Any true 90s child is bound to have considered a career as a wedding planner for at least an hour thanks to Jennifer Lopez's dazzling performance in The Wedding Planner. But if you're serious about having a career change as a wedding planner, how do you go about it? What are the skills needed? How do you train?
We have turned to Bernadette Chapman and Sandy Moretta, Directors of The UK Alliance of Wedding Planners (UKAWP) to find out their 10 hot tips for becoming a wedding planner...
1. The first step is to sign up to a reputable course to have some official training. The UKAWP ‘Business Practicalities’ course is a great first step. Click here link to find out everthing you will learn and walk away with after the course.
2. Research the other wedding planners in your area. What are their websites like? What services do they offer. What prices do they charge? What is their USP? Most importantly how can YOU be different?
3. Start playing with company names. Once you've got once, check if this name is taken via companies house and also check if the domain name is free. Don’t choose a name you can't have a matching website to. Make sure it is easily spelt, not too similar to another company and not cheesy (the name needs to grow with you as a business).
4. Ensure your website is professionally designed. After all your website is your shop window. Rest assured this doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of pounds - a simple but professional website is all you need.
5. Meet other planners for a coffee in your area. It's far better to be friendly then start your business under any animosity. Attend events run by the UKAWP to meet other wedding planners - you don’t have to be a member to attend.
6. Start reading and gathering clippings from wedding magazines, blogs and supplier websites. Also attend local and national wedding shows and fairs to start networking with suppliers.
7. Sign up to Twitter and start following some respected planners and suppliers.
8. Really think about your pricing and take into account any costs, i.e. telephone, broadband, travel, stationery and your own time. Being a wedding planner sounds glamorous, but it does involve very long hours so make sure you are not underselling yourself.
9. Brush up on your admin skills – did you know 80% of wedding planning involves administration work? Know your way around Excel – an essential tool used by wedding planners.
10. Be patient, it won’t happen over night. The first couple of years will be particularly difficult, and because they are traditionally one-person ventures, you are always limited in the work you can take on.
If you think a career as a wedding planner is for you, take the first step and visit http://www.ukawp.com for further advice and information.