Wedding Planner Q&A – “Where Do I Find a Wedding Planner Job?”

 

Where to get a job as a wedding planner

If you’re not ready to start your own wedding planning business or you feel like you rather not take on the responsibilities of running a business, here’s where you can find a wedding planner job.

Question

I am currently taking a wedding planner course online. My goal is to work for a business, rather than have my own business. I would feel more comfortable being part of a team rather than being on my own. My question is where do I start to look for a career like this around my area?

Answer

Owning a business isn’t for everyone and successful wedding and event businesses need great, hard-working planners on their teams so there are jobs available.

First, decide what your ideal job would look like. Part time? Full time? Working in a small to mid-sized team of wedding professionals? Or, working in a large company or corporation that offers, among many things, the services of wedding and event planners, such as a hotel or another type of venue?

Then do some research and check out these 7 places to find job opportunities:

1) Your wedding planner school

Successful alumni may reach out to to your school for referrals to new planners. Contact them to find out if they have a referral program for jobs.

2) Wedding and event planner associations

Considering joining an association so you can develop relationships with others in the industry. Attend local chapter events on a regular basis to meet and network with successful professionals who can hire you and/or refer you to someone who can.

3) Venues

Hotels, country clubs and event venues often have small teams of wedding and event planners who plan events for their customers.

4) Local High-End Wedding and Event Planners

Talk to recent brides, check local editions of bridal magazines, attend bridal shows and search wedding blogs and Facebook pages for the busiest, most successful wedding planners in your area. Learn more about their businesses and, if you feel you would be a good fit, contact them and find out if they might be interested in your skills.

5) Other types of wedding vendors

High-end caterers and florists often have planners on staff to help them, so do some research into these businesses in your area and see who might be in need of you expertise.

6) Wedding planner job websites

Do a Google search for websites that list job openings for wedding and event planners. Be cautious if a site asks for money to find you a job.

7) Networking

The best jobs often come from referrals from people you know. Make sure your friends and family know that you want a job as a wedding planner.

Employers want planners who have education and experience. If your experience is limited, offer to plan events for free for family and friends. These experiences will not only help you add to your portfolio, they’ll also help you develop a list of people who can give you glowing references.

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



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Wedding Planners – 3 Ways to Avoid the Distractions That Can Hurt Your Business

 

Wedding Planners - Don 't Get Distracted - Stay Focused on Your Goals

At the beginning of the year, you set goals for your wedding planning business. You might have decided to finally launch your business, attract more brides to your existing business or maybe expand and add new services and products.

Have you started to accomplish some of your goals or have you found yourself overwhelmed with so many distractions that you haven’t made much progress?

There can be a lot of distractions in daily life and unless you get and stay focused, you won’t be able to become the top wedding planner you want to be.

Here are 3 tips that will help you avoid distractions so you can concentrate on making your business a success:

1) Set boundaries

With all the technology in use today, family, friends and brides can reach you 24/7 via phone, texting and email. While you want to be reachable, if you’re not in the critical last weeks before a wedding, set aside specific times during the day to read and respond to email and social media comments and return phone calls. Don’t let other people control your time.

2) Set priorities

If your goal is to to have a successful wedding planning business, you need to spend your time marketing and promoting your business and giving your brides excellent service.

Each evening before leaving your office, write down the things you want to accomplish the next day, be realistic about what you can get done, and start in on them as soon as you sit down at your desk.

3) Stop multitasking

Multitasking can make you feel like you’re getting many things done at the same time but it can actually hurt your productivity and the quality of your work. Each time you switch from one task to another, you’re actually interrupting your own work and making your brain figure out where you left off before it can start doing the task again.

So as difficult as it might be, concentrate on doing one thing at a time so you’re always doing your best for your business and giving your best to your brides.

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 – “Do I Need to Buy the Specialty Decorations Brides Want at Their Weddings?”

 

Wedding Planners - Find and provide high-end decorative irtems

When you look through wedding blogs and magazines, couples always seem to have the perfect decorative items, no matter what the theme. As a wedding planner, brides may ask you to provide these items for their weddings. Here’s where you can find them and how to decide if you want to invest in them.

Question

I started my wedding planning business about 12 months ago and have planned a few small weddings. I would like to know what I should do when I want to plan large-scale weddings with tons of detail. Should I purchase detail items, which may never be used again, or is there another option?

I know I can rent things such as vases, chairs, etc., however I’m wondering about other detail items that may be on reception tables or large urns that may make the wedding and reception even more glam.

Answer

Congratulations on planning your first weddings! I’m sure there are many more in your future.

If you work with a bride who wants items that you can’t rent and can’t use again, find out if she’s willing to purchase them. Many brides are more than happy to pay for items that would help them make their vision come true.

However, before you ask her to purchase any items, do some research. If you are working with wedding and event designers, ask them to find the detail items you want to rent or have them suggest alternatives that are more readily available.

If you’re doing the design work yourself, look beyond your local party rental companies for your items. Check with high-end florists, tent rental companies, caterers and theatrical prop houses for specialty rental items. Also, find companies through wedding and event planner associations and industry magazines, like “Special Events,” that rent and sell to event professionals. They can provide many of the things you see in wedding blogs, magazines and on Pinterest.

If you know that the items your bride want will be used again by future clients, and you have storage space, consider purchasing them and renting them out yourself. This way you can not only easily provide unique, high-quality items to your brides but also make some additional money. (Get a seller’s permit so you can purchase at wholesale prices and find out from your state government if you need to charge sales tax when you offer party rental.)

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



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “What if I Don’t Look Like a Traditional Wedding Planner?”

 

Become a Wedding Planner to Non Traditional Brides

Here are tips for what you can do if you don’t feel you fit the standard expectation of what a wedding planner looks like.

Question

I need advice about my personal appearance. I live in the Bible Belt, and while I’m not saying that all wedding planners are like this, most whom I’ve seen on websites appear to be clean cut and conservative.

I am the complete opposite of that with my full collection of body art and modifications. Most can be covered but I still I fear that since I look a lot different from most of the people in the wedding industry here, or people here in general, I’ll be quickly rejected and my passion will be overlooked because of how I look.

How can I get brides to see me as a professional who is passionate about being in the wedding industry and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed?

Answer

I can tell that you have a real passion to be a wedding planner. If you want to work with traditional brides, you may need to cover up your body art, especially when you first start your business. Once you gain a reputation for being a fabulous wedding planner, brides may be less concerned about how you look.

However, I have a different suggestion for you because I don’t think you should need to hide who you are in order to fulfill your dream of becoming a wedding planner. I realize you are in the Bible Belt but I’m sure that not all brides in your area want a traditional wedding. Many couples today feel free to be who they are at their weddings, especially since many are paying for the event themselves.

I would like you to consider specializing in a niche of brides who look like you and/or want creative, non-traditional weddings. Surf the Internet for inspiration and ideas. Put in words like; “offbeat,” “punk,” “rock n’ roll,” “badass,” “alternative” and “tattoo” followed by the word “bride” and you’ll find websites, blogs, Pinterest boards and books available on this topic. Become an expert in this wedding style and study traditional wedding planning too so you can incorporate ideas from both worlds.

Then go out and talk to your friends to see if they know brides who want a different style of wedding and ask them to refer you. Go to the place where you get your body art, engaged couples sometimes get tattoos together, and find out if they would be willing to refer couples to you. Also, find wedding vendors who would be willing to work with you and your brides.

It could be that you develop your wedding planning business so you not only work in person with brides in your area, but also consult and guide non-traditional brides all over the country, and maybe even the world.

You’ll find the most success when you allow yourself to be who you are and work with brides who appreciate your uniqueness.

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



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Wedding Planners – Are You Reaching the Right Brides with Your Advertising Dollars?

 

Wedding Planners - Research Before Investing in Advertising

How thoroughly do you research a company before you invest your money in a marketing or advertising opportunity?

Here’s the reason I’m asking.

I was running errands yesterday and driving down a major street when I saw a yellow and black sign stuck in the grass that said “Bridal Fair.” It gave the date, the previous Sunday, and the location, a local “Five Star” Hotel.

There was nothing “Five Star” about that sign. (It looked similar to the one I created in the photo above with my limited graphics skills.) I wondered what the company who sold booth spaces to that fair had told wedding vendors about how they would attract brides. And, did a lot of wedding vendors sign up because they assumed they would be attracting high-end brides?

My guess is a majority of the brides who attended weren’t in niche the vendors wanted. Putting a cheap sign out on the street isn’t going to attract brides who can afford a luxury wedding. It’s going to attract a wide variety of brides, many of whom will just be shopping.

Before investing in any marketing and advertising, find out these 3 things from the people selling the opportunity:

1) Who are the brides who they would attract for you?

Ask them to be specific about who they are and what their weddings look like; for example, age, income level, profession, wedding date, budget, size and style.

2) What do they do to put you in front of the brides in your niche?

Whether the opportunity is buying ads on wedding websites or magazines or at a bridal fair, the company should be driving business to you with social media and web advertising and print ads of their own.

3) What’s their track record?

Find out how well other wedding vendors have done. Ask to see testimonials, especially if you’re about to spend a significant portion of your marketing and advertising budget.

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 – “Should I Partner with Another Wedding Planner?”

 

Wedding Planner Partnerships

If you’re a new wedding planner, partnering with another planner might be a great idea but here are some things to consider before you go into business with someone else.

Question

I have a question about partnerships. I started my wedding planning business about a year ago and I’ve only planned one wedding since. I know I need to improve on my marketing, so I’m really working on it now. However, I worked with another planner this past weekend and we really worked well together. She asked if I’d be interested in partnering with her. I think what she meant was, me maybe putting my business on hold for a minute and working with her to coordinate or work at the weddings that she has lined up.

Should I work with her to gain experience?

Answer

I’m glad you recognize the need to work on your marketing. When a wedding planner struggles, it’s often not because the planner isn’t great, it’s because the planner doesn’t realize the importance of making marketing a priority and hasn’t done what it takes to attract brides.

Before you can decide whether it’s worth it to work with this other planner, the two of you need to sit down and discuss what “partnering” means. Is she really just asking you to work for her, to be her assistant? If so, would it mean you couldn’t plan any weddings on your own, without her? Also, what kind of work would you get? What kind of skills would working for her give you? How much would she be willing to pay you?

If she is asking you to be a “partner,” is it possible to work together only when one of you needs extra assistance? Then allow both of you to maintain your own separate businesses and separate lists of brides?

If you do work together in some way, be sure you’re very clear about the roles and responsibilities each of you will have and how you will divide the profits. Also, decide who owns the rights to any wedding designs and any clients in the event one of you decides to end the partnership. Get agreements in writing. A contract, written with the help of an attorney, will protect both of you and help you be clear on your responsibilities and your pay.

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



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “How Much Time Will it Take Me to Plan a Wedding?”

 

Wedding Planners - Knowing How Much TIme it Takes To Plan a Wedding Helps Determine How Much to Charge

There are many factors to consider when you are determining what to charge for your wedding planning services, knowing how long it will take you to do your work is an important part of it.

Question

I’m trying to price my services. Can you please share with me the approximate amount of time it takes to plan a wedding and reception? Also, the approximate time it takes to design for a wedding and reception?

Answer

The number of hours it takes to complete these tasks is dependent on so many factors that it’s impossible for me to pin down the exact amount of time they would take for you to do.

You can calculate your time yourself based on the amount of hours these tasks have taken you to complete in the past and by taking these 10 things into consideration:

1) Your level of skill and experience

If you’ve planned many similar events, the work won’t take as much time as it will if you are inexperienced.

2) The number of staff you have and their levels of experience

The more experience your assistants you have, the faster and easier the work will go. Don’t forget to factor in their charges when you determine your rates.

3) The services you are offering

Are you the planner or the planner and designer? Does the bride want you handling every detail for her or do you only need to coordinate her vendors?

4) The size of the wedding

The larger wedding, the more time it could take you to work with your bride to make all of the plans.

5) How complicated the wedding will be

If the bride wants a wedding with over-the-top décor, entertainers, fireworks or anything that is out-of-the ordinary, it will take more time for you to plan and/or design it than a wedding with a simple ceremony and reception.

6) The number of vendors involved

The more vendors involved, the more time it will take you to coordinate their work and manage them onsite.

7) Your relationship with the vendors

If you have worked together in the past, you’ll be familiar with each other’s work style and won’t need to spend as much time meeting with them.

8) The type of venues you are using

If a venue is not all-inclusive, you’ll need to spend time with your bride designing the event and working with a party rental company, caterers, bartenders and additional staff.

9) The number of venues involved

If the ceremony and reception are in different places, you’ll need to spend time planning and coordinating transportation, events and staff at two separate locations.

10) Your bride

If you have a bride who has difficulty making decisions and questions everything you suggest, it will take you more time to plan and design her wedding and reception than it would if you have a bride who is easy-going and trusts your opinions.

Remember that tasks usually take longer than you anticipate so factor in extra time. And don’t offer too many services that you haven’t done in the past. You want all brides to have the weddings of their dreams, so make sure you are offering the best service possible.

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



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Wedding Planners – Stop Feeling Discouraged and Start Being Successful

 

Wedding Planners Can't Let Themselves Get Discouraged

It’s the end of February, have you taken the steps to become a top wedding planner that you decided to do at the beginning of the year? Or, have you already gotten discouraged and decided you can’t do it? Often, what separates those who become top wedding planners from those who don’t is a positive, can-do attitude.

Here are 3 steps to follow to stop being discouraged so you can start becoming a top wedding planner:

1) Stop worrying about making mistakes

Trying to be perfect before you start your business is a common mistake many new wedding planners make. If you’re worried that you may make too many mistakes when first planning weddings, start by offering a small list of services then increase what you offer as you get more experience working with brides.

2) Don’t let the unexpected throw you

Understand that things don’t always happen the way you hope they will. For example, the brides you thought would be your niche may not appear right away. This doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. This just means you need to look at your niche and see what you can do to attract more brides. Or, do some research to determine if there is a better niche for you to pursue.

3) Get rid of any feelings of helplessness

If you’re starting your wedding planning business with very few contacts and supporters in the industry, you may, at times, feel overwhelmed and helpless when you have questions. There is no need to feel this way. Wedding and event planning associations can provide you with contacts in the industry. If there aren’t any of these groups in your area, be resourceful. Check local business groups for opportunities to learn about running your business and to meet and network with other wedding vendors and entrepreneurs.

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



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Wedding Planner Q&A – “Why Aren’t Brides Hiring Me After a Bridal Show?”

 

Wedding Planners - Tips for Getting Hired After Exhibiting in a Bridal Show

We’re right in the middle of a fabulous bridal show season (January through March). My tips today can help you get the brides you want after a show whether you’re a first time exhibitor or experienced and just not getting the results you want.

Question

I have experience planning weddings and events and started my business last year. I’ve exhibited at a few of the biggest bridal shows and wedding events in my area. I’ve met and talked to a lot of brides. I figure the more I meet, the better my chances of getting clients. I’ve gotten a lot of interest but I’m having trouble getting hired.

Any suggestions?

Answer

Good for you for getting out and meeting brides! I know it can be discouraging not to get hired after putting in a lot of effort. It’s likely that you may just need to make some small changes in what you are already doing to get brides to see they need to hire you.

Here are 5 questions to answer about the way you exhibit that might help you see what you can do differently to bring in clients:

1) Have you chosen the bridal shows that attract brides in your niche?

Bigger isn’t always better. Before signing up for your next event, find out if the show attracts your ideal bride.

2) Do you have unique services that brides attending the shows need?

Since you’re talking to a lot of brides, you probably have gathered a lot of information about their wedding planning problems. Use that information to create the services that they will want to buy from you.

3) Do you let brides do most of the talking?

Don’t be so eager to get hired that your whole conversation is a sales pitch. Show you are interested and ask questions so you can learn how you can help them.

4) Do you clearly explain the benefits of your services?

Once you understand how you can help a bride, be sure you don’t just rattle off your list of services. Tell her how the services you offer can solve her problems. Give examples of how you have helped brides who have had similar concerns and show photographs of what you have done.

5) Do you follow up after a show?

Most brides will not hire you during a bridal show so you need a follow up plan. Make appointments to meet for short, free consultations and get permission to email them. And don’t forget to give them your contact information with your social media addresses so they can follow you. (Read my blog post with more tips on following up after a bridal show.)

Bridal shows aren’t the only places to meet brides. Join social and business groups that brides in your niche might also join. In an atmosphere in which the bride isn’t worried that people are out to sell wedding services and products to her, she may be more relaxed and open to getting to know more about you and eventually, hiring you.

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



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Wedding Planners – 5 Top Wedding Décor Trends of the Year

 

Chinoiserie is One of the Top Wedding Trends This Year

Even if your wedding planning services do not include creating wedding décor and design, you need to know the current trends so you can speak knowledgeably with your brides and vendors as you plan weddings.

Celebrity wedding and event planner Mindy Weiss recently named the top 5 wedding décor trends for this year. See if you agreed with her selections. I’ve added my comments and examples from the web:

1) Chinoiserie

The fanciful and whimsical European interpretation of Chinese styles has always been popular in home décor. Now you can see it frequently in wedding décor. There are two different Chinoiserie color palettes that are used, blue and white, and jade and peony. The latter is often seen in vintage inspired weddings. (The photos above and below are from Cherry Blossoms and Faerie Wings)

Chinoiserie is one of the top wedding trends of the year

2) Rich colors

This year many couples are choosing bold, bright color combinations and jewel tones over delicate pastels. (Absolutely Loved Wedding Photography – sorry I couldn’t get their link to work)

Rich, Deep Colors are a Wedding Trend

3) Classic

Many brides this year want classic, romantic weddings with lots of lace, not just for their wedding gown, but also for décor. You’re probably already seeing table linens, chair covers  and even wedding cakes with edible lace. (Mindy Weiss)

Classic Romance is a Top Wedding Design Trend for the Year

4) Watercolor Ombre

This trend has been building since last year. See it on the aisle and in cakes, bouquets and fashion. (Style Me Pretty).

Ombre is one of the Top Wedding Trends of the Year

 5) Nature and outdoors

Indoor and tented weddings now feature beautiful garden arrangements, fountains, centerpieces of trees bursting with blooms and chandeliers covered in greenery and flowers.

Clear tents are often used for these nature-inspired indoor weddings. They’re a great way to avoid dealing with unpredictable weather while still having the beauty of the sky and the surrounding landscape be part of a wedding. (Weddings Unveiled Magazine)

Bringing the Outdoors in is a Top Wedding Planning Tip

Attract and keep the interest of the brides in your niche with a Pinterest board filled with Wedding Trends.

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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