Are you cut out for the wedding business?
When I started in this business, I started out as an intern and to be honest I really didn’t have much of clue what I was getting myself into. Being a wedding planner, well it sounded pretty glamorous. I mean, hanging out at parties all the time? What is not to love?
A lot of people enter the wedding business with stars in their eyes. “Party Planning” ( I HATE that term) is one of the careers that everyones sister’s best friend’s sister decides to adopt because she helped “plan” a baby shower.
Event Coordination ( this term is WAY better) takes a lot of dedication, people skills, time, effort, and OH do you have to be detail oriented!
Maybe you are a bride who just finished planning her own wedding. That’s great! But make sure you are really understanding what this career entails!
Here are a few things you should know before you dive into your new career:
1. Bride Eyes. Make sure (if you are a recent Bride) that you aren’t just having nostalgia for your own wedding. Wedding planning is a business and a highly stressful one at that. As the wedding planner, you will b e making other Brides dreams come true and doing the dirty work. Do your research and find out if this a career you would want to get into.
2. Stress. Can you handle stress? Wedding Planners have one of the top 10 most stressful careers (Forbes) If you are a cool cucumber in the eye of a hurricane, consider this career!
3. Business Sense. Most small businesses fail in the first year, and the rest may fail in the first 5 years. Running a business is tough and not for the faint of heart. Extreme dedication (and late nights) are the ways to a successful business.
4. Working more than just a 9-5pm. Maybe you are lucky to set your office hours from 9-5pm but you work ALL the time. Weekends and nights will be your busiest. On any given Saturday you can put in more than a 16 hour day, which creates the worst wedding hangover. Think about what type of work schedule you want before you embark on a career as a planner.
5. People Person. If you would rather work behind a computer screen or in a dark corner, run the other way. Being a wedding planner is all about being someone another person can see themselves spending a lot of time with. You have to be able to deal with lots of emotions from your clients ( It’s a big event in their life!). Being likable is necessary to gain great vendors who want to work with you and clients that want to hire you. Essentially YOU are the business.
6. Ego. Let go of any ego you may have walked in the door with because it’s not all about you. Your main priority is making sure that your clients are happy. Having confidence is key, not ego.
7. Multitasking. Can you juggle? Not for real, but figuratively? You have to keep a lot of “balls” in the air especially when you have several clients at one time (which hopefully you do!). You also have to be able to organize like a maniac to ensure you keep your business on point.
8. Leadership. You are running the show, you are in charge of all those little details and bringing them together. All the moving parts are controlled by you. Can you lead? Can you be in charge of a 200 person wedding?
9. Hard Work. It’s not like the movies… If I’m 100% honest, being a wedding planner is the hardest job I ever had. Its emotionally + physically draining especially on those long wedding days. Its also a lot of desk work. Hustling on the phone, putting together wedding orders, timelines, budgets, and answering emails.
10. Sales. It is a client-driven business. You have to be able to sell yourself, your business, your knowledge and expertise. Sometimes you only have an hour to let a client know how much they need you.
11. Thick Skin. Not every client is perfect + easy going. Not every vendor will be easy to work with. Mistakes do happen and most often you could be blamed for it. Other peoples happiness depends on you. You have to be able to stand up for your client in negotiations. Interpersonal Skills are a must.
12. Dedication to Passion. Dedicate yourself to your passion. Make it your priority to always reach your goals, to be a better business person, to accept where you need work, and to understand that without that passion, one cannot fully be a successful wedding planner.
I didn’t scare you off? That’s great, because even though it might sound a bit scary being a wedding planner is the most amazing career. You will work hard, but the reward is great.