Do you love all things romance, follow the wedding trends, and pay attention to detail?
Starting a wedding planning business could be just the thing for you.
Need help to get you on the right track?
Get your budding wedding planning business in full bloom with our comprehensive 9-step guide.
9 steps to start a wedding planning business
How to start a wedding planning business is all about detailed planning, the right training, and good people skills.
You want to make sure you’re doing the right things to help your new business stand out.
By not taking shortcuts you will be able to talk to your potential clients confidently and plan stunning weddings of the century.
1. Get the necessary training
For starters, you should learn the necessary skills of a wedding planner.
There are many platforms to help you out. Search for online courses or enroll in educational programs hosted by professionals in the field. Consider joining organizations that offer certifications, e.g. the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.
Look for internships to gain some experience in event coordination. Contact your local wedding planners and let them know you want to assist with upcoming events.
Since you’ll be running an event planning business, consider learning about marketing, finance management, customer service, and other relevant topics as well.
2. Set up a business plan
Once you’re confident with your skills, it’s time to create a business plan. This will help you determine your goals, target audience, and financial plans.
First and foremost, you should come up with a business name.
If you’re stuck, try using the Zyro Business Name Generator to help you out. After entering your keywords (related to terms such as a wedding, events, planner, and so on), memorable business name suggestions will be presented to you.
When you pick the right name, make sure it’s available as a domain and business name in your region. This way you’re able to build a strong brand that’s easier for your clients to remember.
Your business plan should cover your company information, services, marketing plans, and financial strategy. Use a free template if you don’t know where to start.
3. Define your services
As a wedding planner, you can offer one, a selection, or all of the following services:
- Full wedding planning – you’ll plan the entire wedding from the first consultation to the day of, including designing the concept and coordinating with the vendors.
- Partial wedding planning – typically, the couple will only hire you to help with their timeline and manage the event.
- Wedding consultation – you’ll only give recommendations on a couple’s event plans.
The service fee usually gets higher as you get more involved in planning the event. Thus, full wedding planning is the most expensive of all options. Be sure to include your services and pricing in your plan.
As your business grows, so will your plan. In the early stages, it’s better to set out realistic expectations for your small business. Once your business has expanded, adjust your plans accordingly.
4. Take care of legal documents
Next, sort out the legal documents to run your business.
For this, consider hiring an attorney to consult on a suitable business structure. The structure you choose determines your taxes and the protection of your personal assets.
In the US, small companies are recommended to go with a limited liability company, an LLC.
When you’ve decided on a structure, register your business name with your state and local governments.
If you’re a US citizen, make sure to sign up for an Employer Identification Number as well. This will enable you to file taxes, open a bank account, and hire assistants for your business.
Also, remember to get business insurance in case of disasters, accidents, or any other risks.
Don’t forget to take care of your client contracts for when you get hired. Generally, the contract includes terms for services, payment, cancellation, and termination, among other things.
5. Understand your finances
On average, a starting wedding planner in the U.S makes an average of $49,370 per year.
But in order to get to those figures, you need to be sure you have enough cash available to cover your initial costs.
While it’s possible to get your wedding & events planning business started for less than $1,000, you might want to play it safe and have a few thousand dollars available for your startup costs.
At the very least, you will need a computer, a phone, some software licenses, business cards, and office supplies to get your event planning & wedding business up and running.
Make sure to network and build a strong, marketable brand to turn your business profitable in the long run.
6. Create your brand
A successful wedding planning business is based on a unique brand.
With new wedding planners constantly appearing, having a particular niche and a brand help you to catch your clients’ eye.
You could focus on working with clients who want a big wedding with hundreds of guests or cater to people who want to get married in a nature reserve.
- Your niche. What sets you apart from the others and makes you the wedding planning business someone should choose?
- Your logo. A good logo is simple, easy to remember, and unique.
- The overall visual look of your new business. This includes other design elements like the color palette and typography you will be using.
- The tone and voice of your brand. How does your company sound like when you talk to potential clients or the people visiting your website?
7. Find trusted vendors
Since you’ll be coordinating with various vendors for your events, you should establish a professional relationship with these service providers, especially reputable ones.
Look for vendors at online directories like Wedding Wire. The website features a review system so you know which suppliers are trusted. Contact them to set up a meeting and get to know each other’s business.
Cooperating with trusted vendors can help you along the way. If you hire the right people, your clients will acknowledge that you’re knowledgeable in your field.
Additionally, when you maintain a good relationship with these suppliers, they can recommend you to their customers if they need a wedding planner.
8. Create wedding concepts
As a newcomer, you probably don’t have enough content for your portfolio. You can solve this issue by creating some mockup wedding plans to use as marketing material.
First, research on current wedding trends. Find out what the most popular themes and decorations are.
If your business focuses on cultural weddings, look for such decorations. Gather what you’ve found and design several wedding concepts.
Next, contact vendors. Ask if they’re willing to work with you in creating the concepts. You’ll probably need a vendor for flowers, decoration, and lighting. Also, get a professional photographer to capture the entire setup.
To make your own mockup designs, get inspiration from Pinterest and similar sites – feel free to set them up in your own home.
Try making several mock wedding timelines for different occasions. This will help potential clients visualize their wedding day when they are deciding whether to hire you.
9. Promote your business
To attract new customers, you should advertise your services through different channels.
Focus on creating a website to show off the previous weddings you’ve organized, as well as include testimonials of your services. You should also make use of word of mouth and social media when you’re starting out.
Create a Website
Since most people use search engines to find services, it’s important that your business has an online presence. Make sure to add your business to platforms like Google My Business to maximize the probability of potential customers finding out about your brand.
A website can also provide business information to users. When you put up online ads on search engines or wedding marketplaces, link them to your website where visitors can learn more about your services.
But don’t worry. These days, creating a website is not difficult.
The Zyro Website Builder makes the process easy for any business owner. With its AI customizations and ready-to-use templates, you won’t need any technical knowledge to design your website.
Promote to Friends and Family
Another way to market your business is by telling your family and friends.
Send them an email about your business information or promote your services during a hangout or gathering.
If some of them or their friends are getting married, offer to plan their wedding at a discount.
Use this opportunity to build your portfolio and gather testimonials. These will come in handy later on in your wedding planner career.
Share on Social Media
For instance, Facebook’s Audience Insights provides some key information about your target market, so that you can create better advertising.
Instagram can also offer analytics about your audience to help you with your marketing strategy.
Why you should start a wedding planning business
Getting into wedding management can prove both exciting and profitable. Today, the wedding industry is a lucrative business.
Regarding startup costs, starting this business is quite affordable. You can basically work from anywhere on your computer and smartphone.
If you’re passionate and multi-skilled, this job could be for you. As a wedding planner, you need to be good at customer service, event coordination, management, and design.
Risks of starting a wedding planning business
Before starting your business, you need to know the risks of becoming a wedding planner.
Since most weddings happen during weekends, you will lose some free time. Consider scheduling some days off during the week to minimize burnout.
Furthermore, you can’t build a loyal clientele from a wedding planning business. Your past customers might recommend you to their friends, but it’s not likely that those who have worked with you will hire you again.
You also need to market your business more during low seasons. Craft a strategy that encourages more people to wed in other seasons. Otherwise, you might risk losing income during idle times.
Becoming a wedding planner
The wedding industry remains a profitable business – but it takes a dedicated and multi-skilled person to become a wedding planner.
Before you start your business, consider the time and money needed to invest in starting your own business. You will have to work weekends and holidays, and market harder during the off-seasons.
Remember that you will also need to have great people skills and be able to pay attention to detail, no matter how tiny they may seem. Since weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event for many, your customers will expect to be able to have a say in everything.
If you think you can easily handle a bridezilla, and want to help create real fairytale weddings, wedding planning could be just the right career move for you.