A wedding planner’s job is to help couples have the wedding they want. This could mean planning and organising the whole wedding from start to finish or just sorting out certain aspects of the day. If you enjoy meeting people and love organising things, this job could be perfect for you.
Good communication skills and the ability the get on well with different kinds of people are something you will need in this job. You’ll also need to have good problem solving skills and be able to keep calm under pressure.
There are no set qualifications to become a wedding planner. Some people move into wedding planning from working in events, hospitality or catering. Whatever your background it’s useful to have relevant experience.
Here are twelve things to seriously consider before you start a career as a wedding planner:
1. Weekend and evening work
Weekend events and evening client meetings take time away from family and friends. Being a wedding planner means having a work schedule that doesn’t match the standard 9-5 week day gig. If you own your business, you can set boundaries to help with this and plan other types of events to balance your schedule. However the reality is that 95% of weddings happen on Saturdays and many of your clients need to meet after work for planning meetings.
2. Physical and mental hard work
Working on the wedding day is HARD work. I remember my first wedding so well… I was beyond excited to work with my first clients but had no idea I would be so completely exhausted at the end of the night. Spending 10-15 hours on your feet and being mentally “on” is exhausting no matter how good of shape you are in. And it gets harder as you get older.
3. Wedding hangover
It’s how you feel the day after a wedding. It’s like you ran a race then went out drinking all night. In reality, you are dehydrated, sore and tired from working a wedding.
4. Tough clients
As much as you try to weed out the clients who aren’t your ideal clients, there will be some who slip through the cracks. Having difficult clients can take its toll mentally. It’s already a stressful job but when you have clients who add to that stress, you will question why you chose this career. You have to be able to walk away from the wrong client when your intuition tells you something is wrong.
5. Emotional connection
It’s an intense industry with emotional brides and emotional mothers on a very emotional day. Many planners grow close to their clients which means you work harder because you care so much (this is a good thing). On the flip side, it is hard not to take it personally if something goes wrong or if your clients are not 100% happy with your services or ideas. If you get your feelings hurt easily, this might not be the profession for you.
6. It’s not your wedding
Working with clients means making THEIR dream and vision come true. This can be a challenge for some event planners who want to keep recreating their own wedding or imposing their vision on clients. You will end up planning a wedding that doesn’t fit your style or taste and you have to be okay with that.
7. Extreme patience
If you don’t have patience, determination and thick skin, a career in wedding planning is probably not a good fit. It will take a few years before you are comfortable in your business and comfortable working with brides. Then it will take a few more years to get your name established, make a decent living and start seeing referrals.
8. You are not a “people” person
Planners work with many different kinds of clients and vendors. The wedding industry is very social and being a planner is probably the most social vendor category in the industry. If you are introverted, shy or don’t like to be around people, being a planner could be a difficult career choice. This isn’t to say that you can’t overcome those personality traits but it is something to consider. Being an event planner may be the encouragement you need to overcome shyness.
9. Not able to handle stress
Being an event coordinator was just listed on Forbes.com as the 6th most stressful career. Out of ALL careers! Many of us choose this career because we thrive on the excitement, the challenge and the madness that happens on the wedding day. We live to solve problems, keep everything on time and manage 20+ vendors without breaking a sweat. If you can handle stress AND keep your cool, this might be a good career for you.
10. Multi-tasking and organization
Being a wedding planner takes multi-tasking and organization to a whole new level. Not only do you have to multi-task and remember the million things on your mind, you have to think and act quickly. During the planning process, you could be working with 10-20 different couples at a time. If you aren’t extremely organized, it will show in your work and in your reputation.
Confidence in yourself is a big key to your success in event planning. A big ego is not.
12. No passion
Don’t embark on a wedding planning career unless you are passionate about it. To be successful and thrive, you have to LOVE what you do. Many planners make incredible sacrifices to be successful. This just doesn’t happen without BIG passion. Along with passion, integrity is just as important.
I could write a post with 500 great reasons to be a wedding planner but I wanted to share the not-so-glorious side with our readers. If you are thinking about becoming an event planner, these are great things to keep in mind. If you found value in this post, please share it and leave a comment!
There is no set entry route to become a wedding planner. Many people choose to become wedding planners after organising their own wedding and the weddings of family and friends.
You could move into wedding planning if you have gained the right experience and skills from other jobs. Relevant experience could include:
● hospitality and catering
● project management
● public relations.
Most wedding planners are self-employed, although there are opportunities to work for larger wedding planning consultancies, event management companies or hotels.
Jobs with hotels or event management companies may be advertised in the local and national press, in hospitality trade publications and on employers’ own websites.
If you are self-employed, opportunities will depend on the strength of your marketing and reputation.
For a lucky few, most of the character traits you’ll need to be an expert wedding planner will come naturally. For the rest of us, these are all skills you will just have to learn in time. Let me tell you: if you freak out at the thought of a vendor not showing up at the last minute, you are perfectly normal. Not everyone has ice running through their veins, but not to worry: you’ll learn how to channel these emotions into productive activities as you gain experience. In no time at all, your clients will be asking you how you were able to keep your calm when they felt overwhelmed for half the night. You’ll be proud to tell them that luckily they won’t need to plan as many weddings as you did to find out!
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