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Hi Celia,

I would appreciate your advice on my problem, and thank you for taking the time to help me! I am starting my own wedding planning business. I am currently working on pricing my services, and I am wanting to use a package rate. For my full coordination package, I want the pricing to be dependent on the number of guests. Do I base the number of guests off the number of people the couple intends to invite, or the number of guests I calculate should actually attend? I'm a little confused as to how other wedding planners with package rates based on guest count use this method!

Thank you!

Good luck!  Honestly, I don't  think it's wise to price based on a guest count. In many cases, you'll do just as much work for a small wedding as a big one, and since invites are always more than rsvps, it adds confusion to the mix too.  The couple won't know what your pricing is before the final RSVP, and personally, I wouldn't buy a service that I couldn't accurately  budget for ahead of time.

Certain tasks will take just as much time for 50 guests as they will for 200. For day of coordination, yes, you'll need more assistants for 200 than for 50, but the planning isn't that different.

Planners around me base their fees on how much overall work they are doing; is it just week of?  Is it total sourcing with vendor meetings and supervision?  Most planners have two or three levels of service that include different amounts of help.  Don't make it too complicated for your couples; they are already overwhelmed.

I'd gook at a good cross section of planners both in your area and out, look at what their packages include, figure out realistically how  much time it would take to accomplish  each packages' tasks and how much per hour you need to make.  The biggest mistake most new planners make is giving too much time and input for too little dollars.  You are not their girlfriend, chatting about her/his wedding; you're a paid listener who is on a clock.

Good luck,

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Celia Milton


I can answer questions about wedding etiquette, wedding ceremony ideas, reception ideas, sticky situations....really, anything wedding. I cannot give specific legal advice, but I can connect couples with the correct information about state licensing.


After running a successful, upscale catering business for over 15 years, I went to seminary and then Celebrant USA to train as a wedding officiant and become ordained. I have personally officiated at over 700 weddings, and I now head a group of six other officiants. We have written and performed weddings and civil unions for mixed couples, non religious couples, and everyone in between. I am well versed in ethnic and cultural rituals, as well as creating new rituals for my couples that desire them.

American Association of Wedding Officiants New Jersey Wedding and Event Professionals

William Paterson University, BA, Philosophy, 2000 Union Theological in the City of New York, Masters of Divinity, 2003 Drew University at Madison, attended, 2002 Fordham University, Bronx, NY attended, 2003-2004 Celebrant USA, 2005-2006. Graduated in three disciplines

Awards and Honors
145 5 star reviews at Featured on TLC's "Four Weddings", Fox 5's "Good Day Street Talk", in "Contemporary Bride", "NJ Bride",and "201 Magazine" and "Four" "Wedding Wire Brides' Choice 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012", and "Best of the Knot 2011, 2012". Profiled on Sage Wedding Pros, Natalie Bradley's "Bride Attraction" and Small Business and So You're

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