By Tracey Manaielscu, Co-founder and Vice President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada
We all make mistakes in our businesses, we are human after all. However, we need to learn from our mistakes and make the necessary changes to our businesses because of what we have learned. This is why education is so very important.
Below are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Being negative No one likes a negative Nelly. No one!
2. Not asking for help when you need it Overwhelmed? Not sure of how to utilize social media platforms? There are people for that. Join an Association, get involved in discussions in Facebook groups with other wedding professionals. Hire a virtual assistant or marketing company that specializes in social media for wedding planners. No time for sorting? Hire a bookkeeper.
3. Being satisfied with providing the minimum If you are only providing the minimum, then it isn’t doing anyone any favours, including yourself. If you aren’t giving and getting kudos from the wedding pros that you work with, or raving reviews from wedding clients, this should be a sign that you need to step up and do more. See what extra services other wedding planners are offering. What courses and planning systems are they using? How much time and energy are they investing into their clients?
4. Underpricing your services It is a disservice to the entire wedding industry when you undercharge. A wedding is such an important event in a couple’s lives, it’s not a game. It is a ton of work with research, site visits, meetings, communicating with vendors, creating timelines, schedules and being available to your couples for questions and concerns, etc. Never mind the wedding day where you are managing the day from start to finish.
5. Undervaluing yourself and what you offer If you are not confident yet to work with a couple on their wedding day, then job shadow. Work for another wedding planner a few times to get experience. Everyone starts off as a beginner. See what works and what doesn’t.
6. Forgetting to network Your wedding community can be your lifeline. What happens when an emergency arises? Who is going to drop everything to come and help? When/if a vendor gets sick or goes AWOL, who will step in and come to the rescue? You need to build and foster relationships for your inner peace and for the success of your business.
7. Assuming that you have nothing more to learn and dismissing the power of education You don’t know what you don’t know. The more you know, the better able you are to help your clients. Find your weakness and take a course (ahem!) webinar or attend a conference.
8. Poor attention to detail Read every single word in an email and the contracts in relation to your client’s wedding. Organize and implement systems for easy reference in your client’s files. Also, double-check before you send a response or email. You can improve this instantly by checking your grammar and autocorrect when responding to emails. This happens to almost everyone at one point or another, and I’ll bet it was embarrassing!
9. Dressing unprofessionally You are being paid to be a professional. Dress and act like one. You need to exude confidence. This doesn’t mean dressing in stilettos and designer clothing. It means being well-groomed and looking put together. Also, no one wants their wedding planner to be taking the attention away from the couple and their wedding party. This is not the time for low cut, tight-fitting and/or super-short outfits. You are literally running from one location to another to solve problems, climbing ladders, carrying heavy items, pinning on boutonnieres, etc.
10. Not appreciating your team “Thank you” is such a powerful verb phrase. Always be kind, and be generous with your praise when it’s warranted. Let people know how much you appreciate them. #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
Let us know some other mistakes that you have made and how you overcame them, and what you learned from them below in the comments.