How to Become a Wedding Planner
Are you super organized? Do you have a knack for planning? Are you a perfectionist? Do you love design? Do you love…love? If you answered yes to these questions, your future might be in wedding planning. Here are some tips on how to become a wedding planner:
Many people think that the life of a wedding planner is luxurious and fun. You get to go to parties all the time and dress up, right? Wrong! Truth be told, event planning is tedious. There are endless emails, calls, meetings, paperwork, problem-solving, people pleasing; we could go on for days. Wedding planning takes commitment and persistence. The hours are long and your weekends no longer belong to you. But, if you have the passion for it, it’s the best job in the world!
Weddings are wonderful, fun events, but they can be stressful. Lots of personalities – your couple, family, and friends. Maybe not everyone gets along – you may need to be the peacemaker while the couple focuses on being in the moment and enjoying their big day. No matter what, everyone just wants to show their support for the happy couple and wants the event to go smoothly. As long as you stay confident and do you what your couple wants, you will succeed. A satisfying feeling is when you know that your client is happy.
Key Skill Sets
In order to be a successful wedding planner you must be very organized, communicate well over the phone, email, and in person; most importantly, you must be able to solve problems quickly. You must have an eye for design and the overall drive to bring an event together. You need to be a people pleaser; you’ll need to go above and beyond to make your clients happy (even if you encounter a bride or groomzilla).
As a wedding planner, you’ll need to be able to keep your cool in all situations. Don’t be afraid to be firm and realistic. Sometimes you may need to let the couple know that their idea is not feasible, but yet you should present them with an alternative option that they will approve of. Keeping the client happy is your number one priority; after all, they are the ones paying the bill, right?
Plan a Wedding
In order to get real experience, you will need to plan a wedding. It can be your friend’s, co-workers, or anyone in your network that is looking for a great steal. You don’t have to be getting married either (although it does help if you’re making real phone calls and involved in real negotiations). There is really no substitute for hands-on experience so be mindful of how you feel throughout the process. Is this bringing you anxiety or joy? Do you feel stressed out or relaxed? These feelings are important to understanding if this is really the right career for you.
Join a Professional Wedding Planner Organization
There are several professional organizations dedicated to wedding planning such as the Association of Bridal Consultants, American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, and the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. Look at each one and decide which is the right fit for you based on your location and branding. These organizations do charge membership fees of around $200/year.
While becoming a wedding planner doesn’t require any degree or certification, there are training programs that offer credentials that can help you land a job or show credibility. Most of the professional organization mentioned above offer credentialing and certification programs.
Never Stop Learning
Wedding planning requires a variety of different skill sets including problem-solving, budgeting, and time management. You’ll always be able to learn and improve in some area so always be looking for opportunities to grow as a wedding planner. Attend conferences and networking events to stay on top of an ever-changing industry.
Join a Company
Many aspiring wedding planners start off by joining a company as an assistant or on-site event support to learn the ropes before you commit to this career. On-site assisting is a great way to see behind the scenes and learn how to handle a multitude of situations. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet with wedding planning, many planners graduate and form their own company. There are many risks and benefits to starting your own wedding planning company. We could go on and on about this so let’s save that for another week’s blog post. Stay tuned!
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