When I’m hiring Wedding Planners for our sister business the I Do Crew I always consider what makes them a good Wedding Planner, from the couple’s perspective. And what wedding planner skills you need to be good is also something you need to consider. Couples are less interested in how fabulous you say you are, than they are in how you present yourself to them and importantly, in how you show them how you can help them. In the initial stages of working with a couple this will come across in your personality, the way your present yourself and communicate and the way you talk about your packages and processes. Whilst there are a number of factors that will influence a couple to hire you, you give yourself the best chance to book more weddings by nurturing these top 3 Wedding Planner Skills.
You’re an Active Listener
When you first meet a couple they may ask about your background and experience, but generally, most couples want to talk to you about their wedding, share their story and ask you questions so they can understand what you can do for them. They’ll also be considering whether you ‘click’ and a great way to make sure you do, is to give them the space to talk.
When you open up the conversation and give a couple the freedom to express themselves, you’re more likely to gain their trust and with that, a deeper understanding of who they are. This will lead to them sharing what their wedding means to them and what their vision for it is. And this is all information you can use to sell you and your services to them – gently through the consultation and then again within the Proposal you send following your consultation.
You can show the couple that you are actively listening to them by:
- Paying attention
- Showing them that you’re listening through your body language
- Offering feedback, encouragement and enthusiasm for their ideas
- Responding appropriately with clarifying questions where appropriate
And remember, becoming a good listener is a skill, rather than a natural born talent. If you feel that you could improve on your skills in this area ask a friend to practice with you. And before every meeting remind yourself to be fully present during the consultation so you can concentrate on what is being said. Listen with all of your senses and give your full attention to the person speaking at all times.
You have Processes
Wedding planning is essentially a series of decisions that when brought together, represent a couple’s version of their ideal wedding day. Managing the making of these decisions and their outcomes demands a high level of organisation. This is the case whether you have one client or ten. Keeping in mind that on average a couple has up to ten vendors plus their venue, all of whom you’ll be communicating with alongside your couple. And you’ll also be communicating with new couples – enquiries still come in when you’re working on weddings.
That a lot of information for you to be across.
Whilst couples may not know what processes you should have, or even think to ask about them, it will soon become obvious to them if you have none at all. Not having processes may prevent you from doing a whole range of tasks including:
- Following through with an enquiry.
- Finalising a booking.
- Effectively communicating with the couple and their vendors.
- Ensuring your paid.
- Creating a Runsheet (timeline) for the wedding.
- Doing your best work on the day.
Processes play a pivotal role in converting a lead, into a client who becomes a raving fan. This guide will help you to automate your wedding business with processes.
You’re a Confident ‘Doer’
One of the reasons a couple hires a Wedding Planner is to relieve them of some of the responsibility and stress that comes with organising a wedding and executing it on the day. They will look to you to mediate issues that arise through the wedding planning process and potentially on the wedding day itself. For this reason, you need to be a ‘doer’ who can negotiate, mediate and trouble-shoot.
When a couple hires you, you become their advocate and whilst there is always the potential for things to come up that must be referred to them, there are many instances where you will be able to run interference for your couple; that’s what they hired you to do. Those listening skills we talked about earlier come into play here; you can advocate more effectively for your couple when you understand what is and is not important to them. Developing this understanding is something I work at throughout the planning process and as I get to know my couples and I also use a resource I created to ensure I understand how a couple would want me to respond to a range of things that come up during wedding day. This is one of the resources we share with students in Wedding Planner School.
Being a confident doer is something many Wedding Planners get better at with experience. But you can be a doer and good advocate for your client when you are just starting out too. Following a tried and tested process for planning weddings and knowing what’s important to your couple, will go a long way to helping you be a ‘doer’ for your couples.
You can show your couple you are a doer during the enquiry stage, by responding to their initial enquiry on time, being clear about your processes and how they help you to be a good negotiator on your couple’s behalf. When you have some experience behind you, sharing a story about how you problem solved an issue can also help the couple to feel confident about choosing you as their Wedding Planner.
If you’re a Wedding Planner looking to ‘up’ their game, or you’re thinking about Wedding Planning as a career, the good news is that these 3 things a couple looks for are not super-hero powers reserved for a few. Everyone can develop listening skills, gain confidence so they can advocate on their client’s behalf and adopt processes that keep them and their couples organised. Do these things and you’ll impress people from their very first interaction with you too the last.
Vendors Admire these Wedding Planner Skills too
And keep in mind that as a Wedding Planner it’s not just your couples you’re looking to impress. Vendors will be watching you too and when they observe how actively you listen, how willing you are to advocate for your couples and solve problems and that you have processes that ensure wedding planning is seamless, they’ll be more likely to refer you to other couples wanting to work with a Wedding Planner.
Get your FREE Roadmap for Becoming a Wedding Planner-
One of the things I hear most from people who are interested in working in the wedding industry is this…
I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START.
During a FREE Clarity Call I’m going to help you to not only determine where you should start, but what you can do over the next 12 months to become a Wedding Planner.
Whether you want to work for someone else or launch your own business, or you’re just not sure this is the right career for you, this Clarity Call is your first step.