How To Become A Wedding Planner
If you’re looking for a new career which will allow you to use your people skills and organizational skills in order to succeed, you’ll benefit from learning how to be a wedding planner.
This job isn’t for everyone – it requires a great deal of networking, dedication and tact. After all, people who are getting married typically want perfection in terms of their wedding day experiences and dealing
with individuals who do want perfection is often tricky.
After all, life isn’t perfect!
You’ve probably heard about Bridezillas – well, there are also Groomzillas, and it will be part of your job to deal with clients who have very high expectations about their upcoming nuptials. Naturally, just as many clients will be lovely, calm and rational!
To help you get the honest inside scoop on how to get into wedding planning, we’ve created a very factual and detailed guideline. Our goal is to map out the process of becoming a wedding planner, while also spending a bit of time talking about what the job entails, as well as its pros and cons.
Once you’ve read our guide, you’ll be primed to make a wise and informed decision about whether or not a wedding planner career is a proper fit for your talents, abilities, and ambitions.
How to Get Started
Wedding planning is basically event planning. So, you’ll need the right tools for the job. In the modern age, this means the right technology. For example, you should have a good computer with a modem and a fast Internet connection. As well, you should have a printer, a scanner and a smartphone with Web access.
Great communication is a vital facet of the job. This means that you’ll need to be responsive to your clients and take care of an array of tasks, many of which may be performed online. Some planners also have digital PDAs which help them to stay on track with project timelines and tasks.
Some planners work from offices and some work from home. Others are employed by larger event planning companies. It’s up to you to decide how you want to work. If you’re going it alone, having the right technology at hand will be crucial as your employer won’t be providing you with what you need.
Next, you need to understand the job inside and out…
How to Get Training
It’s best to get formal training in this field and many colleges, such as tourism colleges and community colleges, may offer educa
tional courses for aspiring marriage planners. If you can’t find specialized training in your area, online education which is related to the wedding planning business may be available.
This is one other reason we recommend having the right hardware and software at hand right from the start. It will make it simpler to complete your studies, especially if you’re studying remotely. Taking online courses may be very convenient, as it will allow you a bit more freedom. Some people hold down other jobs or perform childcare while they study, so having the ability to access online education may be very practical.
The benefits of getting training as a wedding coordinator are twofold – you’ll learn how to do the job and you’ll also gain a valuable credential which helps you to get hired by other wedding planner companies or to hang out your own shingle as an independent wedding planner.
Training will boost your confidence and help you to organize a wedding flawlessly. In most cases, tasks related to wedding planning are not complicated. However, as with any event, there will be a lot of “moving parts” and organization will be the key to ensuring that everything gets taken care of.
Just a handful of tasks which are related to planning a typical, large-sized wedding includes booking a venue, arranging for catering, putting together guest lists, hiring wait staff for the reception and booking a band for people to dance to.
Knowing in which order to complete tasks will be one of the keys to success. Training will help you to understand the details associated with making this type of event successful for bride, groom and guests. In this day and age, same-sex couples may also be clients, so a professional wedding planner should be open to all sorts of couples, regardless of the planner’s beliefs and/or religion. Being an all-inclusive wedding planner is the politically correct thing to do!
Once you’ve gotten formal training, you’ll be one step closer to performing this job part-time or full-time. Look for a training program which grants you a certificate upon completion. You may also be granted permission to sit a formal examination which, when passed, gives you the title of certified wedding planner.
How Much Do Wedding Planners Make?
An average wedding planner salary is about 43k per year (American figures). A top wedding planner may earn as much as 120k per annum for their efforts. Salaries will vary based on experience and reputation. There is definitely the potential to make a decent salary here and to move up in your field. So, the possibilities are literally limitless…
Wedding planner jobs are out there, and it’s also possible to start your own company. To find wedding planner jobs, look for established wedding planner and event planner companies and check their job postings. Also, look at larger job boards, such as national job boards, and then add “wedding planner” to their internal search engine. If you’re lucky, jobs of this type will be available.
Training under an experienced wedding planner, as an assistant or apprentice, will be a great way to build experience. These types of positions are coveted, but it is well worth putting out feelers if you’re committed to getting the best real-life training possible. One option is to network at wedding planner events. Another is to cold call wedding planner companies in order to see if they need new staff, such as trainees/apprentices.
There are different ways to get your foot in the door. Formal training followed by aggressive job-hunting is probably the most effective pathway to success. If opening your own wedding planning company is what you’re most interested in, you may find that your government offers grants or low-interest loans to entrepreneurs. If you qualify for such initiatives, accessing start-up capital may be much easier.
You Should Market Yourself
If you plan to grow your own wedding planning company, you should market yourself regularly. This means putting together an image for yourself and your business. This position isn’t gender-specific. However, the people who succeed in this niche are typically quite stylish and pulled-together, so taking an interest in your personal presentation should help you to entice new clients. This means building a professional wardrobe which reflects a great sense of personal style.
When you’re planning weddings, your taste comes into play, as does the client’s. The more tasteful your personal presentation is, the more likely clients are to place their trust in you! With this in mind, market yourself first and foremost, by investing in stylish and professional clothing with a bit of fashion flair. If you’re meeting clients, make sure to meet them in tasteful surroundings. Even if you work from home, be sure that your in-home meeting place reflects good taste and refinement.
If you are conducting business from an office, make sure that your work environment is immaculate, organized and pleasing to the eye.
What we’re trying to say is that image matters in this job.
In terms of outreach, marketing should extend to social media. This means creating a Facebook page for your business and adding fresh updates regularly. Every update, post, and link should be professional, and all should reflect the image of your company. Social media is free to use, so creating and maintaining an array of accounts is probably the most cost-effective way to promote your business.
Of course, traditional advertising is still a valuable means of attracting customers. This is why we recommend placing ads in local magazines (particular those that cater to women and brides-to-be) and newspapers. Since wedding planning often qualifies as a local small business, doing old-school advertising in your own community will be very practical although it won’t be free, as social media is.
If there are wedding fairs at local venues, try to get a kiosk, as so many people who plan to marry, attend these events. Your kiosk should look great and you should look fabulous, too. Getting out and chatting with couples or brides-to-be will be a perfect way to make new connections which may turn into new customers…running a contest or promotion will help you to make your kiosk a more attractive place. We advise giving away something via a draw.
Have people fill out entry forms and include a tick box where they can indicate whether or not they want to be notified about special offers and events. Add space for the person’s email address. If he or she agrees to receive promotions, this person has now become a member of your email subscriber list. This is the underlying purpose of running a contest!
You may also run similar promotions in social media to create buzz. Look up Rafflecopter online for inspiration – this is an excellent interface for building buzz via social media, and most entrepreneurs do use it regularly. If you’re going to do social media contests, try to do them monthly, so your fans and followers have something to look forward to.
Typically, the cost of contest giveaways is less than the cost of paid advertising, so this form of promotion really pays off, whether it happens at wedding fairs, trade shows or social media.
Pay Attention to Website Design
Lastly, you should always create your own website for your business. This will be your virtual calling card. Include certain elements in order to make your website an appealing place which inspires trust and helps people to engage with you and your staff.
For example, you should have a website which will display correctly on all types of hardware, from smartphones to PCs to iPads and beyond. A good Web designer will be able to make a mobile-friendly website. As well, you may want to add an email subscriber opt-in form which pops up and prompts the visitor to sign up. While some people hate pop-ups, others are excited about making contact with a wedding planner.
Use fantastic images at your website and give people plenty of helpful information about your services. By answering the questions of visitors before they contact you to ask, you’ll build trust and increase the chances of earning their business.
Testimonials and pictures of weddings that you’ve organized will also help you to sell your services.
Connect with Local Businesses
Having the right connections really helps when it comes to building a successful career as a wedding planner. However, you don’t need to have these connections in place right from the very start. Instead, you can use your own drive and determination in order to build the connections that you need.
It’s great to get on friendly terms with local suppliers, venue owners/managers, caterers and bridal boutique staff. Any business owner that runs a business which might help you to organize a wedding will be a great person to connect with.
Most people who have wedding planning jobs go to local Chamber of Commerce events, join trade associations and so on. They know that building connections make it easier to call in favors when the pressure is on. So, get out there and network whenever you can, armed with a handful of attractive business cards.
Hopefully, this detailed guide has given you the hard facts that you need. This job is challenging, to be sure, but suits someone who is detailed, organized and social. If you have these traits, and you’re not afraid of hard work, self-promotion and networking, you may bring your unique sense of taste into play by organizing beautiful weddings for clients.
Naturally, you’ll also need to be an excellent listener, so that you may deliver exactly what your bride and groom want.
Wedding planners are professionals who are required to be extremely responsible and careful in their job. They have to get almost everything organized perfectly for the big day. In addition, they need to handle emotional brides along with fussy family members during the stressful and long months and days, all leading to the most anticipated wedding ceremony. You will come to know that being a wedding planner may turn out as a very rewarding career. That is, if you are either gifted with the ability and talent, or manged to develop the relevant skills; being able to make all kind of decisions, small and big, as well as figuring the right way to harmonize important matters including, but not limited to: the right music, the proper decoration, the approriate dressings and even meals; all of which are to be field tested under that one sacred roof or shiny skies, whereof a loving couple is soon to be married.
There are some factors which are most likely to be significant during your journey towards becoming a successful wedding organizer:
• You should have a knack for details. Wedding planners must be detail-oriented with the passion and love of performing small things with precision that other people would not even
• You have to truly hold onto the emotions and the feelings of the family members. Undestand them and what is important to them. Do not forget that the wedding is (hopefully) a once in a life time event. Let their wedding ceremony become yours. Repeat this proccess every single time. This is not just a cliché; in order to be really good in what you do, you have got to step forward, and take full ownership with respect to the wedding. Follow this one and only tip, and you are most certain to not only become a professional and a successful wedding planner, but also a human being who happens to have the greatest job on earth.
• You can enroll and complete specific event-planning courses or studies. The places you are likely to find such event planning courses are the local community, university or under the adult education curriculum. You can consider joining any professional and reputed wedding planning institute. You might want to join an institute or a school which could give you the right education with respect to the very basics of How To Become A Wedding Planner. The primary objective in joining these schools is of course to receive a certification, one which will serve as your keycard in opening a whole new world wedding planning opportunities. Naturally, a good course could give you the foundations and the necessary knowledge regarding setting up a wedding, as well as help you to develop a clear view of your duties as a qualified event planner. Notwithstanding the above, building a strong and trustful communication with your clients is, de facto, one of the most important skills which you are to acquire during your daily work; in that sense, even the best course on the market could only give you some basic understanding of the theory – the rest is up to you. Among other subjects during the course, you are most likely to learn: how to expand your manpower in a graduated manner, ratio of service charges to be put on client’s credit, choosing a wedding location dependent on the budget and the preference of the clients and much more.
• You should get yourself registered as a wedding planner. You can give the preferred name of your firm and then register it at the court. You should be wise while selecting the name. The name should be tricky and catchy and at the same time convey clearly what your firm does, so that potential customers consider you sincerely.
• You need to get insured under an umbrella insurance policy. Since weddings are such emotional events so the chances of lawsuit are high. Such insurance policy will secure you from these adverse situations.
• You can promote the wedding organizing services with the help of advertisements. One proactive business policy can be to go through the daily newspaper about newly engaged couples. Next, you can send the target client your descriptive brochures regarding the business. You can make it a habit to carry the business card everywhere, so that if you into someone who required wedding manager you can immediately draw his attention. As per some statistics, there are almost ten thousand wedding mangers in the US alone. You have to be realistic regarding investing. You need to spend a lot of cash on advertisements so that you can gain a handsome return from the wedding planning business. The quickest and least cost effective method of advertising is on the ‘Google AdSense’, world wide web, flyers, Internet marketing and the age old and most popular word of mouth publicity. If you got some return from your business, you can put some in a well-prepared website for your company. Today, people think of hiring a wedding planner as they do not have time. So the busy customers can get a quick view about your company while working or having a cup of tea from your website.
• In today’s era of internet, you must design an alluring website and also rent an expert to design for you. Your website should be interesting with all the important aspects of your business mentioned along with all the contact information of the firm. Since mostly the site will act as the first impression which potent clients will have about your wedding planner services.
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