It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun!
Confession time! Have you always loved rom-com about weddings? Do you get a slight shiver every time you hear the words ‘I do’, or start to well up when you see a bride in her wedding dress for the first time? Then becoming a wedding planner just might be the business for you…
Whilst it’s thought to be one of the most rewarding and fun careers a person can have, being a wedding planner takes more than having fabulous people skills and excellent taste. Achieving the perfect wedding day, or even weekend, is all about the planning, attention to detail, style, tastes, as well as logistics, so if you think you have what it takes to deal with the implementation of such an important event, being the go-to person on its overall design, as well as exceeding expectations and budgets, then perhaps the life of a wedding planner is one that would really suit you as a future entrepreneur?
So, if you think you can take on the most creative of challenges, and elevate any expectation whether you’re planning for a chic celebration at home, a luxurious affair in the city, an outdoor event in California, a wedding weekend in Europe, or a multicultural showstopper in New York, then this is definitely the world you should inhabit…
And 2021 looks even more challenging than ever – because the Covid-19 pandemic although very much unwanted, has allowed us to become more creative when it comes to planning forthcoming nuptials with streamlined, safer options, and yet still full of inspiration and fun – just possibly more low-key. There’ll always be those still up for a big fat wedding – some still want to party like it’s 1999, but then look at Lilly-Allen and Kristen Wiig with their intimate minimonies. If you think you can face these new challenges, then now’s the time to think outside the box… There’s a 20% to 25% increase in weddings expected this year and into 2022, around about 47% of those 2021 weddings will be happening between July and October. Many think it’s going to be the biggest wedding year ever! Because of Covid, #microwedding, #tinywedding and #smallwedding are trending hashtags with lots of relevant wedding planning information for 2021…
Are you ready?
Event Planners Extraordinaire
Event planners need the skills of creative problem-solving and remaining calm under pressure especially on the big day itself. You also need to have strong leadership skills, be good at multitasking and keeping track of details. And really good people skills are essential, as you will be dealing with lots of different personalities throughout the planning process, from the shysters to the prima donnas…
Becoming a wedding planner is an exciting role for those who are great communicators, and organisers, and who love weddings, of course, and being a wedding planner can be incredibly gratifying—bringing everything someone has been dreaming of to fruition, overcoming challenges to save the day, as well as being able to take charge of your own career. What’s not to love?
Okay – so you tick all the boxes for potentially becoming a wedding planner, but the next and possibly more important step is how to become a wedding planner. Because it can also be a long road to success if you’re going at it alone…
What Exactly Do Wedding Planners Do?
Wedding planners are usually brought in to manage someone’s entire wedding and they will usually be the first port of call for a couple. Wedding planners make the wedding day for their clients run like clockwork – which means you’re responsible for planning every single aspect of your client’s wedding from finding a suitable venue, working with caterers, managing wedding vendors, working to a specific budget, and that’s just for starters! Wedding planners are the people who are behind the scenes negotiating contracts, managing the whole production and making sure everything goes seamlessly regardless of whether they are in New York or Paris. A talented wedding planner can help avoid expensive mistakes, should be able to negotiate discounts with preferred suppliers and vendors, suggest unique ideas to suit individual requirements and personal taste, manage awkward guests and family members, and all while taking the weight of organisation off their client’s shoulders.
Oh, and you should be there to deal with anything that can go wrong on the day, too. In fact, if you’re really good, no one ever even knows those issues existed because the goal is to take the stress away from the couple whose big day it is.
So, if you still think that you have the skills to make for the perfect wedding event, then how do you go about working in the wedding planning business, either in a position where you learn the ropes as an assistant or intern for a certified wedding planner or as a self-employed owner of your own wedding planning business?
How to Become a Wedding Planner…
If you want to learn how to become a wedding planner it’s a good idea to learn from those who have been through it—and who’ve learned so many things the hard way. To learn from the pros in the business means they can give you, as potential wedding planners, the tips, tools and templates to help you build your very best planning process, and they can help you wedding planners connect with each other and learn from other business professionals.
If you’re wondering how to become a wedding and event planner, there are a few things you need to know … You don’t have to go to university to become a wedding planner because you don’t have to have a degree, or even an education certificate to prove you are one. There’s no magical wedding planning school where you enter as J. Lo and leave with Matthew McConaughey, but having a little help from those wedding planning professionals in the know, will go a long way to ensuring you are a wedding event planner with a difference. And being a certified wedding planner gives you confidence as well as credibility.
There are a number of professional wedding planning organizations which offer professional wedding planning courses and credentialing opportunities for aspiring bridal consultants. This specialised wedding business training is offered online or through on-site seminars and workshops and run for different lengths of time depending on the type of certification. Students who undergo specialized wedding planning training in wedding coordination can expect to take classes that cover subjects like budgetary management, marketing, vendor appointments, religious ceremonies, wedding attire, wedding stationery, and wedding etiquette.
Education providers such as Wedding Academy Global offer online certificate training that has helped more than 6,000 students become wedding planners. They offer specialised courses and their unique and refreshing mission statement, declares that wedding education is “fun, informative, flexible and possibly most importantly ‘real.’” Wedding Academy Global’s popular wedding and event course curriculum centres around a range of themes, including intimate, micro and destination weddings; wedding styling; business and marketing; floral design; amongst others. Most of their courses are roughly 12 weeks long and include a mentor, videos, audio, and worksheets to help your learning along the way. You can learn the art of design and decor from industry leaders and understand how to charge for your services, present concepts to your clients, and perfect your presentation skills, as well as how to professionally plan any event by using step-by-step formulas and business best practices.
These inspiring online course certificates will teach you how to plan a wedding from the comfort of your own sitting room, but it’ll be at your pace, with an instant planner community to cheer you on, so these courses are so much more than just another online course- as the Wedding Academy Global website states ‘The right training can change everything.’
The wedding industry is constantly evolving – just look at the last year – and unlike any other wedding planner workshop, the Wedding Academy Global has raised the bar with a hands-on and community-based approach. Wedding Academy Global’s comprehensive curriculum provides the solid foundation you’ll need to run a successful wedding planning business in the 2021 climate. Just check out their website to get started… Win, win.
So, you can’t honestly think about becoming a professional wedding planner without referring to education. On-the-job training, creating processes, being up-to-date with best practices, streamlining your systems, and continuing professional growth comes from investing in your event planning education.
And it doesn’t just stop once you’re qualified – education is a life-learning process…
Acquiring the education you need to become a professional wedding planner doesn’t mean you have to splash out loads of money or dedicate tons of time to it. But education in the wedding business should give you the confidence you’ll need to navigate your way through your new business venture. Education in wedding event planning can give you the confidence and self-esteem to stand behind your pricing, your processes, your documents, your client experience, your timeline, and your vendor relationships. So, you should always prioritize your event planning education, even when you are extremely well-established in your career. Although accreditation won’t necessarily guarantee your success, at least by itself, these programs can help you learn more about the various aspects of running your own business.
Because becoming a professional in any events industry requires experience and becoming a wedding planner professional is no different. Professional expertise is a journey that is learned along the way, and expertise in the wedding industry is best achieved by having a go. Putting it simply, there’s no one book, article, blog or social media post that can prepare you for some of the situations you’ll come across as a wedding planner, so it’s best to learn how to handle these unique situations as a professional – from a professional.
Regardless of whether you’ve been involved in planning a wedding beforehand, it is thoroughly recommended that you take an internship or assistant position with an established wedding planning company and find yourself a mentor. That mentor will not only give you experience but will also be able to put you in situations where you can practice your leadership, management and clients’ skills as well. Remember, events’ experience is one of the things that affect how much you can also charge – so, get all the events’ experience you can!
Continuing your education with certification means you’re able to continually access the resources from a specialised online educator which offers wedding planning certificate programs in a variety of relevant professional subjects – which can help support anyone who is interested in entering the wedding business from scratch or those who want a boost to their existing career. They’ll help you with everything to do with your career from how to get started, to writing your business plan and marketing strategies, designing your website, management of your staff, dealing with clients, and other services including resource tools. Certification gives you more confidence and clout when dealing with others, and these courses are designed to give you advice and support every step of the way.
And, If You Are Starting Your Own Business…
Becoming a professional wedding planner doesn’t require that you start your own business, but they often go together. Because one of the main reasons people want to work in the wedding industry is that it allows you to have more control over your own work schedule as that can be harder to do when you work for someone else – being your own business owner means you call the shots.
If you have a membership with an organization, such as the Wedding Academy Global, you’ll be able to network to evaluate and establish an affiliation with reputable wedding vendors and service providers. Such event and wedding organizations offer certification options, which will further your reputation as an aspiring wedding planner. Professional organizations offer other benefits to members, which include client referrals and skills-building resources.
Try and find a community that you can lean on when you have questions – the Wedding Academy Global are one such community where you can join a mastermind group to talk through challenges.
Investing your time and energy into developing relationships with other wedding professionals can be really worth the effort as you’ll be able to create referral sources for any new business, and you’ll get an understanding of which vendors are professional and reputable. You could think about joining local chapters of the National Association of Catering Executives and the International Special Events Society. They can put you in direct contact with venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, florists, officiants, in local areas and further afield.
The best wedding planners have a never-stop networking mindset. They read, watch webinars and have social media lives, collaborate and listen to podcasts on everything to do with event planning. The most ambitious take courses, attend workshops and conferences, and are constantly on the look for potential clients and wedding services.
Become a Wedding Planner
So, if you want to become a wedding planner learn from those who live, breathe and eat the event planners’ business as a full-time career, and combine certified wedding online learning and live tutorials with full mentor support to aid your business. These specialists are there to hold your hand throughout the whole learning process giving you the confidence and knowledge you need to succeed in this exciting industry.
How to become a wedding planner means dedication and hard work, but if you’re prepared you too can launch your own successful wedding business – because weddings are more than a business plan for your clients – they are the one day when your clients can shine – and, if you get it right, you can too! Get started today!