If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering a career as wedding planner. Know this: The role of a wedding planner is to facilitate, mediate, and manage resources to get the best out of your event and also realize the dream of a perfect wedding for the couple.
While most people can lay claim to being a planner after executing a few events, not everyone can stand out as an ACE wedding planner and if its your goal to become a great wedding planner in Nigeria, these are the steps you can count on to take you there.
1. Know Your Sh*T! If you’re not obsessive about detail coordination, learn how to be. A lot of details are involved when planning a wedding and as the one in charge, it is your responsibility to be involved in every area from the minute to the greatest. You can learn the ropes by taking classes from an experienced planner, through self study, by attending and helping at weddings, visiting bridal shows, reading wedding magazines and getting information from people that are connected to wedding businesses such as caterers and other vendors.
2. Fix Your Weak Areas. Successful planners have a number of skills in common. They are usually creative and have good interpersonal skills. Some of these traits come naturally and some of them have to be developed. A great wedding planner is calm in the face of adversity, must be able to establish good connections, adept at handling financial matters and most of all, MUST be organized.
3. Get A Mentor. A great planner is not afraid or too proud to start small by working under an established wedding planner. Even if you want to start your own business, I strongly recommend that you work under a planner whose work you respect to gain the experience you need and acquire contacts for your future business.
4. Choose a speciality. Great wedding planners offer services based on their speciality. For some planners their strength is to offer wedding coordination only while others are adept at say…consultation or organizing destination weddings. Find your own strength and improve on it but also diversify if need be.
5. Develop relationships with vendors.Vendors are suppliers of product and services related to weddings. They can be a valued partner in planning a successful wedding and also a great working ally. A Great wedding planner would ensure that he/she understands the vendors services and keeps abrea$t of special discounts offered. Sending follow-up ‘thank you’ notes in appreciation will go a long way.
6. Set up your own business. Now that you’ve gathered enough working experience, you can now set out on your own with the contacts and experience acquired. These are vital to growing your business. A great planner uses his experience to his advantage because he/she can avoid making rookie mistakes and also improve on the area where he feels his trainer is lagging.
7. Create a portfolio. You need an attractive portfolio which shows your work to reel in new clients. A portfolio is a collection of photographs that shows off your skill and expertise. At first, you may need to start off your portfolio with photos taken from friends and families’ events that you have successfully handled. You will eventually add photos from actual, non-relative clients.
8. Get the word out. Creating professional marketing materials is a must to attract new clients. Put business card and brochures in bridal shops, caterers offices, florist, photographers etc. Leveraging your relationships with these vendors will make them happy to recommended your services to their customers.
9. Consult with clients. Once the bride and groom contract the planner, a great wedding planner organises a client’s consultation meeting with the couple. The purpose of this is to learn as much as possible about the couple and what they want and to also show them that their dream of a perfect wedding can be achieved. A great planner works with the couple’s budget, number of guests, and the style of wedding.
10. Be recognized as a professional. Great wedding planners are always interested in learning new ideas that can be used for their clients. You should never run out of creative concepts and new ideas and yes, the accolades will follow from your peers and the general public.