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Salary Talk: What Wedding Planners Made in 2017

As planners, we’ve all had those moments where we think, Am I doing this right? Should I be making more money? What the heck is that other planner making anyways? Starting your own small business is no small feat, and, with the overwhelming nature of the job, sometimes it can be comforting just to know what’s going on with others in the industry. So, we decided to kick off 2018 with a little something we’re calling “Salary Talk.” In a toast to transparency, we asked our community of wedding planning pros three money-related questions. Read on for the results.

What was your take home salary the FIRST YEAR you planned weddings professionally?

Over 80% of respondents made less than $10,000 the first year they planned weddings. Keep that number in mind the next time you’re beating yourself up about having to maintain a full-time job and plan weddings on the side. The wedding planning struggle is real—especially when you’re first starting out in the industry. It’s all about delivering a great client experience and slowly building to a place where you can turn planning into your full-time gig—be OK with the fact that this can take years.

 

How much in total wedding budgets did you manage in 2017?

The wedding budgets planners managed throughout 2017 varied. Just under 20% of respondents managed $50,000 or less, while over 40% managed budgets ranging $100,001-$500,000.

 

Aisle Planner What Wedding Planners Make

What was your take home salary from your wedding planning business in 2017?

While over 80% of respondents made less than $10,000 in their first year of planning (our first question), we learned that, in 2017, only 27.9% of respondents made under $10,000. What this tells us is that your income does increase as you go along—it’s all about gaining experience, making connections, and refining your client experience and workflow.

Didn’t participate in our survey but want to share your thoughts? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!

About the Author

Tayler Cusick Hollman
Tayler Cusick Hollman

Tayler is the Editor in Chief at Aisle Planner. She is obsessed with color and pattern, notoriously cooks everything from scratch, and can sometimes be seen cruising around on a skateboard. Follow Tayler on Instagram @taylrd_designs

4 thoughts on “Salary Talk: What Wedding Planners Made in 2017”

  1. Samantha says:

    I think this is such an interesting topic. I think it brings up the topic of how you pay yourself and what your expenses are. How does “making money” relate to sales and income? I’d be interested to see how the average sales growth over the first 5 years looks.
    What does it really mean to run a profitable business? It’s not just about selling your planning services but balancing it with other products and services, like every other business. Definitely, a conversation worth talking about because I always wonder how people have teams of 5 -20 people.

    1. Tayler Cusick Hollman Tayler Cusick Hollman says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Samantha! I think this topic definitely deserves some more research.

  2. Gaitree says:

    This is such an important conversation. Many times planners are not making a living wage from just wedding planning. Most are forced to offer additional services to increase income or have a full time job and plan weddings on the side. There is nothing wrong with either of those scenarios, however as a planner who would like to plan weddings full time I am struggling to leave a $70k job for one where I I will make half of that. So many planners are not willing to share their income, but I have spoken to a few who have said their income is about $20k after expenses. These are experienced planners who charge “industry standard”.

    I don’t know what the solution is other than raising prices, but even at slightly higher than average I’m struggling to book clients. Planners are charging about $400-$500 less in my saturated market and they seem to book more weddings. I do not want to book weddings just for the sake of booking weddings, I want to run a profitable business and earn enough to live.

    I’d love to hear how planners in a saturated market are earning a living from just planning.

    1. Tayler Cusick Hollman Tayler Cusick Hollman says:

      Gaitree, AMEN! I think that honesty is the first step and that the next is to make sure that people aren’t discounting their prices just to get the client to book. Running a business is hard and setting the right expectations for yourself is a great way to keep your sanity but yes, the struggle is real.

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