How To Become A Wedding Planner From Home
If you love everything about weddings and are looking for a flexible job that you can do a few days a week, you might want to become a wedding planner from home.
Given that you can easily do wedding planning as a side job while working full-time, it is great for stay at home moms who can work on the weekends or anyone with a Monday to Friday job that would like to make some extra money.
According to The Knot, around 27% of couples hire a wedding planner or coordinator to help with their big day, making wedding planners in demand nationwide.
The best thing about being a wedding planner is that you can choose to work as little or as much as you like and can make up $1000 for a days work at the top end.
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Choose Where To Register Your Company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to wedding planning businesses.
If youre willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, its relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Build Rapport With Local Businesses
Building rapport with local businesses can help you to get what you need for the weddings you plan. These businesses might include caterers, bartenders, musicians, clergy members, venue management and wedding clothiers. You dont have to be planning a wedding to do this. Touch base with local individuals to find out what they have to offer. Create your own database of people or companies that you can contact for various aspects of the wedding.
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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.
Create A Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
- Executive Summary: Brief overview of the entire business plan should be written after the plan is complete.
- Business Overview: Overview of the company, vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
- Product and Services: Describe your offerings in detail.
- : Assess market trends such as variations in demand and prospects for growth, and do a SWOT analysis.
- Competitive Analysis: Analyze main competitors, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and create a list of the advantages of your services.
- Sales and Marketing: Examine your companies unique selling propositions and develop sales, marketing, and promotional strategies.
- Management Team: Overview of management team, detailing their roles and professional background, along with a corporate hierarchy.
- Operations Plan: Your companys operational plan includes procurement, office location, key assets and equipment, and other logistical details.
- Financial Plan: Three years of financial planning, including startup costs, break-even analysis, profit and loss estimates, cash flow, and balance sheet.
- Appendix: Include any additional financial or business-related documents.
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Be Empathetic While Remaining Professional
Anyone can learn the systems and standard operating procedures of event planning, but what makes a planner really great at their job are characteristics like problem-solving, empathy, professionalism, and high attention to detail, says Dorman. Someone who likes to feel purposeful, and strives to make others feel important and cared for are two factors for success in this unique industry.
Physical And Mental Hard Work
Working on the wedding day is HARD work. I remember my first wedding so well. I was beyond excited to work with my first clients but had no idea I would be so completely exhausted at the end of the night.
Spending 10-15 hours on your feet and being mentally on is exhausting no matter how good of shape you are in. And it gets harder as you get older.
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Take Education Classes And Obtain A Certification
Many couples who are going to hire a wedding planner want someone who has specific training and certification. Being able to produce this isnt required, but it certainly wont hurt you to go through the process. You can learn tips and techniques that can help you as you address the issues that are likely going to come up as you plan weddings.
Business Makes No Sense To You
Many wedding planners own their own business. If you are not a big picture thinker and dont have any desire to start a wedding planning business or learn marketing, accounting, networking, and finance, owning a wedding planning business probably is not a good fit for you.
You can still work in the wedding industry but will be better suited to working at a hotel, for an event planning company, or at wedding venue where you can focus solely on the clients instead of running a business in addition to planning and designing weddings.
Whenever you own a business, your income can fluctuate greatly. The typical salary for wedding planners is broad, depending on where you live and what types of services you offer. You may have years where you make a significant income and other years where you barely scrape by.
I could write a post with 500 great reasons to be a wedding planner but I wanted to share the not-so-glorious side with our readers. If you are thinking about becoming a wedding and event planner, these are great things to keep in mind.
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Create A Wedding Brand That Gets Noticed
There are a lot of wedding planners out there. What makes you different?
One of the cornerstones to marketing is that people buy with their eyes, and your brandaka the visual manifestation of your companyis what sets you apart.
You need to create a visual brand that gets noticed.
One that makes YOUR ideal client stop in their tracks.
One that makes your perfect client buy with their eye.
Your visual branding helps to accelerate the know/like/trust factor with your customer. The couple who wants to hire someone like you lands on your website or sees some of your marketing, and because of its polished nature and overall experience, they want to know more.
Consider The Realistic Work
Wedding planning is not your typical 9-to-5 job. You can say goodbye to your weekends, vacations, dance recitals, and kids soccer games, says Alberti. Youre going to be working long days and weekends.
While Albertis commentary may seem extreme, he only shares it to prepare would-be wedding planners for the reality of the job. Its no secret that many weddings are held over the weekend on Saturdays in particular. Its when most people are off work, and it works well for out-of-town guests who need to travel for the event.
So any weekend events you have in your personal life will often be in conflict with weddings you take on, Alberti explains. In my 35+ years as a wedding DJ, I cant count the number of events Ive missed because I was contracted for a wedding or other major ceremony. Being a wedding professional is fulfilling, but it can take a toll on your personal life.
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Organize All Wedding Materials
If you want to know how to plan a wedding, one thing rules above all else: organization. You can keep essential documents in a virtual, sharable space so you, your partner and any family members can share access and edit things together so that everyone is on the same page. But for those who prefer physical materials, you can never go wrong with a good, old-fashioned wedding notebook. After all, you’ll need a place to store physical receipts, brochures and other items from vendors. A master checklist is also a good ideaclick here to customize your own wedding planning checklist through The Knot.
Why Identify An Opportunity
Research wedding planning businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. Youre looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a wedding planner who handles deliveries to the event.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as non-traditional weddings. This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
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You Arent A People Person
Planners work with a wide variety of clients and vendors. The wedding industry is very social and being a planner is probably the most social job in the industry. If you are shy, introverted or otherwise dislike people, being a planner could prove very difficult. This isnt to say that you cant overcome your social issues, but its something to think about. Being an event planner may be the encouragement you need to deal with shyness and related fears.
What Do You Need To Become A Wedding Planner
The job can be demanding and hectic, and a wedding planner should expect to work long hours during peak wedding seasons. Many wedding planners work for private companies, however, if you start your own business, you can enjoy the freedom of working for yourself. If you want to become a wedding planner, heres what you need to do.
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How Much Should You Charge For Wedding Planning
Generally, wedding planners are paid 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding. Your expenses will be limited to marketing and fuel for travel. You should aim for a profit margin of about 90%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price point. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Think About Your Honeymoon
While you’re certainly wrapped up in how to plan a wedding, don’t forget your honeymoon too! You and your S.O. will want to enjoy some much-earned R& R after the big day, so think about what kind of honeymoon you’d like to take, and when. You certainly don’t have to set foot on a plane immediately after your reception ends, though can if you’d like. At the very least, consider taking a minimoon first before a full-blown honeymoon at a later date. After all, don’t you want to ring in newlywed life with a hot tub and a chilled glass of champagne?
To be sure you have enough time to plan your postwedding getaway, stay on top of key deadlines for renewing your passports, booking flights, and securing lodging and extra activities. And if the thought of planning a vacation on top of your wedding sounds like an added stressor, we recommend working with a honeymoon travel agent. Not only will they hook you up with VIP perks and benefits, most of their services are free too.
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What Do Wedding Planners Do
As a wedding planner you’ll be responsible for organising weddings and ensuring that the day runs smoothly, as well as acting as a calming influence on your clients.
Professional wedding planners offer several levels of service, such as:
- Full wedding planning – organise every last detail of the wedding.
- Partial wedding planning – be responsible for some aspects of the wedding while leaving others to the clients.
- On-the-day management – provide support on the wedding day itself.
On a typical full wedding project, you’ll start by discussing your clients’ initial ideas and budget, then make a proposal setting out what you can do and how much you’ll charge for your services .
Once you’re hired, you’ll draw up a masterplan that sets out everything that needs to be done and by what deadline.
Tasks will include coming up with possible themes, suggesting and booking a venue, and negotiating with suppliers such as photographers, florists and caterers – always bearing in mind the amount of money your clients have set aside.
It’s vital you have a comprehensive knowledge of venues, products and suppliers, so a lot of travel and background research is required.
In the run up to a wedding you’ll need to be prepared to work long hours, including evenings and weekends – especially in the spring and summer when you’re likely to have multiple projects ongoing. You’ll also attend on the wedding day to oversee the logistics.
Assess Whether Your Personality Suits The Profession
Ask yourself whether youre able to navigate hard conversations and set boundaries, says Jones. Thats because youre going to be dealing with stressed and demanding brides, opinionated mothers, dicey family dynamics, flaky vendors, and unrealistic budget expectations. These are all daily realities for a wedding planner.
You must be able to handle tough conversations with such finesse that the vendor and client relationships remain intact, despite conflict and disagreements, says Jones.
Jumi Aluko, lead coordinator and founder of DunniWeddings, agrees with Jones. Aluko says a high level of emotional intelligence is a must-have in wedding planning.
Weddings are incredibly emotional experiences, and the planning and people elements will test your ability to remain balanced, says Aluko. Oftentimes, the planner winds up also becoming the couples therapist. So you must know how to deftly manage relationships with empathy, while also not taking sides.
Aluko calls out another important personality trait: the ability to work in high-stress, fast-paced situations. Many jobs cite this as a requirement, whether or not the workplace fits that description. However, she notes that the description is quite accurate for any wedding planning environment.
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You Are Not A People Person
Planners work with many different kinds of clients and vendors. The wedding industry is very social and being a planner is probably the most social vendor category in the industry.
If you are introverted, shy, or dont like to be around people, being a planner could be a difficult career choice. This isnt to say that you cant overcome those personality traits, but it is something to consider. Being an event planner may be the encouragement you need to overcome shyness.