It’s easy to become a Wedding Planner. But it takes time, education, experience, and perseverance to become a successful one.
by Danielle Andrews, President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
The Wedding Planner professional is an attractive career to many, it sounds so glamorous and fun. But truly it is not for the faint of heart, and it’s important to know that over-night success does not happen in the Wedding Industry. Clients aren’t going to bang down your door just because you register your business and set-up a website. It will take at least 1.5-3 years before your business will be able to sustain you as your primary income. And that is only if you really market yourself and persevere.
So how does one become a successful Wedding Planner?
The first step to becoming a professional Wedding Planner is education. Not only do you need to know Couple Psychology, Event Management, Coordination, and Day-of problem-solving, but there are many laws and regulations that Wedding Coordinators need to be aware of. As well, you need education in what you can and should expect from Vendors, their contracts and their expectations of you. You need to know about different religions, their requirements and ceremonies, Wedding Etiquette, Budgeting, as well as Business and Marketing in the Wedding Industry.
We, of course, are proponents of WPIC’s Wedding Planner, Coordinator and Consultant Certification Program, Canada’s only in-class Certification training.
Getting certified in Wedding Planning, Consulting and Coordination is just the beginning. A true Wedding Professional knows that their education is NEVER finished, so consistently attending workshops and Wedding Industry conventions and conferences is a must.
Of course we love our Wedding Planner conferences, but we also attend and endorse many other wedding and event conferences around the world. See a list here.
You can never have enough Inspiration. If you want to be successful, you should constantly immerse yourself in the world of weddings. Watch all the TV shows, movies, read the magazines, scour Pinterest and Instagram, and attend the Wedding Shows. Find out who the major players in the Wedding Industry are and follow them on Instagram. Travel, explore, visit galleries, attend cultural events, inspiration is everywhere!
Get to know your local key Wedding Players, go see the venues, meet the vendors. You can never know too much about your local market.
Become a member of a Professional Association. This association should offer additional and extended learning and training opportunities, a job shadowing or volunteer program, networking opportunities, as well as business information and a network of support.
Canada only has one national Wedding Planner Association, called the “WPICAlumni Association”, it is 9000+ members strong and membership is FREE with WPIC Certification 😉
Through your Association you should be able to gain experience by working with an established Wedding Planner by volunteering your services on the Day of The Wedding. In return, you will gain priceless hands-on experience and learn invaluable tips and tricks of the trade.
Once you have gained your Certification and gotten some hands-on experience you can begin to set-up your business. Remember that everything about you and your business needs to be professional. Walk the walk, and talk the talk. Use proper business etiquette in all that you do. Dress professionally and appropriately. Be what you picture a Wedding Planner to be.
The Wedding Industry is a very small world and Word of Mouth can make or break you. So remember to stay ethical, treat your clients well, always give 110%, play nicely with others and give other Wedding Professionals the respect they deserve when you are working together.
Social Media Savvy
A successful Wedding Planner needs to utilize Social Media as a Marketing Tool..
When we talk about Social Media Marketing for Wedding Planners, what we are really talking about is Content Marketing. Posting on Social Media just for the sake of posting pretty pictures is not going to gain new clients. In order to be successful utilizing Social Media in your marketing Strategy, you need to be strategic, purposeful and creating content that fills a need. Your Social Media posts should be content that provides value and serves a purpose for your potential clients.
Your Social Media Marketing Plan should consist of Instagram, Facebook, TikTok if that is where your desired clients base is, Pinterest, a Blog to provide content for those outlets and a website for those Social Media outlets to point to.