Wedding Planning Business
If you’re interested in becoming a wedding planner, you probably have a passion for the romance and beauty of weddings and may have even planned your own. If you want your wedding planning venture to grow into a successful career, a solid plan and strong business acumen are essential.
You can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and video graphers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form networks of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages.
Starting a wedding planning business isn’t hugely expensive. As an independent consultant, you don’t need an office space other than your kitchen table. But you will have some up-front costs. You should consider hiring an attorney for basic legal work, such as protecting your personal assets from liability and drawing up basic contracts you can use with your clients before you take on their wedding.
Part of the job of a wedding planner is to get the best prices so the bridal couple stays within their budget. That does not mean haggling or holding out for the last penny but it does mean being aware of what different services cost, merchandise markups, food costs, location prices and liquor costs.
Wedding planners are responsible for all aspects of the event running smoothly. If the flowers do not arrive on time or in good condition, it is your problem. If the wedding cake is lopsided, you have to fix it. Establish relationships with vendors you know will provide a good product and service, on time and for the right price.
Steps for the Wedding planning business
- Explore the different areas of event planning and choose types of events that interest you. Determine whether you plan on working alone, or becoming affiliated with a venue to plan events solely for their location.
- Visit as many events as you can and take notes, paying special attention to the detail put forth by the planner.
- Name your wedding and event planning business. If you choose a name that is not your own legal name, you will need to register a business name and pay a fee to use this new name for your business.
- Seek professional advice to build your business legally. Consult with a lawyer to draw up contracts to use between you and your clients. Because event planning can be an emotional activity, you will want the client to sign a contract to ensure that you still get paid if they decide to bail on the project.
- Write a simple business plan to maintain the focus of your business. List important aspects of your business, such as how much you will charge for your services, who your competitors are and what sets your business apart from theirs that will make clients want to choose you.
- Promote your wedding and event planning business. Sign up for a booth at all local trade shows and business events to promote your new business to others. Set up a website and start a social media campaign to get the word out to potential clients so that they can read about your services at their own convenience.
Market your services with brochures, flyers and business cards. Exhibit at trade shows targeted to brides. And even though a wedding planning business is local, you should have a website.
Most small business owners spend at least 25 percent of their time marketing their company. Fortunately, this critical task doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Besides setting up a website with your portfolio, create a Facebook business page to share the latest wedding trends and statistics, as well as photos from the weddings you’ve helped plan.