8 Tips to help you choose a new wedding planner
As a wedding planner, I understand how overwhelming it can be to start your own business. It can be frightening to go out and make a big leap of faith. Trust me, you’ve been there. It doesn’t matter if you knew you wanted to start a new wedding planner business from the beginning or if it was something you fell in love with later, I’m here to help you realize your big dream. For any new or aspiring wedding planner, here are 8 things you should know!
FIND YOUR BRAND VOICE
What sets you apart? What makes your approach different? What are your values and beliefs? Who do you serve? You must be different, whether you’re writing your website copy or creating social media posts.
It can be difficult to do this every day, but don’t compare your efforts to other Wedding Planners and creative business owners. It is important that you are able to decide what you want to do, and not be influenced by others.
INVEST in PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOTS
In a digital age, potential clients look first at our social media profiles and websites. A great first impression for a new wedding planner can be made by having quality photos of yourself and/or members of your team. It shows you care about your work and is a sign that you are a professional.
Nervous about having your pictures taken? Do you feel nervous about taking pictures? Consider scheduling a session that involves an activity, whether it is part of your daily routine or something you enjoy doing that is in line with your brand. The images will feel more authentic and natural if they are taken as you do something that is relevant to your craft.
For an example, consider our team photo shoot with Louise and Ivan. We stopped by a local farmers market, which provided the perfect environment that reflected the true spirit of JDWC in many ways. It’s important to me that the photos of my team reflect our genuine approach to planning every client’s wedding.
CREATESYSTEMS + WORKFLOWS
It may be difficult to implement systems as a new wedding planner. However, having a smooth workflow will help you not only improve your productivity but also the client experience.
Note everything you do with prospective clients, from their first contact (hint: it could be them landing on your site and sending you an enquiry), to the last touch point with them (hint : this could be asking for testimonials or sending them a post-wedding questionnaire). Then, you can either convert your workflow into an easy checklist to place in each client folder of a project management program like Honeybook or transfer it to another system such as Honeybook.
However, you should be aware that things can change as your business grows. You should actually revisit your processes and systems frequently to find ways to improve productivity, eliminate inefficient workflows, or reduce costs.
TRACK YOUR TIMES
You can’t find a better way to determine if you are charging too much for your services than to track the time of your new wedding planner. I know. You find it annoying. You might even think, Jess! You will be able to have a profitable business in wedding planning if you take this step.
How can we determine if our clients are making money if they don’t know how many hours we spend on each project?
You should make it a habit of jotting down how much time you spend emailing vendors, attending consultations or finalizing timelines and details. This will help you to track the time that you spent actually executing the wedding. This will help you to identify patterns in the time you spend on each client type.
For example, your full-service clients may require you to work 150 hours, while your clients for day-of wedding coordination will need 30 hours. No matter how small or large the number, these averages can help to determine not only your price but also what time you dedicate to each type of client your company serves.
GET COMFORTABLE COMMUNICATING
Develop good communication skills. You must be assertive when planning a wedding. Communication is key. It is essential to be comfortable sharing information such as your services and how you work. What you still need from clients and when. What you’re working on, and what the client can expect next.
It is the most efficient and productive way to communicate directly with clients and vendors. Email templates can increase productivity and communication.
Always try to reply to calls or emails promptly. At the minimum, acknowledge they received your message. Give them a timeframe within which you can expect to hear from them. Then, stick to it.
PLAN A STYLED SHOT
As a new wedding planner, I understand how difficult it is to manage a portfolio of images or social media accounts. You might consider teaming up to shoot an on-brand photoshoot with a local photographer you admire. On-brand doesn’t necessarily refer to your company’s logo colors. But I am referring to a concept that will appeal to your ideal bride while also showing your creativity and as a wedding organizer.
TRUST YOUR INTINCTS
I believe wholeheartedly that there is a day of coordinator or wedding planner for every couple. However, there is no perfect match for every couple. Some people are not meant to be your clients. While this is a difficult lesson to learn when you first start out as a wedding planner, it’s an essential one.
Your first wedding planning business is a time when you are eager to gain experience and build your client base. Even if they seem like a good match, it can be tempting to take on every potential client. Learn to trust your gut and identify red flags when potential clients are not your ideal bride. You will find it more difficult in the future. As important as finding the right business, it’s equally important to learn to turn down business.
All things take time. It might take years before you feel comfortable with your business. Your first year of wedding planning is a learning curve. You need to understand the industry and how to handle various situations. It can also be a time when you discover your ideal bride. Keep your projects small and you will be able to tweak them as you go.
You might have found yourself agreeing to move 200+ chairs to the tent in order to host a client’s reception. All during Cocktail Hour? That’s right, I did it once. You can bet that my contract now has a clause that states we won’t physically set up chairs or tables for clients. I didn’t know how labor-intensive this would be, or to clarify it in my contract, if I hadn’t experienced it firsthand.