8 Tips to Help You Choose a Wedding Planner
It can be daunting to start a business as an experienced wedding planner. It can be daunting to put yourself out there and take a leap of faith. Trust me, it’s been scary. You may have known all along that you want to start your own business in wedding planning, or you just fell in love with it later. I am here to support and encourage you as you chase this big dream. Here are 8 tips for new wedding planners!
Find Your Brand Voice
You are unique. What is it that makes you unique? What are your core values? Who do you serve? It doesn’t matter if you are writing website copy, email copy, social media posts, or your elevator pitch.
Invest in Professional Headshots
Our websites and social media profiles have become the first thing potential clients see when they search for us online. High quality images of you and/or your staff can help make your first impression as a wedding planner great. This shows professionalism, that you take your job seriously, and that you value quality.
Create Systems + Flows
You should record everything that you do, starting with the initial contact with potential clients (hint: they may visit your website and send you an inquiry), through the last touchpoint you have with them (hint; this could include sending a questionnaire after the wedding or asking for a testimonial). You can then convert your workflow to a checklist that you place in each client folder or transfer it to a project management software like Honeybook.
Track Your Time
It’s the best way to find out if your price is fair than to track your time as an aspiring wedding planner. Yes, I get it. It’s so annoying! You may be thinking, “There is no way Jess!” This step is crucial to a successful wedding planning business.
If we don’t know how long we spend on each client project, how can we tell if we are actually making money?
It’s a good habit to keep track of the time you spend communicating with vendors, attending consultations and finalizing details. Also, make it a habit to record the time spent on the actual execution of the wedding and any other wedding-related events you have been hired to manage. You will hopefully begin to notice patterns in how much time you spend with each client type.
You might spend 150 hours per client for full-service, but only 30 hours per day on clients who are wedding coordinators. It doesn’t matter what it is, knowing these averages will help you to not only determine your value but also provide insight into how much you spend on each client type you work with.
Get Comfortable Communicating
Develop good communication skills. It is important to be assertive as a wedding planner and to be able communicate with everyone involved in the project, including vendors, clients, family members, and even your staff. Communicating things such as your service offerings and your process is important. What you might still require from a client, and when it is due. What you are currently working on and what the client can look forward to.
Email templates are the best way to communicate effectively with clients and vendors. Email templates not only increase productivity but also ensure brand consistency and improve communication. They can also reduce the margin for error, save you hundreds of hours each year, and help you save hundreds of dollars.
Always respond promptly to phone calls and emails. You should acknowledge receipt of their message and give them a timeframe in which you expect to respond.
Plan a Styled Hoot
It can be difficult to create a portfolio for your website or social media pages when there are no photos of your wedding planning work. To create an on-brand shoot, team up with a local photographer who has done great work. By on-brand, I don’t necessarily mean your company’s colors. However, I mean to create a concept that attracts your ideal bride and shows your creativity as a wedding planner.
Trust Your Instincts
While there are many wedding planners and day of wedding coordinators out there, not all people are the right fit. You may not be able to work with some people. This is an important lesson for new wedding planners.
You want to build your experience and portfolio when you start your wedding planning business. It is tempting to accept any potential client that calls, even if you feel they are not the right fit. It is important to learn to trust your gut instincts and recognize signs that a potential client might not be the right fit for you. It will get more difficult, but it is possible. It is just as important to learn how to turn down business as it is to learn how to find it.
It takes time for everything to be successful. It may take you several years to feel at ease in your business. That’s okay. You will be learning about the industry, how to deal with different situations and who your ideal bride is when you start your wedding planning business. You can take one event at a while and adjust as you go.
Did you ever find yourself agreeing that 200+ chairs would be moved from the ceremony area to the tent to accommodate a client’s reception? All during Cocktail Hour? Yes, that was me. You can be sure that I have a clause in the contract that says we don’t set up tables or chairs for clients. It was something I had to experience firsthand, and I would never have known how labor-intensive it would be.