January's live wedding planner chat was a blast! Thank you if you were one of the live co-hosts in the chat room (I always learn something new from you. Always!).
We discussed a variety of wedding planner topics. You'll find most of the highlights below, but, to get all of the nuggets of information that come from a live chat session, listening to the audio is your best bet. 🙂
**NOTE: This show was supposed to be about social media. It isn't. I promise we will cover this topic soon (no, seriously, we will).
Selecting a Wedding Planner Niche…or Not
Karisma is looking for help with selecting the right wedding planner niche.
If you decide to focus on a niche as a wedding planner (a very smart move, by the way), make the niche about you and what you're drawn to. Pay attention to what appeals to you; whether it's a certain portion of the wedding planning process or a particular style of wedding or perhaps you're drawn to or are familiar with a specific demographic group.
Pam, on the other hand, would like to do both high-end and low-end weddings in her area. How can she do both?
Whatever you decide to do, take the time to conduct research about the local wedding scene, beforehand. Make sure what you're offering is desired or needed wherever you decide to establish your company. Then, if you decide to, pick a niche and stick with it.
Wedding Day Coordination
Pam wants to know where, exactly, the wedding planner should position him/herself on the actual wedding day.
By following the wedding day production timeline that you've created, not only will you and your team know which wedding activity is scheduled to happen when, but, you'll also know where you, the lead planner, needs to focus your attention and, in turn, where you need to be positioned.
The Truth about Running a Wedding Planning Business
Running your own wedding business is so much more than actually planning weddings. As a wedding business owner-operator, you need:
- To know what happens at a wedding — wedding etiquette, rites and rituals
- A system and a library of checklists and cheat-sheets to plan a wedding from beginning to end
- A written plan to initially start your business and, later on, a plan that explains how you will run the day-to-day operations for your business
- To know how to market and promote your business
- The ability to close the sale with potential clients who show an interest in the services that you provide
Please, please, think through each of the points mentioned above before you jump in and start your own wedding planning business.
Don't underestimate the value of local wedding vendor and venue relationships. You need wedding vendors!
Approaching and hand-picking a few select wedding reception venues is a good thing. Make your initial contact with a venue or vendor about what you can do for them? Let them know that you'd like to send more business their way.
Books Worth Reading (and Listening to)
I love to read, but have so little time to do so. Listening to audio books is the next best thing! To download a free book on Audible — an Amazon company — go to ILoveAudible.com for a free trial.
Here are a few books worth reading:
- Prereeta recommends Online Marketing for Small Business Simplified by the creators of Planning Pod.
- Aretha suggests, Value-Based Fees – How to Charge – and Get – What You're Worth by Alan Weiss
And, here are a few suggestions from my personal Audible library:
- Youtility by Jay Baer
- Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion by Gary Vaynerchuk [LOVE this one!]
- Do It! Marketing – 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition by David Newman [lots and lots of great marketing tips and ideas that you can apply to your wedding business]
A Lesson From a Prominent Wedding Company
Periodically, take a look at other companies (including non-wedding industries) and see if there's a way for you to emulate their process in your wedding company.
Is there a way for you take Sandals' all-inclusive business model and somehow apply that to the way that you plan weddings in your area?
Maybe you put together a package that includes a group of shots by a local photographer, a delicious prix fixe wedding menu from a favorite caterer, car service by a local limo company, and, of course, your wedding day coordination services.
Be sure to price this all-inclusive wedding package so that it covers each vendor's fee (try to negotiate an exclusive price with each vendor that they won't offer to anyone else. Ever!) and promote it at one or two of your hand-picked area venues.
Give it a try! You might surprise yourself. 🙂
Additional Questions & Topics
Here are some of the other comments and questions you'll hear during this episode:
- Becoming a destination wedding specialist
- How to deal with slow-paying clients
- Suggestions for invitation vendor to gain a wedding planner's loyalty
- Feeding wedding vendors on the wedding day
Here's a list of the links mentioned in this episode
- Free AudioBook Download – Download a FREE audiobook, visit ILoveAudible.com
- Start your Wedding Business – Discover how to start and run your own wedding day coordination company, visit WeddingBusinessGuide.com
- Join the Association of Bridal Consultants – Learn more about the Association of Bridal Consultants (and about being a destination wedding planner), visit BridalAssn.com
- Got a Question or Comment for an Upcoming Confetti Episode? Call the Listener Talkback Line 202-681-2126 or visit the ‘Ask Debbie' page