Are you an up and coming or aspiring Wedding Planner? If you said yes, you’re in the right place. Because in this blog post I’m sharing 3 helpful tips for new Wedding Planners and anyone considering a career as a Wedding Planner. But these tips might not be what you’re expecting. There is a lot of helpful information out there about starting a wedding business; do a styled shoot, get professional headshots, get clear about your brand and ideal audience for example. That’s not what this post is about. Our mission at the Wedding School is to help new wedding planners, feel confident in the role of Wedding Planner – right from the very first wedding. Of course, you will get better at what you do with experience, but it’s possible to do a good job at every stage of your career – especially if you embrace these three tips I have for you.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
Tip #1 – Embrace Learning on the Job
Yes, it’s ok to learn on the job. Even at someone’s wedding. Before I explain this tip, let me clarify something. I’m not suggesting you use someone’s wedding as work experience. Work experience is great, if you’re working under a seasoned professional or you’re helping a friend who understands that you are not a professional Wedding Planner. If you’re taking payment for the work you’re doing, you need to have knowledge, skills and systems in place to ensure you do the job the couple hired you to do. And that’s exactly what we teach in the Wedding School’s Simple Framework for Planning Weddings.
With that said – I don’t know a Wedding Planner who doesn’t learn something from every job they do. Every wedding and couple is different, so there is always something to learn. And in the very early stages of your career, that learning curve will be steep. Here’s an example of what I mean.
I’ve learned not to count on being able to change and freshen up before the Ceremony. It’s always my aim – to have the wedding styling and setup completed with enough time for me to take a break before the guests start to arrive. I like to have a bite to eat, re-do my hair and makeup and change out of my set-up ‘uniform’ and into a nice dress or top and pants for the Ceremony. But despite careful scheduling, there are times that this just doesn’t happen – for any number of reasons.
What have I learned from this?
It can depend on the wedding and how much setting up I have to do, but I either have a hard stop time to ensure I can quickly change and run a brush through my hair, or I dress in a way that only requires me to pop a nice tailored blazer on over my set up clothes and change my shoes so I look presentable and professional for the Wedding Ceremony. As I have long hair, I’ve also learned that a slick ponytail and lots of hair spray is my best friend on wedding day – it’s a style that stays put all day and doesn’t require much maintenance.
Your takeaway here is not to be afraid of what you don’t know – instead make it your practice to always do a post-wedding review. Consider what worked, what didn’t, what you did well and what you can learn from this wedding and apply to the next.
Tip #2 – Use Tried and Tested Workflows Before Relying on Your Own
I have a Workflow for almost everything I do when planning a wedding. And in our Simple Framework for Planning Weddings I share them with our students. But whether you use mine or someone else’s I highly recommend using systems and processes that other people recommend based on their experience.
As I said in tip number one, you don’t know what you don’t know. Your lack of experience is why tried and tested checklists and workflows that Wedding Planners like me share, can be so valuable.
Of course, you shouldn’t use these blindly and you must review them first to ensure that they work with your own work habits and values. But there is a lot to be said for following a step by step process that someone you trust uses themselves.
When you’re just starting out, leaning into someone else’s expertise will give you the confidence to professionally plan a wedding. But more importantly it gives you room to be yourself. To be creative. And to be present.
When you learn from others and use their resources you can feel confident in your ability to do a good job, even though you’re just starting out. And that is what a couple needs from you – because there isn’t a second day at the office when it comes to someone’s wedding day.
Tip #3 – Ask for Help
For a competitive industry, I’ve found the wedding industry to be full of people who are willing to share their knowledge with others. Perhaps we’re just nice people! But I think it also comes down to the fact that most Wedding Planners understand that for our industry to grow, we all need to be professional and good at what we do. When I talk to other Wedding Planners this topic comes up a lot and most of us agree that one of the best ways we can support the industry and its growth is to support people who are just starting out.
I encourage you to join networking groups and attend events. Get to know people and be a sponge. When you have the opportunity to do so, let other Wedding Planners know that you want to learn and ask them if they have opportunities for work experience.
And when you have those first few clients and aren’t sure about something, you’ll be so glad that you took the time to connect with other Wedding Planners because you’ll have colleagues you can turn to for advice when you need it.
And if you do decide to sign up to learn my simple framework for planning weddings, you’ll always have me to ask for help.
So there are my three tips for new Wedding Planners. If you’re thinking about becoming a Wedding Planner, I’ve got a handy resource for you. The how to become a wedding planner guide, has four tips for getting started. And if your goal is to launch your own Wedding Business, there’s a bonus tip for you in there too. Get your free guide here.