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Are you excited and ready to start your own wedding and event planning business? Do you get that awesome feeling  in the pit of your stomach that is telling you that are going to be an awesome wedding planner because you just love to plan? Are your friends telling you that are great at planning weddings and you are now ready to launch your own wedding planning business! Then you start the research, you google a million different things, and everything all of a sudden seems impossible. 

How are you going to make this happen without failing? While doing your research, you stumbled upon amazing planners in your area and you are not sure how you are going to succeed (Read this blog —>> The 10 Habits of a Successful wedding Planner) Here are a few of our tips on how to launch a successful wedding planning business! 

How To Launch A Successful Wedding Planning Business

Find yourself a Wedding Mentor

The first thing you need to do is to find yourself a wedding mentor if you want to launch a successful wedding planning business! It is one of the most important thing to do as it will save you lots of mistakes and potentially money in the long run. Finding someone who is aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish is extremely beneficial as they can help you with the aspects of your business you’re struggling most with.

  • Research the industry you’re looking to break into and wedding professionals who have made their mark before you.
  • Reach out to the professional and set up a meet and greet. Go out for coffee or lunch (that you buy, of course!) where you can talk with them about their story so far. Start building a mentor relationship and come up with ways on how they can help you the most. Remember, this could be a paid gig. Be prepared to invest in your business if you want to succeed. 
  • Make the effort with your mentor. If you don’t put in the work, you will not succeed. Don’t waste anyone’s time. Make sure you take every tip and use it to your advantage. Even the small tweaks and changes will make a difference. I know! 
  • We have put together a list of mentors we respect and trust in the industry! Get more details here!
  • Your first assignment- which mentor will you go with? 

Want our secret on how to market your wedding business? Oh it’s FREE! Get it below:

Join an Active Community Support Team

You can try to do it all on your own, but it can become extremely difficult if you are not to sure what you are doing. Some groups such as WPIC have boards for members only that offer great support. They are also a few Facebook groups for wedding professionals that you can join for support! 

Find 5 communities, online and in your area, that resonate with your wedding business goals 

  • Find a community this week to join. Start with Facebook! We have a support group here! 
  • Be an active participating member by asking questions, posting helpful comments and links. See what you get out of it. 
  • Continue to research and refine your communities list each month to make sure those you are surrounding yourself with are still pushing you forward on your business journey.

Invest in Your Business Education

Investing in educating yourself first is vital in being a successful wedding business.  Be prepared to take courses in class, online courses, E books and from your mentor. Learning from someone who has probably failed, done some serious reflection, and is ready to share everything they know about running a successful wedding business is what, um “invaluable”.

  • Spend a little money up front on some kick-ass resources to build your wedding business. It will save you a lot of time, money, and pain in the long run.

  • Books are valuable resources, but don’t overdo the biz book reading. For every viewpoint out there, you can guarantee there’s a book featuring the opposite theory. Choose carefully and choose books that work with your values and goals. We have some great starters here! 
  • Do your research. Don’t just pay for a course or program you don’t know will provide results. Email the instructor asking for a little more info or some testimonials if they aren’t on the sales page. Email people who gave testimonials to ask more about their experience working with that particular course, product, or instructor. Make sure your investment will be worth it for your in the long run.

  • Take this education journey seriously. You will only succeed if you put the work into it! Just as you are investing money, invest your time. 
  • Read up on blogs that are educational. We offer some great marketing tips through out this website. You can start here “How to promote and market your wedding business! “

Determine your target client

Before you start looking for clients, you need to know who your target client is, so spend some time defining who you want to work with. Really go into depth here and draw a portrait of your target client. Don’t just define your clients as “working independent women”. That’s way too broad. Instead, try for a narrower definition. If you’re looking for high end brides your target client definition might look something like this: CEO of a law firm, that appreciates good wine and loves to show her friends a good time by entertaining them in high end restaurants. <—- She is a Foodie that has expensive taste. 

Don’t stop there. To get a complete picture of your target client, think about their demographics, education level, and business experience. Also consider your areas of expertise or experience. Defining your target client may take a while. I have created a Pinterest Board with my target audience. Check it out here

Finding your ideal Bride

NOTE FROM THE PROS: Get this E-Book that will help sky rocket your business. If you can’t afford a wedding coach yet! Use this E-Book as guidance! 

Determine your Wedding Services 

It’s best to build your services around your target client. Once you have determined who you are targeting, create an offer that will suit and attract your ideal bride. You don’t want to offer something that your clients aren’t asking for. To ensure that your services really fit with what your clients expect, make a list of the problems they may have, now figure out how you can solve that problem and use those answers to develop the perfect wedding package. 

Do you want to beat the competition?  If  you are looking to really stand out, look at the different services and products that they are offering. Is there a service or product that’s not being offered that would benefit your clients? If you see a gap in what’s offered, don’t hesitate to fill it. You have now created the perfect service. Add this to your service page! 

Determine your Rates 

This is one of the most important things you can do for your wedding business, so take your time when you set up your rates and payment policies. One of the biggest mistakes new wedding professionals do is undervaluing their services. Then they under charge. If you don’t have much experience in your industry, that’s okay. Everyone started at the bottom. However, a lack of experience doesn’t mean that you should take jobs that goes for $2500 for $800. Find out what others are charging. You also need to determine experience and how long they have been in the industry. Some planners charge up to $5000.00. If you are not there yet, then don’t charge that fee. Think about your value and what you have invested. If you think you are worth it, then show it with your pricing. 

Must read: How to attract high end brides with your wedding blog

Determine your Payment Policy  

Every business needs a payment policy. It’s crucial to reducing the risk of non-payment, and it makes you look professional. While your payment policy is completely up to you, it should ideally include the following: 

  • Acceptable methods of payment
  • Your payment schedule
  • Consequences for late payments
  • When you consider a late payment a non-payment
  • Consequences for non-payments

When you  start thinking about your payment schedule, we highly recommend asking for a deposit. This deposit should be non refundable. Don’t start any work until you have a deposit and it is cleared and in your account. The deposit can be anywhere from 25% to 50% of your fee, but you really need to secure a deposit from clients. A deposit does two things: It assures you that the client is invested in your services, and it ensures that you receive at least some payment. 

If a client misses a payment or is late in paying, stop all work until you receive a payment. You also need to spell out if there will be a fee for late payments and when you consider a late payment a non-payment. In regards to non-payment, spell out exactly what steps you’ll take to rectify the issue.

As a wedding professional, issues of late payment and non-payment may not seem important right now. However, they happen all too frequently and you need to prepare for it.  It’s vital that you protect yourself financially, and having a clear payment schedule that includes a deposit can help you do that. I personally take post dated cheques as well as a security credit card on file. 

Create a standard template for your Business

What sort of template should you have? A contract, wedding budgets, client forms, vendors forms and tracking forms. A contract is an invaluable part of your business. It’s what you’ll reference if a dispute arises, and it can give you the clout you need to get your payment if you’re fighting your client. Every new client you take must have a contract that both parties agree on. Do not accept any payment or work without a signed contract. 

Creating a contract for every project can be time consuming, so the trick is to keep a contract template and just fill in the blanks when you get ready to sign a new client. 

When creating your contract template, be sure to include: 

  • The timeline – start dates, deadlines for deliverables, and final end date.
  • Deliverables – Exactly what you will give the client
  • Client responsibilities – what the client is responsible for doing 
  • The agreed upon rates
  • Your payment schedule
  • Information about late payments and non-payments
  • Communication – How will you and the client communicate? When?

We have a few templates for your business right here. We do not provide contracts as this is something legal that you may want to have a lawyer look into. In terms of other templates, we have made it easy and created some for you right here. 

wedding planner work sheets

Create your Wedding Website

This one is non-negotiable. You absolutely must have a website. Even if you’re networking locally and mainly rely on real-world connections and word-of-mouth, don’t start your wedding business without a website. It’s your home on the web. A website does several things for you and your brides. It

Lets prospective clients decide if you’re the right fit for them

Gives them a chance to see your work

Gives you a place to showcase your work

Increases your online visibility

Boosts your credibility

Makes you look professional

While you don’t have to be a coding and design expert to create your website, you do need to build it strategically. To make it effective, attract new clients, and build your business, you need to include

  • An engaging homepage that makes people stick around
  • Your services/products
  • About page
  • Rates – this one is optional, I never include rates
  • Portfolio
  • Links to social media accounts that you use for business – The best platforms for  wedding professionals
  • Contact information
  • Blog – A must ! What makes a successful wedding blog! 
  • Professional picture of you
  • Testimonials

You want to give your prospective brides enough information for them to make an informed decision about whether or not to hire you. Show your clients you’re a good fit for them by creating a website with plenty of information about you and your services. 

Welcome to Wedding Planning 

Don’t forget to get your templates here: 

wedding planner work sheets

Join our group of other wedding professionals in our  “Wedding Professional Hive” an up coming Facebook group where we share marketing tips on a daily basis!

Happy Planning 

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