If you’ve got that perfect blend of organisational and creative skills (not to mention the ability to stay cool as a cucumber in stressful situations) you might want to consider getting into wedding planning. In this guide we’ll explore how to become a wedding planner.
What does a wedding planner actually do?
Wedding planners are the organisers behind weddings. They make sure the big day runs smoothly and also calm and reassure the couple (their clients). There are different levels of service that a wedding planner might offer. It can be a stressful work with long hours, especially in the run-up to the wedding – but it’s a rewarding one, making a couple and their families happy with a memorable occasion.
Full wedding planning involves overseeing the whole event, from the very beginning to the end, and covering every detail. Partial wedding planning means the planner will be responsible for some features of the wedding. And on-the-day management means wedding planners just provide support on the day itself.
For full wedding planning, wedding planners would begin by chatting to their clients, finding how what they want from the wedding and how much money they have to spend. The planner would then make a proposal explaining what they can do and how much it would cost.
The tasks of a wedding planner might include:
- Coming up with a master-plan that features everything that needs to happen for the wedding.
- Having regular meetings with the clients to discuss how the planning is coming along.
- Coming up with themes and creative ideas.
- Giving advice about wedding traditions and customs.
- Researching new trends, products and suppliers.
- Contacting venues and suppliers such as photographers, caterers and florists, and agreeing prices with them.
- Maintaining good relationships with suppliers.
- Making sure everything stays within the agreed budget.
- Overseeing things on the big day to make sure it runs according to plan.
- Many wedding planners are self-employed so they need to promote their services – usually on their websites and social media. They also need to keep track of their own spending and finance accounts.
What skills do I need to get into wedding planning?
Successful wedding planners have a specific set of skills and qualities. Have a look and see if you’re a good match…
- Calm under pressure: as you can imagine, planning a wedding is a stressful job. The couple will want everything to be perfect and they may be stressed themselves. You’ll have to act professionally no matter what happens.
- Creativity: the fun part of wedding planning is coming up with brilliant ideas that fit with what the client has asked for. You should be interested in the latest wedding trends and putting your own creative spin on them.
- Adaptable: a supplier might let you down at the last minute. You need to think on your feet.
- Communicative: you need to be able to explain things clearly to clients, but also actively listen to what they’re asking for.
- Entrepreneurial: as we mentioned, wedding planners are often self-employed, that is they run their own businesses. So you need to be interested in growing your own business and having the motivation to market and promote your service.
- Organised: excellent time-management skills and organisational abilities, as well as project management skills.
- Money skills: you’ll need to manage the finances of your own business, as well as stay on top of the clients’ budgets.
- Customer service skills.
How to become a wedding planner
Want to know how to get into wedding planning? Well, there are several routes – and you don’t necessarily need any specific qualifications – but there are a few that will help you get a job.
You could take an entry level role and work your way up, or do an apprenticeship in events management, and then move into wedding planning. Related qualifications include Level 2 Certificate in Event Planning, Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality, Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of Event Management.
You’ll usually need GCSEs at grade 4 or above including in English and maths. Experience in the area is crucial, so you should try to find related work experience or volunteering, to build your skills and knowledge. Search for local wedding planners and ask to shadow them or if they have any work experience opportunities.