable voice in the field through an active business social media presence and blog. Host a professional website where potential clients can learn about your services and communicate with you. Learn about SEO and use marketing tools such as Google Ad Words to promote your page in the search engines and make it easy for brides in search of a wedding planner to land on your page. As you gain experience and establish a portfolio, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied brides will be a valuable source of business as well.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

What skills are required?

Organization, attention to detail, concern for quality, imagination, people skills, mature judgment, patience, logistics and orchestration of events, hospitality, event planning, decorating, knowledge of wedding trends, traditions, products, services, food, music, ceremony and décor; fashion sense, diplomacy and arbitration, ordering and alterations, communication, bridal psychology, networking with quality, reliable wedding service providers, negotiation, problem-solving, bookkeeping, marketing and strategies for handling competitors, financial management, knowledge of your market and how to attract clientele by carving out a niche in the local field that makes you stand out from others.

What do I need to operate a wedding planning business?

Business license and tax structure; liability insurance, bookkeeping system; scheduling system; computer and printer, scanner, word processing software, QuickBooks, wedding planner software, surge protector, digital camera, fax machine, copy machine, phone and voicemail, postage meter/scale, calculator, desk, chair, file cabinets, bookcase, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, pens, folders and other miscellaneous supplies, copier/printer paper, printer cartridges, fax cartridges, flash drive; certification as a wedding planner is also a plus; social media accounts, a wedding-related blog and professional website.

Wedding Planning Business Ideas

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Will you work with local vendors?

What kind of wedding will be your specialty.

Struggling with what to name your wedding planning business? Here are a few ideas:

Happily Ever After                                                                                               Making Memories

Bliss                                                                                                           Weddings To Remember

As You Wish                                                                                                               Wedding Point

Dreams On A Budget                                                                                   Destination Weddings

Weddings By Design                                                                                       Customized Dreams

Simply Beautiful                                                                                                                   Cloud 9 

Wedding Elegance                                                                                           Exquisite Weddings

Charm Wedding Planners                                                                                     Simple Elegance 

Youtube Videos 

Related Content

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business by Cho Phillips and Sherrie Wilkolaski

Brides Magazine: Wedding Planning: The Basics

Wedding Planner Magazine


Perfect Wedding Guide: Head Over Heels

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Jobs in Weddings and Funerals

Career Bond: ABC Certified Wedding Planner Program

Huff Post Weddings: Thinking of Starting a Wedding Planning Business? 6 Things to Keep in Mind

Stratford Career Institute: Wedding Consultant Distance Learning Course Summary

New York Institute of Art + Design: Certified Wedding Planning Course Wedding Planner Salary Start a Wedding Planner Business

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

IBIS World: Wedding Planners in the US: Market Research Report

Library of Congress: Wedding Industry Research

Association for Wedding Planners International: Statistics for the Wedding Industry

Power Home Biz: How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Entrepreneur: Events Planner

Entrepreneur: How to Become a Wedding Consultant

Startup Smart: Wedding Planning Business

BPlans: Wedding Consultant Business Plan

The Wedding Planner Book: How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge?

Cost Helper: Wedding Planner Cost

The Knot: Wedding Planner Prices

Wedding Stats: Cost of a Wedding Planner

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Wedding Planning Business

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on February 7, 2022 Updated on December 1, 2023

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Investment range

$2,250 - $7,600

Revenue potential

$36,000 - $120,000 p.a.

Time to build

0 – 3 months

Profit potential

$32,000 - $72,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Oh, that big day that children dream about. The day when they get to be the star and marry the person of their dreams. It has to be perfect!  But planning that perfect day can be a monumental task. In comes the wedding planner to (hopefully) make it the best day of their lives. If you’re someone who loves that planning process, why not turn it into money in your pocket? You can start your own wedding planning business for just a small investment. 

First, however, you have to go through the planning process for your business. You’ll need knowledge about the process to do so, and it’s your lucky day! This step-by-step guide is chock full of tips and insights to put you on the path to becoming a successful wedding planner.

Step by Step Business values real-life experience above all. Through our  Entrepreneur Spotlight Series , we interview business leaders from diverse industries, providing readers with firsthand insights.

Uncover wedding planning tips in our interview with Epic Elopements’ founder, Amber Sironen-Massey.

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Starting a wedding planning business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.

  • Bring Joy to Brides! – Make wedding dreams come true
  • Good Money – Get paid 10% to 20% of the total wedding cost
  • Flexibility – Run the business from home
  • Bridezillas – The wedding day has to be perfect!
  • Weekend Work – Long weekend wedding days

Wedding planning industry trends

Industry size and growth.

  • Industry size and past growth – The US wedding planning industry is valued at just under $900 million. The industry has decreased annually by 7% per year for the last five years but is still big enough to offer opportunities.(( ))  
  • Growth forecast – The global wedding services market, which includes planning, is predicted to grow around 5% yearly through 2030.(( )) 
  • Number of businesses – More than 20,000 wedding planners operate in the US.(( ))
  • Number of people employed – The industry employs more than 25,000 people.(( ))

wedding planning industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in wedding planning include:

  • Wedding themes are being influenced by pop culture, including shows like Bridgerton. 
  • Weddings are becoming increasingly non-traditional, sometimes with “wear what you want” rules. 
  • Unsurprisingly, eco-friendly weddings are trending, with recyclable materials used for as many wedding accoutrements as possible. 

Challenges in the wedding planning industry include:

  • In the wake of the pandemic, people are opting for smaller guest lists, reducing fees for wedding planners.
  • Many online wedding planning sites have popped up, creating new competition for traditional wedding planners.

wedding planning industry Trends and Challenges

What kind of people work as wedding planners?

  • Gender – 90% of wedding planners in the US are female, while 10% are male.(( ))
  • Average level of education – 71% have a bachelor’s degree and 13% hold an associate degree.(( ))
  • Average age – The average age of a wedding planner is 37 years old.(( ))

wedding planning industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a wedding planning business?

Startup costs for a wedding planning business range from $2,000 to $5,000. The largest costs are for a website and an initial marketing budget.

How much can you earn from a wedding planning business?

You can charge between 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding, for an average of 15%. The average wedding costs $20,000, so you should earn about $3,000 per wedding. Your expenses will be limited, so you should expect a profit margin of about 90%.

In your first year or two, you could work from home and plan 12 weddings, bringing in $36,000 in annual revenue. This would mean over $32,000 in clear profit, assuming that 90% margin. As you begin to get traction and referrals, that could increase to 40 weddings a year. At this stage, you might hire a staff, reducing your profit margin to 60%. With annual revenue of $120,000, you would make a cool $72,000.

Wedding Planning business earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a wedding planning business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Having great planning skills
  • Facing competition, particularly from online wedding planning services

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a wedding planning business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research wedding planning businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a wedding planner who handles deliveries to the event.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as non-traditional weddings.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your services

Make a list of all the tasks that you will handle for the wedding. You might consider making different packages of services at different price points. 

How much should you charge for wedding planning?

Generally, wedding planners are paid 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding. Your expenses will be limited to marketing and fuel for travel. You should aim for a profit margin of about 90%. 

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price point. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be primarily brides and parents of the bride, which makes it a very broad market. You should spread out your marketing to include sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. Find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed

wedding planning business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Wedding Planning Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “wedding planner” or “wedding planning”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Dream Day Planners” over “Vintage Vows Wedding Planning”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Wedding Planning Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Highlight the main goals and strategies of your wedding planning business, focusing on offering personalized, comprehensive wedding coordination services.
  • Business Overview: Describe your business’s focus on planning and organizing weddings, including venue selection, vendor coordination, and event design.
  • Product and Services: Detail the range of services offered, such as full wedding planning, day-of coordination, and consultation services for couples.
  • Market Analysis: Assess the demand for wedding planning services, identifying target markets like engaged couples, wedding venues, or event suppliers.
  • Competitive Analysis: Compare your services to other local wedding planners, focusing on your unique offerings like specialized themes, personalized service, or budget management.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline your strategy for attracting clients, using methods like bridal shows, social media marketing, or partnerships with wedding vendors.
  • Management Team: Highlight the experience and qualifications of your team, especially in event planning, customer service, and vendor relations.
  • Operations Plan: Describe the operational process of planning weddings, from initial consultations and concept development to execution on the wedding day.
  • Financial Plan: Provide an overview of financial aspects, including startup costs, pricing strategy, and income projections.
  • Appendix: Include supplementary documents such as portfolio photos, client testimonials, or vendor agreements to support your business plan.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to wedding planning businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your wedding planning business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just needs to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best options, other than friends and family, for funding a wedding planning business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.  

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

Starting a wedding planning business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your wedding planning business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as HoneyBook , Aisle Planner , or bloom , to manage bookings, workflows, contracts, and payments.

  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero . 
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.

Congratulations on embarking on the exciting journey of starting a wedding planning business! To ensure your venture thrives, consider these effective marketing strategies beyond the obvious website and networking approaches.

  • Social Media Campaigns: Leverage platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your portfolio, share real wedding stories, and engage with potential clients through visually appealing content.
  • Collaborate with Local Vendors: Forge partnerships with local florists, photographers, and catering services, creating a mutually beneficial referral network that enhances your credibility and widens your reach.
  • Host Free Workshops or Webinars: Position yourself as an expert by organizing workshops or webinars on wedding planning tips, trends, and budgeting, establishing trust with potential clients and showcasing your expertise.
  • Offer Limited-Time Promotions: Create a sense of urgency and attract clients by offering limited-time promotions or discounts for early bookings or bundled services, encouraging couples to secure your services promptly.
  • Collect and Showcase Testimonials: Encourage satisfied clients to leave testimonials and reviews, then strategically showcase them on your marketing materials and social media to build trust and credibility with potential clients.
  • Targeted Local Advertising: Invest in targeted online and offline advertising in local publications, community boards, or social media groups to specifically reach your target audience in the geographical area you serve.
  • Participate in Bridal Shows: Set up a booth at bridal shows to directly engage with couples planning their weddings, offering them a glimpse of your services, and collecting leads for future follow-ups.
  • Create a Blog: Share valuable content on a blog related to wedding planning, offering advice, inspiration, and behind-the-scenes insights to establish yourself as an authority in the industry and improve your website’s SEO.
  • Utilize Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with local influencers or bloggers in the wedding industry to reach a wider audience and gain credibility through their endorsement of your services.
  • Implement a Referral Program: Encourage satisfied clients to refer your services by implementing a referral program, rewarding them for each successful referral, thereby creating a word-of-mouth marketing engine for your business.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your wedding planning business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your wedding planning business could be: 

  • Non-traditional weddings to fit your unique style
  • Eco-friendly weddings to keep our earth healthy
  • Short timeline? The perfect wedding on time, guaranteed

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a wedding planning business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in wedding planning for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in wedding planning. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a wedding planning business include:

  • Wedding Assistants – assist with planning, wedding setup
  • Delivery Drivers – deliver items to weddings
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media, other marketing

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Wedding Planning Business – Start Making Money!

Making a client’s wedding day perfect can be a very rewarding experience. You take care of the details, and let the bride be the star. A wedding planning business can be a very lucrative venture, and as your business grows you can make some good money. You could even have a whole team working for you while you handle the high-level details and supervise the events from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding day and the next day brunch.

Now you’re prepared, so you can put your plans into action and get ready to launch your wedding planning adventure!

  • Wedding Planning Business FAQs

Yes, a wedding planning business can be profitable. You’ll need to market yourself before you start to make money, but once you get some traction, you’ll have very few expenses so most of the money you make will stay in your pocket.

Generally, wedding planners charge between 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding. If you charge an average of 15%, for a $20,000 wedding, you’ll make $3,000.

To stay organized and manage multiple weddings simultaneously, create a detailed timeline and checklist for each event, and use project management tools and software to track progress and deadlines. Communicate clearly with clients, vendors, and staff, and delegate tasks effectively to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

The key skills and qualities needed to become a successful wedding planner include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, attention to detail, creativity, problem-solving skills, time management, and the ability to work under pressure.

To differentiate your wedding planning business from competitors in the market, focus on developing a unique brand identity and marketing strategy that highlights your strengths and values. Offer personalized and customized services that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each client, and provide exceptional customer service and support throughout the planning process. 

Yes, you can start a wedding planning business on the side by identifying your target market, developing a service offering and pricing strategy, and creating a strong online presence. Build a portfolio of work samples and showcase your expertise through online marketing and networking. Ensure that you can balance your time and resources effectively between your full-time job and your side business, and consider hiring assistants or coordinators to help with the workload.

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm a Wedding Planning Business Name
  • Create a Wedding Planning Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Licenses/Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run a Wedding Planning Business - Start Making Money!

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How Much Does It Cost To Become A Wedding Planner? (In 2023)

Please note that the data provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on various factors, and should not be considered as perfect or definitive.

The cost of opening a a wedding planner can vary based on several factors. However for a a wedding planner you can expect to spend $62 to $28,322 with an average cost of $14,874.

  • The minimum startup costs for a wedding planner: $62
  • The maximum startup costs for a wedding planner: $28,322
  • The average startup costs for a wedding planner: $14,874

Here's a detailed list of a wedding planner startup costs:

Learn more about starting a wedding planner :

Where to start?

-> How to start a wedding planner? -> Pros and cons of a wedding planner

Need inspiration?

-> Other wedding planner success stories -> Examples of established wedding planner -> Marketing ideas for a wedding planner -> Wedding planner slogans -> Wedding planner names -> Wedding planner Instagram bios -> Wedding planner Instagram captions

Other resources

-> Wedding planner tips -> Blog post ideas for a wedding planner

Equipment & Supply Expenses

Starting a wedding planner may require purchasing some equipment, whether that's for producing the product or packaging the goods, or equipment needed in the back office.

Business Formation Fees

There are a few key costs associated with forming your business entity, such as setting up an LLC and getting trademarks, copyrights, and patents sorted.

Software Expenses

Your wedding planner needs software to run efficiently!

Why spend money on software? Because it can help you save time and automate certain parts of the business, so you can focus on the most important matters. Software and technology can help you grow your business, and save you from expensive personnel costs.

Office Space Expenses

It will be your call to determine if you need office space. It is not a requirement but may be necessary as your wedding planner grows.

Employee & Freelancer Expenses

Website costs.

Every business should have a website, and it's worth spending a bit of money to set it up right.

Advertising & Marketing Costs

  • 272 Best Wedding Planning Instagram Captions That Will Boost Engagement 1 of 12
  • 53 Marketing Ideas For A Wedding Planner (2023) 2 of 12
  • 215+ Catchy Wedding Planner Slogan Ideas (Ultimate List + Guide) 3 of 12
  • 625+ Trendy Wedding Planner Business Names 4 of 12
  • 75+ Wedding Blog Post Ideas & Topics That Your Clients Will LOVE! [2023] 5 of 12
  • 1 Tips For Starting A Successful Wedding Planner (2023) 6 of 12
  • How To Start A Wedding Planner Business 7 of 12
  • 500+ Trendy Wedding Planner Slogans & Taglines 8 of 12
  • 44 Trending Wedding Planner Businesses [2023] 9 of 12
  • 275 Best Instagram Bios For Wedding Planners [2023] 10 of 12
  • 8 Wedding Planner Success Stories [2023] 11 of 12
  • 34 Pros & Cons Of Starting A Wedding Planner (2023) 12 of 12

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Starting a Business

How much does it cost to become a wedding planner, january 23, 2022.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

I'm Candice, your new tell-it-like-it-is BFF (and purpose cheerleader). Are you ready to grow and scale a profitable business with purpose–and one that gives back to your meaningful life? Thought so!

What's your brand cocktail for success?

*cues up to the bar* Let's start the tab, shall we? Take the quiz and find your brand cocktail for success.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

I remember the first moment I decided to become a wedding planner. I was on the couch recovering from having appendicitis and somehow ended up binge-watching a wedding show on TV. The next thing I knew, I sent my then boyfriend to the store and stocked up on bridal magazines. I spent the rest of the weekend daydreaming and imagining what my wedding planning business would look like. Over a decade later, I realized now more than ever that the more things change, the more they stay the same. If you have ever had the urge to start your own wedding planning business and wonder how much it costs to become a wedding planner, this post is for you.

Like any business, there ARE costs associated (of course!), but if you feel the nudge, I want to make sure you have everything you need to get started.

What's the cost to become a wedding planner? First, I'm going to break down how much it costs to become a wedding planner into different categories, so you know exactly how much to budget for as you start your wedding business.

First, I'm going to break down how much it costs to become a wedding planner into different categories so you know exactly how much to budget for as you start your wedding business.

Hold up – let me just hop on my soapbox for a sec. You might be bootstrapping right now, and I respect the hustle. But as you read through the information below, I want you to always keep in mind what it's costing you to save money. Some of these expenses COULD be avoided. But I'm here to tell you – there is always a cost. Saving money by skipping a formal CRM (like Honeybook ) and doing every single thing manually (which will, at best , only cost you your precious time) or something with larger financial consequences (like dealing with the IRS because you didn't register your business), will always cost you.

Start-Up Costs: Wedding Industry Education

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to wedding industry education. I'll be the first to tell you there is a lot of noise out there. When it comes to wedding industry education, you can take an online course, sign up for an event planning management program at your local college, or even sign up for one-on-one coaching with a top wedding planner in your area. Even here at Candice Coppola Headquarters, we have a few different options at different price points and levels of support .

The reality is education costs cost anywhere from $57 (like the Planner's Playbook ) to $1000+. More expensive isn't always better, but it is important to take your investments in your wedding planning education seriously and focus not only on marketing your business but also on delivering what you're marketing.

Like we say inside the Planner's Playbook , with weddings: there are no do-overs.

This is one of the biggest mistakes I see wedding planners make. So often, I see wedding planner coaches focus so much on getting you new clients and not enough time focusing on making sure that you're ready to actually execute the services you're offering. Shameless plug here: that's exactly why I created the Planner's Playbook. With a monthly focus, I made it to deliver everything you need to grow (and thrive in) your wedding business.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

If you have been in business for less than three years, the Planner's Playbook was designed to provide all the training and support you need as a wedding planner to design, coordinate and plan high-end weddings like a pro. It's your secret to those magazine-worthy weddings on your vision board!

The last Planner's Playbook was 57 pages to give you an idea of what your $57/month gets you. I can promise you it is the best money you're spending on your wedding business right now. And customer experience is important to me, so I can just tell you: I mean what I say.

Start-Up Cost: Register Your Business!

To use some round numbers, I'm going to ask you to budget about $300 for this as a one-time cost, but make sure to check into your own individual state regulations.

Do not skip this step because the longer you let the legal stuff slide in your business side, the harder it will be to ever get legit. Not to mention, the last thing you want is to plan a million-dollar wedding and find out that the business insurance you bought is invalid without a license. It is one of the most important costs to become a wedding planner.

You can use LegalZoom (#notsponsored) tools to get your business up and running. Although, I do recommend seeing a local attorney in your area, too.

What's the cost to become a wedding planner? First, I'm going to break down how much it costs to become a wedding planner into different categories, so you know exactly how much to budget for as you start your wedding business.

Start-Up Cost: Get Yourself a Decent Website

It's 2022, and there is literally no excuse anymore. You're going to want to get a legit website with all the bells and whistles. It will likely cost you between $9-$50 a month for everything, but it's worth it.

When I built my business, I didn't know any rich people looking for a wedding planner, and I wasn't getting referrals. I focused on building a solid website and driving traffic using SEO.

Spoiler alert: it's a lot easier now to build a nice website than it was in 2007.

Honestly, the time and money I have put into my website have paid off tenfold. I'm sure you're reading this blog post and poking around right now on my website–thinking, “this lady is legit!” First of all, you would be correct. 🙂 But secondly, when you create a gorgeous website for clients to interact with, you immediately have the chance to give a great first impression.

And by the way, not to throw another shameless plug at you, but if you don't know EXACTLY who your ideal clients are yet, make sure you check out the ideal client cocktail .

Start-Up Cost: Brand Your Business

I will budget a conservative $200 here because I know most of us start our business on a budget. A professional graphic designer might be out of the question, and you can DIY some of this to start.

Plan to invest in some templates from the creative market or something similar if you can't afford a graphic designer yet. Branding is a place where you always want to invest time. Spend time thinking about and curating your visual brand. Think about your visual brand. You can always change it later, but you're going to want a solid foundation to help build yourself as a recognizable name in your space. It really is part of the cost to become a wedding planner!

Download free wedding planner emergency kit checklist

Start-Up Cost: Marketing Expenses

This goes hand in hand with branding. You're probably going to spend some time browsing stock images, templates, and more. Listen, I know how tempting it is to try and get by using only free stock images. Still, ultimately you're going to find it hard to differentiate yourself (especially as a new wedding planner) if you find yourself using the same stock photos as everybody else. Paying for a stock photo membership (like Haute Stock or Styled Stock Society ) can be very affordable and will give you a leg up on some of the new competition in town.

What's the cost to become a wedding planner? First, I'm going to break down how much it costs to become a wedding planner into different categories, so you know exactly how much to budget for as you start your wedding business.

Start-Up Cost: A Brand Photo Shoot

This is definitely not an area to skimp, so plan on budgeting about $500-$1000 for this. I know it might be tempting to roll with your old iPhone photos, but really, what is the difference between what you and what the wedding planner next door offers? YOU, OF COURSE. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. To really connect with your ideal clients (especially in an online world), they need to see you. They need to know what you look like, what you value, and most importantly, that you believe in investing in your business (before they hand over a huge chunk of change and ask you to plan one of the most important days of your life).

S tart-Up Cost: Online Software (like Honeybook !)

Listen y'all know I love HoneyBook so let me just finish off here. HoneyBook is only $4.95 per month. You'll need a CRM as you grow, and the sooner you start adding automation and consistency to your business, the better. Honeybook lets you send contracts, proposals, and (even better) collect payments. Trust me when I say you are going to become addicted to the cha-ching noise it makes every time you get paid. HoneyBook is truly my secret to how I was able to run a successful wedding planning business like a professional and offer my couples a seamless experience. I know you want that too! When things get missed as a wedding planner, they tend to be missed in a BIG way. Add this to your budget when you're considering how much it costs to become a wedding planner so you can sleep easily.

S tart Up Cost: Legal Contracts & Agreements

One of your final start-up costs as a wedding planner will be to invest in a contract and any other legal agreements needed.

When you start your wedding planning business–you need to have a contract for your clients to sign.

You know that creating the perfect event is all in the details, such as the venue, the decor, the catering. When it all comes together and works the way it should, it’s a great experience for all parties. With that said, a smart wedding planner knows that planning ahead and communicating clearly will prevent issues every time.

This Event Planning Agreement is a contract template that clearly defines expectations, terms, and conditions related to the execution of an event.

It includes:

  • List of services being provided on behalf of the event
  • How, when, and what method of payment for rendering payment
  • Cancellation terms for both parties, and
  • Termination clause

This event planning contract template for wedding planners also includes the all-important force Majeure clause, which relieves obligations for both parties in the event of a catastrophic and unforeseen issue.

Your wedding planner contract likely needs some adjustments after 2020 and COVID-19. Be sure to check out the wedding planner contract from Legally Set and  save 20% off your purchase with the code PURPOSE .

You can also grab the wedding planner contract bundle  at an extra special price , including a styled shoot agreement and an independent contractor agreement!

OK, that was a lot! Let's recap – when looking at the cost to become a wedding planner, you need to budget for these 8 things:

  • Education: ($57-$1,000)
  • Business Registration ($300)
  • Website ($200+ monthly)
  • Branding ($200)
  • Marketing Expenses (Stock Images, Templates, etc. $300)
  • Brand Photoshoot ($500 – $1,000)
  • Online Software ($4.95 per month for Honeybook )
  • Contracts and Legal Agreements ( grab yours from and use the code PURPOSE to save 20% )

That's pretty much it! As you start to build your business, there are a million and one things you can invest in. But as for the bare bones of it all, I would stick with these eight. And don't forget! One of the best things you can do RIGHT NOW to set yourself up for a successful wedding planning biz is getting on the waitlist for the next time the Planner's Playbook opens up.

Explore More Wedding Industry Resources

  • How To Become A Wedding Planner With No Experience
  • How To Get Wedding Clients When You’re Just Starting Out
  • Day of Coordination: The Pros and Cons as a Wedding Planner
  • How Much Should You Charge As A Wedding Planner? Learn How To Figure Out Your Wedding Planner Pricing
  • 5 Contracts Every Wedding Planner Must Have To Be Legally Set
  • The #1 Reason Why You’re Not Booking The Right Wedding Clients (And How To Fix It)
  • 5 Online Wedding Planning Tools You Need to Use
  • 4 Strategies That Will Help You Book MORE Of Your Ideal Clients
  • 5 Tips On Crafting a Business Plan To Book Out Your Biz With Your Ideal Clients And Get Paid

For More Wedding Planner Business Secrets Follow Me On Instagram

Well, there are almost 10,000 new friends following me on here (um, hi👋🏻) so I thought it might be time for a little #FridayIntroduction I’m Candice! I’m an American living abroad in Barbados with my husband. I love all things home decor, island life, skincare, and business. ❤️ FUN FACT: In middle school I was voted “most talkative” - a superlative I literally campaigned for. I walked around class talking people into voting for me 😛 Now, I get to talk all day for a living (and people actually want to listen to me! Hahaha) By day I’m a business coach and educator for wedding industry pros, and by night I’m usually in bed by 9. 💀 On IG I talk a lot about two things - business and Bravo. I’m an OG housewives Stan and have been following these bitches since day one. Here you’ll find a mix of personal stuff, day to day, business coaching, and island life. I hope you’ll stick around! Where you voted something in school? If so, vote and comment below! . . . #fridayintroductions #honeybook #businessbestie #communityovercompetition #weddingpros #weddingindustry #weddingexperts #candicecoppola #weddingplanner

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Christmas at my home in the day vs night 🤩 I’ve finally finished putting together our home for the holidays. What do you think of our 2023 look? Almost all of the decorations - from candles, ornaments, garlands, and trees - I already had in my collection. This year I just styled it differently and added a few pieces (like the flocked garland 😍). I’m so excited to host friends and family for the holidays in the space. Stay tuned 💁🏼‍♀️ . . . #christmastree #christmasdecor #christmasmood #christmasdecorating #christmasornaments #christmasiscoming #holidaydecor #christmasinspo #christmasdecor2023 #christmaslights #christmasdecoration #christmasideas #christmasinspiration #christmasstying #christmasmagic #christmashome #ba lsamhill

✨ it’s time ✨ I still have lots more to share, but I couldn’t wait to show you our Christmas tree for 2023 (at least the main one in our living room!). I 10/10 recommend putting a mirror behind your tree to add some extra sparkle! I love how this tree turned out this year. ❓Which ornament is your favorite?! Stay tuned tomorrow to see how I transformed our living room into a snowy glam wonderland 💁🏼‍♀️ . . . #christmastree #christmasdecor #christmasmood #christmasdecorating #christmasornaments #christmasiscoming #holidaydecor #christmasinspo #christmasdecor2023 #balsamhill

Before you start decorating for Christmas, you need to see what you have. My years as an event designer and stylist taught me how to style my home for the holidays. Watch me set up all my Christmas decor and holiday decor and get some Christmas decor inspo! I’m so excited to share with you my theme this year and some of the new items I picked up 👀👀👀 . . #christmasdecor #christmasdecorations #christmasiscoming #christmasseason #christmasdecorating #christmasinspo #christmasdecorinspo #balsamhill #christmasdecor2023 #holidaydecor #christmassetup #christmasstyling

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How Much Does It Cost To Start an Event Planning Business?

How much does it cost to start an event planning business? Today, we’ll answer this very question! Starting your own event planning business can be an extremely lucrative and fulfilling endeavor – but it doesn’t come cheap. In order to start an event planning business, you’ll need to invest in a variety of equipment, supplies, software, office space, and marketing materials.

The good news is that we’ve done the research for you and have created an exhaustive list of all the estimated expenses associated with starting an event planning business from scratch. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how much money you need to save up and invest in your new venture!

PRO TIP: Before we get started, it’s worth knowing if YOU should start an event planning business in the first place… Check out this article to find out once and for all!

Event planning startup costs: how much does it cost to organize an event.

Now that we know you should start an event planning business, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty – how much does it cost to organize an event ?

To get a better understanding of how much it costs to start your own event planning business, we’ve broken down all the estimated expenses into 8 categories:

  • Business formation expenses
  • Equipment + supply expenses
  • Software expenses
  • Office space expenses
  • Website costs
  • Advertising + marketing costs
  • Employee expenses
  • Freelancer expenses

Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of each category!

How much does it cost to start an event planning business in-post image 1

1. Event Planning Business Expenses

The first thing you’ll need to do when starting your event planning business is to choose the legal structure of your business. Will you operate as a sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation? The type of business entity you choose will affect how much money you’ll need to spend on formation expenses.

For example, if you decide to operate as an LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with your state and pay a filing fee – which can range from $50-$500 depending on your state. You’ll also need to obtain the proper business licenses and permits, which will cost you an additional $200-$500. Finally, you’ll need to purchase insurance for your business, which can cost anywhere from $500-$5000 per year (depending on the type and amount of coverage you choose).

All in all, you should budget for at least $1000 in business formation expenses when starting your event planning business.

PRO TIP: You can save a lot of money on business formation expenses by forming your LLC or corporation online! Two common resources for this are Incfile and LegalZoom .

2. equipment + supply expenses.

In order to start planning events, you’ll need to have the proper equipment and supplies on hand. This includes items like a laptop or computer, printer, scanner, and digital camera. These can cost anywhere from $500-$2000, depending on the quality and brand of the products you choose.

You’ll also need to purchase office supplies like pens, paper, folders, and sticky notes – which will require an additional investment in the ballpark of $100-$200.

PRO TIP: You can save quite a bit of money on equipment and supply expenses by shopping for refurbished or used products online! Popular websites for this are Amazon Renewed and Best Buy Outlet .

3. software expenses.

To help you run your event planning business smoothly, it’s strongly recommended that you invest in various software programs. These can include project management software (like Asana or Trello ), accounting software (like QuickBooks or FreshBooks ), and email marketing software (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact ).

Closeup view of Male hand typing on laptop keyboard.Businessman working at office on modern notebook.Concept of digital diagram,graph interfaces,virtual screen,connections icon.Blurred

Prices for these types of software programs can range from $0-$100 per month, depending on the features and functionality you need. For example, here are the current fees associated with each of the above programs (as of May 21st, 2022):

Asana (Note: 30-day free trial offered):

  • Basic:  $0.00 USD/month
  • Premium:  $10.99 USD/month
  • Business:  $24.99 USD/month
  • Asana Enterprise:  Must contact Asana for full info and pricing

Trello (Note: Premium Plan offers free trial):

  • Free:  $0.00 USD/month
  • Standard:  $5.00 USD/month
  • Premium:  $10.00 USD/month
  • Enterprise:  $17.50 USD/month

QuickBooks (Note: All plans are currently on sale for 75% off + free 30-day trial offered):

For small business accounting:

  • EasyStart:  $5.50 CAD/month
  • Essentials:  $11.00 CAD/month
  • Plus:  $16.50 CAD/month
  • Advanced:  $35.00 CAD/month

For self-employed expenses:

  • Self-Employed:  $3.75 CAD/month

FreshBooks (Note: Currently offering 90% off for 3 months + free trial offered):

  • Lite:  $1.90 CAD/month (normally $19.00 CAD/month)
  • Plus:  $3.20 CAD/month (normally $32.00 CAD/month)
  • Premium:  $6.00 CAD/month (normally $60.00 CAD/month)
  • Select:  Custom pricing, to be determined by contacting FreshBooks

Mailchimp :

Marketing Platform:

  • Free:  $0.00/month
  • Essentials:  Starting at $11.00/month
  • Standard:  Starting at $17.00/month
  • Premium:  Starting at $299.00/month

Website & Commerce:

  • Core:  Starting at $10.00/month
  • Plus:  Starting at $29.00/month

Constant Contact (Note: All prices are based on number of contracts + free trial offered):

Digital Marketing Subscriptions:

  • Core:  $13.00 CAD/month
  • Plus:  $59.00 CAD/month

Sales Accelerator Subscription:

  • All-in-one CRM platform:  Starting at $449 USD/month

4. Office Space Expenses

Starting an event planning company in a commercial space.

If you plan on starting your event planning business in a commercial space (such as an office suite or retail store), then you’ll need to factor in the cost of rent, utilities, and internet service into your budget.

For example, the average cost of renting a small office space in the United States is currently $600-$700 per month. Moreover, depending on your location, utilities can add an additional $100-$200 per month to your expenses. Lastly, business-grade internet service can also cost you around $50-$100 per month.

In total, you should expect to spend at least $850-$1000 per month on commercial office space rental expenses in order to start an event planning business.

Starting an Event Planning Company from Home

On the other hand, maybe you’re looking to save some money on office space rental expenses. In that case, you might want to consider running your event planning business from home !

Of course, this option isn’t for everyone. After all, some people simply prefer the structure and discipline that comes with working in a commercial space. But if you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind a little bit of extra noise and commotion in your living space, then starting your event planning business from home could be a great way to save some cash each month.

Just keep in mind that even if you do decide to start an event planning business from home, you’ll still need to factor in other associated expenses like internet service (approx. $50-$100/month) and office supplies (approx. $50-$100/month).

In total, you should expect to spend at least $600-$800 per month on office space and associated expenses when starting your event planning business from home.

Want to learn more about running an event planning business from home? This article will help you get started in 3 easy steps!

How much does it cost to start an event planning business in-post image 3

5. Website Costs

If you want to be taken seriously as an event planning business, then you’ll need to have a professional website!

Of course, you could always try to build a website yourself using one of the many DIY website builder platforms out there (like Wix or Squarespace ). But unless you have some previous experience with web design, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this option.

Instead, we recommend working with a professional web designer to create a custom website for your specific event planning business. Depending on your needs and budget, this can cost anywhere from $500-$5000+.

Alternately, if you’re looking for a more cost-effective solution, you can always use a pre-made WordPress theme to build your event planning business website. This will still require some basic web design knowledge, but it’s a great way to get a professional-looking website up and running without spending a ton of money. Currently, WordPress offers a basic (free) plan, a $10.00/month plan, and a $29.00/month plan.

To learn more about what needs to go into creating your official business website, check out this article !

6. Advertising + Marketing Costs

As with any business, one of the key ingredients to success is advertising and marketing. After all, how else are you supposed to let people know about your event planning business and attract new clients?

There are a multitude of different ways that you can market your event planning business. However, some methods will obviously be more effective (and more expensive) than others. For example, TV commercials, print ads, and social media ads (such as on YouTube and TikTok) can be costly. However, they also reach a wide audience and can generate a lot of buzz for your business.

On the other hand, targeted online ads and social media campaigns tend to be much less expensive – but with a smaller budget will come a smaller audience reach. So, that’s definitely something to keep in mind.

Ultimately, it’s up to YOU to decide which marketing channels makes the most sense for your specific event planning business. But as a general rule of thumb, you should expect to spend at least $100-$1,000 per month on advertising and marketing expenses.

7. Employee Expenses

If you plan on growing your event planning business beyond a one-person operation, then you’ll eventually need to start hiring employees.

Of course, the number of employees that you’ll need to hire will depend on the size and scope of your specific business. But regardless of how many people you end up hiring, you should expect to spend a decent amount of money each month on employee-related expenses.

This includes things like salaries, payroll taxes, benefits, insurance, and other associated costs. Depending on the number of employees that you have and the type of benefits that you offer, these expenses can range anywhere from $500-$5000+ per month.

Happy group of successful company employees in office

8. Freelancer Expenses

In addition to (or instead of) hiring employees, you may also need to hire freelancers to help with specific tasks and projects.

Just like with employee expenses, the amount of money that you’ll need to spend on freelancers will vary depending on your specific business needs. However, you should generally expect to pay freelancers by the hour, and rates can range anywhere from $20-$100+ per hour.

So, How Much Does It Cost To Start an Event Planning Business?

Based on everything we’ve discussed, the total (estimated) amount that you should be saving up in order to start your event planning business is approx. $12,000+ . Of course, this number could be higher or lower, depending on a variety of factors – such as whether or not you already have some of the necessary equipment, how big/complex your website will be, etc.

At the end of the day, starting an event planning business is definitely not a cheap undertaking. However, if you’re passionate about event planning and are willing to put in the hard work, we believe it’s definitely worth it!

So, what are your thoughts? How much did YOU spend when starting your event planning business? Let us know in the comments below!

And as always, don’t forget to check out our other articles on event planning tips and advice. Thanks for reading! 😁

Become an internationally-certified event planner in just 3-6 months by enrolling in QC Event School’s self-paced, online certification training today !

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How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost?

Here's what you need to know about planner fees, licensed wedding planners, and more.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

Nadtochiy / Getty Images

In This Article

If you're recently engaged and in the early stages of wedding planning, you're probably asking yourself: Should I hire a wedding planner? And this is a smart question to ask! There are so many details that go into bringing a wedding vision to life, and wedding planners will not only help ease stress around the planning process, but they often end up saving couples money. So what do planners themselves actually cost?

In our recent survey of 1,000 Americans titled Weddings & Money 2021: A  Brides  & Investopedia Study , we found that the average budget for a wedding planner is $2,000. Keep in mind that this fee can vary greatly depending on many factors, like the type of planner you hire (a destination wedding planner , a day-of coordinator , etc.), where the wedding is located, the planner's experience, and more. Annie Lee, the principal planner at  Daughter of Design  and the founder of  Plannie , notes that location is especially impactful in planner fees. "In Plannie's network of event planners, for example, the average hourly rate for a planner in New York City is about 10 times that of a wedding planner in Oaxaca, Mexico," she notes. "But location is not the only factor when trying to hunt down an 'average' price."

With this in mind, as you're deciding if hiring a planner is best for you, you'll want to consider a few key details, namely your overall budget , as well as the venue and location, the guest count, and how much time you yourself can invest in planning (without a planner, estimates are 200-plus hours over the course of 12 months). Based on these decisions, you can decide whether a full-service planner , a destination wedding planner, a partial planner, or a day-of coordinator would be best.

At the end of the day, all planners will save you time, and most planners will save you money by helping you create and stick to your budget . They also have ample money-saving strategies and a wide network of trusted vendors—and they’ll negotiate to get you the best deal without sacrificing quality. "[The wedding industry] is one industry where the golden rule stands firm: You get what you pay for,''" says Chanda Daniels of Chanda Daniels Planning + Design . "If you have a modest budget for a planner, understand what that means and have a conversation with the planner to understand their experience level," she advises. "If you are having a complex wedding or wedding weekend, understand the investment level of an experienced wedding planner. Managing expectations of your needs and the experience level of a planner is key."

Ahead, we speak with Daniels and Lee about the costs of wedding planners—and how hiring a licensed wedding planner might impact the pricing.

Meet the Expert

  • Annie Lee is the principal planner at  Daughter of Design  and the founder of  Plannie , a worldwide network of event planners and day-of producers who can be hired on an hourly basis,
  • Chanda Daniels is a wedding planner and the founder of Chanda Daniels Planning + Design .

What's Typically Included in a Wedding Planner’s Fee?

So you've decided to hire a wedding planner: What exactly comes with that cost? Daniels explains that from her perspective, there are two key components: "Planning and day-of management: Planning all the work done prior to the day of, then managing the actual wedding day," she says. "That’s what you should have with every planner: The basics, then design. For my services, I include planning the wedding weekend, design, and day-of management."

Lee breaks down those planning specifics, noting that "wedding planners typically offer help with budgeting, finding the venue and vendors, design ideas, logistics, and of course, being onsite at the wedding itself." She explains that fees will vary from planner to planner, as well as organizational methods and business models.

How Are Wedding Planner Costs Calculated?

When you reach out or have your initial consultation with a planner , ask if the planner charges a flat fee, a percentage of total wedding costs, or an hourly rate for their services. "Every planner has a different way of charging their clients—percentage versus flat rate or a combination of the two methods," says Daniels. "But on average it's safe to say that it comes to roughly 20-25 percent of the couple's overall wedding investment. The way a wedding planner gets to that percentage is based on the planner's individual business model."

What Factors Impact Wedding Planner Fees?

As we mentioned above, the average price of a planner might hover around $2,000, but many factors impact how much a wedding planner costs—and there is a lot of variation. "The factors that can impact the price of a wedding planner are the location of the wedding (transportation and lodging of the team, per-diems, etc.) and the scope of work for the wedding," explains Daniels. "A lot of these are unknown until you actually get into the details of planning. Experience and expertise are also big factors but 20 to 25 percent [of the budget] is a good place to start," she says of determining a planner fee.

In terms of experience and expertise, some planners may be licensed wedding planners—and that type of licensing and certification could impact the fee that they charge—but make sure you understand what exactly their certification is. "It's really an elective course the planner has taken and depending on the reputation of the program they are certified from, the planner may use it as a factor in their pricing," explains Lee. "Having worked for another big planner is probably a bigger factor since our industry is very much about experience and apprenticeship help."

Daniels adds that various organizations offer training and certifications for wedding planners that teach the basics of wedding planning and running a business. "This may impact the fee as well because the said planner has invested time to really understand the business side," she explains.

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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Wedding Planner Business?

By henry sheykin, resources on wedding planner.

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Startup Costs


Welcome to the world of wedding planning! If you have a knack for organization, a passion for creating beautiful events, and a desire to help couples make their dream weddings a reality, then starting a wedding planning business might be the perfect venture for you.

The wedding industry is booming, with couples in the United States spending an average of $33,900 on their wedding day in 2019. This lucrative market offers a plethora of opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs like you to carve out a niche and make a name for yourself.

In this blog post, we will delve into the startup expenses associated with opening a wedding planning business. From office space and marketing expenses to professional liability insurance and initial inventory, we will explore the one-time costs you need to consider as you set up your business.

So, whether you're a seasoned wedding planner looking to strike out on your own or a novice eager to enter the exciting world of wedding coordination, let's dive in and uncover the costs of launching your dream wedding planning business.

Starting a wedding planning business requires some initial investment to establish the necessary tools and resources. Here is a breakdown of the average startup costs associated with opening a wedding planner business:

Note: The average amounts provided are approximate and can vary based on location, scale of operations, and individual preferences.

These startup costs are essential for creating a professional and efficient wedding planning business. While they may seem significant, they are necessary investments that contribute to the success and growth of your venture.

As you embark on the journey of opening your own wedding planner business, it's crucial to perform a thorough assessment of your financial situation and set a realistic budget to cover these startup costs. Additionally, research local vendors and suppliers to get accurate pricing information and negotiate favorable deals to minimize expenses.

Remember, careful planning, attention to detail, and exceptional customer service are key factors in building a thriving wedding planner business.

1. Office space and furnishings

When starting a wedding planning business, securing an office space is essential for meeting with clients and organizing the necessary paperwork. The cost of office space can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the office. According to recent statistics, the average monthly cost of office space in the United States ranges from $14 to $70 per square foot, with larger cities tending to have higher rates. Therefore, a small office space of approximately 500 square feet could cost around $7,000 to $35,000 per year.

In addition to the cost of office space, furnishing the office will also require a significant investment. The expenses for office furnishings such as desks, chairs, cabinets, and equipment like computers, printers, and phones can quickly add up. On average, outfitting an office with basic furnishings can range from $2,000 to $5,000. This amount can increase depending on the desired level of comfort and aesthetics.

To minimize costs, it is important to carefully consider the needs of the business and prioritize essential items. For example, investing in comfortable chairs for client consultations and a reliable computer system for efficient planning and communication are vital. However, extravagant decor or unnecessary gadgets may not be immediately required and can be added gradually as the business grows.

When setting up the office, it is also beneficial to consider cost-effective alternatives. For instance, purchasing used office furniture or leasing equipment can significantly reduce initial expenses. Online platforms and local classifieds can be valuable resources for finding budget-friendly options.

To summarize, the cost of office space and furnishings for a wedding planning business can range from $9,000 to $40,000 or more, depending on location and desired amenities. Careful planning, prioritization, and considering cost-effective alternatives can help minimize expenses while still creating a professional and functional workspace.

2. Computer hardware and software

In the wedding planning business, computer hardware and software are essential tools that help streamline operations and provide efficient services to clients. The cost of computer hardware and software can vary depending on the specific needs of the business. Here is a breakdown of the average costs associated with computer hardware and software in the wedding planning industry:

Computer Hardware:

  • Laptops/Desktops: A reliable laptop or desktop computer is crucial for managing client information, creating event timelines, and communicating with vendors. The average cost of a high-performance laptop/desktop computer ranges from $800 to $2,000.
  • Printers and Scanners: Wedding planners often need to print contracts, proposals, and other important documents. A good-quality printer and scanner combo can cost between $150 and $400.
  • External Hard Drive: Given the amount of digital files and client data involved in wedding planning, investing in an external hard drive for backup purposes is highly recommended. An external hard drive with sufficient storage capacity can cost around $100 to $200.
  • Event Management Software: Wedding planners rely on event management software to keep track of client information, vendor contracts, email correspondence, and event budgets. Popular event management software options such as Aisle Planner or HoneyBook can range from $20 to $50 per month for a subscription.
  • Design and Presentation Software: To create visually appealing proposals or design concepts for clients, wedding planners often utilize design and presentation software like Canva or Adobe Creative Cloud. Monthly subscriptions for these software solutions can cost anywhere from $9 to $60.
  • Accounting Software: For managing business finances, wedding planners may opt for accounting software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks. The price for these software options ranges from $20 to $40 per month.

It's important to note that the costs mentioned here are approximate and can vary based on factors such as brand, specifications, and licensing options. Nevertheless, investing in reliable computer hardware and software is crucial for the smooth operation of a wedding planning business.

3. Wedding planning software and tools

Wedding planning software and tools have become essential for modern-day wedding planners, helping them streamline their processes and deliver exceptional service to their clients. While the cost of these tools may vary depending on the specific features and functionality, here is an overview of the latest statistical information regarding their costs:

Wedding planning software often includes features for budgeting and financial management, allowing planners to keep track of expenses and manage vendor payments. The cost for such software can range from $20 to $100 per month, depending on the complexity of the platform and the number of users.

Efficiently managing the guest list and RSVPs is crucial for a wedding planner. Wedding planning software with features for guest list management can cost around $10 to $50 per month, depending on the number of guests and additional functionalities like seating arrangements and dietary restrictions tracking.

To ensure everything runs smoothly on the wedding day, wedding planners rely on software that helps them create and manage timelines and tasks. The cost for such software can range from $10 to $50 per month, depending on the specific features and the number of projects a planner can handle simultaneously.

Wedding planners often use software that provides professional design and visualization tools to create floor plans, seating charts, and other visual materials for their clients. The costs for such software can vary, typically ranging from $20 to $100 per month, depending on the level of customization and the number of projects.

Efficient communication and collaboration with clients and vendors are vital for wedding planners. Software with features for communication, such as chat capabilities and document sharing, can range from $10 to $50 per month, depending on the number of users and the level of integration with other tools.

In addition to the monthly costs, some software providers may offer yearly subscriptions or one-time purchase options, which can lead to significant cost savings for wedding planners in the long run.

It is important for wedding planners to evaluate the specific needs of their business and choose software that aligns with their requirements and budget. While the costs mentioned above provide a general idea of the expenses involved, it is advisable to research and compare different software options to find the best fit for the business.

4. Marketing and Advertising Expenses

When starting a wedding planning business, it is crucial to allocate a budget for marketing and advertising expenses. This investment plays a significant role in establishing and growing your brand presence, attracting clients, and ultimately generating revenue. According to recent statistical data, the average marketing and advertising expenses for a wedding planning business range from $5,000 to $20,000 annually. However, these costs can vary based on several factors including the geographical location, target market, and the scale of your marketing efforts.

1. Digital Marketing: In today's digital world, an essential part of a successful marketing strategy for any business is digital marketing. This includes creating and maintaining a professional website, search engine optimization (SEO) to improve online visibility, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns, and social media marketing. The costs associated with digital marketing can range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more per year, depending on the level of investment and the platforms utilized.

2. Print and Media Advertising: While digital marketing is highly effective, traditional print and media advertising methods still have their place in the wedding planning industry. This may include advertising in bridal magazines, local newspapers, and participating in bridal expos or wedding fairs. The costs for print and media advertising can vary significantly, typically ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.

3. Wedding Vendor Collaborations: Collaborating with other wedding vendors, such as photographers, florists, and venues, can be a cost-effective marketing strategy. These collaborations can include cross-promotions, referral networks, and joint advertising efforts. The costs associated with vendor collaborations are generally based on mutual agreements and can vary depending on the partners involved.

4. Direct Mail and Stationery: Direct mail campaigns and stationery play a vital role in establishing a professional and personalized relationship with potential clients. This can include sending out wedding planning brochures, informational packets, and personalized thank you cards. The expenses related to direct mail and stationery typically range from $500 to $2,500 per year, depending on the frequency and scale of the mailings.

Remember, these average costs are estimates and may only serve as a starting point for budgeting your marketing and advertising expenses. Each wedding planning business is unique, and it is crucial to assess your specific needs and goals when determining the allocation of your marketing budget. By strategically investing in marketing and advertising, you can effectively reach your target market, increase brand awareness, and ultimately attract more clients to your wedding planning business.

5. Website Development and Maintenance

Website development and maintenance are crucial aspects of running a successful wedding planning business. A well-designed and user-friendly website serves as a virtual storefront, attracting potential clients and showcasing the planner's expertise. According to recent statistics, the cost of website development varies depending on the complexity and functionality required. On average, small businesses can expect to invest approximately $2,000 to $10,000 in website development.

It is important to note that these costs can increase if additional features, such as e-commerce capabilities or integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, are desired. The complexity of the website design and the number of pages will also affect the overall cost. Hiring a professional web designer or agency is highly recommended to ensure a high-quality website that aligns with the brand and meets the specific business requirements.

Once the website is developed, maintaining it is essential to keep it updated, secure, and functioning properly. The cost of website maintenance can range anywhere from $50 to $500 per month, depending on the level of ongoing support required. This includes tasks such as updating content, optimizing for search engines, monitoring security, and resolving technical issues.

In addition to regular maintenance, other ongoing costs to consider include domain registration fees (typically around $10 to $20 per year) and web hosting fees (ranging from $5 to $50 per month depending on the provider and package selected). These costs ensure that the website remains accessible and performant to visitors.

Examples of website development and maintenance costs:

  • A basic wedding planner website with a few pages and minimal functionalities may cost around $2,000 for development and approximately $50 per month for maintenance.
  • A more advanced website with features such as online appointment booking, client portals, and a blog section could cost between $5,000 to $10,000 for development and require a higher monthly maintenance fee of around $200.
  • If the wedding planner wishes to incorporate e-commerce functionality into their website, such as selling wedding planning templates or services online, the development cost could increase to $10,000 or more, with ongoing maintenance costs of $300 or more per month.

Investing in a well-designed and properly maintained website is essential for wedding planners to attract clients and differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Understanding the associated costs will help planners budget accordingly and make informed decisions when it comes to website development and maintenance.

6. Vehicles for transportation and site visits

In the wedding planning business, having reliable transportation is essential for site visits, vendor meetings, and on-site management during the wedding. The cost of vehicles will vary depending on factors such as location, duration of use, and the type of vehicle.

For transportation needs, wedding planners often choose to either own or lease vehicles. The cost of purchasing a vehicle can range from around $20,000 for a basic sedan to over $100,000 for a luxury SUV or a limousine. Leasing options are available for those who prefer not to make a large upfront investment.

In addition to the initial vehicle cost, there are ongoing expenses to consider. These include insurance, maintenance, fuel, and parking fees. Insurance costs can range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year, depending on the type of vehicle and coverage required.

When it comes to site visits, having a spacious and comfortable vehicle is important to transport clients and any necessary equipment. Wedding planners often opt for larger vehicles such as vans or SUVs, which provide ample space and convenience. The cost of renting a van for a day can range from $100 to $200, while an SUV rental can cost $80 to $150 per day.

It is worth noting that some wedding planners prefer to include transportation expenses as part of their overall fee, rather than charging clients separately. In this case, the cost of vehicles and related expenses would be factored into the planner's pricing structure and budget.

  • Example 1: A wedding planning business in New York City may choose to lease a luxury SUV for $800 per month. Additional costs for insurance, maintenance, and fuel may amount to approximately $500 per month, resulting in a total monthly expense of $1,300.
  • Example 2: Another wedding planner in a smaller town may opt to purchase a reliable sedan for $30,000. Annual insurance costs could be around $1,500, with maintenance and fuel expenses totaling approximately $400 per month. This would result in an estimated monthly expense of $265.

It is important for wedding planners to budget for vehicle expenses in order to provide reliable and professional transportation options for their clients. By considering various factors and options, planners can determine the most cost-effective and suitable solution for their business needs.

7. Event Decor and Props

When it comes to creating the perfect ambiance for a wedding, event decor and props play a crucial role. From stunning floral arrangements to elaborate table settings, couples are willing to invest in creating a memorable and visually appealing atmosphere for their special day.

According to the latest statistical information, the average cost of event decor and props for a wedding in the US ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. This includes expenses for floral decorations, lighting, table linens, signage, and other decorative elements. However, the costs can vary depending on the size of the wedding, venue selection, and the specific requirements of the couple.

Floral Decorations: Floral arrangements are one of the key elements of event decor. The cost of flowers and foliage can range from $1,000 to $3,000. This includes bouquets, centerpieces, ceremony arches, and other floral installations. Couples often opt for premium flowers and unique arrangements to create a visually stunning backdrop for their wedding. Seasonal flowers and greenery can help keep the costs within a reasonable range.

Lighting: Lighting plays a significant role in setting the mood and enhancing the overall atmosphere of a wedding. The cost of lighting equipment and services can range from $500 to $2,000. This includes decorative illumination, dance floor lighting, uplighting, and specialty lighting effects. Couples may choose to hire professional lighting specialists to create a customized lighting design that matches the theme and ambiance of their wedding.

Table Linens: Table linens, including tablecloths, napkins, and chair covers, are essential for creating an elegant and cohesive look for the reception. The average cost of table linens can range from $500 to $1,000. Couples can choose from a wide variety of fabrics, colors, and patterns to match their wedding theme and personal style. Upscale linens or specialty designs may incur additional costs.

Signage and Other Decorative Elements: Couples often incorporate personalized signage, backdrops, and other decorative elements to add a unique touch to their wedding decor. The cost of these items can range from $500 to $1,500, depending on the complexity and materials used. Custom-made signs, acrylic backdrops, and other specialty decor pieces can elevate the overall aesthetic of the wedding.

In conclusion, event decor and props are an important aspect of wedding planning, contributing to the overall experience and visual appeal of the celebration. Couples are willing to invest in creating a personalized and memorable atmosphere. The costs associated with event decor and props can vary significantly based on the specific requirements and preferences of the couple, as well as the size and location of the wedding.

8. Professional liability insurance

When starting a wedding planning business, it is essential to consider the costs associated with professional liability insurance. This type of insurance provides protection for wedding planners in the event that they are sued by a client for errors, omissions, or negligence in their services.

The cost of professional liability insurance can vary depending on several factors, including the location of the business, the services offered, the revenue of the business, and the coverage limits. On average, wedding planners in the US can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 per year for professional liability insurance.

However, it is important to note that these costs can differ significantly based on individual circumstances. For example, larger-scale wedding planning businesses that handle high-budget weddings may require higher coverage limits, resulting in higher insurance premiums.

Additionally, some insurance providers offer different coverage options and policies tailored specifically for event planners. It is essential to research and compare different insurance providers to find the best coverage and pricing for your specific business needs.

It is worth noting that while professional liability insurance is not legally required for wedding planners, it is strongly recommended to protect yourself and your business. The potential financial consequences of a lawsuit can be devastating, and having adequate insurance coverage can provide peace of mind and financial security.

  • Example 1: Sarah, a wedding planner in New York City, pays approximately $2,500 per year for her professional liability insurance. This coverage includes a $1 million limit for each claim and a $2 million aggregate limit.
  • Example 2: John, a wedding planner in a small town, pays around $1,200 per year for his professional liability insurance. His coverage includes a $500,000 limit for each claim and a $1 million aggregate limit.

Remember, the cost of professional liability insurance should be factored into your overall budget when starting a wedding planning business. It is an important investment that provides protection and peace of mind for both you and your clients.

9. Initial inventory of promotional materials and client gifts

When starting a wedding planning business, it is essential to invest in promotional materials and client gifts to establish a professional image and build strong relationships with potential clients. The cost of these items can vary depending on the quantity and quality chosen.

Generally, the cost of initial promotional materials such as business cards, brochures, and flyers range from $100 to $500. These materials should reflect the brand identity and services offered by the wedding planner. Investing in high-quality print materials can make a lasting impression on potential clients and set a professional tone.

Client gifts are another important aspect of the initial inventory. These gifts show appreciation to the couple for choosing the wedding planner's services and serve as a gesture of goodwill. The cost of client gifts can range from $10 to $50 per gift, depending on the level of customization and personalization desired.

Examples of client gifts can include personalized wedding planning journals, custom-made keepsake boxes, or even small luxury items such as scented candles or spa vouchers. It is important to choose gifts that align with the target market and offer value to the couple.

Additionally, including branded promotional items in the inventory can further enhance brand visibility. These items, such as pens, magnets, or USB drives, can be given out at bridal shows, vendor meetings, or other marketing events. The cost of branded promotional items can vary but generally range from $1 to $5 per item.

To ensure a successful launch and attract clients, allocating a budget for quality promotional materials and thoughtful client gifts is crucial. These initial investments serve as an effective marketing tool and help establish a positive reputation for the wedding planning business.

Starting a wedding planning business requires a significant investment upfront, but it can offer lucrative opportunities in the booming wedding industry. As we have explored in this blog post, the startup costs for opening a wedding planning business include office space, computer hardware and software, wedding planning tools, marketing and advertising expenses, website development and maintenance, vehicles for transportation, event decor and props, professional liability insurance, and an initial inventory of promotional materials and client gifts.

It's important to note that the actual cost of opening a wedding planning business can vary depending on factors such as location, business size, and the level of services offered. However, it is estimated that the average cost to start a wedding planning business ranges from $10,000 to $50,000 .

While these initial costs may seem daunting, it's essential to view them as an investment in your business's success. By providing personalized, seamless experiences for couples and helping them bring their dream weddings to life, you can build a reputation and clientele that will contribute to long-term profitability.

If you are passionate about wedding coordination and have a knack for organization, starting your own wedding planning business can be a rewarding and fulfilling venture. With careful financial planning and a strategic approach, you can set yourself up for success in this thriving industry.

So, are you ready to take the leap and launch your dream wedding planning business? Start analyzing your startup costs, create a business plan, and embark on this exciting journey. Best of luck!

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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

Robyn Parets

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

If you love love and have stellar organizational skills, you may have considered starting a business in the wedding industry. When it comes to how to start a wedding planning business, it pays to keep calm and carry on. In fact, these very qualities have helped generate a growing income stream for Eileen Kaden Dean, owner of a successful wedding planning business in the New York City and New Jersey area.

“To be successful in this business, you have to stay calm and realize that a wedding emergency isn't your emergency. You can’t make the stress about you because it’s not your day,” says Kaden Dean, owner of An Affair to Remember and a go-to wedding planner.

Kaden Dean, who opened her company more than a decade ago, is among the many small business owners who make up the nearly $60 billion wedding services industry in the U.S. The lucrative industry covers an array of wedding service providers, including wedding venues, apparel retailers, florists, photographers, and wedding planners, according to market research firm IBISWorld.

The average wedding in the U.S. cost over $44,000 in 2018, according to Wedding costs vary greatly depending on where you live and your budget, but Manhattan is the most expensive place to get married, with the average couple spending a whopping $96,910 according to The Knot.

Although websites like The Knot and WeddingWire make it easier for couples to plan their big day themselves, many still turn to professionals like Kaden Dean. An Affair to Remember helps plan the wedding, deals with vendors, and coordinates the chain of events at the wedding and reception to make sure the day goes off without a hitch. In a nutshell, wedding planners are in the business of creating happiness and keeping everything organized, so the couple doesn’t have to worry about all the little (and big) things, says Kaden Dean.

If you're wondering how to start a wedding planning business, know that there are many moving parts, from picking out a bridal dress and venue to choosing invitations, to hiring a band or DJ, to selecting a menu. And the list goes on. Even small weddings—in vogue right now—aren't as simple to plan as you might think.

“There’s a need for wedding planners as couples are busy doing other things, like looking to buy a house and working long hours in their careers. Having someone to manage things is attractive, and this way couples can enjoy themselves and be present on their wedding day,” says Kaden Dean.

how much does it cost to start a wedding planning business

How to start a wedding planning business in 7 steps

There are a ton of different ways you can learn how to start a wedding planning business, but we'll give you a few steps to help you get your business started.

Step 1: Choose the type of wedding business you want to start and a name

Before you can do much else, you need to decide what kind of services you want your wedding planning business to offer. Wedding planners can offer all types of different services, and you should pick which ones you'll offer before you get to the nitty-gritty of planning your business and setting it up. You should also choose a business name during this step, and check with your state's Secretary of State resources to make sure that the name you want is available. You can usually do this using an online database on their website.

Kaden Dean started her wedding planning business out of a bridal dress store in New Jersey and expanded it from there. Her business offers everything from the full package to smaller day-of planning.

Although her clientele is in the greater New York area, Kaden Dean recognizes that not all couples can afford to spend upward of $50,000 on their weddings, which is part of the reason she offers several packages. Deciding what types of services and packages your own wedding planning business will offer will be important as you plan the business, market your services, and meet with potential clients.

For context, An Affair to Remember offers three pricing packages:

1. Full planning

For this most expensive option, Kaden Dean will plan the entire event from soup to nuts. This includes helping couples find the perfect venue, lining up all the vendors, helping choose invitations and centerpieces, and just about everything else. “Sometimes I even help pick the colors of the ties.”

The cost: about $5,000 and up.

2. Day of the wedding

This least expensive option is ideal for couples who want to do the planning themselves, but need some organizational help on the day of the wedding. For a typical wedding where Kaden Dean is hired for the day only, she creates a minute-to-minute timeline of when events will happen, like the hour the flowers will be delivered to the site and the exact time when the bridesmaids will arrive. On the big day, Kaden Dean is there to ensure that all goes according to plan.

She also handles any snafus. “One time a couple in the wedding party left a diaper bag in a taxi with their passports in it.” She went to work and tracked down the diaper bag, so that the couple could participate in the wedding stress-free. An hour later, the bag arrived at the venue.

The cost: about $1,750 to $2,250. The exact pricing depends on the amount of time Kaden Dean puts in, the number of assistants hired, and so on.

3. Day of “plus”

This is An Affair to Remember’s most popular offering. Couples hiring Kaden Dean for this package will plan their own weddings but rely on her to handle events on the wedding day, as well as any last-minute planning issues. “I take everything they have, shake it out, and see what pockets are missing to make sure everything is cohesive.” This package usually entails five hours of consultation time, 12 hours on the day of the wedding, one hour for the rehearsal, and 15 hours of virtual legwork to put all the ducks in a row.

The cost: about $2,500 to $3,000.

How Much Do You Need?

Step 2: Choose a business entity

The next step in starting a wedding planning business is deciding how you'll structure your business for legal and tax purposes. You'll likely want to choose a business entity that protects you personally from any legal ramifications your wedding planning business might face. A great option for this would be to choose a limited liability company (LLC) as your business entity. An LLC is a registered business in which owners are not personally liable for the business's debts or obligations. You might also choose a limited liability partnership if you want to have a business partner but the protections an LLC can offer you. Once you choose a business entity you can move on to step 3 which is writing your business plan.

You'll also want to register the business with the state once you have the entity and name decided on. Now would be a great time to consult a business attorney familiar with your type of business who can help you make sure everything is up to par and that you aren't missing any steps. This person can also help you choose which business entity is best for your wedding planning business.

Step 3: Write a detailed business plan

If you're starting a wedding planning business, hopefully, you're already a good planner and this step should come naturally to you. You'll need to write a business plan before you can get your business up and running. You can use a business plan template or business plan software to make the process easier, but there are some specific things you should be sure to include in it, no matter how you write it.

You should include a summary of your business in the plan as well as a market analysis, a detailed list of the products and services you'll offer, your marketing and sales plan, your financial plan and projections, and more. Think of your business plan for a roadmap that will lead you through the early stages of building your business and making it profitable.

Your business plan should also include some of the vendors and any other businesses you plan on working with. During the first year of starting her business, Kaden Dean focused on developing such relationships. “It was a challenging first year, but I spent the time introducing myself to the local wedding vendors so I could find people to recommend and work with. I set the groundwork for my business and established myself.”

An Affair to Remember’s start-up costs the first year maxed out at $10,000, including the rent and furniture for the small space in the bridal shop, along with signage, business cards and brochures, a website, and advertising on WeddingWire. Kaden Dean also had to pay to attend bridal shows, hire an assistant to help her track advertising inquiries, and cover her childcare costs. The costs Kaden Dean had are the kind you should plan to face and include in the financial section of your business plan.

Step 4: Get an EIN

If you plan to hire employees to help run your wedding planning business, you'll need to obtain an EIN, also known as an employer identification number. However, even if your business is a one-person show at the moment, you'll likely want to get an employer identification number for your business to make things easier on yourself down the line. The good news is that it's fairly easy to apply for an employer identification number and you can apply online through the IRS' website and get one in a matter of minutes.

An EIN comes with a number of benefits and can be extremely helpful for your business. It can help you when it comes time to file your business taxes, get a business credit card, open a business bank account, or any other number of business necessities.

Step 5: Get a business bank account and business credit card

Now that you have an EIN, you'll use this number when applying to open a business checking account and business credit card . This next step of starting a wedding planning business is crucial, as you'll want to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances. When you're still working on setting up your wedding planning business maybe you'll be working out of your house as a home-based business or maybe you'll have a small storefront. Either way, you'll probably want to spend on some decor, or at least on some marketing products, and you'll likely want a credit card to use for that.

Keeping the business finances completely separate from your personal finances will be huge when it comes time to file your taxes and it will help you boost your business credit score as well.

Step 6: Get any funding you need

The next step in starting a wedding planning business? Funding your new venture. The startup costs associated with opening a wedding planning business don't have to be too high, especially if you're working out of your home or another business's space. However, you will still have some upfront expenses you may not have the savings to cover. In that case, this is the time when you might need to work on getting a business loan or other funding option.

And because you have a great business plan already, you can use that to show potential investors or lenders that you have a well thought out business and a plan for turning a profit quickly. Of course, getting a loan as a new business isn't always easy. If you're finding your options to be limited, you might turn to a 0% introductory APR business credit card as an interest-free loan of sorts. With this type of credit card, you won't pay any interest on the balance you carry over for the length of the introductory offer (this will depend on the card, but at most will be 12 months). Just make sure you have a plan to pay off your balance by the end of this intro period, when a variable APR will set in, or this won't be the most effective funding tool.

Step 7: Market your services and start doing business

Once your wedding planning business is up and running and have the services you're offering laid out, you can start marketing them and hopefully bringing on new business. Consider marketing at trade shows and with any bridal boutiques in your area, or forge relationships with wedding venues to find clients. Once you get your first client, you're off to the races and can consider yourself fully in business.

The brides and grooms you work with will be grateful for your services and you can help them make their special day as stress-free as possible.

"Hiring a planner is so important to your big day," says Kaden Dean. The last thing a bride needs is for someone else to show up to handle the details: “They trust me. When you hire me, you get me. I’ve never missed a wedding.”

And keep in mind, happy customers can provide referrals and word-of-mouth marketing that can give you business the boost it needs to take off.


ZenBusiness: Start Your Dream Business

The bottom line

If you want to survive and thrive in the wedding planning business, you’ve got to put on a happy face and mean it—all the time. Also, you’ve got to be nice—all the time, says Kaden Dean.

It might seem like a simple recipe for success, but if you do a great job and you’re happy and people know it, the referrals will flow and you’ll stay busy, she says.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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