(2) How to charge for my services

How to Charge a Fee for Your Event
Planning Service
4) Day-of Coordination
At some point in your career, you will be asked to do a day-of coordination. These typically happen for
weddings but sometimes for special events too. When a client wants to hire you for day-of service, it means they
have chosen their own vendors and work with them directly while you come in on the day of the event to make
sure it runs smoothly.
You can charge either by the hour or a flat fee for day-of coordination. You should assume 8 – 10 hours of work
on the day of the event (multiply that by your hourly rate to get a flat fee), but do not forget the preparation you
will have to do.
We like to say you should prepare for at least one month to familiarize yourself fully with all aspects of the event
you are coordinating. The extra preparation prior to the event may take you an additional 10 – 20 hours so be
sure you take this into account when figuring out your fee.
Since day-of coordination events are less expensive for the client, they have grown in popularity in recent years
due to a slower economy. So even if you do not anticipate pitching this service, you may be asked for this by a
5) Vendor Commission
A minority of planners choose to either heavily discount their client fees or charge nothing for their service, and
make all their money by taking a commission from the vendors they hire.
This method of billing has some supporters and some who dislike it. Those against this method say that you are
doing a dis-service to your client by selecting vendors who are not the best at what they do but they will pay you
the highest commission. Supporters of charging a commission say they still select the best vendors they know,
but they just go the extra step to work out a commission structure.
We would recommend against using this method unless you are 100% transparent with your client about what
you do. It may be a tempting way to undercut the competition but overall it will leave more clients questioning
your vendor selection than not. By being transparent with your client like in method #2 above, you can better
serve your client.
There you have it – the five most common ways to charge for your service. If you would like to read more about
starting your own business you can do so here.
Don’t forget to closely monitor your total overhead costs at all times. Overhead costs are made up of all nonlabor expenses you have that are needed to put on the event. For example things like additional phone bill costs,
gas expenses, hiring temporary help, etc. These overhead costs can be easily overlooked and often make up
about 4 – 5% of the total event budget. So be sure to monitor these and incorporate them into your pricing.