Willingness To Do It Yourself
Movies with weddings always depict an impeccably-dressed wedding planner flitting about with their clipboard, while other vendors scurry to meet their demands. In reality, the job is much more hands-on than that.
Professional wedding planners spend their time doing everything from folding programs to assembling favors, hauling boxes, or pinning table skirts. They are on their knees helping to bustle a bride’s dress, rushing discarded napkins and dirty glasses away from a food display so they don’t ruin the photos, and, at times, practically sprinting from one end of a venue to the otherâsmiling the entire time.
What Does A Wedding Planner Do
A wedding planner helps engaged couples plan their ceremonies. They perform various tasks, including helping the couple hire a caterer, find a venue and schedule a musician or band for the wedding reception and ensuring all aspects of the wedding go smoothly.
The type of wedding you plan will greatly depend on each individual client. While some couples prefer smaller weddings, others prefer large, lavish events. A wedding planner must be able to cater to every client’s taste and preferences.
What Students Have To Say
I went into the program knowing little to nothing about the wedding planning and food and beverage industry, but I knew I had an interest in wedding planning. I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge from the program. It has truly helped me get jobs in that industry and helped me to succeed at those jobs.
Having taken the online program, I didn’t expect Joyce to be so hands on and involved in the program! Anytime I had any questions, Joyce was readily available to give answers, assistance, and feedback. Even after the program has ended, Joyce continues to engage with us and sends us correspondence in regards to opportunities in the field!
I was in the industry for over 8 years before I decided to enroll in this program. The program has made me understand many aspects of the industry which builds my self confidence which in return provides me with happy clientele. I would recommend this program to anyone starting out or anyone who has been in the industry. You will be shocked at how much there is to know!
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Choose A Niche Where You Can Be Yourself
The wedding industry is a strange place where a lot of people seem to think there’s only one right way to do things and it usually involves pastels, strictly defined gender roles, and a steaming pile of patriarchy.
Since you’re reading Offbeat Bride, I’m guessing that’s not the kind of weddings you’re interested in planning and I am here to tell you that it’s ok to be different!
In fact, it’s critically needed. People like you are out there wishing and hoping for a wedding planner who understands that they don’t want their big day to look and feel like what the see in those glossy wedding magazines. You can be that planner.
Education Training & Certification
While a college degree is not required for this job, many employers prefer candidates to have one or have applicable work experience, which can be from a similar or related field. Education and training preferences are as follows:
- Education: Many wedding planners train to become event planners who then specialize in wedding planning. To prepare for this career, some people earn a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management or a related field.
- Training: Not all wedding planners participate in formal training. Many planners learn their skills on-the-job.
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Wedding Planner Skills & Competencies
To succeed in this career, you must have specific soft skillsâ character traits you have either acquired through life experience or with which you were born. This includes skills such as the following:
- Calm demeanor and interpersonal skills: The ability to remain calm in the face of adversity is essential, as are excellent interpersonal skills.
- Negotiating: You must be a superb negotiator. As the bride’s and groom’s representative, it will be your responsibility to get them the best service, for example, venue, food, photography, and music, for the lowest price. Your reputation will depend on it.
- Networking: Your ability to network will help you get the best deals possible.
- Time management and organization skills: Excellent organizational and time management skills are also a must.
- Running your own wedding planning business requires you to be adept at handling finances and promoting your business.
- Knowledge of color, design, and current trends: Expertise in color, music, and flowers are needed as well. Plan to spend a lot of time reading the current bridal magazines, of which there are many, to keep up with the latest trends.
- Knowledge of various religious customs: Knowledge of religions is imperative since a wedding ceremony is often a religious one. Related to this is a knowledge of customs and traditions, which are also part of many wedding ceremonies.
Invest In Your Education
While you dont have to get a 4-year degree, it is still important to invest in your education because there is so much to being a professional wedding planner . You need to know how to onboard your clients, run a ceremony rehearsal, and create a wedding day timeline so investing in an educational course, workshop or certification is highly recommended.
Pro-tip: WeddingPro Educators Lindsay Longacre and Heather Hoesch put their 20+ years of wedding planning experience to work and created the Planner Life Academy online course for wedding planners. If youre looking for a great way to learn from home and get tons of templates to build your business from, this course is it.
In addition to learning how to become a wedding planner in a more traditional sense, its important to get some hands-on experience before taking on clients of your own. You can ask more established planners if they are looking for interns or day-of assistants or simply ask to shadow them to see more of what goes into a successful wedding day.
Three: Find Courses On How To Become A Wedding Planner And Get Certified
QC Event School offers a choice of two Foundation Courses for those aspiring to become professional wedding planners:
Graduates of the Event & Wedding Planning Course will walk away with an International Event and Wedding Planning Professional certification/designation. Grads of the Wedding Planning Course will earn an International Wedding Planning Professional certification/designation.
Moreover, you can then elevate your skill-set from there through QCs Specialty Courses! For instance, if you wish to offer clients luxury wedding services, our Luxury Wedding & Event Planning Course will help you achieve this goal . If youd love to travel the globe and provide destination services, QCs Destination Wedding Planning Course can turn you into a Destination Wedding Specialist in just a few short months.
And remember: the more certifications and services you add to your business, the higher your rates can be!
Once enrolled, QC Event School gives you a full 2 years to finish your program. Since our online learning environment is 100% self-paced, you can choose how much of that time youll need. Many of our alumni found that they were able to graduate in as little as 3-6 months by simply dedicating 1-2 hours per week on their courses.
Want to learn more about ALL of the online courses currently offered by QC Event School? Find the full list of course curricula here!
Consider Formal Wedding Planner Training
You dont need a special degree or certification to become a wedding planner. But if you want to head into the industry and you have little-to-no experience, learning the ropes and all of the ins and outs can be extremely beneficial. The American Association of Certified Wedding Planners, for example, was created by wedding professionals who saw the need for an organization dedicated to the education of those seeking to become wedding planners, and to elevate those already in the field through certification and continuing education. The organization offers in-person and online training. Students have two months to complete the course and are then eligible to apply for a membership as a Trained Wedding Planner.
Another option is the Lovegevity Wedding Planning Institute, which offers a course for people interested in becoming a Certified Wedding and Event Planner. The average time to complete the course is 8-12 weeks, and graduates receive a certificate, letter of recommendation, and the professional Certified Wedding and Event Planning designation. I would highly recommend Lovegevity courses to those who are willing to take the plunge and go after your dreams, wrote one graduate. The Certified Wedding Planner course was the perfect curriculum I needed to reassure that I am going in the right directions.
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A Shephard And Negotiator
Professional wedding planners are project managers. They are the leader of a very complex team of vendors and the couple’s families and friends. Maintaining control of the event, without being domineering or rude, is an essential skill.
The wedding party and guests will generally need to be herded and led in the direction the event is supposed to be heading.
You not only should be good at coordination and moving people around, but you also need to be able to negotiate with your vendors to be able to keep a wedding on budget while maximizing the deals.
There will be compromises that need to be made for any number of items, and some emotional brides/grooms-to-be will need to understand that some actions and wedding dreams cannot happen within the budget that they set.
Create A Marketing Plan
Whether you want to be an independent planner, part of an agency, or anything in between, your business will have a hard time taking off without the right marketing plan. Just like wedding venue marketing, wedding planner marketing is all about understanding what couples want and then reaching those couples on the channels that they use. Here are a few tips:
Recommended Reading: Wedding Planning Excel Sheet
Whats Life Like As A Wedding Planner
If youre looking for a wedding planner job description, theres no one-size-fits-all.
But wherever youre working as a wedding planner and whether youre a freelancer or employee you can expect every day to be different.
You might spend your time answering emails from clients and calls from vendors. You might taste cakes one day, and choose flowers the next. You might have to juggle invoices, taxes and other business tasks.
Of course, youll also have to plan and attend many events so its imperative youre OK with working on evenings and weekends.
And lastly? Dont expect it to be easy. As Orwat warns, this job is demanding both physically and mentally.
Becoming A Wedding Planner That Is Successful
If you have the love of planning parties, events and enjoy running the show, you might become a successful wedding planner. Couples are now looking for professional help as relying on friends and family is becoming uncommon. This is mainly due to the busy lives we all have now. Becoming a wedding planner doesnt mean waking up in the morning and starting the business. They are so many things to consider, especially if you want to be successful.
A few things to consider if becoming a wedding planner is your career:
- Getting a wedding planning certification
- Creating long-term relationships with other wedding vendors.
- Creating Wedding packages
- Networking at trade shows etc.
We could write a 10, 000 worded post on becoming a wedding planner, but that would be too much. We instead decided to put it in a Wedding Planning eBook to help you become the best wedding planner there is! It is packaged with much-needed information to help you establish your wedding business and become the best.
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Do I Need Specific Skills And Qualifications
There are no particular qualifications required to become a wedding planner – it’s much more important to gain experience. You won’t be hired to plan somebody’s wedding if you don’t have a history of successfully organising events.
You may be able to get some experience by planning your own wedding or those of friends and family. Another option is to search for local wedding planners and ask them for work experience or opportunities to shadow them.
While not essential, an academic background in hospitality and event management will help you develop the right skillset. Find out about event management courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level. If you choose the university route, get involved in societies and clubs and be proactive in organising their events.
For specific tutoring in wedding planning, short and online courses are available through organisations such as:
If you intend to be self-employed, look for courses that include modules on setting up and running a business. Learn more about self-employment.
You’ll need to have these key skills if you want to be a successful wedding planner:
Write Out Honeymoon Itinerary For Family At Home
If you cant find one, apply to a banquet or event planning internship at a major hotel to get some relevant experience. Lwpis certificate in wedding and event planning course is a program designed to educate you on business best practices, systems, methods, and techniques to get your started in the event planning industry right away. Not all wedding planners participate in formal training.
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How To Start Your Wedding Planning Business
Starting a wedding planning business is an exciting adventure! Careers in wedding planning are popular and appeal to many people. Many wedding planners start their own business as a part-time side gig and build it up to a full-time career.
Before you can take on clients, you want to learn all you can about planning and coordinating a wedding. If you do not have much experience in this area, consider building relationships with experienced planners and inquire about assisting at their events. You can also hire a wedding planner business coach and use tools such as the Wedding Planners Toolbox to guide you and give you the confidence to plan and coordinate events. You dont want to risk ruining someones wedding day because you promised more than you could deliver as a planner.
In addition to learning how to actually plan and coordinate a wedding, you may be learning how to start and run a business for the first time.
Wedding Planner Salary & Job Growth
Wedding planning can be a rewarding career, but before people say âI doâ to the field, they need to know that they will have solid job opportunities. This section discusses the job market for wedding planners, as well as the potential earnings.
According to PayScale the annual median income of wedding planners is $40,343, with the lowest ten percent of earners making about $24,000 and the highest bracket of earners making at least $74,000. The site also outlines how much these workers make at different stages of their careers, as listed below:
Change in Employment : 12.40%
Currently Employed: 210
Change in Employment : 5.70%
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not compile data on the job outlook for wedding planners specifically, the agency does predict that there will be an 11 percent increase in jobs for all meeting, convention, and event planners between 2016 and 2026âwhich amounts to 12,700 new jobs. The number of jobs created in this sector is largely dependent on whatâs going on in the economy at any given time.
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