It’s a dream job, but being a wedding planner is a role which can quickly turn into a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing! When paying clients turn to a wedding planner, they have either clear ideas (and high expectations) for what they want, or no idea (and even higher expectations of being wowed by the ideas you can offer) so the role’s not only about delivering the day, but also the dream.
Of course, if you’re imaginative and inspired, if you can handle the stress of multi-tasking on behalf of super-stressed clients and if you can treat every special day as if it’s the only day that matters, then wedding planning could be the strand of event management which might see you creating a special and highly rewarding niche for yourself.
A Day in the Life of a Wedding Planner
A wedding may be a ‘typical’ milestone event in people’s lives, but as every wedding which takes place is according to highly individual tastes, demands and budgets, there are no typical days when it comes to managing weddings.
However, there are some core event management tasks which you’d expect to be responsible for, and which are likely to be involved across all of those preparation days as well as the wedding day itself:
- Budget, negotiation and contract management;
- Venue management;
- Sourcing and supply;
- Schedule and time-management;
What’s more, as a wedding planner role is essentially about people, being a great communicator is an essential skill. Every day will involve you communicating with a whole range of others, to ensure that arrangements are made and carried out without misunderstandings or delays.
The role of a wedding planner also requires you to have a creative flair, so you can offer innovative and unique ideas, as every couple will want to feel their day is special. So you’ll be expected to flex your creative thinking across most daily tasks, and use those enhanced communication skills to ensure that everyone involved in the wedding plans shares the creative vision you’ve put together for the couple.
Then of course, every day will also involve you using your eye for detail and a pro-active mind when it comes to spotting and dealing with problems, which will need to be solved with no disruption to the wedding couple.
Whilst any of our event management courses will help you to build the skills a wedding planner uses on a daily basis, some would-be event managers wonder how our CIM accredited qualifications marry with being a wedding planner: most people’s weddings aren’t ticketed, so you’d assume that weddings don’t really require marketing, right? Well, that’s true but there are also two very good reasons why a CIM-accredited event qualification can support a wedding planner’s career:
- Wedding planning for clients involves high levels negotiation skills, budget and contract management, something the marketing aspects of our courses can help you to develop.
- Sometimes wedding planning roles (particularly in-venue or industry-related roles, such as wedding dress design and retail) involve significant skills in marketing. For instance, as an in-venue wedding planner you’re marketing the venue and services available; as an industry wedding planner, you could be involved in planning and marketing wedding events, fashion shows and exhibition events.
So it really can make sense to build this extra skill into your wedding planning kit-bag, so that you’re open to any kind of wedding planner career proposal!
How to Get into Wedding Planning
Many people get into wedding planning after the successful enjoyment of planning their own or weddings for family members and friends. This kind of ‘informal’ (but still high-pressure) experience is a great way to start, but it can be limited: one wedding, one couple, one budget.
Now we all know that no two couples or weddings are the same and inspirational wedding planning is a growing sector: same-sex; low-budget; alternative-venues; cultural weddings; eco-friendly; themed; outdoor; top-end; celebrity; exotic destinations; extreme weddings – you name it and there’s a whole party of wedding types with varying budgets out there!
A good way to build on informal experience is to contact local wedding planners and offer your services as a volunteer. This will help you to get used to planning for, and working with, paying clients (totally different to working with family)!
Gaining more formal work experience in the sector can be crucial to achieving a salaried role, or the testimonials you need to attract paying clients if you’re looking to set up your own wedding planning company.
It was work experience for a romantic proposals event company as her work placement on our Postgraduate course, which helped alumni Charmi to develop her key skills and confidence in client management (as well as proposal and wedding planning) all of which has really helped to develop her career.
Getting a respected CIM-accredited event management qualification also helps with breaking into this highly-competitive area of events. Whether you’re switching careers, improving your current event management skills or starting out with event management, we have courses which can fit flexibly with what you need: such as online study or either full or part-time live learning here with us in London. You can also study at whichever level suits you:
- Foundation – an intensive, level 3 qualification to introduce you to the events industry.
- Diploma – a level 4 certified qualification covering everything you need to know about the fundamentals of event management – and then some!
- Postgraduate – a level 7 qualification with an initial 3 months of learning, volunteering and practice, followed by 3 months of work placement.
- Degree-alternative – progressing from level 3 to level 7, this combination of our Foundation, Diploma and Postgraduate courses is around a third of the cost and time of a traditional degree course and offers live event management, work placement and individual mentoring.
Wedding Planner Career Opportunities - from exciting roles to big-name brands and companies
Since many different places are now licensed to hold weddings, the opportunities for becoming an in-house wedding planner have really grown. Think stately homes and gardens, museums, outdoor and indoor venues, castles, lighthouses, theatres, civic centres, hotels – even iconic venues such as London’s Gherkin. Once you’ve gained experience and qualification, you’ll have plenty of scope for finding something which fits your dream role.
Many of our alumni come to wedding planning hoping to set up their own businesses. After successful completion of our Diploma course, alumni Petra Truneckova has gone from strength to strength in developing not just her own career in weddings, but also her own brand.
Wedding Planning - Our Expert Lecturers
At Event Academy, we’re all about learning through experience – and we don’t just mean your own! All our lecturers are event industry experts, delivering live events as well as lecturing for us … so you can learn through their experiences too.
Our lecturers also offer their own areas of expertise – so if you’re looking to become a wedding planner, you’ll be learning from those who have a long-term relationship with events and a real passion for wedding planning:
- Sonia Abrams – professional, passionate and award-winning, Sonia’s own wedding planning company takes on all aspects of weddings, including proposal planning and wedding show organisation. Sonia’s lectures match her personal ethos for offering inspiration and delivering dreams – with style, flair and the ultimate know-how in what it takes to be a professional wedding planner.
And of course, our lecturers don’t just stand up and tell you all about it, they also involve you, with on-site visits to in-progress events they’re working on, something which has a real impact both on your learning and your professional experiences, as alumni Hayley found on her Postgraduate course:
“It’s brilliant to see how the lecturers actually work when they are on site.”
Our courses readily include this level of immersion with the work of professional event managers, because our aim is simple: this experiential basis for all of our learning content should really enhance your own knowledge, practice, network, opportunities and prospects when it comes to saying “I will” to a professional wedding planner’s role!