Several times a week, I get emails from aspiring wedding planners asking how to become a wedding planner – or, asking if they can simply “pick my brain”.
I have a lot to say on the matter – more than I can answer in a simple email…so here we go!
This post is for you if you think you might want to make a go of it as a Wedding Planner, but you’ve never actually planned a wedding. This is also for you if you’ve planned your own wedding and now would like to “go pro”.
Let’s get started.
- The Right Personality
I’ve been in the event industry in one capacity or another for the past eleven years. Over time, I’ve developed a list of traits I think all the best Wedding Planners possess. How many of these traits do you have? Are you:
- calm under pressure?
- a hard worker?
- a creative problem solver?
- a “get-it-done” kind of person?
- a lifelong learner?
- a good writer?
- an excellent communicator?
- great at time management?
- ok with not being the center of attention?
- someone with a high “emotional IQ”?
Ask yourself honestly how many of these traits apply to you. If you are someone who doesn’t thrive under extreme pressure, Wedding Planning might not be for you. Do you have a short temper? Maybe find a new interest. Some of these traits can be learned or improved upon, sure. I fully believe that Wedding Planning isn’t a career for everyone, you have to have the right personality.
2. Your Work History
My career as a wedding planner is the culmination of all the life skills I’ve developed from all of my years in the workforce. My background in professional theatre is the backbone of my wedding planning business. But in addition to theatre, any job you can get in the hospitality space will benefit your Wedding Planning business immeasurably. (And they are easier to come by than becoming a pro actor!) Get a summer job as a cater waiter. Work in the sales office of a hotel. Get a job at a restaurant – any job. Get out into the hospitality sector and put in some time. You will learn patience, the psychology of sales, customer service, and service standards. You will learn what a BEO is and how to read it. You will learn how to set a table. You have no idea how many Wedding Planners don’t know how to set a proper table.
Learn this. At minimum.
3. Work for someone else for a while
The biggest mistake I see new Planners making is putting up a website and taking paying clients WAY before they are ready. You should not be practicing on someone’s actual wedding day. It’s too important to the client. Get a part-time job (or freelance for several local Planners) before you open your own business. Please. You don’t know what you don’t know, yet. Trust me on this one.
4. Get a mentor.
I had the benefit of a mentor & coach when I was just starting out, and I can’t stress enough what a game changer that was for me personally and for the growth of my business. Find someone whose business you admire, who is both book smart and business savvy, and ask them if they offer coaching to new and aspiring planners. Most established Wedding Planner do. I do! I am very invested in educating the future generations of Wedding Planners. We rise by lifting others! This industry is 8 million dollars a year strong, and there is plenty of work for everyone willing to also put in the work.
Contact me here if you’d like more information about my One on One Coaching. I’m currently taking on new soon-to-be Planners!
Wedding Planning is a fun, exciting, and extremely rewarding career. Start yourself off on the right foot, and make smart choices for you and your future!