Why Wedding Planners Need to Stay in Their Own Lane (Part 1)

This month, QC Event School tutor, Heather Vickery, provides valuable insights on why wedding planners should stay in their own lane in the industry. Heather is the Owner and Event Director of Greatest Expectations Special Events and Weddings, one of Chicago’s most celebrated event planning and design firms.

You can be in charge and still stay in your own lane!

“Staying in your lane” seems to be a hot topic these days. It appears that the industry, as a whole, is starting to get angry at the idea that the work we do is “easy” and anyone can do it. If you have worked with me, you already know that I believe firmly in doing the thing you do really, really well and not having your fingers in too many pots.

The wedding industry is a wonderful one. It is filled with creative and driven people. People that are working hard to build their own businesses and help clients have a wedding of their dreams. Laura DeCarlo, a friend and wedding photographer, recently said: “If a wedding vendor’s job looks easy, it is because they are doing it right.” From the outside perspective, your job (or anyone else’s) should look like it is a piece of cake. That means they are an expert. If you see someone struggling, perhaps they are attempting to do a job that does not suit them.

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It is well identified that you, as the planner, are ultimately responsible for every aspect of your client’s event. While you may not have personal control over every situation, the buck stops with you. I learned early on in my career that I had to take responsibility for everything, even if it was beyond my control. So I became the problem solver. The person who looked at different options, no matter what the issue, and came up with a solution that would best fit the event needs and cause as little distraction as possible.

One way to have things quickly spiral out of control is for you, the planner, to take on personal responsibility or micromanagement of every single aspect of the wedding. You are ultimately responsible, yes, but should not be doing all of the work. It is, in fact, your job to outsource and hire other professionals for each event’s creative team. You cannot and should not be a “one-stop shop.” Nothing raises my hackles more than a company that “does it all” because I am here to tell you no one can do it all and still do it well!

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I can consult on all aspects of the event. Entertainment, floral and decor, printed items … all of it – because I know that each of these elements plays an important role in “designing” the client’s perfect event. As the wedding planner, I am also responsible for the overall event design. But none of this works well if I don’t hire professionals in each of these fields to do their thing.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Heather’s article, coming next week!

Want to specialize in one area of the wedding industry? Check out QC’s specialization courses and build your reputation as a planner!

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