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Sample projects:

Business event planners work independently on behalf of their clients to plan parties, conferences, meetings and trade shows. Event planners who work with individuals can help plan any celebratory event, from weddings to bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, quinceañeras, anniversary, and birthday parties, and more. Event planners who specialize in planning and overseeing the production of business events typically charge 15 percent to 20 percent of the total event cost. Some event planners who work with individuals also charge for their services this way, and others charge a flat rate for specific services. Rose Special Event Co. in Tinley Park, Illinois, has tiered packages ranging from $395 to $795 for planning and coordinating special events. They charge $35 an hour for each additional on-site assistant at the event.

Planning and coordination

Event coordinators handle the tedious but necessary task of communicating with various vendors, leaving event hosts free to enjoy themselves. All Aspects Catering & Events, based in San Diego, California, specializes in weddings but can cater any special event as well as help clients plan and coordinate it. The company charges $1,500 for full-service wedding coordination and $800 to coordinate on just the day of the big event. In both cases, the price includes:

  • Venue walk-through

  • Event timeline

  • Coordination with all vendors by phone or email at least a week ahead of the event date

  • Ceremony and reception coordination throughout the day

The complete coordination package also includes:

  • Advice on modern wedding etiquette

  • Compilation of comprehensive vendor list and attendance at vendor consultations

  • Coordinatization with caterer, all vendors and venue

  • Unlimited email and phone correspondence during the planning process

  • Meeting one week prior to the event to finalize all details

Parties

Event planners can help organize large or elaborate parties to mark a special occasion—like a milestone birthday, anniversary or retirement. Planners know what needs to get done to put on the envisioned party, and they have connections with caterers, florists and entertainment services. Most event professionals can help clients select these services to match their event theme and budget. Costs for party planning services nationwide range from $240 to $1,070.

Food and drink

Event planners can help select a catering service, create the menu and act as the liaison between the host and the caterer or bartending service. Some full-service catering companies also double as event planners.

Decor

Event planners can pull off a great theme party or make sure a party has particular look and feel. Most planners can coordinate people and services that provide decor, including florists. Cutting Edge Designs in Vineland, New Jersey, is an event planning and decorating service that can help put together any type of party imaginable. Gatherings Event Planning and Catering, based in Tipp City, Ohio, multitasks as well, offering catering, decor, floral and event coordination services.

Entertainment

Most event planners can book the ideal entertainment for a celebration, whether it’s a DJ, live band, magician, comedian or services such as a photo booth, face painter or henna artist.

Pro tip:

  • Nine times out of 10, event planners pay for themselves in negotiating contracts or finding wiggle room in terms of pricing for other service providers or the venue.
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Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, then we share those prices with you.