The wedding industry is not for the faint of heart. It takes time, money, experience and determination to succeed and grow your business. Many new and newish planners find it difficult to be taken seriously in the wedding industry.
The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada certification courses were created to get you started on the right foot. We also have many business owners who come to us to change the direction that was taking them nowhere previously in their wedding business. Why waste months, and even years, having to learn by trial and error and jeopardize a couple’s wedding? You could learn the laws, legalities and set yourself up for success right away from an educational stand-point. The hands-on experience comes next. Both are extremely important!
We find that quite a few new graduates get frustrated and want to give up within the first year or two of opening their wedding planning businesses after getting certified. This is because they expected to have clients lined up and banging down their door. Some do, most don’t.
Approximately 20% of WPIC alumni in each of our classes go on to own and operate their own business, while many others choose to work for others to gain experience. Others choose to work at a venue, catering company, decor or floral studio.
In each and every class, we stress that your education is not finished upon completion of this course or any other. You can never stop learning. Ever.
Consider medical students, lawyers, real estate agents, dog groomers and so many others. Practical theory needs to happen, and then physical practice is a must to gain experience before you can be fully confident in your field. It can take years before you are an expert.
Taking the above into consideration, there are some things that you should and shouldn’t be doing to be a better wedding professional right now.
Is your credibility still being questioned by clients, or the parents or family members of your clients? Do other wedding professionals doubt you just because you are new (or new’ish) to the industry? Here are some ways to be taken seriously in the wedding industry:
Do these things:
- Dress professionally
- Get educated (hello WPIC!)
- Network with other wedding pros
- Attend industry events, conferences and seminars
- Show your value whenever you can (write blogs, do media interviews, submit real weddings to publications, apply for wedding awards)
- Have a registered business
- Have a proper website and a business social media account
- Be prepared for each and every meeting with clients
- Listen and think before speaking
- Own your mistakes
- If you don’t know the answer to something, let your clients know that you will find out
- Follow up with the above
Don’t do these things:
- Make promises that you can’t keep
- Take kickbacks (FYI: it’s illegal for wedding planners as it’s a closer than arms length relationship)
- Swear, smoke, drink in excess, or gossip in front of clients or with other wedding pros
- Fake it until you make it
- Be constantly burning bridges (some are necessary)
- Base your success on the quantity of your work instead of the quality
- Be unwilling to learn and improve
- Think that you are done learning
What are some things that you did, or are doing to change the way others see you? What made you feel more confident and ready to embrace the wonderful world of weddings?
By: Tracey Manailescu, WPIC Co-founder and Vice President
Photo credit: Aperture Lane