How to Become a Wedding Planner
If you are wondering how to become a wedding planner, Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute has everything you need to be successful.
Weddings are a momentous occasion, and many couples choose to hire a wedding planner because they don’t have the time or know-how to pull it all together. Couples need someone who has an eye for design, a sense of style, and the attention to detail to make their special day the best it can be.
As a certified wedding planner, you’ll have a variety of roles to assist marriage bound couples. Perhaps helping multiple couples in the tasks and activities leading up to their wedding and on the big day itself.
For more information about how to be a wedding planner, read on for all you need to know.
How to Become a Wedding Coordinator
If you’re thinking about becoming a wedding planner, it’s good to know that planning weddings can be an extremely rewarding career. There’s nothing better than seeing happy smiling faces of a married couple as you plan, design, and deliver their big day and finally see everything come together.
What Do You Need to Become a Wedding Planner?
Many certified wedding planners have the following personal qualities, which can lead to a successful career:
- Organizational skills: as a wedding planner, you need to be organized. You’ll probably be planning the weddings of multiple couples at the same time, and you’ll need to stay on top of each one’s progress. You’ll need to be in contact with many parties, such as the venue, florists, and caterers, ensuring that dates and times are booked and that everyone knows what they’re doing.
- Time management: wedding planners need to meet deadlines. Couples hire you to ensure that everything goes smoothly, so knowing how to create timelines before, during, and after the event is key.
- Creative: Once you have your wedding planner certification, you’ll also help your couples determine their wedding style and guide them through the design process as you help to create their vision for the big day. From coming up with different design concepts or themes to floral design, arrangements and fashion trends, creativity is a big part of becoming a wedding planner.
- Staying calm when under pressure: as a certified wedding planner, you need to be a calming influence. Many couples and family members can feel stressed in the lead up to the nuptials, and they need you to be the calming influence. You’ll need to reassure when necessary and ensure you don’t get stressed in the process.
- Communication skills: many careers require you to have fantastic communication skills and, in wedding planning, it’s crucial. You must be a good listener and hear any concerns your clients may have and be able to converse and convey your ideas clearly.
- A self-starter: as a certified wedding planner, you’ll eventually want to set up your own business and be self-employed. For this reason, you need to be able to market your business and attract clients to be successful.
- Negotiating skills: as a wedding planner, you’ll have a budget. It’s important to adhere to this to keep your clients happy. Therefore, being able to negotiate on prices for venues, caterers, and other key wedding details is essential.
- Couples will have different expectations about what they want from you for their day. This can range from planning every little detail, tasks, or vendor to planning just a few key points to support their efforts.
What Training Do You Need to Become a Wedding Planner?
You can take different routes to become a wedding planner, such as a wedding planner course through the open university. At Lovegevity, we ask that you have access to a computer for our online courses, as well as an understanding of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and/or Google Docs, and access to the internet.
You can also complete your course at one of our accredited colleges or universities. No matter which route you take, you can partake in an optional internship where you may have the opportunity to shadow and gain hands-on experience. In some cases, it can even lead to a job.
At Lovegevity, we teach you what you need to know to become a successful wedding planner. This includes creating a portfolio of business contacts, presentation tools, pricing, and packages to give you everything necessary to get started booking and working with real clients.
You’ll also learn how to gain a competitive edge in your local market, as well as being proficient in prospecting, marketing, and contracting with wedding and special event clients.
By the end of your course, you’ll be able to set up a legal wedding planning business and be knowledgeable about business structure. You’ll also know how to market, publish, and use public relations to promote and increase awareness about your business, helping you to be as successful as possible.
Why Choose to Complete Your Training with Lovegevity?
If you want a proven system with a verified track record to ensure your own success. You’ve found the right training to build your career and successful future planning celebrations and events.
Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute gives you the training, tools, support, and know-how to become a wedding planner. Along with giving you the knowledge that you need, we provide a step-by-step approach to ensure that you know what you’re doing at each point along the way. You’ll have everything required to set up and form a legal entity or business in the event industry.
What’s more, Lovegevity is recognized as the number one academic program for wedding and event planning professionals in the world. So you’ll be in the best hands possible and come out with the best reputation for your academic training.
Become a Wedding Planner with Lovegevity Today!
You’ll have the option to complete courses at your own pace and on your own schedule, giving you the freedom to integrate your training into your everyday life. This makes it perfect if you’re looking for a more fulfilling career change that can work around your family commitments or other priorities.
When you have completed the course, you will receive a Training Certificate from your college of choice, along with a certification from Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute. You’ll also have the skills and confidence to approach potential employers or book new clients and set up your own successful business.
Change your life by doing something you love and become a wedding planner with Lovegevity’s Wedding Planning Institute. Please contact us for more information or if you have any further questions.
What is the process of becoming a wedding planner?
The 5 key steps to becoming a wedding planner include:
- Identify you have a talent and passion for organization, project management, and an eye for design.
- Participate in hands-on internships to build your portfolio and experience.
- Plan events for friends & family and get feedback on your events.
- Use online resources and free courses on event planning & design to learn and grow.
- Enroll in a professional event planning certification program at a local college or online.
The future of the Certified Wedding & Event Planner has never been so bright. Wedding and social event planners equipped with essential tools such as education, certification, training, and real-world experience will benefit from the growing demand for social event planners of lifecycle events such as weddings, anniversaries, bar mitzvahs, reunions, and family/ social/business celebrations.
Many of the skills of a wedding planner are transferable to many other occupations such as public relations, charity and fundraising, promotional events, product launches, grand openings, galas, conferences, conventions, and many other types of events.
Wedding and Event Planning has evolved into both a science and an art of balancing a client’s dream for the perfect day with the reality of constraints such as time and money. Fortunately for today’s professional wedding planners, there are many tools, formulas, and resources to make the planning process run smoothly.
- Tools: apps such as:
- Pinterest help to communicate a design or vision through images to create a concept of mood board which helps to eliminate miscommunications between a client and a planner.
- Honeybook also has a great app for booking and invoicing vendors and clients.
- Quickbooks for small businesses offers a convenient and easy way to keep track of accounting both online and with the “on the go” mobile app.
- Facebook: Many Wedding Planners are relying more on social media channels to promote their wedding planning services than a traditional website.
- Instagram: As a visual platform, Instagram has the ability to attract new clients by using Hashtags and tagging.
- LinkedIn: Provides a professional profile with work history, and recommendations, along with the ability to post articles on topics in your expertise to attract new clients and vendors.
- Formulas: Bring Your “A” Game, has a real meaning to Lovegevity’s Certified Wedding Planners. Lovegevity teaches a series of event planning processes that all begin with the letter A.
- Assumptions and Expectations: What is the goal, vision, budget, timeline?
- Attire: What is the dress code?
- Accessories: What additional items are needed by the quests or attendees?
- Anticipation: Announcements, Invitations, and pre-event excitement
- Arrival: Travel Logistics
- Atmosphere: Design, decor, themes
- Appetite: Food, Menu
- Amusement: Planned festivities
- Appreciation: Thank yous, favors
- Afterwords: Postmortem review – What did we learn, how can we improve?
- Resources: Wedding Planners have a large network of vendors from a variety of specialties and price points to meet the needs of each client. As a professional planner, plan to have 3 – 5 vendors for every category of services. Training and certification programs should require a wedding planner to vet vendors prior to making any recommendations to new clients. An extensive interview process, checking references, and observing vendors on the job is an essential part of a wedding planner’s job. Identifying, selecting, and recommending the right vendors for a client is paramount to a successful career as a wedding planner.
As a wedding and event planner, you will find many life-long clients through planning a wedding. A wedding is the first of many life celebrations and also opens doors to new clients and future events through a bridal client’s family and friends attending one of your events.
Today’s brides-to-be come from many diverse backgrounds and experiences. Many brides have had the opportunity to be involved in a friend’s or relative’s wedding and are aware of what she wants for her wedding day and the support she expects from her wedding planner. On the other hand, there is the novice bride who is easily overwhelmed and confused and will need more support and guidance from her professional wedding consultant. In both cases, a bride can be demanding of both your
time and patience. It is the responsibility of the experienced wedding planner to set the expectations from the very beginning.
A bride’s decision to hire a professional to help plan the wedding is based on several factors. For many, the main motivation is lack of time. Most people have full-time jobs which do not allow for the time-consuming research, phone calls and visits required to identify the best vendors.
Major oversights often occur when the time is limited, it can create more problems that add to the overall stress and responsibilities of planning a wedding.
When a bride is new to an area, with few friends or family members close by, planning a wedding can become too stressful and overwhelming unless she has help and support from a seasoned consultant. Destination or out-of-town weddings and brides with a limited budget can be additional challenges to planning the event.
Without a doubt, a bride’s wisest choice is to hire a professional who is competently trained and well acquainted with her local vendors.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Wedding Planner?
What Skills Do You Need?
Good rapport, communication, and confidence are essential when planning and producing events of any kind. Being able to rely on the professional planner is vital to a successful wedding day outcome. A Certified Wedding Planner will go the extra mile and act as the couple’s liaison, smoothing over the rough spots that inevitably manifest themselves during the planning and on the wedding day.
A good wedding planner can stretch any budget to ensure the bride is receiving all the perks possible from professional connections and expertise. From frugal to extravagant, the wedding planner will never run out of creative ideas to satisfy any client. A professional will stay within the bride’s budget while finding solutions to alleviate financial concerns and communicate the reality of the budget constraints.
An established wedding planner will have the education, the experience, and a network of quality vendors with a wide selection of styles, price points, and personalities. He or she will assist the bride by knowing whom to book and when, providing price comparisons, evaluating vendor contracts, avoiding overtime charges, and saving on services when guests don’t show.
A professional wedding planner will establish strong relationships with vendors, resulting in a trust that each vendor will do what is expected, deliver on time, and stay within the budget while maintaining the highest regard for quality and service. Details such as coordinating events, overseeing vendors, supervising the wedding party, cueing the music, and assisting with seating arrangements are only a few of the duties a Certified Wedding Planner will assume.
Most brides come to realize an extra pair of hands on their wedding day is priceless. The event planner’s wedding day itinerary and schedule will be planned in great detail and distributed to all vendors and members of the wedding party to ensure a smooth-
running event. Your bride and groom can rest assured knowing the wedding day will be handled with care, allowing them to relax and enjoy their day.
In addition to having organization and project management skills, a wedding planner also helps with the design and decor of Events. From picking a color palette to designing tables and themes, understanding theories of design, fashion, and flow of an event are skills every professional planner needs.
Wedding Planning encompasses all areas leading up to the wedding day, the day of, and even after, and creating a lifelong memorable experience is the job of a professional. Understanding the art and science behind creating memorable events is both a talent and a developed skill. Honing your natural talents in design will help to keep your career progressive and on point. Here is an example of Event Design and how to design for the emotions that play a role in people’s long-term memories.(link to Event Design sample)
Another skill set professional wedding planner’s need to stay versatile is floral design. While it is not necessary to become a full-blown florist, it is highly recommended you know the basics. Flowers are a big part of a bride’s wedding day, and a wedding planner should know the basic industry tricks to keep flowers looking fresh all day. Additionally, flower emergencies happen all the time during the wedding day and knowing how to fix a boutonniere, bouquet, or centerpiece could make or break your reputation when it matters most. For a quick tutorial on floral design check out this link.
Many event planners find themselves in the industry by accident, a result of simply doing what they love. The key to discovering the perfect job is doing what you enjoy and being willing to do it for free.
Once you discover this, all you need is to begin serving clients who will pay. Many in the wedding industry have found their calling by assisting friends and family with wedding plans and coordinating additional social events. If this description sounds familiar, then this course is exactly what you have been looking for.
Getting started as an event planner is fairly easy, as many have experienced by planning weddings and events for friends or family as a hobby. It is creating a business out of a passion for planning weddings and social events that is difficult for most people. Successfully staying in business becomes the most challenging hurdle for the majority of individuals getting started in the industry.
In this course, we will first cover the history of wedding planning, its growth, and the basic individual elements that make up the wedding industry.
Next, we will cover industry-specific processes, business techniques, and how to increase your chances for success. This includes hands-on exercises, real-world application, role-playing, and presentation practice on how to interact with both clients and vendors, to get vendors to work for you, and clients to work with you.
And last, whether you have a wedding business, work for a business in the industry, or are just starting out, this course will show you how to create a successful reputation and use your reputation to manage and grow a successful business.
Over the last 20 years, wedding planning has become a growing profession and professional event planners are always in high demand. With the glamorization
of celebrity weddings, reality TV, and cable wedding shows, the professional wedding and event planning has become a dream career for many.
Technology has made a time and money-saving impact on event planning decisions allowing more to be spent on the actual event. There are vast online resources on wedding and event information. Bookmarking websites and blogs of the latest trends have replaced thumbing through bridal magazines.
Individual companies and vendors can be checked for customer feedback via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or other social media outlets.
Couples may have their own website to engage their family and friends, where they can post useful wedding information and respond to questions and suggestions. Meanwhile, the professional wedding planner is still the most trusted to coordinate the numerous vendors and ensuring the entire event is seamless and memorable.
The wedding industry is one of the fastest growing markets in America today. It is a $70 billion business that employs around 800,000 people. Since the
80’s businesses and entrepreneurs have shaped the industry by introducing a vast range of innovations that have transformed the wedding culture from a simple family celebration to a formal lavish occasion.
Through the wealth of information available, brides today adopt a sophisticated approach when planning their wedding. After viewing countless websites they have high levels of expectation for their own once-
in-a-lifetime event. Sometimes they launch into their own preparations by purchasing a do-it-yourself wedding package, only to find their energies run
out as their stress levels rise.
Many brides hire a wedding planner only after they realize they should be the host of their wedding day and not the one attending to the last-minute behind-the-scenes details. More and more brides rely on the assistance of a professional wedding planner to execute their vision of a perfect day.
Wedding planners need excellent organization and “multi-tasking” skills. Above all, they need to be good communicators, be able to deal with the unexpected, and have problem-solving skills.
Experience in event organization, hospitality, and catering is valuable. Training in project management, marketing or public relations is an added bonus.
It is important to realize wedding planning is a seasonal business. Be conscious of the popular wedding season in your area, to enhance your business opportunities. Many people desire a June wedding while very few care to be married in January.
Make sure you know the demand for National holidays such as Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day, and Fourth of July, which often result in long weekends.
Your location will also determine how seasonal your business will be. Warmer climates tend to have a longer wedding season, while colder
climates generally have a somewhat shorter season.
Areas of the country lucky enough to experience four distinct seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, will usually have a bridal season of
about 8 – 9 months. In the United States the colder months of November, December, and January are usually slower.
The bridal season, for most areas, begins each year in January after many brides-to-be have received their engagement rings over the Christmas/New Year holidays. Bridal shows begin in January and run through to May and usually disappear for the busy wedding season, June – August. They pick
up again in September and October.
In some parts of the world, the opposite will occur. For example, Arizona has a high percentage of weddings during the colder months and a slower season during the summer months. This is because of the extreme heat their summer brings. Bridal couples do not consider it comfortable to host
their guests in a sweltering 100+ degrees.
How to Work with a New Bridal Client
The Event Planning Process
Good event planning is like having a good road map. It should ensure the final destination and the BEST way of getting there.
The Planning Process, Vital to the Success of Any Event Consists of:
1. Concept development (what are the expectations?)
2. Planning tools, including a budget (what do you have to work with?)
3. Turning the vision into reality (how well do you manage the process?)
We have broken down the event planning process into what we call D4 Analysis.
• Determine and set expectations
• Data evaluation
• Design production
D1: Determine And Set Expectations
Successful business agreements require sound practice and good communication skills to establish client expectations during the initial meetings.
Be honest. Be up front about difficulties and how you will address them. Ask questions so you know what your client expects of you. It is better to under- promise and over-deliver than the other way around.
Remember, you are building your reputation as a professional event planner with every new client. Make sure you utilize every opportunity to set yourself up for success not failure.
As a professional wedding planner you will not only attend to the expectations of the future bride, but you must also address the expectations of your client’s family members as well as your network of preferred vendors.
A bride’s wedding day is one of the most important days of her life. Your goal as her wedding planner is to offer the bride and her family peace of mind that even the smallest detail will be attended to.
A bride and her family should be able to enjoy the occasion, leaving all details, challenges and project management issues to you.
Your ultimate goal is to assist the bride and guide her in the “right” direction, which will be different for every bride. You must be a good listener and know how to ask the “right” questions. Ask the bride to
explain her vision of her ideal wedding day. Pay close attention to her requirements.
Even though the marriage is a commitment between the bride and groom, whether they like it or not they are also marrying into each other’s families. This starts with the engagement. A bride’s decision to hire a wedding planner may cause tension with family members and even close friends.
Everyone has their own expectations of how they believe a wedding should be and will probably voice their opinions and advice. A wedding planner is there to help the bride and to sometimes ward
off opinionated loved ones.
Keep in mind you are working for the bride. During your first meeting with her make sure you ask about family expectations and her feelings about them. This will help you navigate your processes to alleviate any problems throughout the planning stages.
D2: Data Evaluation
You will need to gather basic information such as names of the bride and groom, the wedding date, time, estimated budget and number of guests. You can begin by asking if the couple has already decided on a location or if they have an idea of the style of wedding they desire.
Instruct the bride to list her priorities first, and then ask what she is flexible on. Utilize a bridal client profiling form and questionnaire to help gather this information. A profiling form details the items she needs and incorporates specific notes and details.
Develop a form that works best for the way you work.
It should be a tool to streamline the process while you are speaking with her. Various online forms are available to record the information which can be easily checked and reviewed as the planning process continues.
Many consultants or wedding planners develop a formula of questions to ask each bride during the interviewing process. This formula helps to establish the bride’s vision and extend it to express the couple’s unique personalities in a creative way.
Once you have compiled the information it is time to plan the big day and start researching the market for the couple’s special requirements.
D3: Design Production
The fundamental process for planning an event encompasses many phases leading up to the event, the day of the event, as well as when the event is over.
This fundamental process is broken down into six (6) areas we call A6:
Anticipation is created once the word gets out that a celebration has been planned. This is accomplished through announcements, invitations, and buzz through social sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Arrival refers to the travel logistics, accommodations, and experiences getting to the event. As a professional planner you will need to assist with plans for transportation for the couple, bridal party, and guests.
From a design perspective arrival also includes what the guests will see and experience as they arrive at the event location. What will guests see when they arrive and who will be greeting them?
Atmosphere includes everything that surrounds guests during the event. Designing what the guests will see, hear, taste, and touch are
all part of the event design. From the tables, chairs, walls, ceiling, and floor. What sort of atmosphere can you create to enhance the event experience and make it memorable?
Appetite is addressed by the selection of the food at the event and how well the menu has been planned. Satisfying all the taste buds is the goal when providing a variety of interesting foods for guests to enjoy. Consideration for special diet needs such as allergies, gluten,
or vegan, should not be overlooked or ignored in addition to providing a variety of options
for all to enjoy.
Amusement includes the entertainment at an event. From DJs to dancing to the departures, entertainment is a big part of the planning process of a social event. It’s what helps to get the party started and the guests interacting.
Appreciation is shown at a wedding or social event through the selection of favors the guests will be given when the event is over. Thank
you notes are also an additional way to show appreciation and should be included as the final step of the event planning process. Many elect to donate to a local charity as a way to show their gratitude and appreciate for celebrating their special event.
When you have your couple’s blueprint for a perfect wedding, it is time to start selecting and making contact with suitable vendors.
Vendors like to deal with a professional who knows what the couple wants. Even if you are not sure exactly what is needed, at least you will have
done enough research to establish the right direction to take.
When dealing with a vendor, keep in mind the vendor is the expert in their field. If you work with the best, most reliable and most talented vendors, your business will be a success. This requires developing valuable professional relationships with good vendors and managing this relationship.
Having solid relationships with your vendors makes you more efficient as a wedding planner.
Do your research. Develop a network of vendors who provide excellent service. Talk to more than one vendor in each industry. As with wedding planners, vendors rely heavily on their reputations to be successful. Obtain samples, get price list contracts, and check references.
Know your market. Vendors want to work with planners they can trust will understand their business as well as the event & wedding industry. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with their company before you arrange to meet them. When you meet them, think carefully what you can do for each other, after all
you do have a shared interest. You cannot present a vendor to a couple if you haven’t taken the time to research each vendor and all options available.
Be professional and learn as much as you can
from your vendors. Your bridal clients will appreciate your wealth of knowledge and the expertise of the vendors you chose to help represent your business.
“Your business is only as good as your worst vendor…
so be selective!”
Delivery refers to directing and coordinating your client’s wedding day as close as possible to the proposed plan. As in any business, delivering on your promises is the key to being successful.
Whether you are providing basic consultations, coordinating vendors, or overseeing the actual event, make sure you honor all your commitments. Always keep the word-of-mouth buzz about your business positive and productive.
Every wedding and social event is a project to be managed from the moment you take on a new client to delivery of the “big day.”
The Basic Project Management Process:
1. Define a clear vision and outcome
2. Identify all involved parties
3. Understand the needs of the key stakeholders (everyone who has a direct interest)
4. Develop a plan that will ensure success. This includes both an event logistics plan and a timeline
5. Ensure nothing “falls through the cracks”
6. Develop measures for success for both the event logistics and the event planning timeline
7. Ensure clear communication throughout the entire process
8. Identify and manage risks associated with the event
Take a team approach to achieving the outcome, and ensure everyone on the team has what they need to be successful.
Cover All The Details
1. Clarify the goals of your bridal couple:
A. Identify specific outcome(s)
B. Identify key people/participants (i.e. bridal party members, parents, grandparents, special guests etc.)
C. Identify client needs and wants through interviews, meetings and surveys
D. Identify deliverables (i.e. what will be produced and delivered)
E. Agree on measures of success for
the event, and how each will be captured
F. Identify constraints associated with the event (i.e. cost, duration, budget, etc.)
Identify assumptions being made regarding the event (i.e. everything will be on time; there will be wet- weather alternatives; no-one will get sick)
2. Identify the event team, including:
A. Client(s) parents
B. Wedding vendors
C. Venue specialists and on-site support
D. Administrative support personnel
E. Ushers and hosts
3. Wedding day timeline:
A. Develop draft timeline and deliverables
B. Submit wedding day timeline for approval. Revise as needed
C. Determine which vendors will participate
D. Determine material/supplies/props/rental needs to support the event
4. Venue selection:
A. Evaluate potential venues and recommend the best site
B. Confirm site selection, and administer
appropriate contracts with the venue
C. Arrange for site set-up and breakdown
D. Make hotel arrangements as needed
5. Develop event plan and timeline to include:
A. Acknowledgement of relevant policies, procedures, contracts etc.
B. Any pre- and post-event activities
C. Event facility requirements and layout
D. Travel support and administrative activities (i.e. air travel, hotel directions etc.)
E. Administrative activities, approvals, documentation requirements etc.
F. Pre-wedding preparation for participants
G. Pre-wedding day to-do lists
H. Wedding day material development, production and shipment to site (programs, menus, readings, etc.)
I. Post-wedding day action items
J. Post-wedding day administrative items (i.e.. managing invoices, rental returns etc.)
6. Develop a risk management plan to include:
A. A prediction of the type of risk,
the degree of danger, and possible consequence
B. Identification of how risks will be
controlled through required actions
C. A RASCI chart showing responsibilities and interdependencies within the plan (see below for more details)
7. Develop a communication plan with management tools to include:
A. Initial consultation questionnaire
B. Design board/display to communicate to clients and vendors describing the event vision/design
C. Timeline of tasks to be completed and by whom
D. Copies of all contract/s outlining services of vendors involved
E. Wedding day timeline for specific participants and vendors
F. On-site signage, travel maps and assistance (e.g. with hotels, travel directions etc.)
With all the pressures on the wedding planner to deliver a perfectly planned and memorable wedding, the D4 Analysis process plays an important part in keeping a professional wedding planner on track.