As long as you can remember, you’ve been passionate about weddings. Not even about yourself getting married, but about anyone getting married. All the work that goes into it–from choosing the perfect cutlery, to determining the perfect venue and date, to finding the perfect custom bridal gown–it’s an amazing process. And with your events management skills and experience helping some of your friends plan weddings, you’re ready. It’s time to become a wedding planner, which is why we’ve put together this list of strategies. By following these tips from the pros, you’re going to be living your career dream in no time.
1 Study up
There are lots of ways to train for wedding planning, even before you dive in to creating your own business–and if you want to be taken seriously in today’s world, where the most common way anyone’s going to look for services either via word of mouth or online, having some educational background related to your passion is going to go a long way.
So if you’re still in college, you might want to consider majoring in events planning, if that’s something offered. Additionally, you may want to get a wedding planning certification. According to The Balance, “Since these programs are unregulated, do your homework before handing over money to any organization. Ask established wedding planners for recommendations.” Remember, most couples getting married around going to spend around 10 percent on their wedding planner–which means that, considering the amount of money you’ll be getting, you don’t want to spend too much on a certification.
2 Get an internship
According to getambassador.com, “84% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products and services – making these recommendations the highest ranked source for trustworthiness.” So when it comes to being a trusted wedding planner, you’re going to want people to know who you are–and if you’re starting from square one, getting an internship is the perfect way to do this.
Not sure where to start? Check out this guide from The Huffington Post, and, when in doubt, ask a local wedding planner what they would recommend in your area.
3 Get some experience with your friends’ weddings
If you truly want to be taken seriously by potential clients, having actual real experience as a wedding planner will go far. But if you aren’t lucky enough to get an internship, then one of the best ways you can get experience is by planning your friends’ weddings. After all, they were probably already going to ask you to do it, anyway, knowing that you’re always reading up on wedding trends. So why not ask if it can be official? Will they let you add some pictures to the website you’re putting together for your service?
For example, if you’re putting together a video to post up on your business’s Instagram account–because, after all, Instagram marketing offers around 25 percent more engagement than other social media platforms–ask if the bride if you can include pictures from her wedding. For some additional inspiration, check out the trailer for People You May Know; their social media videos are very well-done.
4 Create a portfolio–and get local
No doubt you’ll want to have a beautiful website, especially as an online presence is important for any business–but additionally, when it comes to wedding planning, you’ll want to create an actual physical portfolio. Because once a client has contacted you if they’ve found you online, they’ll want to meet in person, and a physical portfolio they can flip through is going to look especially professional.
According to The Spruce, “Put together a portfolio of your experience in wedding planning. Go to a good stationery or gift store and buy an attractive photograph album. Do not skimp on this purchase, because this will be part of your first impression.” And don’t forget to write a story about your experience with weddings (don’t mention it was for friends for free), and print business cards and a brochure, which you can use for advertising at local churches and hair salons. The average cost of a wedding in the US is $35,329–which means that if you’re offering good prices, a bride-to-be will still consider you alongside more experienced wedding planners when she stumbles across your advertisements.
5 Get online
Finally, as younger generations are spending more time online–after all, the average US consumer spends over five hours a day on their phones–you’re also going to want to advertise your wedding planning services online. So create a beautiful website, for example with wix.com, which is free and offers templates. Invest in a legitimate-sounding domain name. Create an online portfolio, include your contact info, and references, too (for example, one of your friends whose wedding you planned, asking them not to include that you did it for free).
Finally, get on social media. Invest in a Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram page, and share your content as much as you can. For more on social media strategies specific to the wedding industry, check out this article.
As you can see, becoming a wedding planner is all about following the right strategies on your way to success.
Why do you want to become a wedding planner?