Photo courtesy of Absolute Photography
So, you think maybe you want to be a planner. There’s a lot to be considered when you take a step in a new direction for any career, perhaps you’re curious, though, as to what it takes to be a wedding planner. What type of people do you imagine wedding planners to be? Of course, we come from many different backgrounds, with varied interests and life goals, but there are universal elements to the skills and qualities needed for the job.
It should be no surprise that working on multiple projects for multiple clients simultaneously will require some serious time management skills. Clients always believe – or would like to be treated as though – they are the only priority you have. To give yourself time to be thorough and detailed with each of them, you will need a plan of action as to how to structure your office time accordingly. Multi-tasking is a plus, in the planning process and on wedding day.
Photo courtesy of Jennifer Yarbro Photography
Did I mention there are a ton of details involved in planning a wedding? No? Well, there are. And keeping up with all of them, both the ones your clients thought of and the ones they didn’t, are your responsibility. Organization comes in many forms, and what works for your neighbor won’t necessarily work for you, so if you’re not already an organized soul, start researching the different methods already proven and try applying them to other areas of your life to find which one works for you. Because this is one of those skills that’s an absolute must for wedding planners.
Photo courtesy of Flashbox Photography
A lot of interaction with your clients will be spent educating them on the ways of the wedding world, contracts, budgetary realities, design costs, and guest expectations. Sometimes the ideas they have about the way things should be are surprising and you need to tactfully explain the reality. Sometimes you deal with clients that try your temper, patience and emotions, but you can’t let them see that reaction. All the tenets of good customer service must be observed: timely responses, professional demeanor, pleasant attitude, courteous interaction, a perceived and true willingness to help, etc. And not just with your clients, but also with your fellow vendors!
Photo courtesy of Miranda Marrs Photography
A Team Attitude
While it’s true that a wedding planner’s job during the planning process and on wedding day is to maintain the big picture, the reality is that being a planner doesn’t make you a trained DJ or an experienced florist or professional baker, so dictation of their job or requirements is usually unnecessary and, ultimately, unprofessional. Rather, a wedding planner will embrace the stance that all the contracted vendors are part of the same team, and that the planner’s role within the team is to make sure that all the other vendors can accomplish the job your mutual client hired them to do, and to be the point person on the day for those vendors to come to with day-of decisions on behalf of your client. If the other vendors on your client’s team approach the event with the same attitude, everyone should be able to perform not just adequately but admirably! After all, every vendor’s goal is to give the client the wedding of their dreams.
A large percentage of wedding planners are in business for themselves. Because of this fact there are as many ways to structure a wedding planning business, and the service packages and payment options you will offer as you can think of. Sitting down beforehand and figuring out what your goals are and how you can accomplish them (a.k.a. a business plan) should happen well in advance of hanging your shingle. Flying by the seat of your pants may work for you, if the stars align, but you can save yourself time, money, and effort by planning it out ahead of time. Which should appeal to you. You want to be a planner? Here’s the first thing you’ll need to plan!
There’s more to come, so check back with us in a few days to keep reading about the skills and talents needed to be a strong wedding planner! Until then, we have an upcoming Assistant Planner Training that you can be a part of on July 26th & July 27th. Get all the info here!