Wedding Planners – Learn the 2016 Wedding Trends to Attract the Brides You Want


Wedding Planners - 2016 Wedding Trends

When couples become engaged this holiday season, brides-to-be will be searching the internet for the latest wedding trends for 2016 so it’s the perfect subject to discuss on your social media sites and blog. Pick the trends that will appeal to the brides in your niche, post examples and share how you might incorporate the trend into the weddings that you plan. This will help you establish yourself as the expert brides need.

Here are 5 wedding trends you can look for in 2016 that you can share with your brides:

 1) Long tables or a mix of long and square tables

The trend is definitely away from round tables with a preference for long tables with low floral tablerunners.

 2) Ghost chairs

Clear, Lucite ghost chairs now come in a variety of styles from modern to Victorian, with arms and without. You can use them in many reception styles from rustic, with weathered wooden tables, to elegant, with mirrored tabletops.

 3) Metallic golds

Glitzy, sequined linens, flatware, chargers, shiny candelabras and lanterns in gold, especially rose gold, will be big in the coming year.

 4) A mix of centerpiece styles

At one time it was expected that the same arrangement would grace every table. In the New Year, more and more floral designers will be using at least two different centerpiece styles at a reception in order to add interest to the room.

 5) Naked wedding cakes

I featured these cakes a couple of years ago on my Facebook page and fans didn’t care for them! Now, many brides are choosing these unfrosted cakes, simply adorned with berries or flowers, over ornately designed, fondant-covered ones.

If you need more information on trends, check Pinterest and the websites of bridal magazines and wedding blogs. Post and share the ones that fit the wedding styles of your brides and tell them how you can help them plan type of the wedding they want.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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Become a Top Wedding Planner – Marketing during Engagement Season


How wedding planners can attract more brides during engagement season

The time between Thanksgiving Day and Valentine’s Day is known as “Engagement Season,” when more than a million couples, in the United States alone, will become engaged. The most popular day is December 24, the day when families are together. There are few better gifts to give or receive than an engagement ring.

This means that during this time, you, as a wedding planner, need to be more visible than ever if you want to attract the attention of newly engaged couples. They need to see you online, when they search for wedding planning information, and offline, where they can meet you face to face, learn about you what you do and connect with you personally.

I’ve just released a Kindle book to help you do this, “Become a Top Wedding Planner – Marketing during Engagement Season.”

In it you can learn:

  • 5 things you should do to ramp up your business that can help attract more couples than you do today
  • 6 sites to be online and what to post that will get you noticed
  • 7 places to be offline to connect with people who can refer or hire you

And a checklist to make it easy for you to remember what to do

Just click here and get your copy so you can start attracting the engaged couples you want to plan weddings for in the New Year.

PS – It’s only 99 cents!

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Wedding Planner Q&A – “What Needs to Be Included in a Wedding Planning Proposal?”


5 Tips for Writing a Wedding Planning Proposal

To get a bride to hire you as her wedding planner, you need to write a proposal that shows you clearly understand her wedding planning problems and can solve them. You’ll need to first take the time to interview her then you can follow the tips I offer below to write a winning proposal.


I had a 15-minute conversation over the phone with a bride who is having a destination wedding. She is going to work with the coordinator at her venue on the day of. However, from our conversation, I gathered that she wants a planner here to provide her direction throughout the process and with timelines, invitations, welcome guest bags and favors.

She wanted a proposal, but I told her I would need a better sense of my level of involvement to be accurate. Can you give me a general idea of what I need to put in a proposal?


I agree that you need more information to be able to provide her with a proposal. You want to qualify a bride before you take the time to write a detailed proposal or you’ll be wasting time and energy on brides who are just price shopping.

After you are clear about what she needs and that she is serious about using your services, use these 5 tips for writing a proposal:

1) Focus on the bride

Don’t write about how much you love weddings, concentrate on the bride and proving to her how well you understand her needs and problems.

2) Sell your benefits

Explain how well your knowledge, skills, experience and connections with top-quality wedding vendors will help solve her wedding planning problems and banish her stress.

3) Tell her about your services

Be specific about the services and products you would be providing and how she will benefit from them. Also, explain your rates and payments terms.

4) Give an expiration date

The proposal should have an expiration date after which the rates in the proposal could change. An expiration date will let a bride know she needs to take action quickly and doesn’t commit you to the same price if the bride doesn’t make up her mind until after your rates have changed.

5) Make sure your proposal looks professional

Carefully edit and proofread your proposal. If you’re sending or giving the bride a hard copy, print it on your company letterhead. If you’re emailing it, make it a secure PDF document so it can’t be altered and it’s easy to read no matter what type of software or hardware the bride uses.

Arrange an appointment to review your proposal with your bride to discuss any questions she might have. If she agrees to your proposal, have her sign it, then get her signature on a detailed contract and request a deposit so you can start planning her wedding right away.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.

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Wedding Planners – 6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Services to Sell to Brides


Wedding Planners – 6 Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Services to Sell to Brides

How are you going to determine the wedding planning services you’re going to offer to brides? I hope it’s not by looking at the websites of other planners and offering similar services. If you’re planning to do this, you probably won’t have the successful wedding planning business you dream of having.

Here are 6 questions you should ask yourself that will help you choose your services:

1) Who is my ideal bride?

Please don’t answer, “Anyone getting married.” Do some research and decide exactly who you want your clients to be, their age, level of education, occupation, income, wedding budget and style.

2) What are her wedding planning problems?

Once you know who you want to target, find out her wedding planning problems. For example, does she worry about her budget? Where she can find a venue or the right wedding vendors? Is she having trouble determining what the style, theme or colors of her wedding should be? Does she want to follow some family traditions but not know how to do it? Is she trying to DIY as much as possible but needs help with some of the bigger things? Is she just overwhelmed with no idea where to start?

3) What can services can I offer that can solve her problems?

Think about your knowledge, skills, experience and resources and create services that can solve her problems.

4) How are these services different from what other wedding planners offer?

Unless your services are unique and specifically targeted to your ideal bride, you won’t be successful in standing out from the competition as the wedding planner she should chose.

5) How much could I charge?

You need to be able to make a profit while charging a price that your ideal bride would be willing to pay.

6) How and where am I going to market these services?

You could have the services that are perfect for your ideal bride but without the right method of marketing, she won’t know your services exist. Figure out where she would go to look for these services and make sure she can find you there. For example; she could be looking at wedding websites, bridal magazines, Facebook, Pinterest, Yelp, church or maybe getting referrals from venues or wedding vendors. Have a presence wherever she would go to look for answers to her wedding planning problems.

Taking the time to answer these questions will help you choose the services that could give you a successful start to your business. Once you’ve gotten more experience planning weddings, consider going through these questions again and adding more services that will help your ideal bride.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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Wedding Planners – 3 Things You Don’t Need to Do As a Wedding Planner


3 Things You Don't Want to Do When You're a Wedding Planner

If you’re new and not yet confident about your role with brides, you might think that you need to do anything and everything they ask you to do. While you do want to offer excellent customer service, there are some things you don’t want to take on.

Huff Post Weddings posted an article earlier this week by celebrity wedding and event planner Danielle Rothweiler entitled, “10 Things a Wedding Planner Is Not.” It’s written to give brides and grooms a realistic view of a wedding planner’s job but it will also help you know where to draw the line as you get requests from your clients.

I took 3 ideas from the article that I think are really important for you to know, especially if you’re new, and added my spin to them to help you become a top wedding planner:

1) You don’t need act like the wedding party’s servant

You’re an expert at planning weddings and making sure the wedding day runs smoothly, you don’t have time to wait on people. They need to respect you and the work you were hired to do.

I’ll never forget the time my team and I were asked to clean a venue’s bathrooms before an event! I let the bride know I would be turning that over to the venue staff to handle. If the couple felt the site wasn’t clean enough for them, they shouldn’t have booked it (they hired me after choosing the venue).

2) You don’t need to be a miracle worker

As a wedding planner you will be called upon to help stretch budgets and negotiate with vendors to help couples have the weddings they want. But, requests need to be within reason.

You don’t need to be able to give a bride a $500,000 wedding like she saw in a high-end bridal magazine on her $5,000 budget. You can take inspiration from big budget weddings and incorporate ideas into your brides’ weddings. However, be clear with them on what they might be able to get with the money they have.

3) You don’t need to be a best friend

Although a friendship may form after you work as her wedding planner, you don’t need to act like a bride’s best friend. You don’t need to be available to listen to problems 24/7. Nor do you need to be the go-between when there are major problems between the bride and groom, members of the wedding party or relatives. Be sympathetic but don’t offer advice you’re not trained to give.

You can read the original article on the Huff Post Weddings website.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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5 Ways to Get Ready to Start a Wedding Planning Business


Get Ready to Start a Successful Wedding Planning Business

In my last blog post I talked about the 5 signs you’re not ready to start a wedding planning business. Don’t worry if any of the signs described where you are right now. You can quickly take action to be ready to have the top wedding planning business that you want.

Here, I take my 5 signs that you’re not ready and tell you what you need to do to get ready now:

1) If you’ve only planned one wedding, get some experience

Talk to family members and friends and see if anyone knows of someone planning a wedding who could use help. You can start small by offering to do things such as research venues and vendors, gather inspiration and ideas for a wedding theme or help manage a timeline or budget. Whatever you do, take it seriously and fulfill your commitment, just as if you were doing it as a paid professional. These brides may be so happy with your work that they refer you to others who could be your first paying clients.

2) If you’ve just had a major life event, take some time off

Starting a business after you’ve just gotten married, had a baby or had another big change in your life can be very stressful. This may not be the best time to jump right into starting a new business helping brides during their most stressful time. Consider instead taking some time to adjust to your new life. Then decide how much time, money and energy you want to and can put into a wedding planning business and make a plan that includes having a successful business and personal life.

3) If you’ve never had a business, take some classes

Community colleges, adult education programs and small business administration offices often have classes that teach the basics of starting a business and charge very little for them, sometimes they even offer them free. You need to learn how to write a business plan, do simple bookkeeping, marketing and customer service in order to be successful.

4) If you don’t know anything about the wedding and event planning industry, get out and meet professionals

Join a local chapter of a wedding or event planner association and attend their conferences and networking events.

You might also consider getting an internship with a wedding planner, caterer, florist, bridal shop or wedding photographer. Internships are usually not paid positions but you’ll learn about the wedding industry and get great experience.

5) If you don’t have a plan, start creating a vision for your business

Dream big and decide whom your brides will be, what types of services you’re going to offer them, how big your business will be, where you’ll be located and what a successful business would look like to you. Then write it all down in detail and take action every day towards having the top wedding planning business you want.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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5 Signs You’re Not Ready to Start a Wedding Planning Business


Signs You're Not Ready to Start a Wedding Planning Business

The thought being a wedding planner and starting your own business is very exciting, especially if you spent the summer planning your own fabulous wedding or the wedding of a friend. But, don’t jump into starting a business if any of the 5 statements below describe you:

1) You’ve only planned one wedding

Planning one wedding, doesn’t give you all the experience you need of working with vendors, timelines, budgets and knowing how to deal with wedding day emergencies. And, if the one wedding you planned was your own, you don’t have the experience of working for other brides and executing plans that aren’t your own and may not be what you would have chosen to do.

2) You’ve just had a major life event

If you’ve just gotten married, had a baby, bought a house or had another big change, starting a business will add extra stress to your life.

3) You’ve never had a business

Having a wedding planning business means more than planning weddings. You need to know how to do some bookkeeping and accounting, marketing, sales and customer service. These things don’t demand a business degree but knowledge and some prior experience is very helpful.

4) You don’t know anything about the wedding and event planning industry

There’s a lot more to know about the industry than you can get from wedding magazines. Until you plan more weddings and/or work with a seasoned industry professional, you may have trouble getting the information and cooperation of the other wedding vendors you’ll need to work with in order to succeed.

5) You don’t have a plan

You have to have a plan that includes the type of bride you want as a client, what she needs, what you’re going to offer, how you’re going to attract her and how you’re going provide excellent service and make a profit.

If these statements describe you, don’t despair, it just means you’re not ready right now. Take a little time to get some education and experience and you’ll soon be able to start a successful wedding planning business.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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Wedding Planners – Don’t Give Yourself (and All Wedding Planners) a Bad Name


HOw Wedding Planners Get Bad Reputations

You’ve seen that I ask future and current wedding planners to send me their questions to answer here.

Early this week I received a question from a groom who is working with wedding planners and what he wrote was actually quite shocking.

He said that he and his partner hadn’t heard from their wedding planners in two weeks and they were getting married in a few weeks. He wanted to know if it was appropriate to email them with some questions.

Not heard from their planners in two weeks! How unprofessional and a sure way to not only get negative reviews but also to lose your business.

You must keep in touch with your brides and grooms and give status messages. This is a very exciting and emotional time for them and they expect and need you to keep in touch, it’s how you give excellent service.

Staying in touch strengthens your relationship with your clients, helps you learn of any last minute changes they want before it’s too late to make them and helps you avoid negative reviews from clients who didn’t hear from you.

So ask your couples, when you start working with them, how often they would like to hear from you and by what method, phone, email or texting, and stick to the schedule.

I suggested to this groom that he call his wedding planners immediately and ask to meet in person, Skype or over the phone to get answers to his questions and a review of his entire wedding day. If he got voice mail, he should also send an email. He deserves to know what is going on.

Please don’t be like this groom’s wedding planners – stay in touch with your clients and you’ll get and keep an excellent reputation.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.

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Not Ready to Start Your Wedding Planning Business? – Learn to Ace a Wedding Planner Job Interview


5 Tips to Ace a Wedding Planner Job Interview

If you’re dreaming of becoming a top wedding planner but have very little professional experience, you might want to consider getting a job as a planner for a large event planning company in your area.

A recent episode of the television show, “Job or No Job,” on the ABC Family network, featured a woman who was in this situation. She loved events and had been planning events for family and friends since she was a child but didn’t have professional experience. On the show, she was interviewed by three of the top event planning companies in Nashville and mentored by author and job guru, Jane Buckingham. All provided valuable insights on how to ace an interview for an entry-level wedding and event planner job.

Here are 5 tips they shared that will help you impress professional planners when you interview with them:

1) Know all about the company you are interviewing with

Do your research, review the company’s website, blog and social media sites. Know the types of products and services they offer and how you could be a good fit for their company.

2) Show enthusiasm during the interview

Enter your interview with high energy and let the interviewer know you’re excited about the position they have available.

3) Explain how your background and education are assets for a wedding and event planner

Even if you don’t have a background in events, you still could have transferable skills. Planners need to be highly organized, detail oriented, customer focused and able to manage budgets. Think about the jobs or courses you have had that may have helped you develop these skills.

4) Share your wedding and event planning experience

If you’ve done any planning at all, even if it was for family and friends, you have some relevant experience that you need to put on your resume. Be confident, don’t be afraid to tell people what you can do. You have to sell yourself!

5) Be prepared for anything but stay relaxed and be yourself

Many people within a company may interview you, they may ask you tough questions about planning events and even ask you to do some challenging roleplaying. Don’t panic! Remember wedding and event planners are expected to think on their feet. Stay calm so you can think clearly and be your best.

And if you want help to become a top wedding planner, sign in to get my ezine “Wedding Planner Tips.”

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Wedding Planners – 3 Tips for Getting Brides to Pay You Promptly



The busy Summer wedding season has ended and if you planned any weddings during the season, you should have been paid by now and be reaping the benefits of your hard work. But if you haven’t gotten paid yet and often have trouble getting paid on time, you may need to make changes in the way you handle billing.

Here are 3 things you can do to get paid:

1) Let the bride know your payment terms upfront

Be very clear when payments are due and how much they are in your proposal discussions and make sure you clearly state your terms in your contract. You should always get a deposit before you begin work and you should request your final payment before the wedding day.

2) Make it easy to get paid

Offer to let your clients use credit cards. Talk to your bank about setting this up or investigate one of the many companies that sell a device you can attach to your smartphone to run credit cards.

3) Never be afraid to ask for the money you are owed

You have a right to be paid for your services. If a bride hasn’t paid, give her a call, politely remind her that her payment is late, restate the terms of your contract and ask when she can make a payment. If you’re in the middle of planning her wedding, you might need to stop if you aren’t paid, if so, have a conversation with your bride as soon as possible.

If a bride is having money problems and can’t pay or won’t pay, talk to an attorney who can give you advice on what to do.

And if you have a pressing question about starting or running your wedding planning business, you can send me an email at I’ll answer them on this blog or in my ezine, “Wedding Planner Tips,” which you can subscribe to here.

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