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How To Become A Wedding Planner
How to become a wedding planner, where do you start? Firstly you have to be passionate about organising parties and love all the little details, if that is you then you are in the right place.
I started my wedding planning career in 1997, a month after I got married and found I just loved talking weddings and helping others plan their big day. I was working in a big 4 star hotel and had graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management. Since then my event management skills have taken me to working in Europe and the UK, I have organised huge corporate functions to small family events and loved every minute of it. In 2006 I decided to go it alone and set up my own event company it was the best decision for me and now along with planning exhibitions I also get the chance to help brides and grooms plan their big day, and save them money!
My advice would be to get as much experience as you possibly can before you launch yourself as a wedding planner. Help family and friends organise their celebrations, it doesn't have to be a wedding, all event management experience helps. Keep notes on all of the ideas that come up, I find it best to have seperate files on suppliers, venues and procedures. I have a checklist that I use for all of my weddings to ensure I don't miss anything.
While you are gaining experience and contacts think about whether you need any professional training. Check out local colleges and online event management courses, there are even wedding planner courses - these are specific to weddings and if you want to build on your confidence they could be worth investing in.
As with all business start ups it is worth writing a business plan to see if this is a viable option for you. You don't want to pay for training and spend valuable time if this is not going to provide you with an income.
Questions to ask yourself are;
How many weddings can you manage in a year? There are 52 weeks in a year but the summer wedding season is the busiest. Will you be able to organise and manage more than one wedding a week? Remember it is best to start off planning fewer while you build up your business.
Can your local economy support a wedding planner? The national average wedding cost is over £20,000, a wedding planner normally charges around 20% but an average is just that, what is the average cost of a wedding in your area? How much will your local brides and grooms pay for your services? Don't know - then ask them, most brides and grooms love talking about their wedding day!
How many weddings are there in your area in the year? Gain stats from your local registery office.
Have a think about what your unique selling point (usp) is, mine as you can see is cheap, are you an expert of jewish, christian, hindi, muslim weddings or humanist or gay weddings. Would your usp provide you with enough business?
Your costs will be pretty minimal as you are not having to buy any goods before you pay for them - all the costs will be your clients. Your biggest cost will be your marketing/ advertising, I have found being online really helps my offline business. The great thing about being online is that you can generate extra income on top of your usual wedding planning business with adverts and an online shop!
Other ways to advertise your business are by building relationships with other local vendors, word of mouth is one of the best ways to get bookings. Ask existing clients if they have any friends or family that are getting married soon. You could attend wedding fairs but I don't find them cost effective for the amount of business that you get, however when you first start out it is worth going to build public awareness. Write articles for local publications, become their expert on weddings, this all increases your profile. Register with local wedding directories. I have found all these help my business grow!
Now then what are you waiting for? You are ready to fly, you know how to become a wedding planner!
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