And she wanted me to come along too!
First off, people who think wedding planning is something of a flimsy job, full of lazy air heads who claim to be “experts”, think again. To begin with, the hours are long - a fact that becomes obvious if you give it even a little bit of thought.
The couples you are working with are likely to be working professionals, so you’ll need to work around their schedule. That is likely to mean a lot of evening and weekend consultation sessions. These will increase in frequency and length as the special day draws nearer, and will be particularly high during the peak wedding season (May to September). And that’s just consultation there's also all the, you know, planning that goes into things. It can often mean 12 hour days.
So what kind of things will you need to be planning? Well, speaking generically about the organisation of the wedding itself, there are a lot of moving parts that you need to be marshalled. Venues need to be booked, fittings need to be scheduled, flowers and food need to be ordered, cars need to be hired, and so on. The workload will depend on the couple. They may already have everything they want in mind, so you merely need to connect the dots (which still isn’t an easy task). But if they don’t you’ll also need to put the research in to find out what they want. Sounds exhausting! The good thing is there is many articles around the web, that can help you, like this one.
Fortunately, there is an infrastructure in place. This isn’t a case of “it’s who you know” - companies know that weddings = big business, so most wedding supply companies are open and easy to find. Building up contacts helps, but being new to the business doesn’t make it an impossible task.
The good news is that you don’t need any qualifications to start a wedding planner career. It helps, of course, but there is no stone wall in front of the career that requires a University degree to get past. There are courses available though, including a two day course ran by the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP).
Outside of that, any would be wedding planner needs to be:
- Very well organised
- Capable of multi-tasking
- Capable of communicating clearly
- Budget savvy
- IT literate
Do this, and you’re entering into a career that not only pays well (typically, wedding planners start at £16,000 per year, and can advance to £25,000 and beyond), but lets you enjoy something special every few weeks/months. Weddings are often billed as the “best day ever” for the couple involved, and you get to not only revel in them, but enjoy the fact that you made it all possible!