“How to become a wedding planner” is a question frequently asked by people who are considering a wedding planning career. People will never stop getting married. In the meantime, we are more and more busy with our jobs and lives. So, the wedding planner jobs will always be in high demand. If you decide to become a wedding planner and be an integral part of other people’s most important days, you should make sure you know what it takes and how to become a wedding planner.
Usually, people start their wedding planning career planning smaller weddings as a coordinator or an assistant wedding planner. This often leads to a self-employed career in future. Beginner wedding planners aim to gain experience, develop their business skills, create networks of partners and vendors, expand their customer base and promote themselves in the wedding planning market before starting their own business.
A wedding planner is always surrounded by people. You need to have strong empathy skills to understand what your clients actually want and develop clients’ ideas to fit the overall wedding vision. Wedding planners create detailed concepts based on clients’ preferences and expectations. It’s also your job to guide your client by offering relevant services, setting deadlines, creating budgets and helping to find the right vendors for their wedding.
Wedding planners think about every detail of all stages of the wedding – the preparations, ceremony, reception and after-wedding tasks. Helping select the perfect wedding venue based on the clients’ ideas is one of the biggest and most complicated tasks. You will also need to book caterers, florists, photographers and videographers as well as think about perfect entertainment for the guests.
Wedding planners help to organize stationery (RSVP cards, invitations, place cards, menus, table plans, etc.). Sometimes you will also need to book accommodation for the guests, find the right makeup and hair artists for the bride and the bridal party, and help to plan a honeymoon. All these elements can be quite overwhelming for a beginner in the wedding business. This is why many of the wedding planners start from the simpler role of wedding coordinator. Read on to learn more about this position.
How to become a wedding coordinator
To understand how to become a wedding coordinator, let’s have a look at the work and the tasks of this position. It’s way simpler. Wedding coordinators don’t plan, they just execute on the day of and maybe a couple of days before. The main task of a wedding coordinator is to ensure that the wedding day runs smoothly and that all the arrangements made will become a reality.
Wedding coordinators oversee every organizational detail on the day of the wedding. The only planning they might do is to create the day-of wedding timeline. Before the wedding, they have to confirm logistics with the vendors and provide all the important information to them. Directions, arrival and setup timing, parking information, venue rules, etc. are especially useful to them.
If you plan to become a wedding coordinator, analyze your skills and abilities first. Wedding coordinators are responsible for all the activities happening at the venue during the wedding day. They help wedding planners or brides to validate all arrangements. They also assist the bride and groom with everything they may need on the wedding day. Wedding coordinators always have a list with all the tasks, timelines and contacts of every person involved in the wedding. They also have a detailed wedding coordinator checklist with all the items which the clients may need, from tissues and perfume to hairspray and phone charger.
Becoming a wedding coordinator is a great step to building a portfolio and getting a hands-on experience. It’s a great development step before you become a wedding planner.
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How do you become a wedding planner
Clients and colleagues often ask me: how do you become a wedding planner? I always suggest they think about the following steps:
- Analyze your market and choose your target audience. This depends largely on the geography and community you will serve. What kind of weddings would you like to plan and organize? What is the size of the weddings, the budget that your clients can afford? What are the wedding venues that you can suggest? Are you going to plan weddings only in your town or will you operate throughout your region? Are you able to plan and organize weddings for over 100 guests? This will help you build a first understanding of what kind of wedding planner to be.
- Select the vendors you will work with. Building a strong and trustworthy network of vendors is a key element of a successful wedding planning business. You should always have a portfolio of vendors’ services to suggest to your clients. Multiple options of services will be your safety net in case someone is already booked for a date you are aiming for.
- Prepare the processes and documents. You will need to create dozens of documents, to-do lists, timelines and schedules, budgets and contracts. Each wedding is unique, and the organizational processes during the preparation stage of the wedding will require lots of time to think about every task and pay careful attention to every detail.
- Develop a minimum portfolio. After any wedding you have planned and organized, make sure you have enough pictures to showcase your work. Get permission from the clients and the vendors to publish your work for the promotion of your wedding planning business. Even a minimum portfolio demonstrating your expertise as a wedding planner will contribute to the first impression your potential clients get. Display your experience and work and let your clients decide to work with you. This is one of the most important steps of how to be a wedding planner.
- Start marketing your services. Create a website introducing the services you offer. Add a gallery of professional photos from previous weddings, testimonials and reviews from the vendors and the clients. Your website should represent the uniqueness of you as a wedding planner. You can also have a promotional video, showing the highlights of your work, and a styled photo shoots of you and your team. You can also market your services through participation in wedding expos, b2b meetings and various networking activities. A strong partnership with vendors and suppliers is an important step to promote your business.
These are the main steps of how to become a wedding planner. Make sure you follow them when you start your successful career as a wedding planner. Starting out is quite easy as you see. Staying in business is more difficult. Let’s have a look at what it takes to be a successful wedding planner.
What does it take to be a wedding planner?
A wedding planner needs excellent sales and negotiation skills, ability to solve unexpected problems and manage projects and budgets. Wedding planners need perfect organizational and communication skills and ability to work under huge pressure. They need strong customer care skills and must be able to meet deadlines. They need to know plenty of things about etiquette, cultural traditions and wedding customs.
Profound knowledge in such business topics as pricing, billing, marketing and public relations is hyper-important. Wedding planning business requires knowledge in document management. You will be creating contracts and managing the financial part of the wedding making sure the clients stay within budget. A wedding planner will also need exceptional negotiation skills to get the best prices from the vendors, venues and suppliers. Again, each wedding is unique, so a wedding planner usually spends huge amounts of time working on every detail of an upcoming wedding.
Wedding planners also need to be mobile and flexible. In many cases you will be meet the clients directly to discuss their ideas, requirements and budget.
Do you need a degree to be a wedding planner?
You don’t need a degree to be a wedding planner. Some people prefer earning a degree in hospitality management, but still, there is no need to get formal education and training. It is much better and more effective to learn the skills on-the-job taking part in the organizational and planning processes of a real wedding. You can also take courses at private schools. They are available in many countries.
But the most effective approach is to get the skills and knowledge required for a wedding planner job online through courses offered by professional party and event planners who will tell you everything based on their own experience of real events and weddings. You can participate in online courses, get all the knowledge quickly and start getting hands-on experience. Magic Day offers a free introductory no-strings-attached class to help you understand this business better. Majority of our students said it was better than any other courses they found online. Sign up now to see for yourself!
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How long does it take to become a wedding planner?
Wedding planner courses may last from several days to several months. The perfect option is to take wedding planner courses online and get all the necessary theory in a couple of weeks. You will get all document templates and then get to real results in less than a month with our Launch Course. No matter where you are located, it provides all the knowledge you may need to start your career as a wedding planner. Visual information, documents and best practices based on real examples will help you to plan and organize your wedding business. You can learn anytime, all you need is internet access and a desire to become a wedding planner.
What does a wedding planner make?
Choosing a new career as a wedding planner, we surely ask ourselves, “what does a wedding planner make?”. A wedding planners’ income depends on their experience, skills and the niche as well as on their location. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a wedding planner in the US is $44,260 per year. This amount can be higher depending on how long wedding planners stay in the industry, how effective they are in marketing and selling their services.
In the United Kingdom, for example, a wedding planner makes £22,000-£25,000 per year (ca. $26,500-$33,000). In Australia, the wedding planner’s salary amounts 52,441 Australian dollars, which is ca. US$38,000 per year. What does a wedding planner make in Europe? Here, the salaries are higher: the average pay for an event manager in Germany is €36,156 annually, which is ca. $42,300. The average event planner salary in Italy is €41,511 or an equivalent hourly rate of €20 ($23,5).
Wedding planner is a great profession that keeps you growing all the time and earns you a nice income. Want to learn more? Take our free introductory course now! It’s less than an hour long and will help you understand better if this is the right job for you.