• Christi Clingan

How Many Hours Does It Take to Plan an Event?

Of course, the answer depends on the event's size and complexity, as well as the level of organization and planning that has already taken place. In this article, we will discuss the various factors involved in event planning, and how many hours we allocate to each part of the process.


Depending on the size and complexity of your event, we may need to allocate more or less time to each of the tasks to plan your type of event. For example, if you're planning a large conference, we'll need to spend more time on tasks like finding a venue and coordinating with vendors. If we're planning a small dinner party, we may not need to spend as much time on logistics, as things like registration and guest tables are unnecessary.


The time it takes to establish vendor timelines will vary depending on the complexity of the event and the level of coordination required between vendors. Generally, we allow for at least two to four weeks for this process. It's important to contact vendors as early as possible, so they have enough time to prepare for your event.


Event Planner Time Estimates


You may also want to consider using our event management software to help keep track of all the different vendor timelines, as well as the time investment we make in planning other aspects of your event. This will help ensure that there is no overlap or conflict between vendors and that you have a clear understanding of what’s been done and what remains to be done.


Here’s a hypothetical event planning time estimate for an in-person conference event with various presenters and vendors:

  • Creating a budget: 2-4 hours

  • Selecting a venue and date: 10-20 hours

  • Creating or acquiring marketing materials: 8-10 hours

  • Developing a registration process: 5-8 hours

  • Planning the event logistics: 20-30 hours

  • Coordinating with vendors: 10-15 hours

  • Running the event: varies

  • Evaluating the event's success: varies


Wedding Planner Time Estimates


Many couples today are taking a less traditional route when it comes to weddings and decide to plan it all themselves. But is it worth it? How much time does it take to plan a wedding?


It is difficult to pin a wedding planning time because every couple’s timeline, circumstances, and comfortability range so much. No two couples are the same, so a plan that worked for your recently married friends might not be what works for you and your partner.


Likewise, it’s important to also take a look at each element in a wedding and decide what parts of the event are must-haves, and what the two of you could do without. Trimming down the wedding planning process to the bare essentials leaves you plenty of room to dream, once the venue is booked and vendors are confirmed.

According to the latest research, it takes an average of 6 to 12 months to plan weddings. Some busy couples prefer to extend the wedding planning timeline to 18 months to give themselves some extra wiggle room, as well. The sooner you can knock out wedding planning, the better.


Wedding planning will always go smoother if both partners sit down with a wedding planning checklist and take on different tasks, rather than one person tackling the whole list. This will help reduce the stress of planning overall and prevent any unnecessary strain.


When to start wedding planning

You should start planning as soon as you can, but if you’ve just been proposed to, don’t rush off and start making phone calls right away. It’s important not to sacrifice quality time immediately after the engagement. Enjoy the rest of the day with your new spouse-to-be and enjoy all the feelings that come with it.

You can focus on calling vendors and looking for venues the day after. This will also give you time to sit down with your significant other and talk about the wedding plans. What do you want out of the day, and what are some must-haves that you are looking forward to? This can help you in deciding which vendors and venues are right for the two of you.


What to do first

The first thing you should do when beginning a wedding plan is to take in the moment. You and your partner are about to embark on a lifelong journey sharing each other’s ups and downs, victories and failures alike.


When you first start on this path, it can feel like there are a million obstacles in your way – and it’s true, wedding planning isn’t easy – but knowing what the reward is will help keep you motivated and in good spirits. Keep this elated, newly engaged feeling in your back pocket for when you need a pick-me-up. You might be surprised just how good it feels, looking back on today.


The bare minimum it takes to plan weddings

At the very least, if you plan on having a minimalistic wedding with a small guest list, you should still allow yourself two to three months to plan a wedding. Your dress might need to go in for alterations, or the caterer might be booked for several months.


Give enough time to plan and problem-solve. When wedding planning, it’s not uncommon for vendors to be booked in advance and venues to be too busy to host your event, so take everything in stride and plan for things to go a little sideways.


With enough preparation, even with a short timeline, you might be lucky enough to have some time to spare before the big day. Above all else, it’s important to allow yourself to forget about the stress of planning, enjoying the day, and the promise it brings. This is your big day, and your partner’s big day, so make it worth remembering!


Giving guests notice when planning a wedding

If you are planning a wedding that is set to occur less than 12 months from the engagement announcement, planning your guest list and sending out save the dates should be one of the first things you do.


While the venue and location are both important details of a wedding, they shouldn’t be prioritized over informing guests about the wedding. Guests will need notice so they can take time off work and book any necessary flights and accommodations for the trip.


For some people, it’s unlikely for that to happen within 6 months of hearing about an event. This is especially important if you are planning to have the wedding in a different country than the guests reside in, as they may need time to renew their passports, which can take several months even when expedited.


A secondary Save-the-Date can be sent out closer to the wedding date to inform guests about any missing information as it is confirmed, such as venue, exact times, and potential activities in the area after the wedding.


How long should it take to plan a wedding?

On average, couples who do not use a wedding planner will spend the equivalent of eight to twelve full days planning their wedding. That’s anywhere from 200 to 300 hours and a lot of wedding planning that could be skipped by hiring an event planner!


Planning weddings isn’t for everyone, and if you have a busy schedule, you might want to hand the reigns off to us. The point of the wedding is to celebrate you and your new spouse, so why make it stressful? The event should be one to remember, not just for the guests, but for the two of you as well!


Let Unique Event Designs help plan your special day

However you do it, we are here to help, reach out and let’s talk about how to get you down the aisle on whatever timeline you have in mind.




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