As wedding planners we get a lot of questions from people asking how one goes about getting into this line of work. A lot of the time someone has just finished helping to plan a wedding (a friend, mom, or even the bride herself) and found that they mostly enjoyed the experience and are wondering how to make it into a career. So here is what we have to say about breaking into the wedding planning field; if you are considering becoming a planner yourself or if you are just curious about how we got to where we are this is for you.
Wedding planning is so fun, but is not a glamorous job whatsoever! If you have ever had a part in planning a wedding you probably learned that very quickly. Jeanne has a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and worked for a caterer for over 10 years which is where she was able to learn the ins and outs of events. Having this experience has allowed her to see through the eyes of all of our vendors and helps her to better anticipate their needs. Even though we both have a degree, neither of us have any certificates in wedding planning. Now wedding certificates are fabulous and surely can help you to learn about the job your doing, however we don't feel that they are needed to be able to do our jobs. But then again Jeanne already had the experience in the wedding industry, and I spent time interning for her to learn the ropes. As of yet we have never had a bride ask if we are certified wedding planners, instead we show them what we can do through photos and knowledge.
There are a few organizations you can get experience with, but to be honest, we believe the best experience is to work in the wedding industry for a caterer, florist, rental company etc. to learn about it. It will make you a better planner all around.
To succeed in this job you need a certain type of personality. You need to thrive on challenges, and be able to handle 10 different things at once without loosing your cool. You have to be nice, but tough at the same time so that people don't walk all over you, and you have to learn how to say NO and mean it. You will want to do as much as you can to impress, but you will wear yourself out that way, there are ways to go above and beyond without killing yourself. One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself and your clients is to let your professional vendors do their job! Don't micro manage them, they are good at what they do and are there for a reason. Concentrate on what you do best!
Before you make any decisions, read up on planning and what exactly it entails, or ask a professional planner what their average day looks like, you may be surprised to see how much work actually goes into wedding planning, hint; it's a lot more than headsets and high heels, but hey, we can't all be JLo.