So, here you are, reading this, with mountains of work obligations staring at you, plus that deadline that you have the day after tomorrow, and you have considered a career change. (we are roughly assuming this, or you just love reading blog posts, or reading anything for that matter…)
The career change in particular that we are looking at is: The Wedding Planner.
Wedding planning might be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, but it is also a lot of hard work and deadlines. Yes, you get to decorate banquet halls and go dress shopping with the bride and make money while replying to e-mails. You also have to have serious organisation skills, be able to stick to schedules and be able to stay up on your feet for long hours. Still think this is for you? Okay…
Let’s continue by looking at some of the advantages of becoming a wedding planner:
- The number one thing about wedding planning, is that you can run your own business. It is one of the most empowering feelings and owning a business, in itself, has got so many more advantages.
- You are your own boss. You decide on your business perks. Your hours. Your salary. The services you offer. Which type of clients you want to work with, etc. etc. No more being bossed around and doing things you genuinely don’t want to do.
- You can fire your clients. Bridezilla on the loose? Fire her! (Note: When you start as a wedding planner, you might need all of your clients to stay afloat, but once you are up and running and you have the freedom to choose the brides you want to work with – let the difficult clients go. It will be less stressful for you and you can start enjoying who we call “easy brides”. (Unless, of course, you like challenges…)
- Another favourite of ours: you can determine your own salary. Be reasonable and maybe get financial advice for this one. At first, you might have to spend your hard-earned money on necessities for your business, but once you have established yourself as a full-time wedding planner, you can determine your own commission.
- You can be a part-time wedding planner. If your current job doesn’t require you to work overtime, and you have your weekends free – consider wedding planning as a part-time job. Meet brides after hours and do weddings on weekends. You might have to sacrifice your lunch hours here.
- You can be a day coördinator. What we mean by this is, sometimes you get brides who have already gone through the trouble of organizing suppliers and ironing out the kinks of their wedding. They simply need someone on the day of the wedding to make sure that everything goes smoothly. You can meet the bridal couple a few weeks before the day of the wedding to get all the necessary information and just be there on their special day.
- Networking. You get to meet a lot of people in the industry. You can build networks and get to know suppliers first hand. When you are part of the inner circle, some people in the industry might even do favours for you. Also, it has a massive support system.
- There’s an app for this. There are so many applications available to help you in your wedding planning career. Just go onto any iPhone or Android application store and check it out.
- One thing to also mention is that the market is huge. There are so many clients and opportunities to make money or to be part of someone’s happiness… which brings us to the last (but not final) reason:
- You are part of someone’s happiness and that is an awesome and uplifting feeling. This is what makes wedding planning such a rewarding career.
Like everything in life with advantages, there are disadvantages: These disadvantages will help you decide if this career change is for you:
- Long hours. On the day of the wedding, it is estimated that you will be on your feet for at least 15 hours. That is a long time of running around and being in three places at once.
- Difficult clients. You WILL get Bridezilla. She is always one out of eight brides and she can be very difficult and unsatisfied. All. The. Time. Then you get the mother of the bride who wants to plan everything and her word is the law. She feels that she is paying for everything, so she will decide on the song for the first dance, in extreme cases. In any case, you might enjoy this post.
- Another passion killer is the dreaded What if? statement. Murphy loves weddings (you know, Murphy’s Law) and there will almost always be something that can or will go wrong. And who else will be blamed for that tiny (or massive) mistake like forgetting to put the cake topper on the cake before it goes to the reception hall? You. At least they will not blame you for the bad weather on their fantastic outdoor wedding. (Always have a plan B)
- Bargain hunters. Let us take this moment to bust a common myth about wedding planners and which is also something that angers many wedding planners, even those who have been in the industry for a long time. Bridal couples will almost always ask for discounts, favours or bargains. This happens a lot because someone, somewhere, was bored, and hates wedding planners, and started this rumor of wedding planners who have connections! We also have to make a profit. Keep that in mind when someone tries to haggle with you.
- You have to juggle many brides at the same time. If you plan a couple of weddings at the same time for different brides, you will have to keep track of who’s who and what’s what. You have to deal with different schedules and timelines as well as different types of brides. A good idea is to invest in a decent daily planner or journal to keep track of things.
- It is a seasonal business. How many people do you know who LOVES WINTER!!? They literally want to roll around in it all day long and wear scarves or something else wrapped around their neck all the time? Not many, no. Same goes for brides who want to get married in the winter. Not many.
- Someone will expect the impossible. Horse and carriage, yes, that can be arranged. Underwater wedding, yes, that can also be arranged. Tightrope wedding across the Grand Canyon, yes, wait… What?? You get the idea.
- It is a long way to the top. It is a huge industry. Yes, there are bucket loads of clients, but there are also a lot of competitive wedding planners who are also trying to work their way up the career ladder. You will have to do a lot of weddings to get ahead in the game. Also, never underestimate the power of social media marketing.
- It might not pay as well as you think. You might expect a huge salary for yourself after you have planned a wedding for an average couple. It might shock you how little pay you get after the hard work and long hours you have put in. And also, think of all the deductions that need to be done before you can calculate your profits.
- It is not your wedding. You have soooo many ideas for fairy tale weddings and you have the perfect colour scheme in mind. The bride might not like the same ideas that you have. You have to do exactly what the bride wants – even if her colour scheme is coral and emerald.
- You need to deal with the emotions of others. The teary maid of honor who can’t believe her friend is getting married before her, angry suppliers who insist “that is exactly what you ordered”, family arguments about the budget, unresolved issues that come up during the meeting with the pastor, etc. Have enough tissues with you, just in case. You will be the one who wipe the tears, be the shoulder to cry on, the peacemaker and probably the one who has to pick up all the pieces.
Now, go and ponder this. These are not all the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a wedding planner, but we hope it helps you in making this massive decision. Good luck!
If you have any more advice for someone who wants to make wedding planning a career, why not share it with us?