How to Charge/Structure Your Fees if You Are in the Wedding Planning Business?

. 7 min read
How to Charge/Structure Your Fees if You Are in the Wedding Planning Business?

Indian weddings are the epitome of love, the crackle of laughter, the glitterati of the guests, lavish decor, flavoursome and delicious food, and not to forget the stunning attires and jewellery.  Thus, it is rightly termed by wedding planners as a “big fat Indian wedding.” A wedding is the most memorable event in a couple’s life. They want it to be planned in such a way that its memories put a twinkle in their eyes and a smile on their faces. When it comes to India, our millennial couples want it classy, unique, plush, and budgetary at the same time.

Hence, the need to venture into a wedding planning business has been appreciated in India. But, when a couple plans to appoint a planner for their wedding, the first question that comes to their mind is how much does a wedding planner cost? Therefore, to make this answer appealing you need to brainstorm and chalk out some sparkling packages for a family that wants to hire a wedding planner.

While analysing the wedding planning fee structure, an entrepreneur needs to keep a note of certain parameters that form the backbone of any fee structure. Let’s first check those aspects that are directly connected to the wedding planning fees.

Letter block in word niche on wood background
  • The Niche

The question is “who are you planning to serve?” and the answer is dependent on various factors. A person might want a celebrity appearance and another might want it simple yet unique, both living in the same city. Thus, while quoting the pricing, one needs to consider all these factors as there is a fine line between going affordable and pricing cheap. Therefore, the local and global market will dictate your price and so will the niche.

  • Market

A person living in Delhi, NCR, and someone in Hyderabad might have different plans. Thus, you need to charge the client based on the geographical area they reside in as the fee depends on the local market, its cost of living, and the pricing of goods and raw materials needed for the wedding. You need to set the rates that your clientele is used to seeing.

  • Clientele

Some families want a planner 24x7 and to be involved in everything the wedding requires. Conversely, some might need assistance according to the activity planned; for example, a star-studded cocktail party or just the reception function. Hence, you can plan the pricing on an hourly basis, activity add-ons, or complete package style. A good amount of R&D can crack the deal in the first meeting itself.

Now that we have learned what factors affect the pricing structure, let’s understand the different ways you can structure the charges for wedding planning packages.

Usually, many wedding planners charge the clients on these basic categories of payments.

1. Flat Fees

Many times the client wants to know the all-inclusive charges for the entire event, which comprises a series of days and a special calendar attached to it, including the wine and dining facility. Thus, when you quote a flat rate that includes all days, decor, food, and other deliverables, it becomes easier for the client to analyse and decide. While drawing and quoting this kind of price structure, one must determine every single aspect of the project. You must calculate the time, effort, and cost of all services together that will be the total expenses. In this method, managing the circumstances, geographical aspects, utilities, manpower, etc., becomes the entrepreneur’s responsibility.

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2. Percentage of Expenses

A wedding planner can charge and structure the fees for planning a wedding by a set percentage along with the wedding’s total expenses. This structure depends upon the complexity of the program, the time involved, and the effort taken. Together, these aspects can sum up the total cost of the event and add approximately 18%–20% charges as the fees for managing the event. For example, if the wedding cost goes up to Rs. 5 lakhs, the wedding planner can charge 5 lakhs x 20% = 1 lakh for the service provided. Thus, the client will have to spend Rs. 6 lakhs for the entire event.

3. Hourly Rate

Some clients prefer to invest on an hourly basis for a particular event. While doing so, the client has an upper hand in adapting to unforeseen circumstances if any. Additionally, the wedding planner can calculate the time spent on a single project and earn accordingly; this saves a lot of time to manage and execute more events parallelly. You must strategically chalk out the expenses involved in managing the event. At the end of the day, the client will ask for invoices, bills, and explanations for all expenses incurred and the hours you have invested in planning, managing, and executing the event. While drafting the rates, both parties must be clear on what responsibilities they plan to shoulder throughout the event, thereby easing the process.

4. Commissionable Rates

This is another way of structuring your payment module wherein one can select the venues for the events that offer the spaces at a commissionable rate. Many hotels and banquet halls offer their premises and rooms at commissionable rates. Conducting the events at these places can fetch you a commission of approximately 10% of the total billing. However, many times the clients are aware of such commissions; hence, some wedding planning businesspersons pass on these savings to the client and charge them separately, which comes under service charges. Therefore, if you are accepting commissions, you must not charge separate service charges; this creates a healthy relationship with the client and brings you more business.

In addition to these aspects and factors that affect the charge sheet of a wedding planning business, one must also understand the hidden costs. Let’s see some hidden costs that revolve around any wedding planning business’s payment structure.

  • Education about the wedding planning business
  • Marketing the business 24x7
  • Licenses, permits, etc.
  • Office area expenditure and other utilities
  • Equipment, upgrades, raw materials, and maintenance
  • Human resource and welfare benefits
  • Insurance and other payments
  • Time and hard work

All these hidden costs need to be kept in mind while drafting any fee structure for planning a wedding. Besides, when hiring and paying the employees involved, the best way to do this is by monitoring everything through the okstaff app, which renders ease of access to maintenance of salaries, attendance, leaves, etc., for all the employees.

Top view note book writing "wedding Plan" with White flower and gold silver ring box with pot plant


While drafting India’s wedding planning fee structure, you need to use your professional experience and personal touch. This attracts the client and makes it easier to crack the deal. The clients are mostly parents who wish to arrange a lavish, stylish, elegant, or jazzy wedding for their children. Thus, approaching these parents emotionally will highlight your brand in a better way. As marriages are an emotional affair, handling the event management with some personal additions uplifts the idea, package, and the whole event at a different level.

Also Read:

1) How to Answer the Phone Professionally at your Business?
2) How a Good Market Research Can Give You a Steady Start?
3) 10 Ways how to operate your small business easily with a smartphone
4) How to Create a Customer-Centric Culture for Your Business?

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Q. How much should you spend on a wedding planner?

Ans. The spending percentage completely depends on your budget. An elegant wedding can cost you around Rs. 5 lakhs and a lavish one for approximately Rs. 20 lakhs and above.

Q. Do wedding planners save you money?

Ans. Yes, by planning, strategising, brainstorming, creating, maintaining, and executing; this all takes a lot of time and hard work. Needless to say, wedding planners have a big list of contacts that you don’t. So, planning a wedding through a wedding planner does save money and time.

Q. Do wedding planners decorate?

Ans. They do more than that, full-service wedding planner companies decorate, and help you choose the palettes, themes, colours, materials, utilities, and also provide an overall aesthetic that flows through the entire event.

Q. How much does a good Indian wedding cost?

Ans. An Indian wedding can cost anything between Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 20 crores. This huge range entirely depends upon the destination, florists, caterers, planners, musicians, and other things.