Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Being a Wedding Planner Is NOT Like Being the Bride

I'm sorry, but that's the truth.  I get emails and meet people all the time who say they want to be wedding planners.  Most of the people who have this "epiphany" are brides-to-be or recent brides who are having/had SO much fun planning their wedding that they want to change careers.

What I tell them is that being a wedding planner is not like being a bride.  And then I tell them not to quit their day job.

As the bride you make all the decisions and you get all the attention.  As the wedding planner you are answering to a client's wishes and dealing with her emotional roller coaster that is her engagement and wedding and in some instances, her mother's issues too.

When you're the wedding planner you don't get to plan the wedding you want or would have planned if you could do it again.  You have to plan the wedding your client, the bride wants, even if you don't love her color scheme and ideas.

As the wedding planner you are trying to make a living.  You have to charge people money and $1000 or $2000 a wedding isn't going to pay the bills.  Trust me, no wedding planner, no matter how successful is booked EVERY weekend of the year.

As the wedding planner you're on call all the time and working weekends.  Are you prepared to give up your weekends?

If you truly think that being a wedding planner is your calling in life than here's my advice:

1.  Do NOT quit your day job.

2.  See if there's a wedding or event planner in your area who is looking for interns or assistants who you can work with on weekends or evenings.

3.  Be prepared to work for little money in the beginning because you have no experience and you have to pay your dues.  Planning your own wedding doesn't count as wedding planning experience.

4.  Look into taking event planning classes.  Some colleges offer non-credit event marketing/planning courses or a continuing education program might have a focus on event planning.  Or sometimes organizations like the Learning Annex or the Association of Bridal Consultants will hold seminars on the topic.

5.  Do your research.  Find out how many wedding planners are in your area and talk to other wedding vendors about what services may be lacking.  Maybe you don't want to be a full-service planner.  Maybe you want to focus on day-of, which is never only a day.  More on that to come.


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