So You Wanna Be a Wedding Planner?

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For those of you who follow this blog, then you already know about the pitfalls to hiring an inexperienced wedding planner.  But for this post, I would like to actually address those who are looking at a potential career in the Wedding Planning field.

Lately there appears to be a huge influx in the number of “wedding planners” in Edmonton (could this be because of the recent launch of “Four Weddings Canada“? I’m going to go with that! ;) ). I receive numerous emails a week from would-be planners who are either looking for advice on how to enter this field, or from people who are looking for me to hire them as an assistant.

Since I don’t like to ignore emails, please take this blog post for what it is: My Advice for Those Wanting to Become Wedding Planners.

1) Get a “Weducation”!

Whatever you do, please, please, PUH-LEASE do this! Professional wedding planners do this for a living. It is a business and we take it very seriously. Having been a bridesmaid in your cousin’s wedding and being an avid watcher of the Slice network does not mean that you have what it takes to be a wedding planner. If you are really serious about a career in wedding planning, please take a course and get certified!

2) Pay Your Dues:

lady hard at work

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I am not referring to your association or membership fees (although you’ll want to make sure that you pay those!). What I mean is: put in your time! Like any newbie starting out in their respective field, be prepared to work your way up. You can’t just expect to book clients as soon as you get your certificate in the mail. You need to pound the pavement and put some hard work into it. Network with others in your industry. Familiarize yourself with local vendors and their products. Research trends, statistics and demographical information for your business area. This is one of the more exhausting parts of getting your business up and running, but it is a very vital part.

3) Humiliate Yourself:

There isn’t enough room on this blog for both you AND your ego, so check that attitude at the door! Humility is a good quality to have – you can still come across as confident and capable without trash-talking those who have been in the industry longer than you. This desperate attempt to build yourself up is exactly that – desperate! In trying to make other people look bad, you just end up ruining your own reputation, that of your company, and you will also lose the respect of your colleagues.

4) Honesty is the Best Policy:

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I hate to bring up this point, but it clearly needs to be addressed. When starting out your business don’t book meetings with other planners by pretending to be a prospective client! Not only is it dishonest and totally sketchy, but it’s a waste of time and money for the planner. This is time that is being taken away from my paying clients, or family, friends…and my cat! (If you could see Delilah‘s sad kitty face when her Mum’s not home, believe me, you would feel guilty!)  If you want to know information about how to price your services, or have general business questions, just ask! Better to be upfront and honest about it than for us to do a background check on you, only to find out that you created a fake email account a week ago and have a Kijiji ad out promoting your services as a planner!

5) Take the High Road:

Women gossiping

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Once you start to build your business and begin to get people following your work, it’s a wonderful feeling! However, that success and recognition will also bring out…THE HATERS! These are people who will talk bad about you to vendors, other planners and even clients (and they are people who CLEARLY didn’t follow Step 3!). The sad fact is that this happens to everyone in every line of work once they are acknowledged for something or are recognized for their skills and talent. The wedding industry, largely, is a female-dominated world…and you know how catty some women can get. Therefore, gossip and slander is everywhere. In order to maintain your reputation as a professional, it is very important to resist the temptation to engage in such behaviour. You never know just how small the wedding industry is in your area until some juicy tidbit of information travels down the grapevine. (Just make sure that you didn’t start it, and that you didn’t pass it on!)

 

certified edmonton wedding planner

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All in all, wedding and event planning is a very rewarding and fulfilling career; but it should not be entered into lightly. Reality shows have really thrust what we do into the spotlight and have sensationalized it to some degree. The actual reality is that most of our time is spent in front of the computer – responding to emails, researching vendors and products, balancing budgets and creating timelines. Part of being a Wedding Planner means that you are dealing with a very stressful and emotional time in people’s lives, and there is no do-over. Expectations and tensions can be high, and you are in the thick of it all.

Wedding planning is a fun, rewarding, stressful and exciting career.  It takes strong organization, confidence, creativity, business sense and a lot of hard work to become successful at it.

If after all this, you still think that you want to become a wedding planner, then I wish you all the very best! Maybe I’ll see you at an industry mixer someday! ;)

3 thoughts on “So You Wanna Be a Wedding Planner?

  1. Loving the article, very honest & forthright. I’ve thought about being an assistant but that’s it lol. hate being the center of attention

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