5 Tips for Finding Success as a Certified Wedding Planner in the Luxury Market!
Mwai Yeboah is a certified wedding planner with over 15 years of industry experience. She is the proud owner of the luxury wedding and event planning business, Love, From Mwai. She is also one of QC Event School’s leading tutors. Mwai is known for helping culinary enthusiasts, fashion admirers, and adventure seekers. Her goal? To plan experience-focused weddings that exceed her clients’ dreams and leave their guests in absolute awe! In addition to the countless awards Mwai has received over the years, she’s also written and published her own book about wedding planning.
Maybe I’m biased, but I happen to think that no career is quite as rewarding as being a certified event planner – particularly, in the luxury market. We get to serve our clients during the most exciting time of their lives! Ultimately, we create much more than just “pretty parties”. We create one-of-a-kind memories that will last for a lifetime!
No global pandemic can change the amount of love that human beings innately want to celebrate. Sure, those celebrations might look a little different these days. But there’s no need to put a halt to them completely.
In fact, I believe that NOW is as exciting of a time as any to pursue your goals of becoming a certified wedding planner in the luxury market. So long as you have plenty of heart and hustle, you can launch a thriving career – even during COVID-19. But in case you’re looking for a bit more guidance, I’ve got a few tips you can follow.
These tips will help ensure that the career you’re building ends up being everything you’ve dreamed of (and so much more). Let’s dive right in and break them down…
5 Secrets to Being a Certified Wedding Planner in the Luxury Market
1 – Remember the Three P’s!
In order to become a truly successful luxury wedding planner, you must be:
You can have all of the creative and organizational skills in the world – but without these critical personality traits, your business will never be as rewarding or lucrative as you want it to be.
As a certified wedding planner, so much of your job will be rooted in working with people. You’ll need to truly love people, enjoy collaboration, and be a great communicator. There will be countless instances where you need to gently rein things in when they’re out of control. Perhaps you’ll have to keep a bride or groom with cold-feet calm, or play family therapist. Being personable and knowing how to communicate effectively with different personality types will save you!
Being a luxury wedding planner is one of the most trying and challenging careers out there. This is why passion is so important. You need to truly love what you do! There will be days when your feet ache like crazy after a 14-hour wedding celebration. Sometimes, your phone won’t stop dinging with text messages from a worried bride or collaborating vendors. You’ll also sometimes experience a last-minute setback that threatens to ruin a major part of the event, such as unwelcomed weather.
It’s days like these when your passion for your career will get you through the hardships with a smile on your face and gratitude in your heart.
Working with luxury clients requires plenty of patience. These people are shelling out a decent amount of resources for their event. As such, they expect a high level of service, timely communication, and all of their wedding wishes to be fulfilled in return. There will be times when you have to field tons of phone calls, manage multiple moving parts, deal with complicated family dynamics, and tend to seemingly crazy requests. Patience as a certified luxury wedding planner is truly a virtue!
2 – Skip Trends and Keep It Personal!
When you serve luxury clients as a certified wedding planner, the couples you work with aren’t looking for surface-level aesthetics. Often, they won’t want trends that are plastered all over social media. Instead, they’ll be seeking thoughtful, personalized design details and experience-rich events that engage different senses at every guest touch-point.
In short, they want something that can’t be recreated. While finding inspiration online is a fine place to start, be sure to dive deeper. Use the inspiration to create something original, rather than using it to replicate. I’ll say it again: luxury clients do NOT want cookie-cutter trends or design ideas that have already been done (and done, and done, and done).
There are plenty of other inspirational resources you can rely on besides the internet, too. Here are just a few examples of things that can potentially have meaning for your clients’ heritage, favorite places, and/or unique love story:
- Stunning locales
- Textures and colors
3 – Hone an Authentic Brand Identity as a Certified Wedding Planner…
…and then work consistently within that space! A lower-budget wedding planner can afford to plan and design all different types of weddings. But as a certified wedding planner specializing in luxury events, staying on-brand is absolutely essential!
You’ll need to develop a consistent portfolio that attracts higher-end clients. In order to achieve this, it’s important that you only work with trusted vendors and experienced event professionals who are capable of producing work that aligns with the quality of events you produce. While it can be tempting to take on lower-budget, off-brand weddings, I always recommend staying true to who you are and what you want your brand to be.
Your work needs to reflect the type of clients you want to attract. In my business, for example, I want to attract people who appreciate immersive experiences. My target demographics are those who see the value of investing in great food, incredible music, and crafting one-of-a-kind experiences for their guests. I’ve always highlighted that approach on my website and social media channels. I keep my focus zeroed in on producing truly unique guest experiences rooted in atmosphere, ambiance, and intimacy.
4 – Always Try Before You Recommend!
Social media and online reviews can only tell you so much. When you’re working with luxury clients, you want to make sure you are 100% confident in the vendors, venues, and items you’re recommending.
Don’t just take a website’s word for it. Go to the venue yourself and see what it’s like in person! Visit the hotel before you recommend a room block there. Reach out to vendors personally to ask for everything – from food tastings to fabric swatches and floral samples. The last thing you want to do is recommend a vendor whose work looked amazing on social media, only to have them come up short of your clients’ standards.
Remember: as the planner, everything comes back to you. This means that if a vendor or venue falls short, the responsibility doesn’t fall on them. In your client’s eyes, you are accountable, because you’re the professional who recommended that vendor or venue in the first place. Trying things before you recommend them is a pivotal part of maintaining a great reputation as a certified wedding planner in the luxury space.
5 – Stay Relevant and Keep Up with Social Media!
This is always important, but it’s especially critical during the global pandemic. There are always slow seasons in the wedding world. There might also be other times where you simply don’t have as many weddings to plan. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of that.
Even still, it’s just as important to stay relevant and top-of-mind with your ideal clientele. You shouldn’t only strive to be relevant when your business is booming. Part of your success will be a result of the efforts you make when things aren’t as busy.
So, how do you stay relevant online? There are plenty of different ways! Here are just a handful of examples:
- Collaborate with other high-end vendors to produce editorials
- Submit past work to prominent industry publications
- Write and post blogs on your website that align with what people are currently searching for
- Post and interact with followers regularly on social media
Want more tips for maximizing your social media strategies during the pandemic? Here are 5 more!
Pro Tip: Education is also a pivotal part of staying relevant as a certified wedding planner. Things are constantly evolving and it’s extremely important to take courses and continually educate yourself on your competition, the industry as a whole, and what luxury clients are currently seeking. Click here to discover all of the online courses offered by QC Event School!
Overall, becoming a prosperous certified wedding planner in the luxury space is pretty straightforward. You just need to stay true to your brand, stay relevant with your ideal clientele, and remind yourself why you chose this career in the first place. If you’re passionate about what you do, success will absolutely follow!