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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

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.

The event and wedding planning market’s having a moment right now, and roughly 66% of millennials are willing to employ wedding planners for their special day.

Need help to get you on the right track?

Get your budding wedding planning business in full bloom with our comprehensive 9-step guide.

How to start a wedding planning business in 9 steps 💒

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 from other successful wedding planners, right?

By not taking shortcuts you will be able to talk to your potential clients confidently and plan stunning weddings of the century.

Lights out of focus

1. Get the necessary training

For starters, if you don’t have prior experience in wedding planning, you should take the time to 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.

Pro tip 💁 – 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 and bridal shows (those are never stress-free, so it’s likely that most wedding planners will appreciate the extra pair of hands). 

Since you’ll be running an event planning business, consider learning about marketing, finance management, customer service, and other relevant topics as well.

Consider joining networking events for wedding professionals and event planners to meet with other business owners and learn from them first-hand. This might require you to travel to big nearby cities (think New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and so on), but if you plan ahead, you can save on travel costs.  

2. Draft a solid business plan

Once you’re confident with your skills in the wedding planning business, it’s time to create a business plan and start building your own business from the ground up. 

A business plan will help you determine your goals, target audience, and financial plans. It will also help you understand your business structure, whether you need a business license. 

And if you’re looking to open a business bank account, or use a business credit card, chances are that your bank will require you to have a business plan in the first place.

But how do you start?

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 business information, services, marketing plans, and financial strategy. Use a free template if you don’t know what business accounts and aspects to include.

A happy couple by a pool releasing lots of balloons

3. Define your wedding planning services 

We get it – you want to become a successful wedding planner. 

In order to differentiate yourself from the other small business owners in the market, 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 paying client will only hire you to help with their timeline and manage the wedding day.
  • Wedding consultation. You’ll only give recommendations on engaged couples’ event plans.

The service fee usually gets higher as you get more involved in planning the event. This means that full wedding planning is the most expensive of all options. Be sure to include your services and pricing in your plan.

As your wedding business grows, so will your business plan and the services you offer. In the early stages, it’s better to set out realistic expectations for your small business. After all, you don’t want to be working all the hours of the day simply because you didn’t realize the workload. 

Once your business has expanded, adjust your future goals and ideal clientele accordingly.

Next, it’s time to become a legal entity and 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 like wedding and event planners are recommended to go with a limited liability company, an LLC.

This way, you’re personally not at big financial risk if your wedding planning business venture goes under for any reason. 

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.

Money, plant and a candle on a table

5. Understand your finances

On average, you can expect to make an average of $49,370 per year in the U.S. when you’re starting a wedding planning business. 

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 and 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 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 own wedding planning brand

A successful wedding planning business is based on a unique brand.

With so many wedding planners constantly appearing on the scene, having a particular niche and a brand help you to catch the engaged couples’ 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.

Think about:

  • Your niche. What sets you apart from the other wedding service providers 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 wedding planning business. This includes other web design elements like the color palette and typography you will be using.
  • The tone and voice of your brand. How does your business sound like when you talk to potential clients or the people visiting your website?
Two people shaking hands

7. Find trusted vendors

Since you’ll be coordinating with various vendors (think florist, catering company, furniture rental, and so on) for your events, you should establish a professional relationship with these service providers, especially reputable ones.

As a new business, you might not have an existing pool of business partners to tap into. 

Look for vendors at online directories like Wedding Wire. The wedding 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 novice wedding planner, you probably don’t have enough content for your portfolio. That’s OK – many wedding planners start their careers by creating mock-up wedding plans to use as marketing material.

First, research current wedding trends. Find out what the most popular themes and decorations are, and what kind of locations and venues are hot among successful wedding planners.

For example, 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, food, 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.

A sheet spelling out marketing strategy on a table

9. Promote your wedding planning business

To attract new customers, you should advertise your wedding planning business online.

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 platforms when you’re starting out.

How to start a wedding planning business is just as much about marketing as it is about the wedding planning itself. 

Create a professional website

Since most people use search engines and Facebook pages 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 wedding business.

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 small business website where visitors can learn more about your business.

Unsure how to start a business website? 

The Zyro wedding 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 a stunning wedding planner website.

Promote to friends and family

Another way to market your business is by telling your family and friends. And tell them to tell their friends and family, and so on. 

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 day 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

Lastly, it’s important to create social media accounts for your planning business on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These sites can help with marketing your services to the right people – without you needing to whip out your business credit card to pay for ad space.

For instance, Facebook’s Audience Insights provides some key information about your target market, so that you can create better advertising and content overall.

Instagram can also offer analytics about your audience to help you with your small business marketing strategy.

People cheering and raising a glass at a wedding

Why you should start your own wedding planning business

Starting your own wedding planning business can be both exciting and profitable. Today, the wedding industry is a lucrative business.

In the US, about 2.4 million weddings happen each year. Furthermore, the “wedding planner” remains the top wedding-related search term.

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 wedding planners should be aware of

Before starting a wedding planning business, you need to know the risks of becoming a wedding planner.

Since most weddings happen during weekends, event planners do sacrifice some of their free time for work. 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.

As a wedding planner, you also need to market your business more during low seasons when your business bank account might look grim. Craft a strategy that encourages more people to wed in other seasons. Otherwise, you might risk losing income during idle times.

Bride and groom's shoes against a wooden background

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 a wedding planning business, consider the time and money needed to invest in being a wedding planner and running your own business. You will have to work weekends and holidays, and market harder during the off-seasons.

Remember that as a wedding planner 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, starting a wedding planning business could be just the right career move for you.

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Written by

Author avatar

Matleena

Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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