Response: The best advice is to do your homework, including market research, and write a detailed business plan before investing too much time or money. If you dont know how to do that, check with a Small Business Development Center, located at colleges and universities around the country, or a SCORE chapter. Both offer free consulting services.
The average wedding planner remains in business for less than two years, primarily because 1. they started with unrealistic expectations 2. they didnt have the needed finances 3. family members were not supportive.
The business requires that you be detail-oriented; able to think quickly on your feet and solve problems instantly; be able to work with all personality types and particularly when people are under pressure; be able to spend long hours on your feet in temperatures over 100 degrees or when it is very cool.
Most weddings occur on week-ends and many client meetings occur in the evenings after clients get off work, so you need to have a flexible schedule and a family that is willing for you to be gone for 10 or 12 hours at a time every week-end, particularly in summer.
You will also need experience, but you may not need to take a course or join a professional organization unless you live in a very large area with many planners where the competition is fierce. Dont ask another planner to mentor you unless you are willing to sign a non-compete agreement. You can gain experience by volunteering to be a church wedding coordinator, or by working part-time for a caterer or at an event center.
Because of the above, you will find that the planners who last in the business are older women who do not have young children and who numerous years of life experiences to bring to the business. A younger person can make it, but she will have to work much harder than a more mature person, particularly when it comes to being able to identify with the mother of the bride, who is often the primary decision maker.
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