So you’ve fallen in love with the wedding industry and have dreamed of running your own wedding planning business but how do you get started? What steps do you need to take to get your business off the ground? This is where I come in. Below are 5 steps to take to get you started in the wedding planning industry.
Take a Wedding Planning Course
Whilst taking a wedding planning course isn’t a ‘must do’, it’s definitely something to consider. There are many wedding planning courses available however do your research to ensure you take one that’s right for you and your business. Things to consider are what you want to learn – is it wedding planning, wedding styling, both? Would you prefer distance learning or classroom based training?
If you prefer distance based learning then I would definitely recommend looking at the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning (UKAWP) who run certificates and diplomas in wedding planning, event planning, event design and styling. Think you would prefer classroom based learning then take a look at the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) who run both Business Practicalities and Step by Step workshops that are held over two days.
Intern for a local Wedding Planner
Whilst a wedding planning course can teach you the fundamentals of running a wedding planning business, nothing truly beats hands on experience. One of the best things to do is to research wedding planners local to you for internship opportunities. Check out their websites and social media profiles for any positions that may be advertised.
Something to keep in mind is that wedding planners receive so many emails from people like yourselves who want to gain experience in the industry therefore you will need to stand out so do your research. Take time to read their website, blog and social media profiles. This should give you an idea of the type of clientele they are trying to attract. Be creative, instead of sending a standard covering letter with your CV think outside the box. Personalise the cover letter to the individual business, send an inspiration board of your ideal wedding to show off your design skills, include a link to your Pinterest account.
Lastly and most importantly address the wedding planner by name. We are in a personal service industry therefore it’s pretty much guaranteed that their name will be on their website. I’ll be honest and say that any emails I receive of this nature that are addressed Dear Sir/Madam go straight in my deleted items folder.
Work for a Large Event Company or Wedding Venue
Working for a large event planning company or wedding venue will provide real insight on how events are run which you will be able to utilise when starting your wedding planning business. Perhaps you already have events experience in a corporate role, if so, this provides a great foundation to get started.
Volunteer to help family and friends with events
Not everyone is going to be able to intern for a local wedding planner or work for a large corporate company or wedding venue therefore you may need to be creative in how you gain experience. Spread the word to friends and family and offer to help organise birthday parties, hen parties and baby showers. You can even offer to help organise your work’s Christmas party.
Your Own Wedding
Whilst planning your own wedding is completely different to planning someone else’s, it will certainly put you in good stead in understanding the wedding planning process and dealing with suppliers. Not everyone likes to do this but it’s also a great wedding to include in your portfolio.
Lastly one bonus step – research, research, research
I’ll do a separate post on this soon but the internet will become your best friend. I’d recommend spending time researching all aspects of setting up and running a business and the wedding industry as a whole.
I hope you’ve found the second post in this series useful. I’d love to hear from you so do pop a comment below or send me an email.