by Danielle Andrews Sunkel
I am in no way trying to scare you off the wonderful world of wedding and event planning, but being a planner is not all tulle, lace and buttercream.
Here are a few things that those entering the Wedding and Event Industry do not consider or underestimate:
1. The Costs of Setting Up a Business
You need professional clothes, proper shoes, a stocked emergency kit, website, letterhead, logo, business cards, professional credentials such as your WPIC Certification ;), advertising, binders, file folders, business licenses, insurance, etc. And that is all before you even meet a client!
The little things can really add up, I recently got three new engraved nametags for myself and my assistants, the cost was $90.
2. The Amount of Work that Goes into Just one Wedding
There is sourcing, research, meetings with your couple, meetings with the vendors, telephone calls, emails, text messages, site visits, contract reviews, licenses, tastings, rehearsals and consulting, consulting, consulting. All this planning, research and driving around can amount to over 100-200 hours.
Meetings aren’t just talking, I am sketching, measuring, taking photos, taking pages of notes, gathering as much information as possible, then all those notes and information need to be transcribed and acted on.
Before the wedding day you are putting together all of your notes, checklists, diagrams and assembling your wedding binder/clipboard and restocking your emergency kit for a wedding which can takes hours.
On the actual wedding day, you are going to be on-site 10-14 hours, handling every detail no matter how large or how small. And remember, that is just ONE wedding, you will be juggling at least 10 weddings at a time. There is a reason CareerCast.com rated Event Coordinator as the fifth most stressful job of 2014.
3. Resistance from Other Vendors
You can’t always choose the vendors you are going to work with, the couple may have already booked some services or you may be only providing Month-Of services. In those cases, vendors may have worked with a difficult wedding planner (boo hiss!) or they have a misconception of how professional Wedding and Event Planners work. Take it with a grain of salt, be the professional you are and don’t try to tell them how to do their job, you will earn their trust and respect quickly, if not, make a note to never work with them again 😉
4. Resentment from Family Members
Unfortunately many family members resent the presence of a Wedding Planner. They don’t properly understand what your role is and just want to feel needed. Be empathetic, be professional, be respectful, be diplomatic and most importantly, be confident. If you aren’t confident those mothers or sisters will chew you up and spit you out!
5. Importance of Constant Education
If there wasn’t a need for constant education, there wouldn’t be so many conferences and courses available to Wedding & Event Professionals. This blog wouldn’t exist. As much as some like to pretend they do, NO ONE KNOWS EVERYTHING about the Weddings. We can all learn from each other whether it is a new idea or a best practice. Part of your job is constantly upgrading your education and bettering yourself through networking and learning.
Like anything worthwhile, wedding and event planning is not easy, there is a lot of stress, challenges, finessing and hard work. It is also very rewarding and fulfilling. You get to be creative, you know you are making people’s lives easier and better, you are a huge part of making incredible memories for the couple, you are part therapist, part friend, part advocate. You get to see a project through from conception to completion within a year. For a multitasker who is properly prepared for this job, the rewards far outweigh the stress and it feels like the best job in the world!