Are you an independent meeting and business event planner interested in becoming a wedding planner? You’re not alone. With cutbacks in meetings and corporate events, many business event planners are interested in adding wedding planning to the services that they offer. You might also be interested in doing weddings because they allow you to be creative, connect with clients on a personal level, and help people on one of the most important days of their lives.
Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself if you are considering offering wedding planning services:
1) Where will you get your education and experience?
If you have never planned a wedding before, you can’t just make a decision to do it. You will need to learn wedding traditions and etiquette. You will also need to understand all the details and steps that lead to a wedding, learn how to work with people on a personal level at a very emotional time, be creative, be able to turn a dream vision into a reality and much more.
Do research and decide what types of education you need and where you can get it. Investigate wedding planner and bridal consultant associations and network and talk to people to find out more about the wedding industry.
2) How will you market this part of your business?
Your current clients know you as someone who plans meetings and other business events. Now you will need to market your business to a new and different group of people.
You will want to start by selecting a niche to specialize in then researching to determine the best ways to reach them. It could be by joining local business and social groups, increasing your visibility on social media sites, blogging, or a mix of all of these, just like you may already be doing as a meeting planner, but doing it now as a wedding planner.
3) What part of your budget can you devote to marketing your wedding planning services?
If you intend to keep planning meetings while also planning weddings, decide how you will divide your marketing budget. You will need to have the money to cover an additional website, blog, and printed marketing materials. You will not want to talk about meeting planning on any information you offer to brides and grooms. They need to know that you have the knowledge and experience to plan weddings, not plan meetings. Your meeting planning clients won’t want to read the marketing information about your wedding planning business either.
4) Where will you find vendor contacts?
You may already have a network with some vendors, such as venues and caterers, that can handle weddings in addition to business events. To this network you will want to add wedding photographers and videographers, officiants, cake designers and bakers, florists, DJs, musicians, party rental companies, limousine drivers, and others who can help you create fabulous weddings.
Your current vendors may be able to give you referrals to high-quality wedding vendors whom you can bring into your network. You can also find additional vendors by joining wedding planner associations and attending wedding and bridal fairs.
5) How well can you handle events that are filled with emotions?
Meetings and other business events don’t typically involve a lot of emotions, weddings are very different. Couples and their families have been dreaming and planning for their weddings for years, emotions can run high, you need to be willing and able to handle them and remain calm and focused.