Challenging Questions: ‘What is a Wedding Planner?’
and ‘What Do Wedding Planners Do?’
Many wedding planning careers start with a memorable wedding. It might be the bride, or the best friend she asked to help plan her special day. But a single experience isn’t enough to answer the challenging questions ‘What is a wedding planner?’ and ‘What do wedding planners do?’ Unfortunately, few wedding planning websites provide real guidance. Commercial in nature and characterized by hype, they cover wedding trends but don’t have much to say about how to become a wedding consultant, or the place of wedding planning careers in the multibillion-dollar wedding business. Don’t be fooled by the fantasy and fun of a single event, or the glitter and glitz of wedding planning websites, when considering wedding planning as a career. Operating a successful wedding event planning business requires organization, discipline, and skill. Knowledge of the business principles, policies, and processes that make any service enterprise work is essential. Being a wedding planner is a gamble, and wedding planner businesses run on risk. Wedding planner courses that promise success aren’t telling the whole truth. That’s why we’ve enlisted Daryl Glenney, a business entrepreneur and trainer, to answer the challenging questions ‘What is a wedding planner?’ and ‘What do wedding planners do?’ with facts, not fantasy.
Wedding Planning Careers Are Like Politics in More Ways Than One
When Daryl founded her first political consulting firm, she was passionate about politics and excelled in communications, but knew little about business. A journalism scholarship student at Stanford University, she got married in college and started a family early. If asked the question ‘What do wedding planners do?’ she says it depends on the era. When she made the transition from business employee to business owner, most professional wedding planners were women and most political consultants, her chosen field, were men. Today, these numbers are much more even, and the business skills required are much the same. Wedding coordinators were once lumped with party planners, just as political consultants were often ex-politicians. No longer. What is a wedding planner or political consultant today? A professional project manager who works with a team of trusted vendors to make weddings (or campaigns) turn out well for paying clients. Typically self-employed, the professional in either field is a highly motivated entrepreneur with the imagination, energy, and ethics necessary to attract new clients in a buyer’s market with a pretty small percentage of repeat customers. Along with strong business skills, Daryl believes that solid ethics are essential to success in wedding planning careers and those in political consulting, however poorly certain clients sometimes behave. Most wedding event planner courses miss this important connection.
Wedding Planning Websites Work Better with a Mentor at Your Side
If you’re starting a wedding planning business, you’re in good company. Each year, recent brides, people changing careers, and professionals seeking to diversify a related business such as catering for wedding facilities join the ranks of certified wedding planners. Wedding planning websites that train and certify work best for those who have a mentor like Daryl to answer the important questions that follow ‘What is a wedding planner?’ and ‘What do wedding planners do?’ These questions include issues of basic business survival. What should I charge? How can I make sure I get paid? How should I handle difficult clients? And what if I fail? Once you’ve determined what your services are worth, Daryl says, stick to your fees, but build in some flexibility for special situations. Make sure that your service contract spells out clearly what you will do, how much it will cost, and when within the wedding timeline you will receive payment. Set realistic expectations and remind over-demanding clients planning a wedding with perfection in mind that perfection isn’t possible, despite the hype of wedding planning websites and the fantasy of other couples’ weddings.
What Do Wedding Planners Do? Almost Everything!
Since she began monitoring changes in wedding planning careers in the 1960s, Daryl has conducted political and business career training programs for major national and international groups such as Business and Professional Women, the Association of Junior Leagues, the Jordanian National Commission for Women, Search for Common Ground, the Africa-American Institute, and the YWCA of the USA. Core curricula include organization and planning, marketing and communication, and ‘self-presentation’ strategies perfectly suited to wedding planner careers today. When asked at a recent workshop, 'What do wedding planners do?' she answered: almost anything clients need, but better than they could do for themselves, and always for a fee. ‘What is a wedding planner?’ Learn with Daryl through Member queries to New Wedding Planet’s Business Development Center.
Daryl is one of eight Advisors to New Wedding Planet’s Business Development Center. The Center provides Members with quick, concise answers to the most common questions and issues faced by wedding planners, wedding professionals, and couples planning their own wedding. Once you’re a Member, it’s as simple as sending a query from your Personal Resource Page. Members may also commission Advisors to work on Special Assignments where one-to-one interaction and collaboration is utilized to produce a comprehensive, custom-tailored solution. Special Assignments are subject to availability and are quoted on a per-job basis.