How to Start a Wedding Planner Business

Wedding Planner Home Business
Help people plan the the romantic event in their lives. Credit: UpperCut Images | Getty Images

Overview the Wedding Planning Business

If you enjoy organizing and planning, becoming a party planner might be a good option. If you also love romance and helping people create the first day of the rest of their lives, then you might consider saying "I do" to becoming a wedding planner. From flowers to catering to rehearsal to transportation, wedding planners do almost everything to arrange the perfect day.

Wedding planners earn $19,000 to $82,000 a year according to PayScale.com. Some of that comes from an hourly rate, while other fees come from bonuses and commissions. Event planning in general is expected to grow by 20% through 2016, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Top-notch organizational skills are a must for a wedding planner, as are superior people skills, including the diplomacy of a secretary of state and the calm of a guru. Crisis management and attention to detail are imperative as well.

Pros of a Real Home Business as a Wedding Planner

  • Weddings continue to be a pivotal event a couple's life, and as a result something people are willing spend a good deal of money on.
  • No education, training or certification is required
  • Celebrating romance can be a fun way to make a living.
  • You can get started for little investment.
  • You can run the business from home.
  • If you pull off a good wedding, attendees will remember you for their weddings.

Cons of a Real Home Business as a Wedding Planner 

  • Bickering brides, grooms and parents can get in the way of finalizing wedding plans and create awkward moments for the wedding planner.
  • It can take time to book your calendar and several years to see a real profit in this real home business. Remember, most people strive to get married once, which means you don't have repeat customers.
  • You have to work weekends. Your busiest time of year will likely be the summer.
  • You need to be at your sunniest and calmest at all times, even when wedding party members are acting their worst..
  • Idle time in the slow winter months means erratic income and cash flow issues for wedding planners.

What You Need to Get Started as a Wedding Planner

  • While you don't need training or certification, you should have experience in wedding planning. You planned your own wedding or that of a family member or friend, you have garnered some experience. 
  • Consider getting experience or apprenticing with another planner. This will give you experience, as well as give you the opportunity to start building your portfolio and references.
  • Having a background in hospitality or getting certified as a wedding planner can increase your marketability, which can allow you to charge more.
  • Write a business plan, detailing all aspects of your wedding planning business, including your market, how you plan to find clients, what fees you'll charge, and financial goals.
  • Create a marketing plan, including the materials and methods you'll use to attract couples to your business.
  • Obtain needed licenses and insurance.
  • Gather your network of suppliers and vendors, including caterers, tux rental, wedding photographers/videographers, reception halls, florists, restaurants and country clubs.
  • Organize your schedule to manage all the tasks involved pulling off the perfect wedding. organization and a schedule will be key especially if you have several weddings in the planning stages at the same time. The equipment used in this real home business can be as simple as a calendar, an appointment book and a Rolodex. Securing the date and the sites for the ceremony and reception comes first, as does being on time for all appointments.
  • Keeping abreast of new wedding trends by reading bridal magazines and attending weddings with a watchful eye is essential.