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How much does a party planner cost?

Average cost in 20149: $530 See National


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The average cost for a party planner is $530. You are likely to spend between $250 and $1,120 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated September 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Party planners help coordinate children’s birthday parties, teen parties, corporate events, bachelorette parties, weddings, graduations, holiday events and much more. Professionals can help with themed parties or not, and they can plan for intimate affairs of under 25 people or large-scale productions with over 200 guests. Several factors affect the cost of hiring a party planner.

Hourly rate

Many party planning companies offer consulting services and small-scale party planning services on an hourly basis. This option is ideal for the DIY host who needs only a few final details sorted. A’Reve Event Production in Danville, California, charges $125 per hour for party planning consultation.

Percentages and location

Some party planners bill for their services based on a percentage of the total party budget. So as overall vendor costs go up, the cost for a party planner also goes up. Geographic location can also affect the cost of party planning because different regions have different prices for the same types of services. According to A’Reve Event Production, a BBQ service in Napa Valley, California, almost definitely costs more than a BBQ service in a small town in Iowa.

Complexity of party

The more elaborate the affair, the higher the cost for party planning services. When parties have a higher level of intricacy, party planners must supervise more vendors, including overseeing their contracts, schedules and day-of execution; clock more coordination hours, including communication with clients, delivering on timelines and navigating decor; and fine-tune more details overall. Finding a venue also adds another layer of complexity to party planning. Here are examples of three hypothetical parties and their related costs from A’Reve Event Production:

  • Princess-themed, high-end children’s party: ~ $2,000–$2,500 total budget

    • 20 (child) guests with 1–2 outside vendors

    • $300 for food

    • $300–$500 for entertainment

    • $500–$800 for unique decor, personalized gifts and specialized elements

    • $900 party planner fee to coordinate vendors, decor and vision including 12–15 hours of work
  • Western-themed party: ~ $23,400–$24,400 total budget

    • 150 (adult) guests with 5–10 outside vendors

    • $1,200 porta potties

    • $2,200 two bartenders, rental glassware, mobile bar and alcohol

    • $4,000 catering (BBQ, pig on a spit, all the details)

    • $4,000–$4,500 live band (can cost from two to five times more than a DJ)

    • $4,500–$5,000 dance floor, lighting, generators

    • $7,500 party planner fee to coordinate vendors, decor and vision—approximately 120 hours of work, including day-of coordination
  • Mad Men–themed birthday party: ~ $20,000 total budget

    • 15 percent to 20 percent party planning fee to source custom decor for a private event at the Frank Lloyd Wright Estate

    • 45 hours spent by A’Reve Event Production to shop for and source furniture and decor to match the party and venue theme

    • 65 hours more spent planning the event and day-of coordination, including setup and teardown

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Recent reviews

merrylavender event planning + design

We had hired Belle to plan an 'Under the Sea' themed decor for our son's first birthday party. She did a marvelous job and the decorations were very colorful, vibrant and full of energy. As a result the party turned out to be a grand success, totally exceeding our expectations. She made it to be a memorable one and something to cherish for a long, long time. Right from the beginning she worked with us patiently to understand our needs and expectations and accommodated them within our budget. She also provided suitable, timely and appropriate suggestions to help us decide in tough situations and in some cases where certain features didn't fit our budget, she went out of the way to make sure it was included in a cost effective way. We were kept well informed throughout the process in regards to unexpected challenges and roadblocks and suitable alternatives. The attention to detail that was given to each and every small item in order for it to be in sync with our theme was astonishing. If you ever dream of having a themed birthday party for your child then Belle is the person to make it a reality. We would highly recommend Belle for any and all of your event planning needs.

Debbie Kennedy Events & Designs

Debbie helped me with a 40th birthday party. She was very easy to work with, had lots of ideas and contacts to make the event a very fun occasion. I would recommend her for efficiency, creativity, cost and contacts.

Be Our Guest Party Planning

We hired Molly to decorate a house for my wife's birthday. She was very cooperative and flexible, gave ideas sent pictures. Price was very reasonable and at the end I think she added a few more freebies to make it a wonderful experience at the end. Will hire her next time.