How to Provide Partial Wedding Planning Services
One of the best parts of becoming an event and wedding planner is the freedom to choose which services you offer. Sometimes, the best way to offer your clients great service is to give them all of your services at once. Other times, you might have clients who don’t need everything. They’ve already completed planning steps A through F and their parents helped them with steps S to Z, so they only need your help with the important steps in between.
Clients who only want some services actually help you profit. If you’re prepared to offer them a tailored version of your usual package, you’ll widen your client base and give people what they really want.
What is a “partial wedding planner?”
A wedding planner and a “partial” wedding planner are the same person! “Partial” wedding planning is just another type of service for you to offer as an alternative to your “start to finish” planning package.
Partial wedding planning is for couples who have already started planning their wedding, but who feel like they need professional advice for a few specific things. Your clients might have already chosen a venue and theme, finalized their guest list, and sent out invitations, but they need your help with catering and décor. They want to keep their active, hands-on role in planning, but they’d still like some expert consultation.
Partial planning services can be offered in different ways:
Hourly packages: Clients decide how many hours of help they’ll need and you charge them accordingly. You can help them with any aspects of planning within that time, but you’ll mostly consult. You might offer standard hourly packages, like 10 hours for one price and 20 hours for a higher price.
Partial packages: Most planners create pre-determined packages containing the services that are most popular with clients who don’t need full services but still need assistance.
“Build your own” packages: Occasionally, planners offer packages with a starting price and let clients choose whichever services they want from a list. If they want more than the number of services the package offers, the price increases.
“Day of” services: This package only offers what clients might need on the actual day of the wedding. They’ve planned everything, but they want the reassurance of having an expert on hand throughout the ceremony and reception, just in case.
Typical partial planning services
Partial wedding planning packages might offer some or all of the following services:
Budgeting: Create a detailed breakdown for your clients to follow as they plan.
Building a timeline: Give your clients a plan of action to follow from beginning to end. You might not be helping them each step of the way, but you can at least set them off on the right foot. Show them where they should be at each point on their countdown to the wedding. Download this free Wedding Day Timeline template to help you with this step!
Phone and email consultation: Some planners offer this on an unlimited scale in case of emergencies, while others limit client contact to business hours only.
Vendor recommendations: Help clients choose good caterers, entertainment, florists, and more from your preferred vendors list, or consult with them on their own options.
Email reminders: On the first of each month, send clients a list of what needs to be done in the coming weeks. You won’t necessarily be involved, but your professional consultation keeps their planning on track.
Décor services: Create an inspiration board, plan the theme, and build the atmosphere for clients who feel more comfortable doing practical tasks while you handle stylistic elements.
Coordinate meetings: Some people are great at handling details, but not as confident when it comes to organizing people. Choose a time that works for everyone, create an agenda, keep minutes, and set goals to be met before the next meeting. This helps your clients track their progress.
Vendor visits: Meet with caterers, florists, and so on while your client works or handles other details. Create progress reports, help them communicate, and generally act as a representative between the two.
Venue searching: Helping clients search for and choose a venue is more time consuming than most other partial planning services. Some planners offer this as a separate optional service for an additional fee.
Final meetings and walk through: Some clients are confident planning most details but would still like professional consultation on the final details. Accompany them on their final vendor meetings and venue walk through and help them make sure everything is in order.
Typical “day of” services
Even if your clients planned their entire wedding themselves, they might still feel better having professional advice available on their wedding day. Some planners offer “day of” services as part of their “partial planning” packages. Others offer “day of” packages on their own. You might do some or all of the following things:
Setup supervision: Oversee preparation for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. Make sure everything goes where it should and everyone does what they need to. Help ensure that no details are missed, things are timed properly, and any early problems are solved before things start.
Behind-the-scenes assistance: Stick around throughout the day and make sure things run smoothly from ceremony to reception. Offer your problem solving skills and take control during emergencies or when your clients and their party are busy or need help.
Make the most of your expertise!
Offering partial planning services isn’t difficult for you, and it’s certainly helpful to your clients! Many couples would be more likely to hire a planner if they could choose only the services they really need. Offer to give them the reins while you handle the things they need help with most and see how everyone benefits.