Planning a wedding can quickly go from being a bride’s dream to being her nightmare. The process of planning a wedding is not child’s play. This is one of the main reasons why many couples engage the services of a wedding planner.
A wedding planner, in simple words, is in charge of planning a wedding ceremony. A wedding planner organizes the details of the ceremony and helps the couple achieve the wedding they desire within their budget, giving life to their ideas.
After planning the wedding, the wedding planner ensures things run smoothly all throughout the special day.
There are three categories of professional wedding planning
- Full wedding planning. This involves organizing every single thing that has to do with the wedding. From getting vendors to the order of program. Every single detail is covered in this level of service.
- Partial wedding planning. Here, a wedding planner only handles some parts of the weddings while the other parts are handled by the couple.
- On-the-day management. Sometimes, couples plan their wedding themselves and just need someone to make sure everything goes according to plan on the chosen day.
Starting Your Wedding Planning Career
To start off as a wedding planner, here are a few things you must do to make your journey easier.
Define your wedding planning goals
What kind of wedding planner do you hope to be? Are you looking to do it full-time or part time? Do you want to be a full-event planner or do you want to manage already planned events?
These are specific questions you must answer. It is important to have a defined set of goals to follow through with. Yes, the goals will change with time, but it is important to have a plan for your career.
Do your research
As with entering into any new field or environment, it is important to be knowledgeable about that field. Do extensive research. This will help you get a good grasp of the industry.
There are hundreds of thousands of videos on YouTube that provide you with industry-related information. There are also websites dedicated to helping new wedding planners find their footing in the industry.
The best part of it all is most of these resources are free.
Consider getting trained by professionals
While this may not be free, it is a tried-and-true way of getting ahead as an event planner.
You can take courses or trainings from established event planners. This will help reduce the time you’ll spend filtering through the mountains of information out there to find what you actually need.
Also, these professionals can recommend you for jobs once you complete your training while pointing you in the right direction for resources and business connections.
Find a mentor
Another way of growing fast in the wedding planning industry without getting professional training is to connect with a mentor. You can find someone who is already involved in the industry and ask to be a mentee.
You can then understudy them and learn from them. The relationship between a mentor and a mentee is a give-and-take relationship, so you will also have you give your time and add value to the business of your mentor.
Write a business plan
After gathering all the knowledge you need, it’s time to get into wedding planning proper.
Prepare a business plan that contains the services you offer and the price you charge. When it comes to pricing, you also have to do research so you get the general idea of what you’re worth in the industry.
It is okay to charge a little below standard, so you can get clients easily and gain experience. However, avoid selling yourself short. You can get free business plan templates on the internet. Sometimes all you’ll have to do is fill in the blank spaces.
This involves spreading the word to anyone and everyone on the services you offer. Advertising can be organic or paid.
As a beginner with no experience, you can start with your family and friends. Start by offering to plan your cousin’s wedding for little or no cost to build your portfolio.
Paid advertising involves money and may not be effective if you have no prior experience. Ask your close network to refer you to people who need your services.
Skills You Need as a Wedding Planner
- Patience. You cannot be a wedding planner without patience. The whole process of planning a wedding will stretch you and test your patience to the very core. From the bride’s mother not being able to decide how many people she will be inviting, to the couple not being able to agree on the flower arrangements. I do believe that patience is the number one superpower of every event planner.
- Creativity. Sometimes couples don’t know what they want. Some couples go as far as giving you carte-blanche for their wedding. That means they’re giving you the ultimate power to make decisions and plan the wedding. You are going to need to be creative if you want your clients to love what you do and refer your services.
- Communication. As an event planner, you’ll be working with different people from different walks of life. You will need to effectively communicate with every one of them.
- Time-Management. Once the wedding date is fixed, it takes something as huge as a tsunami to change it. So you have to work within tight deadlines and have everything ready at least 48 hours before the wedding.
- Financial Knowledge. This involves all things money. From drawing up a budget for the wedding, to getting great deals for items and services needed. You need to be well-versed in all of these aspects.
- Organization skills. The whole idea of having a wedding planner is to make sure everything is properly organized for the big day. So you will have to efficiently juggle multiple tasks to ensure the event runs smoothly.
- Crazy research skills. This will help you in finding what your clients want. Sometimes, clients may want the oddest thing for their wedding. It is your job to find it and give it to them.
Where to Get Wedding Planning Jobs
As a wedding planner, you can get jobs from various platforms. Some of these platforms include but are not limited to:
Family and friends
This is one of the easiest way to get clients for your business. Make sure to spread the word around your network that you plan weddings.
You can also reach out to anyone that you know is getting married soon and ask to help plan their wedding. You have to reach out early enough so they don’t already have a planner engaged.
The power and reach of social media still cannot be quantified. This may take a little bit of time as you will have to build a credible online presence, but it is a good investment in the long run.
You can also run paid ads on your accounts to increase your reach faster.
I know this might not be what you want to hear, but volunteering has a way of getting your foot in the door.
Volunteer your time and knowledge for wedding planners for a duration of time. In the process, you get real life experience, build connections and you might land your first client from there. Never rule out volunteering.
Event planning company
The conventional way of getting jobs is by being an employee. You can pump your resume and portfolio and apply for the position of a wedding planner in an event company.
Your job will be to plan weddings they assign them to you at an agreed rate of pay. This is also a great way to start as a beginner and build your portfolio before you go off to start your own business.
A very effective means of getting jobs is through referrals from people who you have worked with before.
Always ask satisfied clients to kindly refer you to anyone they know who might need your services. Referral clients are easy to land as there is already an indirect relationship and trust established.
This involves building your people portfolio and increasing the people in your network. There’s this saying that goes “Your network is your net worth.” Attend events, social gatherings and meetings. Connect with people, tell them what you do and keep in touch.
They may not need your services immediately, but someday they will, or they will know someone who does.
Being a wedding planner is one of the most stressful yet most rewarding professions. The internet has made it easy to start your journey to being a wedding planner as there are a lot of courses and trainings out there, both free and paid.
You can decide to do it part-time or full-time. Start from where you are. Start with family and friends and build from there.