The wedding planner business is booming! Every year, almost 2.5 million couples tie the knot in the United States, spending an average of $26,000 a couple — making it a $72 billion industry. Planning and organizing a wedding is still a major undertaking and many couples simply don’t have the time to devote to it — and are more than happy to leave the planning to a professional.
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Be in Demand with a Wedding Planner Business
The demand for wedding planners is booming too — an estimated 15% of couples now use the services of a professional wedding planner. Being a wedding planner lets you to be your own boss. It’s a profession that many people view as fun and rewarding. And, there aren’t educational qualifications or requirements needed. Around 10,000 people in the United States claim to be professional wedding planners.
What Does a Wedding Planner Do?
As a wedding planner, you are in charge of details of the wedding — flowers, photography, food, entertainment and more. You be dealing with many people. So good social skills is essential. And just as important. probably is being well organized. You wouldn’t want to find that you forgot to book the caterers for a wedding!
Basics of Starting Your Business
Starting a wedding planner business isn’t different from any other business. One plus though: start up costs tend to be minimal. You need a place to work from where you can have quiet and can meet with clients. You might convert that unused formal dining room into your home office. Or at least have a tidy, quiet area where you can meet without interruptions. You need basics including a phone, a computer, and business cards. Check in with your area small business organization about how to register your business in your county or state. While we’re on the subject of licenses, you’ll need to decide between sole proprietorship or a LLC, which stands for limited liability corporation. The later protects your personal assets. And lastly, it’s wise to get liability insurance for your business to protect yourself and your business from the unexpected accident or mistake.
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Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is also an excellent way to show potential clients what you do. If you aren’t sure where to start, offer your services to family and friends in exchange for being able to take and use photographs. Your portfolio should contain photographs of any weddings you have helped to plan. Anything from the flowers and the table settings to the catering and the choice of venue can be included. Reference letters from some satisfied clients are always a nice finishing touch.
Learning the Business
Learn all you can about weddings and what makes a wedding successful. Attend weddings. Talk to people involved such as caterers, photographers and florists. Grow a list of contacts because you will need them later. It’s also worth trying to negotiate discounts with some of your contacts. And, if you want to go back to school — you can take classes that teach you all about the profession.
Once you’re ready to take on clients, where do your find them? One of the most effective ways to find potential clients is through your network of contacts in the industry. Make sure your business cards are visible at caterers, florists and bridal shops. You can advertise in the local newspaper and display your business card at such places as libraries, community centers and workplaces. And, as every small business owner knows: word of mouth is often the most effective advertising. Participate in wedding industry shows that are held at malls or convention centers.
Get a website and learn how to use social media to share about your services to your local area. Join the local commerce groups to meet other business people who may become contacts or referral sources. And one of the best things about being a wedding planner? You have the satisfaction of helping to plan what many people consider to be the happiest day of their lives.