Please Don’t Make These Newbie Wedding Planner Mistakes! – WFAL397

Learn from my wedding planner mistakes.

When you’re new to an industry you’re bound to make a few mistakes. You don’t know what you don’t know.  And with no shortage of available online information, the endless options can be confusing.

For a newbie wedding planner it is no different.

In this episode I shed some light on some of the mistakes that I  have made so you can avoid making them too.

Listen to the Episode – #397


Additional Show Notes Coming Soon!




  • Very good advice Debbie!

    My business is in the ‘retired portion’ and after the past 3 seasons of back to back wedding weekends, I am cutting back to approximately 2 weddings a month moving into 2017. But — I am 65, fully retired and now have grandbabies 🙂 It IS an ALL consuming industry and you gotta love it! Fortunately I have reached the point where I can be very selective about the weddings/events I choose to take on – interviews with your clients is VERY important — listen to your gut instinct. We are not here to make every bride happy; and I do encourage the client to interview all of their vendors – after all, they are going to make her day run smoothly (or not).

    I had a bride tell me after 6 months of work that she really didn’t like me! Really? after 6 months….2 days later I backed out of contract (which I have also amended after that episode – so keep your contracts in check!). It was 3 months before her wedding and if she wasn’t happy with me now, she sure as heck isn’t going to be happy with me on her wedding day! They had been a difficult couple all along – even at the first meeting (arguing, snide remarks – no affection shown) — I picked up on these things but didn’t listen to myself! Big mistake.

    I bring great vision to my clients about what their event will look like, having a graphic arts background for 40 plus years. I know color – spatial design – what blends and this is my perk! My specialty — offering decor/florals along with Coordinating and Planning — makes for a great one stop shop. But – it is a HUGE responsibility on the day of an event to pull all together, so having a great and dedicated staff behind me that also loves what we do, is very important. I have never just been a Day Of Coordinator — once they see my decor – they see the benefits of one-stop-shop. And – my shop is on our property since we live out of city limits.

    I have gained enough ‘notice’, word of mouth, my Etsy store and instagram followers, that this will be the first year I am choosing not to go to bridal vendor shows. I am currently booked thru July, 2017 and working on the fall….and there is enough business out there for everyone.


    • Hello Kathy.

      I kept nodding my head as I read your comments; thank you. You’re right, weddings can be all-consuming and it’s great when you get to the word-of-mouth stage. We HAVE to be selective about our working relationships and following that initial gut instinct is key.

      I appreciate everything that you’ve shared. Very helpful. Again, thank you.

  • Hi Derby
    Thank you for being truthful.That is a strength
    Have just discovered that i was also caught up in some of your mistakes and will now start trying to walk out of theses one way or the other.
    Have combined wedding planning with hiring of bridal clothes and accesories and its wotking out quite well
    Kathy…thank you for sharing your expertise.You are doing great


    • Hello Peggy. Thank you for your comment and kind words. I actually did a few consignment bridal gowns when I had my commercial space (I know it’s not quite the same thing that you’re working on) which helped to generate more foot traffic. It took a lot more energy than I imagined but was a great learning experience. Hiring a wedding gown and accessories is a cool angle. How are brides in your area responding to that concept?

  • Hi Debbie,

    Absolutely love your personality and talk show.. Good points on mistakes made. I am just about to mention that from my observation and history of my city (Dubai) if you position your company/yourself right out there, you can make enough of money doing wedding planning business full time. It can be a very profitable business, and the lesson I’ve learnt is to be selective with your clients and not to sell myself cheap, even if it means few months without profit, it will pay back eventually. I’d rather do two worthy big weddings a month than 10 small weddings that pay peanuts. So tapping the right clientele is important success factor.

    Love, X

    • Excellent points, Olga! We have to be selective (which is why I’m a HUGE advocate of specializing).

      The thing is, the idea of making money is so subjective, isn’t it? What exactly is ‘enough’ for an individual? We each have different needs and goals.

      And if we as newbies take more time to research our local market, we’ll be in a better position to determine whether or not a wedding planning (or any) business is viable and whether or not the projected income is indeed ‘enough’.

      Thank you so much for sharing much-needed advice.

      – Debbie

  • Great episode Debbie! I feel reinvigorated and I’m ready to go to task.
    I have a great niche, I’ve studied the industry, gained valuable work experience, documented my processes, have attractive-looking promotional materials and have visited vendors BUT I overlooked a very important detail…I need to take some business classes! I can’t believe I didn’t give that much thought before starting my business.

    Thank you so much for pointing out the obvious because I NEEDED THAT INFO!

    It’s always a pleasure to listen to you talk!

    Take care,

    • Hello Angela,

      Thanks so much for your comment. It sounds like you’re ready to go! Just remember, it’s never THE perfect time to get started. Sign-up for a class or two, but do whatever you can to get some firsthand experience until your classes begin, okay? Keep going. 🙂

  • Hi Debbie,

    Thank you so much, so helpful, I am new to this business and so excited to get going on this adventure. I really liked what you said about specialising and maybe I can do this to keep myself above others. I have a Bachelor of Fine Art and love all things macramé and I have designed Wedding backdrops, hanging chandeliers which look great for outdoor or beach events. I realise this will be slow in getting established but will go around locally and give my business cards out or advertise locally to attract local business, Thank you for this great web site too, I will revisit often for more advice, Rhonda.

    • Hello Rhonda,

      Great hearing from you! Wonderful to hear that you’re finding the information helpful. Remember wedding planning is a very personal service. Make sure the people in your area know who You are. Be sure to project your personality in all of your marketing efforts.

      Keep going!

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