Becoming a Wedding Planner: The 3 Most Important Things I’ve Learned from My Online Training
Katherine Dionne is a Student Ambassador of QC Event School. She is currently enrolled in QC’s Event and Wedding Planning, Event Decor, and Luxury Wedding & Event Planning courses. Katherine is the proud owner and Director of Events at Je T’aime Weddings & Events. Connect with her on her social media or by joining the QC Event School Virtual Classroom!
Becoming a wedding planner has been a very rewarding process. This year, I celebrated seven years of running my wedding planning business! In that time, I have worked my own weddings, assisted other planners with their weddings, and have also worked closely with many venue event managers. All of them have very similar – but also different – journeys to get where they are today. All are very talented and amazing at what they do. Some of them worked their way to their positions with hands-on experience. Others got their start through professional career training.
Becoming a Wedding Planner: How I Got Started
When I started my journey into the wedding industry, I was at a loss on where I needed to start. Becoming a wedding planner was my end goal, but I didn’t know which first step was the right one to take. I did know that hands-on experience would help tremendously. But I also really needed help with the business aspect of running my own company. I was completely new at this, so things like coming up with services and pricing those services appropriately were unfamiliar to me.
I also knew I needed to find a way to stand out above my competitors. That is where earning a professional certificate came in handy for me and my business!
The one question I always see and receive from aspiring wedding and event planners is, “Do I really need professional training when becoming a wedding planner?” Having had both hands-on experience as well as classroom training, my answer will always be this: no, you don’t technically need it – but I highly, highly recommend it!
Here are 3 reasons why…
1 – Professional training helps you stand out!
The events industry is an incredible industry to base your career in, whether you’re an event manager at a hotel or owning your own company. However, it is not as easy as J.LO makes it out to be in the movie, The Wedding Planner. In fact, it can be the complete opposite – especially when just starting out. For most wedding professionals, it can be very difficult to stand out in such a crowded market. This is particularly true for those who live in bigger cities.
This was a big reason why I decided to take online courses through QC Event School. I really wanted to find a way to stand out above my competition. The first three classes I signed up for were QC’s Event & Wedding Planning Course, the Luxury Wedding & Event Planning Course, and the Event Decor Course. I have truly loved my experience as a student! I’ve learned so much that I signed up for another three classes: Travel and Tourism, Virtual Events Training, and Corporate Event Planning. I also have every intention of taking more courses in the future!
As a professional, the more qualifications on your resume, the more potential clients and employers will be able to physically see the hard work and effort you’ve put into your career. By taking professional certification courses, you’re making yourself a more in-demand planner in comparison to competitors who might not be trained (or have as much training as you). If becoming a wedding planner and making a true name for yourself is your goal, then proper training is a major step in the right direction!
2 – Professional training strengthens your skill-set!
Earning a professional wedding planner certification will also allow you to improve your overall skill-set. The events industry is ever-changing. You will constantly need to broaden your knowledge and improve your craft. When you earn your certification through QC Event School, you’ll get the chance to complete real-life scenario assignments and receive extremely valuable feedback from your tutors. All of QC’s tutors have extensive backgrounds in the event and wedding planning industry, so having the opportunity to learn from their expertise is the biggest asset in taking these courses, in my opinion.
Receiving feedback from my instructors has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. One of the most important things I’ve learned is how to create and manage an event budget. For instance, I discovered that there is a lot of important information you must gain from your client when determining their budget. You can’t simply allocate a rigid percentage of the budget towards each element and call it a day.
You need to find out which aspects of the event are the most important to your client. This way, you’ll be able to determine where more money should be spent versus where you can save a few dollars. Here are some questions I learned to ask myself:
- Does my client want to use most of their money towards a photographer, so they can look back on their pictures for years to come?
- Do they want an incredible DJ or live band as entertainment for their guests?
- Would they prefer a larger or smaller guest list?
- Do they want each guest to have their own catered meal, or would they prefer a buffet-style option instead?
- What size venue do they want their celebration to be held in?
- Does that venue offer any packaged deals that my client might be interested in?
Of course, there are countless other questions that you need to ask yourself, but you get my point. Every event is different, which means every budget will be different. Learning how to appropriately allocate a client’s overall budget is one of the most important aspects of being an event planner. I did not learn how to do that by assisting other planners. I learned that by taking QC’S online courses!
3 – Professional training broadens your industry expertise on a global scale!
Lastly, another major thing I have learned from my online training is the intricacies of different, cultural weddings. Like I mentioned before, not all weddings are the same. Cultures all around the world celebrate the union of two people differently. Some weddings are only on one day, whereas other cultures celebrate their wedding festivities for weeks.
Having knowledge about weddings of different cultures arms a wedding planner with a very handy niche! For example, a client of Muslim heritage may only want a wedding planner that has had previous experience or training in planning Muslim weddings. Generally, these weddings are extravagant and no expense is left untouched. So, understandably, your client will want someone who truly knows what they’re going.
By taking QC’s Event and Wedding Planning Course, I was able to learn about how different cultures around the world celebrate weddings.
Words of Advice
I know first-hand how tough it can be to break into the wedding industry. Becoming a wedding planner doesn’t happen overnight. This journey requires serious effort!
My top 3 tips for becoming a wedding planner going into 2021 are as follows:
- Get a professional certification. Hands down, this will be one of the best decisions you ever make for your career. You can never go wrong with broadening your knowledge. By receiving professional training through QC Event School, you will definitely stand out above your competitors, while also expanding your skill-set.
- Strengthen your social media presence. Modern couples tend to look up vendors through social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. If you do not have a strong social media presence, it will be very difficult to succeed in the wedding planner industry.
- Reach out to other wedding planners in your area. Ask if you can assist with any of their events to gain more hands-on experience.
I guarantee that if you follow these 3 tips, you will have an incredibly positive impact on your business. Your career in event planning will excel!