Wedding Planner Q&A – “Should I Share My Wedding Vendor List?”


How Much Information  Should a Wedding Planner Share for Free?

Have people been asking you for tips about planning weddings and becoming a wedding planner? In my Q&A today, I answer a question about giving away your secrets.


I recently started my wedding planning business and I’m having some success. A friend has seen what I’m doing and wants to be wedding planner too. She wants me to help her get started and has asked me to share my list of vendors. I don’t want to be rude or mean, but I really don’t want to do it.

What should I do?


Unfortunately, this happens to many wedding and event planners and, as you spend more time in the business, you’ll find that many people will approach you for information that they expect you to give to them for free.

So, whether you have a bride or a want-to-be wedding planner asking for your vendor list or other information that is important to your business, consider these 3 things before you answer:

1) You’re running a professional business

Many people think wedding and event planning is just “party planning” that anyone can do. You need to help them understand that your knowledge is valuable and desirable and show them you are a professional. You may want to answer simple questions but for more detailed information, you might want to charge a fee like a professional in any other field.

2) You’re not obligated to help new wedding planners who want your vendor list

I know it is difficult when a friend or relative is involved, but you won’t be helping someone be successful by just handing them information. In order to do well, they need to put the same effort into learning wedding planning and developing vendor relationships that you did.

Explain that it took you time, energy and hard work to be where you are today. Tell them you would be happy to share with them where they may learn to become a wedding planner and how they can start their vendor network. However, you are different people, your personalities are different, you’ll attract different brides and the brides each of you serve may need different vendors.

3) You won’t get clients by giving away information

When you get a call or email from a bride who wants free planning information or a vendor list, ask questions and find out if she intends to hire a wedding planner. Then briefly explain your consultation services and your rates and ask if she is interested. Randomly giving away information will not help you win more clients.

Never be afraid to politely and firmly say, “no,” when someone asks for information that you’ve worked hard to get and don’t feel like sharing for free. Don’t be a people pleaser, be a professional wedding planner and spend your time and energy serving the brides who value and respect you and your work.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planners – Choose Marketing Methods That Are Right for You



Happy Wedding Wednesday! Here’s an easy-to-follow tip to help you with your marketing.


As you’re determining how you’ll market your new wedding planning business, remember to only select marketing methods that you’re willing to commit to doing over a long period of time.

For example, if you decide to set up a blog to market your business, you’ll need to commit to blogging on a regular basis, at least two to three times a week. This way your blog will get noticed by the search engines and attract brides who will continue to read it for your valuable new content. However, if you set up a blog and only post once a month or less, you won’t attract a following and you’ll just feel guilty for not following through. This means blogging isn’t right for you.

Or, if you decide to exhibit in bridal shows and wedding fairs, you’ll need to have plans in place to follow up and stay in touch with emails and/or mailers. When you do this, you’ll be at the top of brides’ minds when they are ready to hire a wedding planner. If you don’t stay in touch, you’ll be frustrated because the time you spent exhibiting will not bring you many clients.

The bottom line, your marketing methods will only work when you do them the right way. You need to so choose ones that you’re willing to commit to in order to reach the brides you want.

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

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5 Traits of Successful Wedding Planners


Characteristics of Successful Wedding Planners

Everyone knows wedding planners need to be organized and detail-oriented but it takes much more than just those traits for you to be a success. The current issue of Special Events magazine features an article that names the personality traits that top professionals have, and you should too.

Here are 5 of the traits they listed along with why I think they’re important:

1) Leader

Your own staff, the wedding vendors and the bride will be looking to you for leadership during the planning process and the wedding itself. You need to be able to motivate people, give directions and get people to listen to you.

2) Time manager

You need to keep track of the wedding timeline and get wedding vendors and the bride and groom to meet their time commitments for the wedding to go off without a hitch.

3) Problem-solver

Unexpected things can happen at a wedding and you need to resolve any emergencies that arise. (This means you also need to be able to always stay calm and be a quick thinker!)

4) Artistic

Whether or not you’re a wedding designer in addition to be a wedding planner, you need to have, or develop, an eye for event design. This will help you understand the work of wedding design vendors and will enable you to help your brides make design decisions.

5) Motivated

You must always have a positive attitude and be ready and willing to work hard and do your best for your brides and for the success of your business.

You can read the article on the Special Events Magazine website.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planner Q&A – “What Types of Associations and Groups Should I Join to Build My Business?”


Joining Wedding Planner Associates and Business Groups Can Help Your Wedding Business

If you’re a new wedding planner who is trying to build your network of wedding vendors and other business owners, you’ll probably want to join a professional business group. Today I talk about some of the different groups and how to decide if you should join one.


This is the first time I’ve had my own business. Someone suggested I join a business group to get referrals and meet wedding vendors. What kind of group should I join? I’ve heard that there is a chapter of an event planner association that meets nearby. Should I join it?


There are wedding and event planner associations, business referral networking groups, and local business groups, such as chambers of commerce, who are eager to have you become a member when you start your business.

Here is some information about some of them:

Wedding and Event Planner Associations
Members are wedding and event planners and vendors who help planners run their businesses, such as event insurance brokers and event planning software designers, and vendors who help plan weddings, such as caterers and florists. You could build your network of peers and wedding vendors, get the latest information on weddings and events, take educational classes and get opportunities to attend conventions that feature some of the top names in the industry. Typically, these are national or international organizations that have local chapters throughout their respective countries, or the world.

Business Referral and Leads Groups
Members are professionals of diverse occupations, they usually only allow one person per profession in a chapter which means you would not have competition. The organizations provide education and practice in networking. Many occupations might not be related to wedding and event planning and it might be difficult to give or receive referrals and leads so research thoroughly before joining.

Chambers of Commerce
Members are business people who are located in a specific city or area. They can be from many different types of businesses and it does not matter if there is more than one member per profession. You might meet some local vendors whom you can add to your network but the professionals who join and benefit the are often those with have retail establishments.

Before you join any association or group, ask yourself these 5 questions:

1) What is my purpose for joining?

If you want to be able to network with others in the industry, you would need to join a wedding and event planner association instead of, for example, a local chamber of commerce.

2) Does it fit into my budget?

Membership in organizations should be a part of your marketing budget, not a spur-of-the moment decision made when someone writes or calls asking you to join. Memberships run hundreds of dollars plus there may be additional fees for attending meetings, events and conferences.

3) Can I attend meetings on a regular basis?

The meetings and events need to be at times and in locations that work well for you or you won’t attend regularly and you won’t be able to establish relationships with others.

4) Am I willing to actively participate?

If you are active in committees and take leadership positions, you will get recognition, which could translate into more business relationships and referrals. Just be sure it won’t take too much time and energy away from your wedding planning business. And don’t volunteer to give away free event planning services for every event they hold!

5) Have other wedding and event planners benefited from membership?

Before joining, find out if others had success finding the networking, educational and/or referral opportunities that you are looking for.

Before you join any organization, take advantage of guest and visitor events where you can meet members and find out more about the benefits of membership.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planners – Tips for Designing a Website That Attracts More Brides


Wedding Planners - How Your Website Can Attarct More Brides

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Here’s some quick and easy advice that can help you get more weddings.


Today I’m asking a few questions that will lead you to make the changes needed to get your website to stand out and attract more brides.

First, before the questions, I must say that you need to have a photographer take a professional photo of you to use on your website, blog and all of your social networking sites. I’m surprised by the number of wedding planners who don’t show brides what they look like. Let brides see your face so they can start feeling like they know you.

Next, read the copy on your website. Does it not only say what you do but also express your personality and style? Does it differentiate you from other wedding planners? Does it explain the benefits of hiring you? Would a bride reading your site feel confident that you are knowledgeable, organized, creative and able to handle emergencies? Do you ask a bride to contact you for more information? Do you sound so approachable and easy to work with that she wants to pick up the phone and ask to meet with you?

Then, look at your site. Does the style reflect you and the style of weddings that you plan or want to plan? Does it have photographs from weddings you have planned? Is it free of flash images and montages that make it load slowly and may not even appear if brides go to your site from a mobile device?

A good website is not the most beautiful one, it’s the one that gets brides to call you. Take some time to review your site and get it to work for you.

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

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Wedding Planners – 3 Things to Tell People About What You Do


What Wedding Planners Should Say About  What They Do

When people ask you what you do, what do you say?

If your only response is, “I’m a wedding planner,” you run the risk of people believing you are just like the ones they’ve seen in the comedies on television or in the movies, people who charge a lot of money then take over control of weddings from brides and make them overspend.

Instead of this simple response, take the time to create one that helps people recognize you as a unique and valuable expert in planning weddings.

Here are 3 things you should tell people when asked what you do:

1) Who your clients, or potential clients, are

For example, tell people: “I help brides with busy careers take care of all of the details concerning their weddings.”

2) The benefits of your services

Let people know the benefits you brides receive when they work with you.

Some examples: they won’t have the worry and stress of doing it all themselves; they get access to the best wedding vendors in town and great rates because of your connections; or they get information on the latest wedding trends and help creating the style of wedding they want, within their budget.

3) How much you love what you do

When you show enthusiasm and passion for the brides you help and the work that you do, people will perceive you as an expert and spend more time getting to know you and your business. This can lead to great relationships, both personal and professional, and great referrals to the brides you want.

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

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Wedding Planner Q&A – “I’m New, Why Would a Bride Want to Hire Me?”


Wedding Planners need to be confident of the valuable expertise and services they offer to brides

You love planning weddings! But when you first start out as a wedding planner, you maybe a little insecure about what you have to offer to brides. In my Q&A today I offer tips that can help you discover the unique qualities you have that are valuable to brides.


I have done many weddings for friends and they love me. I dream of doing it for a living, but so many brides like to plan their own weddings and  there are a lot of other wedding planners out there. I worry that I don’t have what it takes to get hired.

I guess I don’t have much confidence. Can you help me think this through?


In order to get brides to hire you, you have to show confidence in yourself and your abilities. You also need to prove that you can exceed what brides can do for themselves and what other planners can do for them.

Here are 3 assets you may have that can help brides:

1) Your experience

It’s not just years of experience that counts, it’s also the type of experience that you have had. For example; if you’ve spent a few years working as an event designer for an event planning firm, interned with a florist who designs weddings, or coordinated all of the weddings for your place of worship, you have experience that many other wedding planners don’t.

Make sure you let brides know about these experiences you’ve had that helps you be a great wedding planner for them.

2) Your education

Not everyone has taken the time and invested the money needed to get an event or wedding planning certification from a reputable association or institution. If you have done so, you need to tell brides about it.

And, wedding planner courses aren’t the only valuable education. If you have completed a program in floral design, your skills can help a bride with selecting her wedding flowers. If you have taken courses in hospitality management, you have an understanding of food service and venue management that helps you when working with caterers and venues. Classes in interior and fashion design help you with wedding style and color.

Think about your education, if it gave you knowledge that helps you be a great asset to brides, promote it in your marketing.

3) Your services

If you select a narrow niche, then create services that you know those brides need and they will want to hire you. Or, if you plan weddings that follow particular traditions that are important to your brides, they will seek you out.

Take the time to write a list all of the experience, knowledge and services you can offer to brides. When you compare what you offer to what brides can do themselves or what other wedding planners offer, you’ll find that you have unique qualities that brides value. This information will give you the confidence you need to proceed with your dream.

And you can learn more about becoming a wedding planner in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planners – 3 Tips for a Successful Wedding Planning Business


Tips to Become a Top Wedding Planner

You’re excited to finally start your own wedding planning business. But, are you trying to attract brides before you have a clear idea of what your business is going to look like?

According to Michael Port, author of the best-selling book, “Book Yourself Solid,” many new entrepreneurs make this common mistake. In an article in the current issue of Success magazine, he offers tips to help create a well thought-out business that can attract many clients and become very successful.

Here are 3 of his tips that I’ve customized to help you, as you start your wedding planning business:

1) Determine your ideal bride

Yes, you’ve probably heard this before, but it’s true, your business will be more successful if you have a narrow target market. No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to help every type of bride who’s out there. Select a specific group of brides who have something in common, for example; their geographic location, financial status, or the type of wedding they want, who also have the budget and the desire to hire a wedding planner.

2) Be relevant

Once you know your ideal bride, become an expert at solving her wedding planning problems. Then create a business with services that meet her needs and a marketing message that shows her that you understand her and can help her.

3) Prove to your bride that she needs to hire you

Emphasize the unique qualities you have that will make a bride want to hire you instead of your competition. And, get testimonials from brides you have worked with, even if they didn’t pay you for your wedding planning services, so potential clients can understand from other brides how great you are at planning weddings.

Also, always be at your best. Dress, act and speak with confidence and power, and make sure your marketing efforts, both in print and online, look polished and professional.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planner Q&A – How Do I Work With a Vendor Who Doesn’t Use a Contract?


 Wedding Planners Need to Work With High Quality Wedding Vendors

As a wedding planner, you’ll be relying heavily on your network of vendors to help you give your brides the weddings of their dreams. They need to be the best that you can find, people who are no only great at what they do, but who are also running professional businesses. Today I talk about the qualities to look for in a fellow wedding vendor.


When negotiating with vendors for a bride, what should I do when a vendor doesn’t use a contract? Do I write one for them and have both the vendor and the bride sign it? Do I sign it?


It’s preferable not to work with vendors who don’t use contracts. It could be a sign that they may not be operating a professional business, in which case they might not have the knowledge needed to give your brides the quality of service they expect. It could also be a sign that they may not have the appropriate licenses and permits needed to run a business in their field. (For example, a caterer who sells liquor without a liquor license.)

You shouldn’t write contracts for others. Suggest the vendor do as you have done and consult with an attorney to create a contract that explains the services they are offering to your bride, what their terms are, and what they expect of their clients.

Speak to an attorney before signing contracts for others. You don’t want to put your business in jeopardy.

The vendors whom you recommend must meet your high standards of quality and customer service because they will be working with you, and your reputation is at stake.

Here are 7 things you should look for in a vendor:

1) They have the necessary licenses, permits, and insurance needed to offer services in their area of expertise

2) They have a good reputation, have experience working within your niche, and know how to please your brides

3) They are polite and responsible; they attend meetings on time and promptly return your calls

4) They are willing to negotiate fairly with you and/or your brides

5) They speak respectfully about their clients and other vendors

6) They listen to you and your brides and they are willing to take your direction

7) They love what they do so they are committed to doing the best they can for you and your brides

(Vendors look for these qualities in wedding planners too so make sure you are also someone they want to do business with!)

If your bride has hired a vendor whom you don’t know, take the time to meet with them before the wedding. Review their contract so you know what they are responsible for and then plan how you can best work together on the wedding day.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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Wedding Planners – 3 Things to Consider When Determining Your Rates


How Wedding Planners Can Decide on Their Rates

How did you decide what to charge for your wedding planning services? Many new wedding planners I speak with select their rates very randomly. They think about how much they made in a previous, totally unrelated job they did for an employer and they charge a similar amount. Or they pick an amount that sounds like a rate brides would pay. Or, they find out what other wedding planners charge and just charge the same amount.

If any of these methods hits home with you, it’s time to re-think how you’re setting your rates. The amount you charge cannot be based on other types of work you’ve done or just something that sounds like it might work. And, while it’s good to find out what competitors in your area are charging, charging the same rate is a mistake if you don’t have the same level of expertise and/or you aren’t offering the same services.

Here are 3 things you need to consider when you are determining your rates:

1) Your skills and experience

Don’t feel you must charge a low rate because you are just starting your business. Consider the weddings and other types of events you have done in the past that have given you the opportunity to manage clients, vendors, budgets, and timelines. You have the expertise that brides need so charge appropriately.

2) Your business expenses

You’re on your own, you no longer have an employer buying your office supplies, providing you with an office phone line, a computer and other equipment, and paying for your healthcare.

You also have recurring expenses such as charges associated with your business bank account and, if you take credit cards, and you should, you are giving the credit card company about 2% to 3% of what you make.

And don’t forget the cost of driving to and from meetings with brides and vendors.

Consider all of the expenses that need to be covered by the rates you set.

3) The amount of time you spend planning weddings

You definitely need to examine in detail the amount of time it takes for you to plan a wedding before pricing your packages. Prior to the actual hours you spend onsite at the wedding, you spend many hours in meetings with brides and vendors, following up after meetings, sending email confirmations, running errands for your brides, and much more. And, you probably have at least one assistant helping you who you need to pay.

As you can see, can’t randomly decide how much to charge for your services if you want to have a profitable wedding planning business.

And you can learn more about starting and running your wedding planning business in my Free Special Report “7 Steps to Becoming a Top Wedding Planner.” You can get it here.

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