Become a Wedding Planner Who Can Plan Multicultural Weddings
Seasoned wedding planners can choose the types of clients they want to take on. This means you can go your entire career without ever venturing outside your comfort zone. But as the wedding planning industry grows larger, expanding your scope of services can keep you competitive. Not just anyone can plan an event that faithfully celebrates the cultural or religious traditions of their clients.
Many callous planners think they can just do a little Googling and speak to one person to master cultural wedding planning. Nope! Besides the fact that there a diverse array of cultures around the world, each one is incredibly complex to an outsider. From the millions of wedding-related Pinterest boards on the web, you can probably guess that the best wedding planners have amazing attention to detail. After all, every little decision can have rippling effects on the outcome.
Don’t take on a wedding that you don’t have the skills to handle because it can ruin the event and tarnish your reputation. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn down clients who come knocking at your door. How can you open your business up to service different cultures? And, more importantly, how can you execute your events well? You just need to get educated!
Keep reading to find out how to become a wedding planner who can work with various religions and cultures.
Take a wedding planning certification course
Taking a wedding planning course where you will learn about religious, civil, and cultural variations allows you to understanding the many types of ceremonies you can plan. You’ll learn all the ins and outs of the complicated planning process. Beyond that, you’ll also learn how to navigate client relations when researching traditions of that aren’t common in your area.
You can, of course, simply Google “Jewish wedding ceremony”, but you won’t necessarily get all the nuanced details. Plus, if you don’t have credible sources, you may end up working with incorrect information…yikes! Nothing’s worse than bearing the shame of having your clients disapprove all your ideas due to inaccuracy!
It might seem like a large commitment to add to your cultural expertise; however, you can always take your wedding planning course online and work at your own pace! That way, you don’t have to compromise your current lifestyle and work schedule. It will also be significantly less expensive than signing up for a brick-and-mortar program. You won’t have to break the bank to expand your skills and find your specialization!
Pick a specialization for your wedding planning services
Don’t think you can work through the list of cultural weddings like a checklist. Take your time with your studies, and learn one from top-to-bottom before you move onto the next. Depending on where you live, the demographics in your area might demand skills and knowledge not taught in your course. It’s important here to study the wedding planning process carefully. Every wedding has the basic elements—venue, photography, catering, music, etc.—it’s just the details and nuances that make a difference. Figure out how to plan each event component first before complicating the process with the intimate details.
We suggest finding opportunities to get practical experience in at least one of the different cultures. You don’t want to mix up traditions by doing too much. Keep all the details straight with practice. It’s common to have mix-ups like forgetting a piece of the ceremony or bringing in an artifact from a different religion to the ceremony. So listen to your clients!
Expanding your vendors
For each celebration, you’ll need different vendors, event decor, ceremonial programming, etc. Each of your clients may request completely unique vendors to accommodate their needs. For example, when planning an Islamic wedding celebration, your clients will ask for halal catering options. If you’re serious about specializing in a particular tradition, it’s well worth the time to research and build a separate vendors list for each culture. Starting from scratch when building your preferred vendors list isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to finding officiants.
Intercultural or interfaith marriages may allow two officiants to conduct the marriage ceremony simultaneously. Others religious require separate ceremonies—remember the many weddings of Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas? Do your research, you don’t want to start putting down deposits for a destination wedding that can’t happen!
It’s completely possible to dive in and market yourself as the wedding planner that can do it all. But you’ll need a stunning wedding portfolio that can legitimize your claims, otherwise you risk tanking your wedding planning business before it even takes off! Some potential clients may believe that that a planner who can do everything must not do any one thing extremely well. So take your time to diversify your offerings and build your reputation. Focus your efforts on one cultural wedding ceremony and then add more as you go.
Don’t just read about cultural variations, experience them!
There is no better way to learn about a culture than to experience it firsthand. If you want to plan Hindu wedding ceremonies, try to attend a couple—don’t crash people’s parties, though! By immersing yourself into that culture while remaining vigilant, you can gain knowledge and insights into how, where, and why certain practices came to be.
Trying to recreate a type of event without ever having seen one in person can be a really difficult and a daunting task. So, ask your friends, relatives, vendors, etc., if they know of any weddings you can accompany them to. If you don’t have any connections, consider attending a religious service that’s open to the public.
However, do your research before getting involved in any type of religious or cultural event. You have to assure that you are being respectful, non-intrusive, and non-judgmental. Don’t forget that it really is a gift for other people to welcome you into their space. They’ll gladly teach you anything about themselves and their practices, so treat them with respect. Never think that anyone owes you information or an explanation about their practices. You might think that you’re being kind and inquisitive, but they might not.
It’s no easy task to become a wedding planner who can plan multicultural weddings. But it is not an impossible task either. Don’t overstep your boundaries, and take one day at a time.
What type of wedding planning do you want to specialize in? Let us know!