By Monika Sharma, WPICC, Owner and Principal Planner at Events By Monika
I began my journey in the wedding industry at a very young age, 12 years old to be precise. I began working for my older sister who had a décor business in the summer as a way to earn some cash. The fast-paced environment, the fun and excitement of each event made me fall in love with weddings. At that point, I knew that this was my dream and I had to pursue it!
In 2017 I decided to get educated on everything wedding planning, I wanted to learn from the best so I did my research and got certified as a wedding planner and coordinator by WPIC. I began working as an assistant for local planners as well as destination wedding planning companies. I deep-dived into learning as much as I could from some of the best but always remembered my ultimate goal, owning and operating my own business.
In the late summer of 2019, I decided it was time to pursue my goal and opened Events By Monika. I knew there was still going to be so much more learning to do, as education is an ongoing process. However, what I didn’t see was the COVID-19 pandemic quickly approaching.
As a new planner, my first order of business was to create a social media presence as well as begin promoting my company and myself. I did my research and noticed that other new planners would begin with a “get to know me” post to create hype and interaction.
The second idea I had to create more interaction was to have a giveaway on my Instagram for a “Day of Coordination” package. I did this because I wanted people to share my account and posts so that more couples can now be introduced to my business. This winning couple’s wedding went off without a hitch and was very smooth. Although it was a giveaway, the couple did end up tipping me at the end, as they were so happy with my service! This made me realize that I am exactly in the right place and I was on the way to living my dream!
Between the months of August to December of 2019, I accumulated 4-5 clients for 2020 and I was so excited that as a new planner, my future was looking so bright. During this time, I also got hired as a destination-wedding planner at a very reputable company and enjoyed this time very much.
In March of 2020 we all know what happened, the world came to a stop and everything slowed down. Weddings were getting cancelled, postponed or becoming very intimate. Of course, there were very sad and low days as a wedding planner, especially as one who had just begun their journey.
Though my 2020 clients had cancelled their contracts, I was thankful that I still had a job and I knew that this was the time to keep faith and hustle through. I took the time during the pandemic to work on my mental and physical health, which was very much needed. As the months went by, I kept up with the wedding trends and networking with other wedding vendors.
When 2021 began, I knew that this was the beginning of a great year and I knew this was the time to really work on my business. I began creating content, advertising and promoting my business as much as I could!
With the surge of engagements and upcoming weddings, I knew that the next year and a half would be filled with opportunities. Within the first five months of 2021, I booked clients as well as began working for other planners as a coordinator. I was desperate to get back into the wedding industry and had a new thirst for my passion.
Now I have had my business for over three years, got through the pandemic, and have a great list of clients for next year. One thing that remained the same throughout it all was my commitment and focus on the ultimate goal. I knew that always having my dream and vision in the back of my head would keep my motivation going. The dream I discovered as a bright-eyed 12-year-old girl still remains the same, but now I am living that dream and have never been more excited for what will come!
Advice that I would give to any new planner that is beginning their journey in the wedding industry would be:
1) First figure out if this is truly what your passion is. I personally learned during the pandemic nothing would stop me from working at weddings and that eventually, I would get back to doing what I truly love.
2) Learn how to network with other vendors either through social media or in person. I learned that this was so important when I worked at a wedding as a coordinator. I needed to make a good impression with the photographers and received great recommendations from them!
3) Social media is so important! Create a social media calendar. Map out when you will make time to post pictures, like and share other posts, and keep up your presence within the social media world.
4) Become a part of a community where you can ask those questions you might have to others in the industry. I personally use the WPIC Facebook group to ask questions, network with other wedding planners and learn about what is going on in the industry.