New Year’s Resolutions for Your Wedding Planning Career
Amira Harris is the owner and destination wedding specialist of Aisle Travel™ based in Calgary, Alberta Canada. Aisle Travel™ provides Canadian couples with full group travel services, destination wedding planning, and customized wedding group experiences.
A New Year means a fresh start for your wedding planning career. The thing I love the most about a New Year is setting new goals. Luckily, my love of stationary goes hand-in-hand with it as I can put pen to pretty paper and make things happen.
Putting together a list of goals is the fun part. But putting those goals into action can be a challenge and even be time consuming. Especially when you want to launch a new career/business or go in a new direction all together. Some find it overwhelming and some love the challenge it brings. If you’re looking to keep the momentum going from 2018 and want to figure out next steps, read on.
Step 1: Set your goals
After you’ve completed some formal event planner training, it’s time to put together your goals and the timeline to reach those goals. Scary, right?
I find what works best is to think about what you’d like to accomplish, big and small. Write it all down—even the big, far-fetched goals. This all doesn’t have to be in one session. I write down goals throughout the year. Every time I think of something, I pull out my list and add to it as I go along. At the end of the year, I revisit everything I wrote down. Some goals get recycled since they may no longer be applicable while others stay on the list or are even expanded further for next year. The most important part of goal setting is putting the wheels in motion to fulfill them.
Step 2: Obtain hands on experience
When you first start a business or a career in wedding planning, there’s going to be a lot you don’t know. But you don’t have to figure everything out overnight or even on your own!
Interning is a valuable experience. When I first started, I volunteered my time a lot. Most of the time, it was on wedding days. It’s a perfect learning opportunity for novice planners since it’s always fast-paced even when working long days. You’ll have a lot to do, and it’s not always glamorous. Sometimes you’ll be working solo behind-the-scenes and other times, it’s all about team work.
I’ve learned so many things through volunteering, and I was so happy to have had the opportunity. It allowed me to get my feet wet and provided me with the confidence to know I could do this on my own one day. It really does take a village to work behind-the-scenes and make it all seamless.
Step 3: Find your Yoda
Find as many entrepreneurs and experts in your field as possible and learn from them. That doesn’t have to mean picking up the phone or sending an email. I wouldn’t recommend that route since wanting something for nothing in most cases isn’t professional, and you most likely won’t hear back.
It takes time to get to a level where you can reach out in this manner for assistance. I get it, it’s nerve-racking to put yourself out there and seek help when you’re so new to an industry. A mentor could be something as simple as someone you look up to that you follow on social media. Or, it could be your favorite celebrity wedding planner who may have a blog.
People who have been in the wedding industry for a while love to teach. Subscribe to their blog or newsletter and most will have some great nuggets of information to help you with your career. Further down the road, you may want a mentor and many organizations provide that option. With that, a commitment on your part is required along with lots of work, too.
Step 4: Get out there!
Join some wedding and event organizations and networking groups. Being in the wedding industry, there are so many different organizations and membership events you can attend. This is a fantastic opportunity to meet many vendors all at once and build your supplier list! You can chat about the kinds of services they offer and see if they would be a good fit for your business.
With any type of networking, come prepared with your business cards. Even if you don’t have a business yet, get some business cards made up with your name, title, email and phone so you have cards to provide. The purpose of networking is to get to know fellow industry professionals and see if it’s a good fit for both parties.
Another perk is that you get to explore new venues. As you experience a networking event, you can see whether it’ll be a good fit for you own business. If it checks all the boxes, add it to your list of recommended venues for future clients!
Step 5: Support
Having a great support system in the wedding industry is essential. I can’t stress this enough! I have an amazing network of colleagues I can contact at any time to discuss wedding or business issues, bounce ideas off of and, most importantly, have an ear to listen. When first starting your wedding planning business, you most likely won’t have these kind of relationships. That’s okay. In the beginning, I only had my friends and family for support and encouragement. I actually still lean on my family for support and they are still my biggest fans.
Use the momentum from earning your certificate in event planning and the New Year’s fresh outlook to get started on these steps. No time is better than now to put things into place. The secret to getting ahead is getting started!
Do you have any tips for success you’d like to share with fellow planners? Leave a comment!