Business, From the Experts, Wedding Planning Tips
Why You Can’t Get Your Wedding Planning Business off the Ground
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. Today, she shares her insight on dealing with vendor cancellations as part of the Becoming a Wedding Planner series.
Starting a wedding planning business is hard work. It takes time, energy, and patience to get it off the ground. It’s not an overnight process, even though most of us wish it was! Some days, you’ll feel like you’re not making any progress and are at a standstill. Other days, its full steam ahead and fast-paced. Let’s start on some basics on how to launch a successful wedding planning business.
Develop a brand
Create a company brand that fits your style and the kind of clients you want to attract. Brides hire wedding planners for their creativity, style, and ideas. If you only want to plan luxury weddings, your brand needs to represent that. Everything from your planning business’ name, logo, website, to your business cards. No matter what your target market or niche is, it needs to be consistent with everything, right down to your social media. If you’re unsure how to do this or don’t have the budget to invest, many up-and-coming businesses offer branding and web services at a reasonable rate.
Don’t forget, you are also your brand. You need to sell yourself and what you offer to everyone you encounter. You never know where your next client will hear about you. Always be ready.
Marketing and advertising for your wedding planning business
Having a website is not enough these days. If it’s in your budget, put money into search engine optimization for your site. Especially if your services are of a particular niche. If you only do wine country weddings or only work with South Asian brides, make sure your website is optimized for those types of searches.
Most brides are online, and that’s where you need to be as well. Many wedding sites offer relatively affordable or free listing services. Get on as many as you can to give your business some exposure.
Social media is another great place to promote your business. You don’t need to be on every social platform—pick a couple of platforms and be consistent with your posting. Also, make sure your social media is cleaned up and business-related. If it’s in your budget, sponsored or paid targeted posts is another great way to get noticed and see potential couples in your inbox.
Developing client and industry relationships
Building relationships takes time and energy, but it’s a must in this industry. When you’re just starting your wedding planning career, it is the perfect time to get to know your local vendors. You’ll meet new people and build your database of reputable vendors. This database is essential to have when you start working with clients. It will show them that you’ve already done the research and have reliable and professional vendors at your fingertips.
Meet with vendors can also provide you with a potential referral source. Building relationships is always ongoing since new businesses are popping up all the time. I still make the time to meet, video conference, or chat with new vendors, especially those that offer a unique service.
Learn the ropes
Getting practical experience is the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes and work for someone else until you get your wedding planning business off the ground. Ideally, working as a wedding planning assistant would be great. But even other event-related opportunities are beneficial as well. Look for opportunities working for a ceremony or reception venue as a coordinator or even a catering company that does weddings. While they aren’t exactly in your field, it allows you to learn the other side of the event and wedding planning business. This will help you in the long run with yours.
One of my best assistants over the years was someone I met while she was working at an event decor showroom. She wanted to become a wedding planner and get her foot in the door. She decided to work in a showroom where she could interact with venues, catering, and wedding planners daily for their decor rental needs. She put herself out there, put together creative tablescapes, and sold herself to all potential clients who walked through the door. It paid off since she ended up working with me for a few years in different positions, and eventually opened her own wedding planning business.
Becoming a wedding planner is hard work. That’s why it’s so important to be proactive and get out there. You need to seek out every opportunity and sell yourself and your business. They say “the secret to getting ahead is getting started”, and now is the perfect time to kick-start your wedding planning business!
Do you have any business tips for certified wedding planners? Leave them below!