How to Become a Wedding Planner
Have you ever dreamed of making a living from planning the perfect wedding? To become a wedding planner, you need to possess all the essential traits that will help you reach customer satisfaction. Whether you are using a simple checklist or creating detailed timelines, here are the key skills and steps you need to take to make your dreams of becoming a wedding planner a reality.
1. Obtain Your Education
Earning a degree in hospitality, weddings, events and tourism, event management or event planning can help set you apart from the rest. Not to mention, employers generally prefer wedding planners with a degree in the field. Courses in public relations, accounting, customer service and finances are also helpful.
2. Get Certified
Becoming certified is an important and beneficial step to take when pursuing a career in wedding planning. The two leading certifications come from the Wedding Planning Institute (WPI) and the Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC). You can expect to in-depth coursework, assignments, tests and hands-on experience. Becoming a certified wedding planner can take up to six months.
3. Gain Experience
Experience is key when it comes to wedding planning skills. With industry experience, you can hone your organizational and problem solving skills. Volunteering to plan or help with a friends wedding can be a great way to get your foot in the door. Joining the local National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) chapter or International Live Events Association (ILEA) chapter events can also be beneficial.
4. Develop Your Network
Developing contacts, meeting vendors and suppliers and attending wedding trade shows are all important steps in establishing your business. You will also need to think about digital presence. Setting up a website, utilizing social media and creating a portfolio of your work can help promote your services and reach potential clients.
5. Develop Your Process
Creating a system for your business that includes timelines, phone calls, emails and to do lists will help you stay organized throughout. Each bride and wedding will be different and having a system you can use helps you to provide a consistent service to each client.
Key Skills Needed:
- Organizational Skills: Wedding planners must be able to juggle multiple tasks and keep track of timelines and details.
- Budgeting: Being able to work within a bride’s budget and help her to stay on track is a key part of being a wedding planner.
- Communication Skills: You must be able to communicate effectively with brides, vendors, family and other wedding professionals to make sure everything is taken care of.
- Creativity: Helping a bride realize her dream wedding sometimes requires creativity.
So, if you are passionate about planning the perfect day for a couple, successful in marketing yourself and organized with the necessary skills and tools, becoming a wedding planner can be a rewarding and fulfilling career.