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How to Plan your Clients’ Wedding Like a Pro – WFAL332

During this episode I share the system that I follow when planning my client’s wedding.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this is the only way to plan a wedding. In fact, I’m willing to bet that you have your very own way of doing things. But believe me when I tell you that this system makes the wedding planning process (and my life) so much easier.


Here’s the 25-step system that I use whenever I’m hired to plan a wedding for a client.

  1. Have client(s) sign wedding planner contract
  2. Send clients a welcome packet
  3. Conduct first client meeting
  4. Create client file
  5. Conduct Client Design meeting
  6. Research & brainstorm design concepts/ideas
  7. Create design proposal and present to clients
  8. Engage/Hire event designer (this could be you!)
  9. Have client(s) review and sign event design contract
  10. If you’re the event designer, add design tasks to your Master Timeline
  11. Begin to Research Wedding Vendors
  12. Narrow down vendors (3 per category)
  13. Schedule client vendor meetings
  14. Help client(s) finalize wedding vendor selections
  15. Have client(s) review and sign individual wedding vendor contracts
  16. Transfer wedding vendor contract info to Master Timeline and Wedding-Day Production Schedule
  17. Conduct ongoing wedding planner tasks
  18. Create Wedding-Day Production Schedule
  19. Send Production Day Schedule to Wedding Vendors (for approval)
  20. Conduct Pre-Wedding vendor meeting
  21. Stock-up Wedding Day Emergency Kit
  22. Direct Wedding Rehearsal
  23. Pre-Wedding ‘huddle’ with my event team
  24. The Big Day!! Follow the Wedding Day Production Schedule
  25. Follow-up with clients, wedding vendors and my event team

Whether you plot your steps on paper or keep track of everything electronically, the key thing here is to document and systematize whatever wedding planning method works for you.


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TryFreedomVOICE – This is an affordable and simple way to elevate your wedding business.  Impress your potential and existing clients with a professional, virtual telephone system.  You can even use it as a Wedding Guest RSVP service (Yup! That’s one more wedding service that many of your clients will happily pay you for!!)  Click here to learn more and start your FREE 30-day trial.

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Comments on How to Plan your Clients’ Wedding Like a Pro – WFAL332

This Post Has 13 Comments
  1. Debbie, great show as always. I am more interested in knowing more about how you conduct the wedding design portions for the client. I too do not believe at this time, I can hang drapery, or do the actual work of designing the day of the wedding, but would like to know more on the process of how you outsource for design. Is more info on the wedding business guide website? I plan to subscribe in the near future.

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Thanks for writing. I have to be honest, I am NOT the wedding design guru. The Wedding Business Guide does not focus in that area, either. Check out The Institute of Wedding and Event Design (IWED) at They’re the wedding design experts. Also, if you haven’t done so already, listen to Confetti Episode #224 which focuses on their course.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  2. I have a question regarding the contract and budget of the client. So the client is signing a contract for you to help them plan their wedding? If I charge $3,000 for my services I need to make sure they can pay me that and still have a big enough budget to pay for their wedding?
    Or is my job just to help them plan their wedding with what they can afford?
    When you go over the client budget do you usually have cost estimates of vendors, florists, etc?

    I guess overall, it’s sounds like you were saying to talk budget, your fee and wedding details before you sign the contract? Is there a budget minimum you work with (i.e. only $15,000+)

  3. Debbie,

    Thank you for answering my previous question, it helped so much. I have another question regarding the checklist, do you develop a more detailed timeline with duration times based on when the wedding day is? Or you just check off the list as things get done? I’m an engineer so i’m used to using MS project to layout a project from beginning to end, it helps me ensure I get everything done and to identify the major milestones. But this may be too much for wedding planning.

    Thank you, Yeri Bridgett

  4. Hello Debbie,

    I found your WONDERFUL and INFORMATIVE site by mistake and it is truly a BLESSING for newbies such as myself.

    I am excited about being requested to coordinate my first big wedding. However, I am unsure what to charge a client for my services as it is a last minute request.

    The wedding is scheduled for the second week in July, 2014 with a 150 guest and a bridal party of 19. Nothing has been done or started except for paying for the venue. The venue is located about 50 minutes from my home.

    I am being asked to create a theme for the wedding, design invitations/rsvp cards – including mailing. They want programs and table numbers designed, music/DJ services, find/create favors as well as decorate/coordinate the wedding and reception. Basically, everything that a wedding coordinator is contracted to do. Food and table centerpieces will be done by the client.

    How do I calculate my services at such short notice to make sure that I am being fully compensated for my time and services and ensure that the client has enough money left to pay for their dream wedding?

    I have suggested that they change the date – which they don’t want to do. They do not have a budget calculated yet.

    With literally, a month and some weeks left to plan and arrange the wedding, can you give me some advice or contract verbage to use to protect myself? I don’t want to lose the job, or produce a poorly coordinated wedding/wedding reception.

    Ultimately, I want to make sure that their dream wedding is brought to fruition with a memorable wedding experience had by the couple and the guests. Any advice you can offer is appreciated.

    Thanks for reading.

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  6. I listened to your program today for the first time. It was awesome. You answered many of my questions as a new Wedding and Event Planner. Thanks for having this program. I will certainly use your site often.

  7. Thank you Debbie…Am just about to start planning weddings. Have also included hiring wedding gowns and love couches for the bride and groom. I got your advise on preparing eye catching information pamphlets ,web site and business cards.
    Very soon hope things will be rolling.
    Thank you dear

    1. Hello Peggy,

      Thanks so much for writing. Sounds like you’re rockin’ n rollin’; just, keep going! Happy to help.

      — Debbie 🙂

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