What it’s Really Like to be a Wedding Planner ?
What it’s Really Like to be a Wedding Planner
Cake sampling, wine tasting and choosing décor…it’s no surprise many people dream of becoming a wedding planner. And it’s incredibly rewarding to know the impact you’ve had on a couple’s special day. But wedding planning isn’t easy – or glamorous.
What is the life of a wedding planner really like? Here are some common misconceptions.
You plan your own dream wedding every time
Not true. While you need a flair for creativity, you will work with the couple to brainstorm concepts and design mood boards in keeping with their vision. Even if you personally dislike their theme of choice, it’s up to you to bring it to life. They’re paying for your insight, your understanding of current trends and, most importantly, your eye for detail.
Keep an eye on the latest wedding fashion and trends. Learn what you can about room décor, and how to coordinate everything from curtains to flower arrangements. If you’re creative, this may be a great career for you.
You’ll work with high-end budgets
Maybe one day. But when you’re starting out in wedding planning, you need to build a portfolio – you won’t get exclusive clients without the testimonials to match. Most wedding planners can expect to work with modest budgets. You must keep meticulous track of where the budget is going…and be prepared to answer to angry clients if you don’t negotiate the best deals from vendors on their behalf. Even clients with seemingly unlimited budgets still expect to see what you’re doing with it!
Whatever the budget, all couples must be treated equally. They expect nothing less. Plan a stunning wedding on a limited budget, and you will get glowing testimonials to take to new clients – not to mention the pride you’ll feel at having designed someone’s dream wedding.
I don’t need to know anything about running a business.
Wrong. Unless you work for a wedding company where the administrative side is taken care of, you’ll need to understand everything about running a business. From sourcing clients, income and expenditures, tax and marketing…however rewarding wedding planning is, it’s still a business. And with business comes lots and lots of paperwork. If you haven’t already, consider taking a course in accounting or business management.
If you’re not prepared to shoulder the responsibility of running a business, keeping impeccable records and weathering the low points, this is not the career for you.
Wedding planners earn a great living
With the average salary for a wedding planner being somewhere between £17,000 and £25,000 per year, you won’t be living a jetsetter lifestyle anytime soon. While salaries for the most popular wedding planners can be significantly higher, they didn’t achieve that success overnight – and income is never guaranteed.
Don’t be surprised if you must volunteer at first, either. Paying clients don’t come without testimonials – and new, untested planners are a risk. Volunteer to plan a friend’s wedding for nothing, or volunteer with other planners until you learn the ropes.
Even with great marketing and client testimonials, there are only so many weddings you can take on in a year. The average planner only takes on around 8-10 weddings a year, and all of those weddings may involve small budgets – meaning you’ll need to make your salary last the year. If you’re looking for an easy paycheque, this job is not for you.
Wedding planners run around after everyone
Wedding planners wear many different hats – one minute you’ll be chasing down late caterers, the next you’ll be helping pin the bride’s dress. But you’re not a dogsbody. What you are is a calm, unbiased influence who isn’t ruffled under pressure. When the clients come to you with problems – which they will – you need to provide solutions and offer measured advice. You also must take responsibility for mistakes and mishaps.
If you love negotiating, communicate well with everyone and have solid problem-solving skills, wedding planning could be an ideal fit for you.
Wedding planners work whenever they want
Not true. New wedding planners often start out in wedding companies, and the hours can be demanding – if not more regular than self-employed hours. Evening and weekend work is expected, and clients will have emergencies day or night. You need the resilience to manage it all. Fitting in holidays around the number of weddings you must plan to make a living that year is no easy task, either. If you want predictable hours, this is not your ideal job.
Being a wedding planner requires resilience, a cool head and optimism. But if you love event planning, have a creative flair and impeccable social skills, the reward of knowing you helped dreams comes true is worth it. It might not be rewarding financially, especially in the early days of your career, but knowing you gave someone the best day of their life is priceless.