Getting Started As A Wedding Planner
Wedding planning isn’t for everybody. We’d even go so far as to say that it isn’t for most people! For the majority of us, planning a wedding is something we only get involved in once or twice in our lives – and it’s for our own weddings. If you’re married, you hopefully remember your wedding day as the happiest day of your life, but you also probably remember huge amounts of stress and worry going into the planning stages which made your big day possible.
For the select few, though, wedding planning isn’t stressful at all. Instead of finding planning the event to be a daunting process, some people thrive off it. They enjoy the satisfaction of a job done well, and they take great pride in putting all the pieces together to make an even bigger whole. The wedding isn’t the end of a difficult and trying journey for them – it’s a great achievement, and a reward for hours of hard work.
Get A Relevant Qualification
Wedding planning isn’t all about weddings. It’s a business, and you need a good grasp of how to run a business. Knowing everything there is to know about putting a wedding together isn’t enough – a wedding planner has to be able to negotiate contracts, deal with vendors, handle tax, put together marketing, and deal with employees if you’re planning on being more than a one-person operation. The best grounding you could get for yourself in relation to the above is a diploma in business studies. Without a solid grounding in business, you’ll find yourself struggling to make ends meet no matter how good you are at making a wedding day spectacular.
Get Insight Into The Role
If all you know about planning weddings comes from arranging your own, you have an entirely subjective experience of wedding planning. You might have further experience from being a maid of honor, groomsman, or part of the planning committee for the wedding of somebody you know. That’s helpful, but it still isn’t enough experience. Dealing with the wedding of a total stranger is a whole different proposition, and you need hands-on experience of it so you know what you’re getting yourself into. Contact a local wedding planner in your area and see if they need help (trust us, most of them will welcome the offer!). You might not necessarily get paid if you’re volunteering, but the experience will be invaluable when it comes to starting your own business.
Decide On A Specialism
There are two types of wedding planners – those who will handle any wedding of any kind, and those who handle very specific types of wedding. The broad and general wedding planners are all in direct competition with each other, and that competition can be cutthroat. In head-to-head competition, wedding planners will drop prices to beat quotes from elsewhere, and that ultimately means being paid less than you’re worth in order to bring in business. If you find yourself a niche, you’ll have less competition. That niche might be same-sex weddings. It might be weddings in a specific location (nothing beats local knowledge when it comes to planning a wedding, and know which service companies to approach for assistance). It might be weddings for over-50s. Your niche will be your unique selling point.
Develop A Marketing Strategy, And Stick To It
As a wedding planner, you are a brand. Even if you’re only a one-person operation, you have a corporate and business identity, and that identity has to be consistent from the logo down to your communication style. People place enormous importance on their wedding day, and they’re looking for someone who exudes professionalism to place their trust in to handle it for them. That means making a plan, and sticking to it. Develop an awareness that no marketing strategy yields immediate results, but a good marketing strategy will always work in the end. It’s very similar to playing Vegas Slots. If you’ve ever played mobile slots, you’ll know that you don’t necessarily expect to win from your first few spins. Success at mobile slots is all about sticking to the same course of action until the mobile slots game you’re playing responds by paying out money. You have to have faith that you’ll win in the end. Taking this advice and putting it back into the context of wedding planning, it means sometimes sticking to your guns even when nothing seems to be working, and having faith that you’ll eventually get your reward.
For those people, considering a career in wedding planning makes sense. If you’re finding yourself debating it, then we’re happy to give you a few tips on how to make it in the profession. Be warned, though – the hours are long, the salary isn’t always fantastic, and some couples can be very hard to deal with! If you excel within the field, though, we give you our word that you’ll never find a job so satisfying when it’s going well.
Develop A Thick Skin
Not everything is going to go well all the time. Contractors will let you down. Brides and grooms will change their opinions, wants, needs, and budget on a whim. Occasionally, the couple you’re dealing with will separate part of the way through the process! When problems do come up, whether it’s invitations taking longer to arrive than planned, or the local florist letting you down with a display, you’ll take the brunt of the anger. The ‘happy’ couple don’t want to blame each other, and so as you’re the person you’re paying to make things go well for them, you’ll find yourself carrying the can for any hiccups as they occur. Every single wedding planner has a ridiculous ‘Bridezilla’ story to share, and it won’t take very long for you to gain one of your own! As difficult as it can sometimes be, try not to take the criticism personally, and remember you’ll usually get a very sincere apology (and sometimes even a nice gift) when it’s all over.
During all of the above, be positive and open-minded. Learn to reflect your customers. Be excited when they’re excited, welcome bizarre theme suggestions without batting an eyelid, and be patient and detailed when explaining why what they think to be a great idea might not necessarily be a great idea in reality. When you put aside the dresses, the venues, the transport, and the cake, wedding planning is a communications business, and you’ll need impeccable communication skills to succeed in it.
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