CAREER DEVELOPMENT / MAY. 19, 2014
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How to Become a Wedding Planner

If you love meeting people and organising different things and have good communication and problem solving skills, then you could make a great wedding planner. You would need to be able to listen to the clients and develop solutions that best address their needs. To be successful as a wedding planner, you would need to have a high level of self-control and the ability of remaining calm under pressure - wedding is a complex event and the client would sometimes ask for conflicting things that are not always easy to accommodate together.


What do Wedding Planners do?


In short, wedding planer's job is to help clients organise the wedding that they want. This could include everything from start to finish or could be confined to certain aspects of the day, such as the entertainment. As a wedding planner, you would spend most of your day meeting and talking with clients, so it is important that you are the kind of a person who enjoys working with people.


The exact list of the duties would differ depending on the client. Typically though you would have to do the following:

  • meet couples to discuss their requirements and the event's budget
  • suggest creative ideas and themes
  • advise on wedding costumes and etiquette
  • develop proposals and quotations for the work
  • agree prices with different suppliers, such as florists, photographers, and caterers
  • be at the venue on the day of the wedding to make sure that everything goes to plan
  • deal with paperwork, emails, and calls
  • research new products, services, and suppliers


Another important aspect of the job that will mostly determine how successful you are is marketing your services through a combination of channels that is most appropriate given your target audience and the local area you live in. You could, for example, consider setting up a blog or a social media page to get noticed by potential clients; another option is to advertise your service in a local newspaper or just rely on the power of the traditional word of mouth.


Entry Requirements and Qualifications


As you would expect, there are no set entry requirements or qualifications needed to enter the job of a wedding planner. The important things here are your organisational and communication skills as well as the ability to market your service. Some people become wedding planners after they organise their own wedding or that of their friends. Others move to this field after spending years organising different events or working as administrators in the hospitality or tourism industry.


If you would like to try yourself before starting a career of a wedding planner, you could join wedding planning agency on a temporary basis and see how it goes.


And if you like the job but think you are not yet ready to do it, you could take certificate courses that would teach you some relevant skills. You could take one of these:

 

  • Level 2 Award/Certificate in Event Planning 
  • Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Event Management

 

You could also benefit from taking one or a few of the short courses organised by the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP). Most courses are classroom-based and run for 2 days. Typical courses cover:

  • running a business
  • pricing and budgeting
  • negotiation skills
  • advertising, marketing and PR
  • themes and design
  • marriage and civil partnership laws
  • wedding etiquette

Hours and Income

As a wedding planner, you would work long and irregular hours, mostly in the evening and especially during the peak wedding season (May to September). On the day of the wedding you would work 12 hours, or longer. You could be based at office or work from home and would need to go out a lot to meet clients or suppliers.

You salary would depend on your rates and the events' budget. Typical salaries in the UK are:

Wedding Planner Salary

Minimum

Maximum

Entry Level

£16,000

£20,000

Senior

£25,000

>£25,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opportunities and Career Growth


Most wedding planners are self-employed. However, there is also an opportunity to join large wedding planning agencies, event management companies, or hotels. For agency work you could find current vacancies in the local press. With experience, wedding planners could become event management coaches or launch their own consultancy.

A wedding planning career gives you the chance to earn extremely well while helping others achieve the best in one of the most momentous days in their lives. Wedding planners and people otherwise involved in event management, share your tips for those who are just about to enter the field in the comments section.

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