What is a Wedding Planner?
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A wedding is one of the most significant and happiest events in a couple's life. It can also be one of the most stressful. A wedding planner is someone who helps couples with the planning, organization, and management of their wedding. Hiring a wedding planner is like buying peace of mind, and well worth the monetary outlay to ensure that all the details are taken care of.
If you are a great listener, have a caring personality and love to help people, wedding planning may be a great career choice for you. Brides and grooms rely upon their wedding planner to be a calming presence and to also have a voice of reason throughout the wedding process.
How to Become a Wedding Planner
What does a Wedding Planner do?
A wedding planner will typically start by meeting with the couple for a consultation in order to understand their needs and wants. This includes not only the particulars for the wedding day itself, but for any other related events (the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, the next day brunch etc). The planner will also ask what the couple's budget is, and based on that, explain what services they can expect to get for that amount. Getting a clear feel and understanding for the couple's taste and their overall vision is important; this is where great listening skills come into play.
The wedding planner will present the couple with a contract for their services, outlining in detail what they can expect to get. An experienced wedding planner has many contacts in the business, and has successfully organized many previous weddings, therefore is able to knowledgeably suggest reception venues that have the perfect view, or wedding locations that have an amazing feel and vibe. They know what they can accomplish with the budget they are given, and can either introduce the couple to vendors and services that can accommodate a lavish wedding, or vendors and services that specialize in catering to small budgets. They are also quite often able to get discounts on services, which they can pass on to their clients.
Some of the services a wedding planner can provide include:
- arranging the florist
- arranging the caterer
- arranging the printer (for invitations)
- help with choosing bridesmaid dresses and other wedding party attire
- help with choosing a bridal gown/groom's wear
- help with picking wedding favours
- help with designing reception look and feel
- help with lighting and visual details
- help with any details that may have been overlooked
- help create an overall unified feel and look
- meeting and negotiating with vendors
- being there for deliveries
- handling any unexpected hiccups
- running the rehearsal
- setting up the ceremony
- setting up the reception
- setting up the timelines (for both the wedding and reception)
- making sure the wedding party is on time
- making sure the wedding party is in the right place at the right time
- dealing with any unruly guests (or uninvited wedding crashers)
- making sure that the venue is left clean
- making sure that the deposits are given back
- making sure that any rentals or borrowed items are returned
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How to become a Wedding Planner
In the United States, aside from what is required to own a business, there are no required certifications or licenses needed to become a wedding planner. Due to the high demand though, there are many colleges that are now offering certificate and degree programs in wedding planning.
It is good to keep in mind that planning your own wedding and working with a paying client to plan their wedding is vastly different. Creating and managing a budget with someone else's money, creating detailed timelines, getting to know reputable vendors, designing a wedding, and dealing with all sorts of different personalities and family dynamics are all things that need to be learned and refined in order to be a successful wedding planner.
What is the workplace of a Wedding Planner like?
A wedding planner doesn't have a typical nine to five work schedule, and sometimes needs to work a combination of days, evenings and weekends in order to meet their client's needs. Clients typically work during the day, and therefore want to meet with their planner after work or on weekends.
Most weddings are on Saturdays, so during the busy months of the year, a wedding planner can count on working almost every weekend. Busy months vary, depending on where you live. If living in the south, the busy months will be spring and fall when the weather is more optimal. If living in the north, summer months will be the busiest time of the year.
During the actual wedding day, hard physical work is to be expected. Wedding planners are on their feet all day long, and well into the night (wearing high heels is not recommended). They could be helping with table linens, moving boxes, lighting candles, setting up flowers, or putting out any number of small fires and overseeing a plethora of small details - the ultimate goal is to always make sure that the bride and groom are blissfully unaware of any upsets. It can be mentally exhausting work as well, as a wedding planner has to be on top of their game all day long.
The reward comes from seeing their hard work come together, seeing their client's joy and happiness, and knowing that the day will be remembered for years to come.
The Pros & Cons of Being a Wedding Planner
What does a Wedding Planner do?
Starting a New Career as a Wedding Planner
Twelve Tips for Wedding Planners
How to Become a Wedding Planner - What is Your 'Why'
Wedding Planning Tips : What Do I Need to Become a Wedding Planner?
Wedding Planners in Action - Love to Plan Ltd
How I Became a Wedding Planner & Why I Love It