If you cannot get that old tune, “Here Comes the Bride…” out of your head, the only solution may be to start a home based business as a wedding planner. As a wedding planner, you work with other professionals to organize a celebration fit for a queen and a king. And, you get paid well for it. Now, what could be better than that?
Your job as a wedding planner may include consulting with the bride and groom several weeks before the wedding. It often means choosing the bridal gown and dresses for the bridesmaids and flower girl, as well as suits for the groom and attendants. In addition, you may be asked to help the bride and groom write their vows, and order engraved wedding invitations.
Other pre-wedding jobs include selecting a bridal bouquet and flowers for the reception, deciding where the reception will be held, working out a theme for the reception, finding a caterer, and booking a DJ or combo. Also, guests may need a babysitter, car or limo, and lodging.
How much money can you make as a wedding planner? In general, planners charge between 15% and 20% of the total wedding cost. Beginning wedding planners can earn upwards of $45,000 a year, depending on the number of weddings they plan.
To become a wedding planner, it is important to get some training. If you join a professional wedding planners’ association, you can get the education, a professional title, and job placement assistance you need. They also offer an apprenticeship program, workshops and seminars.
Here are a few of the best wedding planner associations:
1) The Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants. You can sign up for classes, a home study course, or a 5-day classroom course. Classes are held three times a year. If you take the course, work for one year, plan six weddings, and receive six letters of recommendation, you can receive a Professional Wedding Consultant title. If you want to become accredited, it takes two years of work, 18 weddings and letters of recommendation, as well as a certification project.
2) The Association of Bridal Consultants grants you the title of Professional Bridal Consultant, Accredited Bridal Consultant, or Master Bridal Consultant. Plus, you get insurance and can network with others.
3) The Bridal Association of America offers similar benefits.
4) The National Association of Wedding Professionals also offers great benefits.
Here are some professional titles you may want to have:
Accredited Professional Bridal Consultant
Professional Wedding Consultant
Master Bridal Consultant
Wedding Facility Coordinator
To find clients and expand your business, it helps to have some credentials to show. These include a portfolio of photos showing weddings that you planned, a few letters of recommendation from clients, membership in a large wedding planners’ association, and a list of services you offer.
Last of all, here are 4 success tips from professional wedding planners:
* Keep costs under control and stay within your clients’ budget.
* Network with the best caterers, florists, event planners, honeymoon travel agents, and photographers in your area.
* Relieve any stress on the bride and groom as well as on the families.
* Send a thank-you letter, and a small gift to your clients a day or two after the event.
There is not room here to talk about the fun there is in planning a wedding. As long as you can organize, keep calm, and you have a sense of humor, you probably have what it takes to start a home based business as a wedding planner.