Have you always dreamed of working in the wedding industry and having a job where you get to be creative?
Or maybe you love the idea of working in an industry where we’re such an integral part to the success of a wedding day?
Or perhaps you’re drawn to a career that allows you to work more flexible hours and run your business around your family?
Whatever it is that’s pulling you towards weddings as a career I’d love to help you discover whether or not this is something for you.
Let’s turn that dream into a reality and discover exactly what it takes to become a Wedding Planner.
The Different Roles of Wedding Planning
First up, I want to address the different roles that often get put under the heading of wedding planner as they aren’t all the same thing and can often be confused.
If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a wedding planner, wedding coordinator and wedding designer this will answer that question:
Wedding Stylist or Wedding Designer
A stylist or designer isn’t involved in the planning side of things at all. Instead they look after the aesthetics of the wedding rather than the planning of a wedding. They have an artistic eye and a flair for design and don’t get involved in logistics, time management or negotiation. It’s all about the look and feel of the wedding. They’ll work with colour palettes, linens, florals, décor items, lighting and production. They’re visual storytellers who give the wedding that wow factor.
Day of Planner or Wedding Coordinator
This is a specialised area of weddings where a couple bring in an expert to manage the day of the wedding itself. Everything is usually planned and in place by the time they’re hired. Their responsibility is to make sure everything happens without a hitch on the day itself. This option is great for couples looking to do all the planning but want to hand over the management of the day itself to a professional.
They work on behalf of the wedding venue rather than the couple. They won’t get involved in things like cakes, stationery, guest management, budgeting, timelines and vendor supervision. They’ll show you around a venue, ensure everything is as contracted from the venue perspective and be the liaison between you and the venue, but that is all. Their loyalty lies with the venue and they are not a wedding planner.
Wedding Planner or Event Manager
A wedding planner is usually brought in to manage the entire wedding and will often be the first port of call for a couple. They’re responsible for planning every aspect of the wedding from finding a suitable venue, working with caterers, managing wedding vendors, working to a specific budget and much more besides. They’ll be the one putting out fires behind the scenes, negotiating contracts, managing the production and making sure every ‘T’is crossed and every ‘I’ dotted.
Personality Traits of a Wedding Planner
Before we dive into the traits that are most commonly recognised always remember that everything can be learned. There isn’t anything I’m sharing here that can’t be taught.
One of the things we specialise in here at the Wedding Academy is building knowledge and helping people to take those next steps with confidence.
One of the first modules of our Wedding Planning Course teaches you how to think like a planner and this is where we focus on those traits.
Here’s our top 5 traits that we believe are essential for any successful wedding planner, but remember, this is just scratching the surface. Click here for a more detailed breakdown…
Most planners are natural organisers and live for spreadsheets and lists. They plan everything within an inch of its life and leave nothing to chance. Time management is something that is paramount to the success of a great wedding
Even though your job isn’t about the aesthetics you still need to be able to take a client’s brief and translate that to your vendor team so they understand the theme, style and look.
There’s no problem that is insurmountable as a wedding planner. Thinking on your feet and finding a solution to everything is imperative. Often, it’s about pre-empting the problem before it happens so your client is never aware of any challenges faced.
Being a good communicator is key because it’s your job to manage the team of vendors working the wedding. Managing all the different egos can be challenging and it often comes down to good communication to get the job done. Then of course there’s your client and their family and friends. Being able to calmly and concisely communicate to all parties involved is imperative.
Attention to detail
As a wedding planner you should be able notice details that others won’t. You’ll see when one chair isn’t perfectly aligned with all the rest, if centrepieces aren’t all the same height and if the sun is likely to cause issues later in the day for photos. And that’s just the start of it. You’re paid to make sure every little detail is accounted for.
Building Knowledge & Confidence as a Wedding Planner
Just as you would with any other profession it’s critical that you get educated. Knowledge is important and of course, you’re dealing with the biggest day of a couple’s life, so you need to get it right.
One of the first things we always tell our students to do is to learn who the movers and shakers in the industry are. Follow them on social media, read their blogs, study their weddings and get to know them.
These people are experts in the industry who often share their knowledge and can help you to learn more about the industry as a whole. Your job is be like a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can.
Read design inspired blogs, business blogs for creatives and expose yourself to as much as you can that’s going to expand your knowledge. Google is an amazing tool and will help you identify who these professionals are.
Then of course there’s YouTube. The Wedding Academy hosts a channel and we’ve been posting videos for over 8 years now. Below are our top five picks for you to watch to get started:
- Why Perfectionism will kill your Wedding Business Dreams
- 3 Hacks For Getting Clients for your Wedding Planning Business
- 5 Ways to Fast Track Your Wedding Business
- How to Make Money in Your Wedding Business
- How to Become a Wedding Planner in 2020
Getting Experience as a Wedding Planner
Let me ask you a question. Would you go to a hairdresser who’d never been trained or an accountant who wasn’t certified?
Probably not. So why would you expect a couple to hire a wedding planner who has no qualifications?
Getting certified as a wedding planner shows your potential clients that you know what you’re doing, and it gives you the confidence to do your job well.
Planning your own wedding gives you a small insight into what it takes to be a wedding planner but it’s only a glimpse. There are so many things that happen behind the scenes that nobody considers or even thinks about.
Then of course, there’s the challenges, issues and unforeseen things that get thrown in your path. A trained professional knows how to handle these. They know what to do and how to do it calmly and efficiently.
Getting certified gives you the confidence to plan the biggest day of someone’s life.
Plus, it gives you access to a whole community of professionals all willing to help, advise and jump in when you need support.
At the Wedding Academy we help you to get certified by giving you a step-by-step blueprint to work from. We take you by the hand and show you how to create proposals, put together a portfolio, come up with pricing, manage client consultations and so much more.
And the best bit? You’ll be eligible for all the work experience opportunities we provide around the world. You can put what you learn into practice by taking part in styled shoots, working with our mentors at weddings and getting on the job, hands on experience.
At the Academy you can learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home. Choose from our Certificate courses or opt for the more comprehensive Advanced Certificate Course with our course curriculum:
- Certificate in Wedding Planning
- Certificate in Wedding Styling
- Certificate in Business & Marketing
- Certificate in Floral Design
- Advanced Certificate in Wedding Planning, Styling and Business
Starting your own Wedding Planning Business
Being your own boss can be a bit daunting and overwhelming and it certainly isn’t for everyone. However, if it’s your dream to run your own wedding planning business then the 8 steps below will help you to get started the right way:
- Step 1 Your Business Vision – this is the ‘why‘ behind what you do
- Step 2 Finding Your Niche – you have to narrow down what you do so it’s specific to your client. “Finding your niche” seems to be the catchphrase of the decade right now, but for good reason. Niching helps people find you, but more importantly it helps the RIGHT people find you.
- Step 3 Your Ideal Client – that person who is exactly the type of person you want to work with that totally aligns with who you are and the why behind what you do.
- Step 4 The Emotional Journey – this is your story. The story behind what you do that is then weaved into the story you tell people about your brand. It’s the story that is going to act as the emotional trigger.
- Step 5 Competitive Research & Your Audience – in this step we take a deeper look into your competitors and look for areas of opportunity and we also create your emotionally driven survey (more on that in a minute)
- Step 6 Client Experience – this is the journey your clients go on with you from the moment they first come across your brand to their first wedding anniversary, yes we go that far.
- Step 7 Pricing – you might be surprised to see pricing so far down in the steps but until you have all the other steps worked out you can’t begin to set your services.
- Step 8 Sales Funnel – this might sound a bit techy and boring but believe me when I say your sales funnel will be the key to your marketing and what brings clients to your door, and not just any clients but those clients that were put on this earth to work with you.
Getting Started as a Wedding Planner
The last step in this process is to simply get started. Taking the first step is often the most daunting step of all but it’s also the most important.
Set yourself some achievable goals and then break those goals down into more manageable tasks that allow you to tick things off as you go and feel as though you’ve really achieved something.
Each little thing you do brings you one step closer whether that’s enrolling on a course, doing some research on the industry or just creating a list of things you need to do. Every little step counts.
Here at the Wedding Academy we have so many resources to help you take that next step and we’re here to be your support network, cheerleaders and sounding board.
We have regional mentors that are based around the world and they’re only too happy to chat.
UK and Europe
Zoe started her career as a teacher but decided to make a career change to wedding planner and has recently celebrated ten years in her wedding business. She’s help so many new wedding planners launch their business. CLICK HERE TO BOOK A CALL WITH ZOE
Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia
Jac is owner of super successful wedding plannin franchise, Darling Don’t Panic, and has a team of over 15 wedding planners throughout the region. There isn’t much she doesn’t know about becoming a wedding planner. CLICK HERE TO BOOK A CALL WITH JAC
North America & Africa
Kristin has been a luxury wedding planner for over 20 years as well as launching her very own wedding planner toolkit, Hip Betty. Her knowledge of running a successful wedding business is hard to rival. CLICK HERE TO BOOK A CALL WITH KRISTIN
If you’d like to become a Wedding Planner and are wondering which role will suit you best, take our quiz below to find out. Just click the image to get started.