Starting a wedding planner business is a venture that takes just a little start up capital, motivation and willingness to communicate. When you first start out, you will need to do a lot of footwork yourself. You may also need to work for lower rates or practice on family and friends.
Step 1: Save Up Funds And Buy Business Materials
The majority of your money will be used for nice business clothes, communication with clients and gas money. Being a wedding planner means that you will be traveling quite a bit. Gas funds are tax deductible as part of your business, but you still need initial starting funds. You will also need money for the following:
- A professional website
- Wedding magazine subscriptions
- Tickets to annual wedding conventions
- Office supplies
- High-quality business cards
- Notebooks for inspiration
- A car if you don’t have one
Step 2: Register Your Business
You need to register with the IRS and get a small business license or certification. This will allow you more freedoms with your business. Visit the United States Small Business Administration website for guidance on how to get started. You will also get plenty of nifty tax deductions when you become an official business.
Step 3: Build Contacts
Start building up a reputation and a list of contacts. Find people that are involved in the wedding industry, and become good friends with them. Building these relationships will help you get deals and priority service when you hire them. This allows you to better serve your clients. Brides and grooms want the best of the best, and you must be able to provide that for them. You should have a special ledger or electronic device to record all of your contacts that you will use for your business.
Step 4: Set Up Your Pricing
Wedding planners have a unique pricing scheme. Some charge by the hour, but the majority will charge between 10 and 20 percent of the wedding cost. If a wedding is going to be $30,000, then the planner’s cut will be $3,000 at a minimum. Travel costs for destination weddings are also charged to the client. It is up to you to set prices that best suits your community. Keep average income levels and local wedding costs in mind when setting up a pricing scheme. Getting high-profile clients can definitely increase your profit margins.
Step 5: Start Making Dreams Come True
Ask to plan a friend or family member’s wedding. Have a photographer take pictures to showcase your style and work. Everyone wants a unique and special wedding. Make sure the weddings that you plan really show off the best you can do. Show these to potential clients to convince them to hire you. Everyone has different styles that they use for weddings. You must show diversity in your work to get hired. It’s a very competitive business.
Step 6: Advertise
Get the word out that you are a new wedding planner that wants to make dreams come true. Wedding planning is demanding but thrilling. A planner usually spends hours, weeks and months working on a wedding. You must be available at all times. Advertising will help you gain clients from your local area and even countrywide.
Step 7: Get Hired
After following the above steps, you should have no trouble getting hired. You may need to take on small weddings and projects at first, but you will eventually start doing bigger and better weddings. Always remember to stay modest and treat each bride and groom as if they are the most important client you have.