By Gladys Mae
Gladys is the Associate Director of Admissions & Student Services with over 10 years of experience at the International Career Institute.
Are you a creative person who loves to bring people’s visions to life? Would you enjoy helping make couples’ dreams come true? If so, then a career as a wedding planner is one you should consider. With over 110,000 weddings taking place in Australia yearly, the wedding business is booming, providing the opportunity for individuals to pursue a career in wedding planning.
A wedding planner, also known as a wedding coordinator or a bridal consultant, helps craft the most important day of a couple’s lives to create memories they will cherish for a lifetime. They’re responsible for determining and finalising the details and logistics of wedding ceremonies and receptions. Wedding planners generally work with the engaged couple through the entire wedding planning process and can be involved in any of the following decisions:
The job can be demanding and hectic, and a wedding planner should expect to work long hours during peak wedding seasons. Many wedding planners work for private companies, however, if you start your own business, you can enjoy the freedom of working for yourself. If you want to become a wedding planner, here’s what you need to do.
Although becoming a wedding planner doesn’t require a formal degree or specialised training, becoming certified will put you ahead of your competition in the wedding planning market. With a qualification, you’re showing your potential clients that you have training so are highly capable of doing the job. There are many online wedding planning courses available, and the classes will allow you to learn about core components of the wedding industry and what you need to succeed, including licensing, vendor relations, contract negotiations, marketing strategies, managing budgets, and bridal registries.
To be a successful wedding planner, you’ll need to create a business plan that includes details about operations, marketing and finances. Also develop contracts as part of your business plan that will protect both you and the client legally. Contracts should include pricing, services, and payment arrangements.
Modern brides are more likely to turn to the Internet to locate wedding planners and see samples of their work, so you’ll need to develop a website for your company. A professionally designed website will give potential clients the chance to review your services and skills, so you should craft a portfolio to demonstrate your best work. Creating a professional website will also make it easier to promote your services through social media, making you a more attractive choice for potential clients and vendors.
Don’t aim to be an everyday, run-of-the-mill wedding planner. Stand out from your competition by focusing on a specific niche and excelling in that area. Some niches to consider include destination, same-sex, and day-of weddings.
Reach out and create relationships with other wedding professionals in your area through networking. Get social, and become familiar with nearby wedding vendors such as florists, photographers, caterers, and bridal shop owners. Have business cards on hand to leave with the vendors to pass onto any brides and grooms they meet.
Make sure you’re present at every bridal show possible. Offer to help out at these shows, and circulate your business card. By participating in shows with already established industry professionals and vendors, you’ll be in elite company and be able to further promote your brand. Word of mouth is critical for a successful business, so you want to connect with as many people in the industry as you can.
Become a better wedding planner by entering into a mentorship with a professional planner from your area. Working with someone who has successfully established their wedding planning business can help you get yours started the right way. A mentor can show you how to network and how to create a work-life balance. Mentors can also share their experiences with the ups and downs of the industry. Shadowing an industry leader will help empower, motivate, and encourage you as you begin your career as a wedding planner.
Even after you’ve taken courses and earned a qualification, you should always strive to further your knowledge in the field. Continuing your education means you’ll keep up with current trends, such as fashion, colours, new traditions and customs in the industry ,as well as improving your knowledge of new sales and marketing techniques.
Becoming a wedding planning can be a highly fulfilling career, especially if you dream of a career where you can be creative and strive for excellence in a respected position. To get started on your career as a wedding planner, enroll in the International Career Institute’s Wedding Planner Program today.