Becoming a Full Service Wedding Planner

When I was developing this program, I thought about the varying skills everyone would need, the wide range of dynamics, budgeting, planning, networking, vendor relations, customer relations... and to be honest, I thought it just wasn't possible to cover everything effectively. So, I became discouraged and thought creating the program would be impossible.  Then, I realized that breaking it down to have you all start as a Certified Day of Coordinator would be a great foundation to build on.  This way everyone had a solid equal foundation and then you have the ability to grow individually into any area you desire.


When thinking about becoming a Full-Service Planner, you need to ask yourself a very important question, why do you want to become a Full-Service Planner?  Is it because they make more money, you want more involvement, the prestige that comes with it, or is it something else?  Let's look at these options a little closer.

Making More Money

It is true, you can charge more money.  If your reason is just for the money, I would caution you to reconsider. A Full-Service Planner can charge several times more than a Day of Coordinator, but they work literally 10 times or more hours so in essence, it is a pay cut. Not to mention you now are responsible for much more of the wedding.  When you are a Day of Coordinator, there is very little that is your fault, but as a Full-Service Planner, even the weather is blamed on the Planner.

As a DOC you can work just a couple of hours during the week and all day Saturday, but as a Planner, you have to work weekdays evening, Saturdays, and often on Sunday. 

As a DOC you can easily work at it part-time and do several weddings per month without getting burnout.  As a Full Services Planner, you are forced to take less. events because each wedding requires so much more work. So again, you may take fewer DOC events to take more Full-Service Events- so you really are not making more money in the end. 

More Control Over the Event

This is the main reason I chose to be a Full-Service Event Planner.  It was literally unbearable for me to sit by and see how Vendors had taken advantage of the couple, the inside information I knew was where they could have saved money, got better service, or better quality. 

To me, this was a more important factor than putting more money in my pocket.  I was determined that even if it cost me money, I wanted to help them achieve the best possible wedding, in their budget, help them lessen their stress, and assist them with the negative dynamics that come with troubling family and friends.

Seeking Prestige

This is definitely the position to seek if you want to get a lot of accolades. There are so many places to be the hero and get all the credit for an amazing event.  However, if you are not fully prepared, you have to know when you make a mistake, it is also you who it will be credited to. So, you have to make sure you are strong enough to take that part as well. 

If this is really what you want, make sure that you start your growth small and study what you want to specialize in. Don't over-extend yourself and don't oversell what you are capable of.

Examining Options

Often when DOCs want to expand their business or make more money they naturally think about becoming a Full-Service Planner.  There are many more options to be more involved in the wedding, make more money, achieve more creativity, and make more money.

Are you creative?  You could add invitation services, explore event design, floral, and/or decor.  You could design and manage their website, offer to do a stylized shoot with your couple, and submit their wedding to blogs for publication.

Do you love to bake?  You could offer to do their desserts.  This can be done ahead of time and typically is something you may assist with the setup on the wedding day anyway. 

Additional support services can be added options to your packages.  You can help with party favor assembly, assembling, and addressing the invitations, or providing a list of trusted vendors.


You can see there are so many options and directions to go from being a DOC that you really want to examine every avenue before you commit.  If you are looking for more ideas, check out our list of Workshops in your membership group. Above all else, before jumping into becoming a Full-Service Wedding Planner, again, ask yourself why you want to do it and see if there is another way to accomplish your why that is the best fit for your goals. 

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