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In Today’s post you will learn how to make money Planning Weddings. If you enjoy planning parties and other events and are looking for more flexibility in and control over your professional life, you might consider a career as a wedding planner. Helping a couple plan and celebrate one of the most important days of their lives is at once demanding and very rewarding. The following steps will give you some points on how to become a wedding planner.
Part 1 Learning about the Wedding and Wedding Planning Industries
- Acquaint yourself with the wedding industry. Before you begin seriously considering whether you want to follow this career path, read up on the wedding industry.
- In the United States the wedding industry is a huge economic force: every year people spend $165 billion on 2.4 million weddings.
- Learn about being a wedding planner. Although there is a huge market for wedding planners to capture, it’s good to acquaint yourself with what it will require of you to be a good wedding planner.
- It offers a lot of flexibility and control over your time.
- You’ll work non-conventional hours. Your clients will likely work 9-to-5 jobs, meaning you’ll be meeting with them in the evening and on weekends.
- Since most weddings take place on Saturdays, you’ll work lots of weekends.
- Know the demands the industry will place on you. Planning weddings is a highly competitive business and comes with many demands in addition to benefits.
- It requires a wide array of knowledge. You’ll need to know how to manage a successful business, pick good suppliers, navigate through one “crisis” after another, and work with inevitable interpersonal dynamics.
- In spite of everything, it can be extremely rewarding. Taking part in someone’s special day is very satisfying, but it’s every bit as demanding as it is rewarding.
- Weddings are always very emotional. You’ll deal with easy-going family members and vendors, but you’ll also encounter the occasional bridezilla and micro-managing mothers and friends.
- It’s physically demanding. You’ll be on your feet for 10-to-15 hours during the wedding. You may have to lift and move furniture and boxes. You may have to help a drunk guest to a chair.
- Don’t expect instant success. It takes 2-to-4 years to reach profitability.
- It will take some time to build your client base and accumulate experience and references, all required to be profitable.
Part 2 Considering Your Path
- Consider whether being a wedding planner is the right choice for a career. After you have learned some of the basic facts of the wedding industry and being a wedding planner, think about whether pursuing this career path is right for you and your lifestyle.
- Are you able to handle the physical demands? Do you like your weekends free? Can you be available for your clients at all times, in some cases even when you’re on vacation?
- Think about whether being a wedding planner fits your personality. Client and vendor management is a significant part of the job.
- Can you handle the emotional demands? Are you able to deal positively with all sorts of people? Are you shy or extroverted? You’ll need to be able to interact constructively with almost anyone.
- Consider whether being a wedding planner fits your financial needs. The range in income for wedding planners is anywhere from $15,000 a year to more than $100,000 a year, depending your reputation, how you advertise, where your business is located, and the types of services you offer.
- Commit to a decision. Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of the very rewarding and demanding landscape of being a wedding planner, you can make a decision about continuing on this career path.
Part 3 Building Your Skill Set
- Consider your experience. As you slowly start to establish your business, consider the professional and personal experiences you can apply to your new career path.
- Do you have experience in event planning? Maybe you excel at throwing birthday and dinner parties. This is experience you can apply to being a wedding planner.
- If you don’t have any real experience in planning events, you’ll likely want to get some education and experience under your belt before you start planning weddings full-time.
- Educate yourself. Although there is no formal certification required to be a wedding planner, having some practical knowledge of the business can improve your chances of success.
- There are many options for education as a wedding planner. You can take online courses or classes at a local college.
- Wedding conferences and expos may also offer some form of training that could provide you with certification.
- Get certified as a wedding planner. Having a certificate showing that you’ve completed a course in wedding planning or joined an association of professional wedding planners will help legitimize you and your business in the eyes of potential clients.
- Both the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners and The Association of Bridal Consultants offer certifications.
- Read trade and popular publications. Reading wedding industry publications like Brides magazine as well as popular books and magazines such as Martha Stewart Weddings will give you good pointers on wedding trends, successful wedding plans, and etiquette conventions.
- It’s a good idea to read business publications, too. These will help you think about your own business structure and how to make it successful.
- Attend wedding conferences and expos. These events will further your knowledge of wedding trends as well as successful business models.
- They’ll also give you the chance to network with other wedding planners.
- Attend weddings. Observing the weddings of family members and friends will give you ideas on what — and what not — to do in planning a successful wedding.
- Use such occasions to network casually with potential clients and vendors. Just don’t let networking diminish the occasion: you’re there mainly to celebrate the newly married couple.
Part 4 Building Your Resume
- Gather experience as a wedding planner. Having hands-on experience with wedding planning will give you practical knowledge that you can use for your business.
- You’re likely to get references from colleagues and suggestions for clients as well.
- Intern with a wedding planner or event-planning firm. This will supplement any formal knowledge you have and give you practical experience working in the field.
- Your boss can also act as a reference for you with potential clients.
- Internships are often unpaid. The experience you gain will be more valuable than a paycheck.
- Your boss could wind up a long-term mentor as you rise through the profession.
- It might be useful to take a job with a smaller company at first. This will give you the chance to work in all aspects of wedding planning and greatly increase your knowledge.
- Plan events for friends and family at no cost. This will give you the valuable hands-on experience you need — to say nothing of the chance to prospect for clients at the same time. Use these friends and family members as references.
- Be sure to take photos of any event you work on for your portfolio and future marketing efforts. Use these images on your website or in brochures.
- Network with other wedding planners and potential clients and vendors. Having a list of people whom you can ask questions, draw upon for services, or who are interested in hiring you will put your business on the path to success even in its infancy.
- You can meet appropriate people almost anywhere, especially at industry conferences, wedding expos, vendor shops, and, of course, at weddings.
- Never stop practicing interpersonal skills as you develop your network.
Part 5 Establishing Your Business
- Establish your business. You’ll need to be a legal entity to legitimize your business. Formalizing a business structure, developing a marketing strategy, and establishing a billing structure will show potential clients that you are a serious businessperson.
- If you have any questions, consult the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which was set up to help smaller companies.
- Collect the appropriate licenses, certificates and insurance. The SBA and local authorities can help you if you have any questions.
- Setting up your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also important.
- Create short- and long-term business plans. This is an important step as you develop your business. Make these plans flexible to accommodate any contingency (such as illness or a lawsuit).
- Find a mentor for you and your business. Having an experienced mentor who knows the ins and outs of the wedding and wedding-planning industries will help you grow your business.
- This person can offer invaluable advice on pricing, dealing with difficult clients or vendors, and how to hire staff.
Part 6 Building Your Business
- Consider your services. Wedding planners often offer services beyond overseeing the details of weddings. Perhaps you would like to help plan the bride’s shower or the newly married couple’s honeymoon.
- If you decide to offer additional services, you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of the latest trends in those areas. You can find this kind of information in the same trade publications mentioned above.
- Set up a price structure. Think about how much you want to charge for your services. Knowing this information in advance will make you appear more professional when you meet with potential clients.
- Asking other wedding planners or inquiring what other companies charge will give you a point of reference.
- Make sure your prices are commensurate with your experience and your location. Weddings in Buffalo don’t cost as much as they do in New York City.
- Set up an invoicing and payment system. Once you know your price structure, you can think about how to invoice your customers and the types of payment you will accept.
- Have a separate bank account for your business from the one you use for personal finances.
- Have separate credit lines, too.
- Make sure every aspect of your pricing and billing is transparent to clients and vendors. Maintaining fair business practices is vital to your success.
- Make a portfolio of your work that shows off your style. This will be one of many calling cards you can show potential and actual clients. It will also help vendors better meet your needs.
- Having something that distinguishes you from other planners will attract clients to your business.
- Take pictures of any wedding-planning activities you do, and consistently update them.
- Offer different styles of weddings for the wide array of tastes and budgets people will have.
- Set up a marketing strategy. Successful advertising will help you attract clients and build your professional network.
- Using print media — brochures, a website, or ads in publications — is one way to market yourself.
- Appearing at wedding conventions is another way to market your services.
- Getting involved in community activities is a type of free marketing. Donating a service or making a contribution to charity sends a message to the public you want to serve.
- Consider whether you want or need to hire staff to assist you. In the early stages you may be the only person on staff. You simply may not be able to afford to hire anyone.
- If you decide to hire help, you’ll look for someone who’s professional, experienced with weddings, and can help you grow your business.
- Continue building your networks. They will grow as you gather experience. It’s important to continue making new contacts. Your success depends on it.
- Consider partnering with other businesses to benefit each other.
- Use several different vendors for a given service. If you run into an emergency or have a bad experience with one company, you can turn to others.
- Continue your education. Weddings are a very trendy business. Being aware of current trends and continuously accumulating all types of pertinent knowledge is important to your continued success.
- The best ways to continue your education are the same as when you first started out: read trade publications, attend weddings, and network with other wedding planners.
- Enjoy yourself! You’ve taken the steps to be a wedding planner. Remember to enjoy the chance to be part of a couple’s special day.
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