Planning Weddings for Your Family and Friends


Once your family and friends know you have started a business as a wedding planner, you will get business from them. Decide upfront how you are going to handle this. Find out what their expectations of you will be. For instance, will they expect you to do more for them than you do for your other clients? Will they expect you to give them deep discounts and not charge for all of your services? If so, is this alright with you? Will they treat you as a professional and respect your time and talents? If not, how will you handle it?

I have friends who I’ve done work for who are very aware that I run a business and treat me as a professional when I work for them. However, I did do a wedding for a friend who did not offer me the same respect. Her event was small and low budget. We met to discuss what she wanted and I shared many ideas with her that she was going to follow through and do herself. I found myself doing a lot of them because she didn’t have the right tools or some other friend had not honored their commitment. She also talked to me about her wedding and wanted advice every time I ran into her. I wound up overworked and underpaid but it was my fault, I had not set boundaries in advance.

As much as possible, and I know it can be difficult when you are working with someone related to you or someone with whom you are very close, make it clear what you do and how you work, like you would with a regular client. Set boundaries for yourself but don’t forget to treat them with respect, like you would any other client.

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