How Much Does a Wedding Planner Cost
From what I've seen, a planner typically wants 10,000€ minimum to take on a project. The contracts generally state 10% of the total budget but what's ridiculous to me is these vendors we talked to wanted to charge extra for NDAs. There's a lot of entitlement going on in the wedding industry where planners, photographers, and videographers feel they have a right to post your private moments to their Instagram, and if you don't wish for them to do so you need to pay an extra fee. This was a crock of shit to me, I absolutely despised every vendor for this tactic because I should have a right to my privacy.
In addition to the base 10%, you're also going to have to pay local taxes which are approximately 20%. For someone like Jean Charles, he boasted of his "design" abilities and wanted an extra 16,000€. We actually agreed to pay this amount because his portfolio was filled with glamorous photos but of course I would eventually learn that he wasn't that good of a designer. But being that this was my wedding, I had just fired one planner, and I didn't know better, I gave Jean Charles a shot.
What I learned in the process is that a "good planner" basically knows how to spend other people's money. All those pretty photos that you see on someone's IG account or website, yes, they were all funded by a client. It doesn't mean the designer is any good, it just means they know where to buy expensive shit, such as flowers, tablecloths, cutlery, etc.
Although Jean Charles agreed to waive the NDA fee which is typically 3500€, the minimum for him to take on a project is 26,000€. But don't worry, these planners will always find ways to make more money off you. It's a typical vendor-mark up situation where they'll ask for kick backs from vendors they bring on. It's kind of an unethical operation because they aren't incentivized to get you the best price, so I recommend to everyone with half a brain, plan your wedding yourself! It is not that difficult at all for someone who is detail oriented.
It's not even just a matter of saving money, it's the fact that you'll probably do a better job than these planners. If you're considering a wedding at Villa Balbiano or another luxury destination you probably frequent nice hotels. Pretend you want to have a wedding there and meet with the events coordinators and ask questions. You'll gain a lot of insights and start to have a better idea of what you like and don't like, it will also save a lot of time. It doesn't matter if you're rich, there's never enough time in life.
After taking control of my wedding and talking to every vendor, I got to see how the magic trick is performed. The contracts are misleading at times, making you think a planner only makes 10% when they will get commissions from vendors they bring to the table. When you start to question certain quotes they don't give you an honest answer because they don't want you to know the numbers are all padded. The contracts are also one-sided because no planners want to take accountability for their mistakes, so they want to get paid before they start and be paid in full before the day of your wedding. They are fully protected from downside risk and it makes me sick to my stomach.