Ah yes. The white princess ballgown dress. The suit. Bridal party. Flowers. Décor. The theme and colour scheme for the day. And of course, the cake. For months, the bride (and groom) make decisions about what they want, their absolute must-haves, and ensure that their day goes off without a hitch. But before they seal it with a kiss, a lot of planning and coordination goes into creating the perfect day. This is where you, as the fairy godmother (wedding planner) come in. Let’s discover all there is to know about wedding planning as a career.

What is a wedding planner?

A wedding planner is someone who plans a wedding. They are the individual the couple has hired to help them plan, organise, and manage their wedding. You are responsible for choreographing the event and ensuring you have arranged everything in place for the smooth running of the day.

What does a wedding planner do?

As a wedding planner, you can either provide:

  • Full wedding planning services – taking care of all details and arrangements for the wedding day
  • Semi-wedding planning services – this means you take care of some of the arrangements and the clients organise the rest
  • On-the-day services – here, all you do is provide support on the wedding day

Each service you provide your clients comes with its own set of tasks and responsibilities. Some couples want small weddings, and others want a large, grand, and lavish affair. It’s very important for you to be clear from the outset about what services you’ll be providing so that no overlapping and miscommunication happens leading up to the big day or on the day itself.

Wedding planning is the culmination of seeing the bride, groom, and their friends and family happily taking in the day is worth the months of hard work, tears, (yours and the bride’s), late-night panic calls, and fixing messes. But before they say, ‘I do’, you need to sign your first client.

Basics to start your career as a wedding planner

Most wedding planners are self-employed or in other instances, work for established events and planning companies before branching off on their own.

  • Create a business and marketing plan. Decide what kind of wedding planning services you want to offer, your company structure (will you outsource staff for on the day), your strategy, financial plan, and more. You are offering a service but are also running a business.
  • Develop your brand profile and image. Take time to create an attractive website, social media profiles, and a blog. These tell people who you are, and what you do. As your business grows, update this with client testimonials of weddings you have planned.
  • Get experience. If you’re new to the industry, the first thing you need to do is land a job to get some experience. You could work for a catering company, in a bridal boutique, for a florist, or in hospitality. Wherever you get your foot in the door, soak up the knowledge, and ask questions.
  • Grow your network. Your network is more than the clients you’ll sign, although this is important too. Growing your network includes building relationships with venues, suppliers, vendors, photographers, and other wedding planners. Here, you share resources and can hear about upcoming weddings that you can pitch for.
  • Arm yourself with knowledge. Learn. Learn. Learn. It’s one thing to be interested in the idea of a career but to make it, you need information about the industry to help you on your journey down the aisle. 

Alison also offers a range of courses you can sign up for to prepare you for your career:

It takes years to build up a strong reputation and reliable network, but if you put in the hours, focus on making your clients happy, and put on a beautiful event, regardless of the size or budget, you will have a long and fruitful career.

Skills needed to succeed as a wedding planner

The wedding day is all about the bride and keeping her happy. You need a magic box of skills and traits to not only manage her but be a successful wedding planner. Here are some key skills you need to make it happily ever after as a wedding planner:

  • Time management
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • Creative
  • Driven to succeed
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Planning and organisation
  • Good negotiation skills
  • Communication and empathetic
  • Administrative skills to manage your accounts and promote your services

Being a wedding planner is not just you working closely with the bride and groom. It also involves dealing with and managing vendors, suppliers, venues, and other players to ensure you get the best of everything for your client. You need to be able to juggle all these balls and these skills will help you get things done efficiently and on top of it.

Does wedding and event planning run through your blood? Do you want to know if you have what it takes to make the cut? You can learn more about wedding planning at Alison’s dedicated hub.

Take our Workplace Personality Assessment below to find out if you are every bride’s dream come true.

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