The promising career of a wedding planner is a dream come true for those who like the idea of low startup costs, an exciting lifestyle and using your creativity to make others happy.
According to a report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a wedding planner in the U.S makes an average of $49,370 per year.
It is reported that roughly 66% of Millenials are willing to employ wedding planners for the happiest day of their lives.
This field might seem complex and daunting at first, but if you love weddings and are willing to work to gain the right skills, you can make your dream a reality.
In this article, we’ll cover how to start a wedding planning business and why you should consider going into this industry at all.
Finally, we’ll tell you about the risks that come with being a wedding planner.
Table of Contents
6 Steps to Start a Wedding Planning Business
Want to know how to become a wedding planner? Here are the six steps.
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 a 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, create a business plan. This will help you determine your goals, target audience, and financial plans.
First, 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, 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.
Think about a logo for your brand. Creating a unique visual design can be hard to achieve for a beginner, but you can always use the Logo Maker to create your business logo.
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.
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.
3. 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.
4. 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 vendors 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 vendors, they can recommend you to their customers if they need a wedding planner.
5. 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.
6. Promote Your Business
To attract new customers, you should advertise your services through different channels, such as a website, word of mouth, and social media.
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.
And 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 are getting married, offer to plan their wedding at a discount. Use this opportunity to build your portfolio.
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 Should You 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.
You’ll also need a website, some certifications, and the right software to organize your work.
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.
To start your own wedding planning service, you need to:
- Get the necessary training – look for programs and opportunities that will prepare you for your new career.
- Set up a business plan – outline your company overview, market analysis, wedding planning services, marketing strategy, and financial plans in your business plan.
- Take care of legal documents – choose a business structure, register your business name, get an employer identification number for your taxes, and create your client contracts.
- Find trusted vendors – network with reputable providers that can offer the best service for your customers.
- Create wedding concepts – set up mockup wedding designs to use as marketing material on your website.
- Promote your business – market your services by creating a website, telling your friends and family, and making business social media pages.
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.