Ever thought of becoming a wedding planner and you just don’t know where or how to start? Well, Wedding and Function has got you covered with the 101 plan to get you started.
To become the best and trusted wedding planner you need to do the following:
Step 1: Attend a Training Program
Step 2: Develop a Business Plan and Obtain Licensing
Step 3: Get an internship at a wedding planning company
Step 4: Volunteer at a wedding planning company if you have limited time
Step5: Consider Certification
What are wedding planners and what do they do?
Wedding planners, also known as the wedding or bridal planners are event planners that focus on the logistics and details of wedding ceremonies and receptions.
Wedding planners assist couples in choosing a venue, choosing a colour theme for the wedding, decorations and attire. Usually, they work with the couple from the first day of planning the wedding until the actual wedding takes place.
Qualities of a wedding planner
Becoming a wedding planner is not as easy as one may think; it requires a lot of time, energy and good communication skills.
Not everyone can become a wedding planner although it seems easy as A, B, C, however, just like any other job; wedding planning requires certain qualities or skills.
12 Qualities of a successful wedding planner
1. Strong organisational skills,
2. Strong communication skills,
3. Strong customer service skills,
4. Group problem-solving skills,
5. Negotiation skills,
6. Proficiency in database and budgeting software,
7. Familiarity with the social network,
8. Must be calm,
10. Must be creative,
11. Must be responsive, and
12. Must be budget savvy
1. Organisational skills
Wedding planners should have strong organisational skills and must remember to keep track of all the payment schedules for all vendors.
A diary should be in the hands of a wedding planner all the time because it is their responsibility to keep track of the timeline that will be spent on the wedding day.
Not only that but they must have detailed notes of each vendor’s contracted products or services, while also managing to inform the couple of what’s been done as well as the next steps.
2. Strong communication skills,
Planning a wedding is a big task that requires strong and excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Wedding planners must be friendly and be able to speak to everyone, from the vendors to the couple – as well as family and friends.
3. Must be calm
Wedding planning can be stressful and emotional, however, as the wedding planner you must remain calm at all cost, be professional and pleasant while talking to others or getting your points across.
Communicating professionally and being a people’s person can be a good advantage especially when you are building a professional relationship with vendors.
Finally, you must remember that you are hired to make things easy for those who hired you, so when things don’t go according to plan it is also your job to handle that professionally and calmly.
If you need to inform the bride and the groom about a misfortune, try to do it in a manner that won’t get them freaked out or cause unnecessary stress to your clients.
Remember, when you are calm then everyone else will be calm.
You must pay special attention to detail, be able to answer questions like: what, who, when, where and how. For example, it’s not enough to organise a wedding cake and fail to answer:
• When the wedding cake is going to be baked?
• When it arrives will it still be fresh?
• Who is responsible for delivering the cake, whether it’s the bakery or someone has to fetch it.
• The distance between the bakery and the wedding venue?
You must remember that you are the master of the wedding ceremony, that’s why you were hired, so you must know everything.
5. A negotiator
One of the main reasons why a couple decided to hire you was because they wanted you to make life easier for them. They assume that you will be able to negotiate a contract on behalf of them.
They told you about their budget from the word go; now it is in your hands to give them the wedding of their dreams.
The best of the best may not meet their budget, but you need to do whatever it takes to negotiate a price for them and you must also note that you want to be hired again so you also depend on them for recommendations.
Being able to negotiate the best terms for couples from the beginning will save time and money in the long run.
6. Familiarity with social network and be responsive
In the Morden day, social media is the best advertising method used by small Enterprises and big businesses. Being familiar with the social media network can go a long way for you as a wedding planner because that’s where your clients are based.
When you have been hired to plan a wedding, consider taking a few photos here and there for social media that are shareable to potential clients.
It is important to also note that the key for all social media friends, especially if you run a business is to be always responsive. Take time to answer questions, even if they are not business related, who knows maybe you are answering a question of your next big client.
Social media platforms used by advertisers:
Responding to emails and phone calls is also crucial to the success of your business. Many clients as well as other industry professionals will expect a response within 24 hours, so be sure to respond to all your missed calls and messages.
If you’re unable to do so, due to working an event or being on vacation, having an automated response will work in your favour.
When you don’t respond in a timely manner, it gives others the impression that you’re unprofessional and that their business is not important enough to warrant a response from you.
7. Be creative
Brides spend their time on the internet, search for the best wedding ideas and latest trends.
They want to wow guests and trend on social media, so being a wedding planner who is also creative and able to think outside the box will serve you well amongst today’s brides.
Brides see you as their Jesus saviour who will help them create their dream wedding with unique elements.
8. Must be budget savvy
Although financial discussions can be very awkward, they are necessary to help the bride plan for their perfect wedding.
As the wedding planner, you will be managing your client’s budget, choosing vendors to fit into that budget and it is up to you to explain to them the costs and be truthful and realistic while doing it.
It is very important, to be honest, and upfront with the bride when choosing something more in line with her budget.
Many couples don’t know the cost of flowers, catering and wedding photography or where to find the cheapest one, as the wedding planner, it is your duty to find out all that information and explain to your client thoroughly.
How to become a wedding planner?
You may have all the qualities mentioned above and may also think that you don’t need a qualification to complete the job, well think again.
Let’s be realistic, in the Morden day every job requires a qualification, just because you braided someone’s hair once that doesn’t make you a professional hairstylist without a diploma or certificate.
1. Get formal training
Same as becoming a wedding planner, you need to get formal training in order to learn the details and complexes of wedding planning.
Enrol to complete a diploma in wedding planning. When studying towards achieving a diploma you will learn about contract negotiations, vendor relations, budget management, marketing strategies, and bridal registries. In addition, students learn about the different kinds of wedding ceremonies, attire, and stationery, as well as etiquette at these events.
2. Obtain hands-on experience
While you busy completing a diploma program in wedding planning you can Visit the websites of different wedding planning companies to see if they have any internship opportunities available.
If you can’t find one online, then visit a banquet or event planning internship at a major hotel to get some relevant experience.
You can also help plan your friend’s wedding or someone you know.
You can also volunteer at a wedding planning company. It’s quite impossible for them to say no to your request because by allowing you to volunteer, it’s free work for them and valuable experience to you.
3. Develop a Business Plan and Obtain Licensing
Successful wedding planners need to have a strong portfolio that demonstrates their best work and they normally run small wedding planning businesses. So, drawing up a business plan is essential.
While drafting your business plan, don’t forget to include contracts that include pricing, payment arrangements, as well as other elements the planner wishes to include.
A contract is an important necessity for any wedding planner to ensure that both the planner and the couple are protected legally.
Wedding planners who want to be a self-employed need to register their businesses in order to operate legally.
4. Consider Certification
Getting certification doesn’t mean that you’ll carry your certificate to each and every event you get hired to, but it will play an advantage in the future.
Some volunteer places offer certificates as a token of appreciation that too might play out to your advantage in the future.
5. Maintain good relationships with your professional contacts.
When doing an internship or doing volunteer work the plan is to build professional relationships with relevant people who have more experience in the field, and who might be your potential clients and so on.
Building professional relationships also include companies you’ve interned for, clients, and vendors you’ve worked with.
You must be professional and polite all the time because networking can help you get jobs at wedding planning firms, bring in new clients, and get deals from top vendors.
6. Be prepared to work on weekends and after normal business hours
Wedding and planning business is not for weekend sleepers, if you want to run a successful business you must be willing to work on weekends and after normal business hours.
You must also note that some clients will have full-time jobs so they will need to meet with you outside of business hours.
Also, most weddings are usually on the weekends so you will need to be there to supervise.
Wedding planners must understand that keeping clients happy is the vital goal of the business.
- Expect late night calls with the bride or groom because responsiveness is vital to keeping your clients happy.
- Practice to be calm all the time
- Be a good negotiator
- Master the tool of making your client happy.