The wedding planning guide to launching a successful business
Why become a Wedding Planner?
If you love the “idea of love”, two people joining together in matrimony, in hopes of building a beautiful marriage, then wedding planning is definitely your calling!
Are you passionate about creating unique events that bring people together? In the wedding planning business, no two clients are the same, nor events. This allows the unlimited possibilities of sparking your creativity, enhancing your skills and talents.
The wedding planning business is great for those with a “knack” for project management and logistics, allowing your skills to be easily transferrable into a role as a Wedding Planner.
Do you have a background in Hospitality?
Your background experience in hospitality can be your greatest assets?
Which skill set?
Your strong sense of emotional intelligence
Working in a people-oriented industry such as, hospitality helps you develop a strong sense of emotional intelligence which is an excellent trait for understanding your client’s needs
What other skills are transferrable in a Wedding Planner role?
Ready to start your Wedding Planning business? Here’s a guide that will help you with the business planning and development of your Wedding business:
There’s nothing like preparation along with organization to set the tone for a successful meeting with clients. Create email templates of agendas, tailored to your client’s service requests. Agendas help set the expectation of the meeting, including ideas while ensuring that the bride and groom’s questions are answered. Outline in the agenda, dates, times, location, and anything else that will be discussed in the meeting.
Sometimes it’s hard for people to visualize an idea. To help your bride and groom conceptualize their ideas, create a Vision Board that includes, textures, color schemes, placement of furniture, and décor.
Create Wedding Packages
Create Wedding Packages, including services. From Full-service to “day of” coordinator offers. Some brides are more hands-on than others and may only need certain services, such as day of coordination.
Day of Service:
As a Day of Coordinator, you are responsible for the day, while ensuring your bride has a seamless, stress free day. Day of Services can be the most challenging service to provide, because you’re taking over the day of, having not been included in the initial planning process. To help you prepare for Day of Coordinator services, create a checklist of every task that needs to be completed for the wedding, as if you’re planning the event from the beginning. This checklist will ensure that you cover every detail possible. A checklist also gives you the opportunity to address any outstanding items, confirm venues, dates, catering and any other “loose ends”. It might be helpful to get a head start on the list, at least a week prior to the event.
End of Festivities
Once the event is over, ensure that all vendors have been paid, including items returned to their rightful owners, such as equipment. Do a walk-thru of the venue making sure that the space is clean and nothing is broken, or out of place. The last thing your bride should want to hear on their honeymoon is that there is an outstanding balance due or that their deposit will not be returned due to a broken light fixture.
Full Service Planner
Full Service Planning gives you full control (well….sort of depending on your bride) of the wedding panning process, including the quality of the event. Full Service Planning allows you to tap into your creative side, incorporating ideas, skills and talent to the bride and groom’s special day. Another added benefit of Full Service planning is, you can work with vendors whom you have a relationship with. The best part is, you know how they work and what to expect. Over time, your wedding planning skills will develop, as you create more events.
The best thing you can do in terms of the planning and preparation of any event is by discussing your bride’s budget early in the wedding planning process. It’s not just about discussing the details of the event but also your services for coordinating the wedding. This is where your wedding planning packages come in and how the two of you can work together on creating a beautiful event, within the bride’s financial means.
Having an online presence in today’s technology driven world is key to building a successful brand. With most people choosing mobile devices to research their favorite brands online, having a website will help brides locate your business and contact you for your services. Create a website listing your services including contact information, location, hours of operation, and any company policy information.
Every bride dreams of their ideal wedding location. From a destination wedding for 70 on the beach in Playa Del Carmen to a trendy loft space, decked out in jeweled tones, with accents of gold, and a floor to ceiling “flower wall”. The reality? Availability is probably one of the most stressful aspects of choosing a venue space. Of course pricing is a factor as well. Prior to visiting venues, call each rental space to price the event and ensure that the dates are available. There’s nothing like a wasted trip to check out a venue and the dates aren’t available.
If you are able to speak with someone regarding renting the space, ask what their proposal process is. Some venues may ask for a proposal which includes the budget. With the budget proposal, venue spaces will create a list of packages, based on the bride’s budget. Prior to booking the venue, ask the manager and or rep, for copies of the rental contracts to review. You and the bride should read the contract in its entirety. Check for additional fees, taxes, booking rates and time. You don’t want any surprises with your bride at booking, especially when it comes to fees.
Pro tip: Refrain from encouraging your bride to pay a deposit, to hold the venue until they’ve read the contracts in its entirety.
Once you’ve confirmed the wedding date and booked the venues now it’s time to book the vendors. Most venues will have vendors including packages to choose from. It may be helpful to research venues as well as packages prior to visiting the space to give you an idea on what the venue space has to offer.
Scheduling venue selection pro tip: For busy brides, it might be helpful to ask about their availability and preference for booking venue appointments Ex. Mornings or late afternoons.
Be sure to have your clients sign a Service Contract. This outlines your responsibilities more importantly, liabilities.
Dealing with an indecisive bride?
Remember your bride is already overwhelmed with the wedding planning process which is understandable. With so many details surrounding the event, including the costs associated with planning a wedding, it is no wonder why a bride may not feel comfortable with her decision making. Sometimes too many options can add to the bride’s anxiety over the wedding details. Try to limit the number of options made available for your bride. For example, instead of booking several appointments to visit venue locations, try to book maybe 3 over a 3 week period. This gives the bride time to think about their venue selection choices and may make the decision process a lot easier.
Build your network
Part of your business entails building relationships with industry professionals. For those of you who are just starting your wedding planning business, and may not have vendors to choose from, start by building relationships with your bride and grooms vendor of choice. From the cake baker to the tailor. If all goes well you may be able to collaborate on future events. Another reason to build a network of vendors is, each bride is different, including personalities, themes, and budgets. You want to work with vendors that best fits your bride’s needs.
The great thing about the wedding planning business is that there is no maximum amount of money you can make as a wedding planner. There are no ongoing expenses as a wedding planner. The startup costs are relatively inexpensive. The wedding industry is a great transition for those who work in hospitality as most traits required to work in hospitality are transferrable into the wedding planning role.
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