What are the first steps you should take to be a wedding planner? Should you try to secure an internship with an established local wedding business? Is it okay to start planning weddings without being a certified wedding planner?
If you’re not quite sure where to begin and you want to be a wedding planner, this episode is for you!
Although there are several routes you can take to be a wedding planner, here are the steps that I believe will help you get there faster.
1. Have a firm understanding of weddings – before you rush to get your wedding planner business cards printed and/or launch your wedding business website, make sure you’re knowledgeable about weddings. Get some hands-on experience planning events for friends and family in exchange for rave reviews and event photos.
2. Seriously consider a specialty or niche – Many of the successful wedding planners that you hear about have managed to carve out their own little corner in the wedding industry – green weddings, same-sex weddings, vintage weddings, small weddings… Being a wedding specialist will save you time and money when it comes to marketing, promoting your brand and much more.
3. Start meeting local wedding vendors – Spend time talking to the people who have the inside scoop on the weddings in your area. Caterers, venues, photographers, florists. A big part of what a professional wedding planner does is make suggestions to couples who are getting married. Get a head start now! And besides, these very same vendors are likely to send you your very first clients.
4. Look for and join an association – Surround yourself with like-minded people. That could mean other wedding pros, but not always. You can learn lots from other non-wedding entrepreneurs, too! Go to a meeting or two as a guest. And then, when you find a group that you’d like to be a part of, sign-up and get involved. Be part of or even offer to head a committee. After all, being a wedding planner means being a leader, too.
5. Get your wedding planner certification (optional). – Being a certified wedding planner lets everyone around know how serious you are. Just make sure that the course you sign up for delivers. Talk to former and existing students to get the ‘real deal’.
6. Then, (and only then) work on getting your wedding planning business off the ground or begin your job search if you want to work for an established wedding company. Write a business plan (doesn’t have to be overly complicated), determine your pricing, create your wedding planner contract, map out your business operation–i.e. how/where you’ll meet your clients, how you’ll deal with clients contacting you while you’re working your full-time job, etc.–and launch your wedding planning business.
If the idea of planning weddings as an employee sounds more appealing, if you’ve followed most the steps listed (1 – 6), you’re miles ahead of the other candidates that will likely apply for the same wedding planner jobs that you do.
Keep in Mind…
Even though I’ve numbered the list, you’ll likely take some of these steps simultaneously. So, for example, I’m not suggesting that you must wait until you join an association before getting your wedding planner certification. Instead, use these steps as a starting point if you truly have no idea where to begin your wedding planner journey.
Just like planning a wedding becoming a wedding planner involves managing a couple of different things while working on something else.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
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