The Lists

10 Luxury Wedding Planners Rated the Best in the World

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world - including in NYC, LA and London - and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

The period between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is the time when the majority of wedding proposals occur. If you or a loved one are now planning a wedding, one question you may have is whether or not you should hire a wedding planner. And if you decide to do so, who are the best ones? our ace correspondent Jillian Tangen has done the work, and she has answers on how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

why you need a wedding planner for a true luxury experience

Personally, we love weddings, especially royal ones, so we’re sharing ideas and insights on the process from start to finish. We’ve already shared our advice on how to find the perfect engagement ring. And the best places to propose. Assuming all of that went well, next up in the journey is planning the wedding. Including the flowers. And the cake.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world - including in NYC, LA and London - and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

Even if you can’t afford the services of a top-tier wedding planner, one can dream, right?

We know very well first-hand how important planning and executing the perfect wedding day is. We also know how tedious and time consuming it can be.

Planning a large scale and luxurious celebration of your nuptials is not just about tasting delicious cakes and trying on dream dresses. It also includes things like tracking RSVP’s and organizing guest transportation. Things that aren’t quite as much fun.

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And if you’re busy juggling things like a career, graduate school or the like on top of planning your nuptials, it’s even harder. So why not take a tip from some of our favorite royals, celebrities and socialites and leave it to the pros?

Enlisting the help of the right nuptial artist (aka a wedding planner) can make all the difference in the world. Forget about some of the glitz and bling, and remember: the best luxury wedding is the one where the happy couple has peace of mind and can truly enjoy sparkling moments with family and friends.

getting started

How do you find a wedding planner to help you create the wedding of your dreams?

You can start by browsing some of the top sites focused on wedding planning of course. We’re thinking popular favorites like Elle Weddings, Vogue Weddings, Harper’s Bazaar Weddings, In Style Weddings, New York Weddings or Southern Bride.

In addition to plenty of ideas and inspiration, each site offers a comprehensive vendor list that includes things like recommended wedding planners.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world - including in NYC, LA and London - and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

After that, though, you should also ask around and get some real-world recommendations.

We’ve scoured a number of sites for a list of top wedding planners around the world to get you started. And we’ve gone ahead and asked some of our most recently-wedded friends about the must-ask questions for potential wedding planners.

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the best luxury wedding planners in the world

Based on our research, these are the savants of the wedding industry that the ultra-rich have on speed dial. They’ve crafted luxurious celebrations for couples from political royalty to actual royalty – and everyone in between.

1. colin cowie: based in new york city, los angeles and san francisco

Over the past 30 years Colin Cowie has become a major force in designing and producing events around the globe. The firm can handle everything from intimate gatherings of 50 to grand-scale productions for more than 5,000. His clients include Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian West.

For City Harvest in New York City, Colin Cowie Lifestyle created a slice of the hit Netflix show Bridgerton on the rooftop of the Rockefeller Center. Everything from the tables to the dresses of the musicians was based on the period drama, with the St. Patrick’s Cathedral serving as the perfect backdrop.

2. fête: based in new york city

Having spent time working for everyone from Joseph Altuzarra to Stephen King doing private events, Jung Lee decided to create her own company. Fête is a full-service wedding planning and design firm based in New York.

Lee and her team plan events all over the world. They specialize in creating highly-customized and high-design events. Their venues range from Aspen to Miami, Santa Barbara to the Hamptons, and throughout Asia, Europe, St. Barth’s and even Cuba. The group is known for their innovative take on seating charts and place cards.

3. rafanelli events: based in new york city, boston and palm beach

Founder Bryan Rafanelli has been lauded by many of the top bridal publications because of the way that he and his team treat every event as a unique creative challenge. Rafanelli Events offers a personal, one-of-a-kind approach that has led Bryan to oversee the wedding of Allison Williams and Ricky Van Veen on not one but two Wyoming Ranches, as well as the vow renewals of Matt and Luci Damon.

Rafanelli has also become a favorite of a couple of America’s First Families. He led the concept and design of Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, as well as many of President Obama’s White House State Dinners and events. His firm did the White House holiday décor in 2015 and 2016.

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4. tara guérard: based in charleston and new york city

Tara Guérard is one of the most sought-after celebrity wedding planners. Her client list includes Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.  Her book, Southern Weddings: New Looks From the Old South ($35), sums up her design aesthetic. Think traditional silver candlesticks and thoughtfully employed monograms, mixed with a dash of the unexpected.

5. lisa vorce co.: based in los angeles

From Kate Upton and Justin Verlander’s whirlwind wedding weekend in Tuscany to Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s destination wedding at Lake Como, Lisa Vorce is no stranger to high profile events. Rather, she creates unique experiences that reflect her clients and the place where they’ve chosen to wed.

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6. mindy weiss party consultants: based in los angeles

Mindy Weiss is a go-to among celebs, having planned events for Justin and Hailey Bieber, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Heidi Klum and Tom Kaulitz, Nicole Richie and Joel Madden and Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi.  As one might expect, her events are lavish affairs, whether on a beach, in a ballroom or in a private garden. She’s known for doing whatever it takes. At one of her weddings, the bride and groom climbed a ladder to cut their oversized cake; at Nicole Richie’s wedding she arranged for an elephant to greet guests.

7. oren co.: based in los angeles and new york city

Yifat Oren has produced high-profile events all over the world, from Florence to Hong Kong. Known not only for their artistry and precise execution but also for their discretion, Oren Co. has worked with many of Hollywood’s top entertainers, including Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied, Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, Cameron Diaz and Benjamin Madden, Behati Prinsloo and Adam Levine and Hilary Duff and Matthew Koma.

Last spring it was revealed via Instagram that Oren Co was behind the“tiny and intimate” wedding  of Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez at Grande’s home in California. And later in the year the firm created the flower-filled atmosphere for the special day of NBA player CJ McCollum and dentist Elise Esposito in the Oregon Wine Country.

8. fait accompli: based in london

Owner Alex Fitzgibbons, alongside founder and director Camilla Monckton, has mastered the art of discretion and ability to create lavish, spectacle events on an international level.  As the British royal family’s preferred event planner, they have been responsible for countless royal functions including the 2011 royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and more recently the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The agency was also behind the reception of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews. When singer Ellie Goulding tied the knot with Caspar Jopling, Fait Accompli ensured that the day-long events would make it a wedding to remember.

9. sarah haywood: based in london

Known as Britain’s most sought-after wedding planner, Sarah Haywood has planned lavish events for big names around the world.  Never taking on more than a handful of clients at one time, she provides highly personalized service that includes bookings from performers like J Lo and John Legend.  Thanks to her expertise, she was the go-to international commentator for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and is the U.K.’s top-selling bridal author thanks to her two books on the topic.

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10. haute weddings: based in france

What.  If you love all things French, then Haute Weddings is for you. The team crafts destination weddings in France and will stop at nothing to incorporate the local culture and landscape into your event. They’re not afraid to embrace adventure. The firm has happily hiked up a snowy peak so a couple could say their vows in an ice cave. And para-glided in front of glaciers, and arranged for one bride and groom to ski down Mont Blanc while in full formal wedding attire.

key questions to ask before booking a wedding planner

We asked some of our wedding experts the must-ask questions for any potential wedding planner. This will definitely help you narrow down your list. Some may seem obvious, but you have to be thorough!

1. First and foremost – are they available on your wedding date? If your dates are flexible and you are willing to wait in order to work with someone you really love, be sure to find out when they are free.

2. Do they travel? Don’t be turned off if the planner you love is not based in your city or town. Many top notch planners will travel (for a fee, of course).

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world - including in NYC, LA and London - and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

 3. What is their philosophy about weddings? This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to ensure that their style aligns with your vision. For example, maybe you fancy something elegant and modern, while their specialty is more shabby chic.

4. Do they specialize in certain types of venues? Coordinating a wedding in a five-star hotel is very different from organizing an outdoor affair overlooking the ocean.

5. Some planners do design work, while others do only logistics. Do you have a preference? If they do design work, then you need to be really sure their vision aligns with yours (see #3, above).

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world - including in NYC, LA and London - and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

6. Will yours be their only wedding of the day or weekend? On the day of your wedding, you want the planner’s full attention. Make sure they have a team capable of handling the workload.

7. Ask about the most unique wedding they have planned. This is the firm’s chance to show off how creative they are.

8. Ask for some initial thoughts on how they would execute on your vision. Of course they won’t be able to nail every detail you have ever dreamed of, but if all of their ideas are way off, it’s a clear red flag.

9. What’s the most difficult problem they’ve ever had to solve on wedding day? You’ll need to gauge how good your planner is in a crisis – or at least when the stress is at its highest. Everyone hopes that nothing goes wrong on the big day. But something almost always does. Is your planner ready for that?

10. Lastly, be sure to ask for references from recent clients. While review sites and testimonials pages can be helpful, you will get a more nuanced understanding of someone else’s experience if you do a quick call or email. It’s worth the investment of time for the peace of mind that you did all of your due diligence before signing an agreement.

best luxury wedding planners and questions to ask before booking one

Those are our research findings and tips on how to find the best luxury wedding planners in the world – including in NYC, LA and London – and a list of questions to ask before booking one.

Once you have a planner, you’ll have the fun of choosing wedding attire, flowers, music, crafting a registry and a romantic honeymoon destination. Plus, we urge you to spend some time thinking about how to make the whole event fun for the guests.

The time will fly, but try to enjoy and savor it. Felicitations on your engagement! It’s an exciting time for you. Good luck and best wishes for your wonderful day.

join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

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