Wedding planners provide a valuable service to couples who are getting married. Their goal is to take the stress off of the couple by handling the details of the big day. Not only does this free up time for the bride and groom to take care of other tasks and just enjoy each other.
Some individuals think that anyone can become a wedding planner. While it is true that anyone can be trained to plan these major events, there are some specific traits that can help you to succeed on your way to becoming a professional wedding & event planner. They say a journey of 1,000 miles starts with one step, here are the steps you need to take on your quest to become a wedding planner:
Step 1: Evaluate your reasons
The reasons you want to become a wedding planner are important. You need to want to help people plan a very special day, but you have to have the empathy to deal with the couple when they are stressed or upset. Wedding planning isn’t a get rich quick scheme. You have to be ready to put in work.
Step 2: Think about your abilities
Wedding planning takes a specific skill set. You have to be able to budget, negotiate, and organize. You need to be good at solving problems and managing your time. You may need to oversee a team of workers and others who are handling specific duties at the wedding and related activities. You also need to have a keen eye for understanding color schemes and themes that brides and grooms are trying to relay to you.
Step 3: Intern with a certified wedding planner
You should find a local certified wedding planner to work with on one event. This gives you a firsthand look at what you can expect when you are doing the duties for your clients. Just remember that not all wedding planning experiences go the exact same way so you might have better or worse ones in your own career.
Step 4: Take education classes and obtain a certification
Many couples who are going to hire a wedding planner want someone who has specific training and certification. Being able to produce this isn’t required, but it certainly won’t hurt you to go through the process. You can learn tips and techniques that can help you as you address the issues that are likely going to come up as you plan weddings.
Step 5: Determine what you need to do to operate lawfully
If you plan on starting your own wedding planning company, find out what you need to do from a legal standpoint. Some wedding planners operate as sole proprietors, but this doesn’t provide your personal assets with any protection if a couple takes issue with the planning you did for them. If you plan on hiring employees, you need to have a different business structure, such as a limited liability company. This also provides your personal assets some protection. You will also need an employer identification number from the Internal Revenue Service if you will hire employees.
Step 6: Find clients to build a portfolio
Some clients may ask to see samples of weddings you planned or contact information for couples you’ve worked with. You might have to work with some couples for a discounted rate when you first start your business. Make it clear that the discount is in exchange for being able to use the wedding for your portfolio. Ask your clients to remember to refer new clients to you when they hear of someone who needs a wedding planner. As you plan these weddings, remember to remain calm even when you meet challenges. Your demeanor should be soothing to the wedding party, especially if there are negative aspects of the event that need to be addressed.
Step 7: Build rapport with local businesses
Building rapport with local businesses can help you to get what you need for the weddings you plan. These businesses might include caterers, bartenders, musicians, clergy members, venue management and wedding clothiers. You don’t have to be planning a wedding to do this. Touch base with local individuals to find out what they have to offer. Create your own database of people or companies that you can contact for various aspects of the wedding.
Step 8: Advertise your service
Find places to advertise your services locally. You might be able to work out deals with local companies that are willing to allow you to place fliers or business cards in them. Advertising your service doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do need to find places where couples will go around the time of their engagement. This is where your networking and experience can come into the picture. Some companies are more willing to recommend your services if you have professional training and certification.
Wedding planning can be a lot of fun but it comes with a lot of responsibility. Having the training and tools that you need to get the job done successfully can help to reduce the stress you will face. Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute offers several options to help future wedding planners obtain a certification after gaining the knowledge that bolsters the chance of success.