wedding ceremony

Wedding Planning Tips, Your Event Career

How to Land Your First Wedding Planner Job

Becoming a wedding planner and starting your own business can be super scary to most. Once you’ve landed a few clients, however, you start to settle into your groove and become more confident in your professional role.

But how do you land that first wedding planning job? Who would take a chance on a planner who has zero professional experience?  Here’s a secret: it’s not that hard! Let’s go through some dos and don’ts.

1: Being Certified

Wedding planning isn’t a regulated profession. This means you don’t need any specific type of qualification, degree, or license to get a job as a professional wedding planner.  Becoming certified in wedding planning, however, is a huge reassurance to your clients that you know what you’re doing.

wedding planner taking bride requests

If you worry about how you’ll land your first wedding planning job, just imagine how much harder it would be if you didn’t even have a certification or professional designation to your name!

2: Use your Network

Do you have friends, family, or acquaintances who recently got engaged? Could they use a wedding planner, even one to help plan part of their wedding? Contacts you have some sort of association with are definitely easier targets for your first wedding planner jobs.  Approach them with a soft pitch and see if they’d be willing to give you a chance!

Important notes:

3: Have a Strong Portfolio

wedding landscape

“But what do I put in my wedding planning portfolio if I don’t have any experience?”

Lots, actually.  And this is where your wedding planner training will help you!  Your portfolio will evolve over time to showcase more and more of your paid wedding planner jobs. But to start, your portfolio can feature some of your more visual school assignments, volunteer work, internships you’ve done, etc.

Running a styled photo shoot is also an excellent way to get portfolio-quality photos and showcase your abilities to plan and execute an event with multiple vendors including florists, decorators, caterers, photographers, makeup artists, etc.

4: Have a Strong Brand

Your brand is how you’ll sell your services. If you have a polished professional website that hosts a nice-looking portfolio, and you present yourself as a confident and certified wedding planner, most clients won’t even know that you’ve never had a wedding planning job before!

Your online brand should reflect the personalities of the clients you’re looking to attract.  Are you looking to come off as sophisticated? Fun? Environmentally-friendly? Having a unique angle might help attract a niche clientele, however having a focus that most couples can identify with might make it easier to land that oh-so-important first job.

vintage wedding car

5: Have a Useful Website

This is a big mistake that a lot of first-time wedding planners make.  Your website should sell your brand and feature your amazing portfolio, yes. But it should also (and arguably more importantly) be a website that future clients can use to effectively gauge your abilities and connect with you.

You won’t land a wedding planning job without getting potential clients to contact you. And very few people will contact you unless your website contains the following:

6: Don’t give up

wedding planner busy schedule

It takes time to establish a new business. Most wedding planners will only have 2 or 3 jobs in their entire first year of business.  Focus on improving your brand, making connections, and looking at other areas that you can polish.  While you’re hunting for your first job, don’t be afraid to explore other avenues. Look for internships or volunteer work that can also help make you more appealing to potential clients.

Bonus #7: Listen to feedback!

If you’re getting website visitors, or you have many connections but none of them are willing to hire you, see if you can get some honest feedback about why they went in a different direction. A client’s honest feedback can be priceless.

Want potential event planning clients to find you more easily? Find out how to ramp up your online presence!

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