Just because you’ve successfully planned a wedding doesn’t make you an expert yet, and anyone who attempts to enter the wedding planning business will learn that lesson in a big hurry. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of tools and skills that you need to build well in advance of starting an actual wedding planning business, and being underprepared will almost certainly doom you to failure before you ever get it off the ground. The biggest problem is that most people looking to become a wedding planner assume that planning a wedding for someone else is as easy as planning their own. However, balancing your customer’s vision and budget can be more challenging than it seems, so here is a brief list of some skills that are needed to become a wedding planner and thrive in the industry.
One of the most crucial character traits that you need to possess in order to be a good wedding planner is the ability to stay calm. You will be dealing with brides that are going to have meltdowns every other day, so being able to stay calm and project that ease onto the stressed out bride can go a very long way.
Most couples will make you “audition” to be their wedding planner, and often times they are going to meet with more than just one person for the job. By being charming and polite, you can immediately get on the good side of the couple’s favor and earn yourself a lot more paying gigs.
Though you may need to negotiate with the client about your fees, where your negotiating skills can truly shine is when you’re dealing with venues and vendors. There are a lot of people planning weddings at any given time, so being able to negotiate a better price or squeeze yourself into a calendar date can do wonders for generating future referrals from your clients.
Staying on budget when your planning someone else’s wedding may seem like an easy task, but balancing everything that they want to accomplish with the amount of money they have available can often times be tricky. On top of that, sometimes budget scenarios will change at the very last minute and you’ll have to make changes to the original plan on very short notice. By having great budgeting skills and being very resourceful, you can mitigate a lot of the problems that this may cause.
Organization is crucial when planning any wedding, so if you struggle in this area then you should probably consider another line of work. Most brides are counting on their wedding planner to keep everything organized from start to finish, and that’s why you were probably hired in the first place.
Since most of your clients will be planning their first and only wedding, they will be relying on you to know the ins and outs of the industry. There is nothing worse than telling your client “I don’t know” when they ask you a wedding related question, so make sure you know everything there is to know and then some before you start billing yourself as a wedding expert.
No matter how well you plan a wedding in advance; things are going to happen on occasion that can really make things difficult. For instance, a nasty storm could come tearing through on the day of a wedding and you’ll need to play the hero. A caterer won’t show up one day and you’ll need to figure out how to feed 150 people. Through all of this you’ll need to stay positive and calm or it will further hinder the couple’s special day.