So most of our lovely blog readers will know by now that we were at the Wedding Fair, Bluewater a few weeks ago and were awestruck by just how many of you have a secret desire to be a wedding planner. Now we know what a fabulous job it is but we also know just how hard it is to establish yourself in a very competitive industry. So whilst we can’t profess to know the best route to achieving your dream job, to help those of you out there who want to get into the wonderful world of weddings, here are our top tips.
1. Get some experience
Easier said than done I know. Between myself and Joanne we have nearly 20 years experience working at and managing events (god that makes us sound ancient) but experience is what counts. You’ll always learn with every event you do but the basics will give you a good idea as to what it takes. We would love to be able to give work experience to everyone that asks, but as a small business our time is spent directly with clients or doing really boring admin stuff. See tip 4!
We have two wedding assistants that work with us when we need an extra pair of hands, and we have spent time and lots of energy training them for exactly what we need. Most small companies will be the same but it doesn’t mean you can’t get good experience elsewhere. See tip 2!
2.Look for alternatives
From jobs in catering, to floristry and window dressing we both had Saturday jobs that filled our passion for creativity and fuelled our desire to work in marketing and events. Going straight in as a wedding planner might not be an option but waitressing or working behind a bar can give you a basic insight into customer behaviour, what makes a good party and how to deal with the demands of a busy crowd.
3. Paid Experience Counts
Lots of you have the wedding planning bug from organising your own wedding and its a great start on the experience ladder. However paying clients will tell you exactly where you’ve gone wrong, one of your own wedding guests is unlikely too.
4. You’ll have to learn how to run your own business
This means delving the murky depths of excel spreadsheets, invoicing, the dreaded HMRC and managing sales projections and expenses claims. You’ll also need basic marketing, SEO and PR skills, lots of creativity and live in the knowledge that you won’t be earning enough to buy a Mulberry handbag each payslip for the foreseeable future.
5. Start talking
You will need the major desire to tell everyone about your business at every opportunity you get. Bar staff, the gym instructor, your hairdresser (very important) the sales assistant in Topshop, Mrs Goggins at the Post Office and the delivery blokes from Ocado are just the tip of the iceberg. So when I say everyone I really do mean everyone. You’ll need to spread the word far and wide.
6. Try before you buy
You won’t be able to afford to hire in services to begin with so until you earn enough to be able to pay a professional to do the bits you can’t, you’ll have to do it yourself, learn as you go and die trying. Quick it isn’t.
All we can say really is don’t give up. There are so many brilliant suppliers who we work with who have struggled to establish their businesses and like any other industry there really is no quick route or substitute to experience and good old fashioned hard work.
If you want more info about being a wedding planner than read Joannes interview here.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!