Weddings are generally considered to be one of the most special days in a person’s life. The preparation and money that goes into weddings is increasing over time, as couples try to create an unforgettable event. This creates more scope for entrepreneurs to launch a successful wedding planning business, so if you’re interested in breaking into the industry, now is a great time to do it.
To help with preparations, wedding planners are often brought in to make sure the happy couple and all their guests have the perfect day. This article focuses on how you can launch your own wedding planning business. But first, let’s take a closer look at the role of a wedding planner.
Why is wedding planning a lucrative career path?
Today, couples shell out an average of £31,974 on their big day, hiring all sorts of professional helpers, from make-up artists, live bands and caterers to florists and official photographers. And this isn’t all; on top of the actual wedding day, most marriages also start with stag and hen dos, a wedding rehearsal, a gift list and a honeymoon.
Also, with the rise of social media, many couples are keen to make sure their wedding is ‘Instagramable’ and will look impressive online. Some organisers even create a dedicated hashtag to allow guests to log their own photographs online. There is so much to think about that weddings usually need to be meticulously planned and expertly executed if they’re to run smoothly.
Typically, all of the wedding services mentioned are provided by different companies, making organisation incredibly complex. This is one of the critical reasons why there is increasing demand for wedding planners. They can coordinate the different services to take the pressure off the bride and groom – while still allowing them creative control. This gives the happy couple the opportunity to relax and enjoy their big day.
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Becoming a wedding planner
Follow our five top tips to launch your own successful wedding planning business.
1. Get experience
If you’re going to start a wedding planner business, you’ll need to have the skills to do the job properly. The best way of doing this is working in a wedding planning business as an assistant. If you find it hard to win this kind of role, you could take up a position within a general event management business. This will still give you the skills you need to organise an event from start to finish.
However, if you can, you should try to be involved in a range of different weddings, as this will boost your expertise. For example, helping to organise small, large, intimate, grand and themed events will teach you how to achieve different effects when your clients ask for them.
2. Find your niche
Often, wedding planners find it useful to cater to a specific market. While it can be profitable to offer a whole host of different services, you’re sure to attract clients with particular requirements every time if you specialise in one or two areas.
Why not consider working with same-sex marriages, “indie” or “boho” brides, Christmas weddings or environmentally friendly ones? Once you’ve chosen your niche, make sure you develop a brand identity that reflects it. Remember, people will judge your business on its branding, so create an image that exudes elegance, visual appeal and professionalism.
3. Create a marketing campaign
Marketing wedding planner businesses can be tricky, as they don’t sell products that can be visually represented in a photograph or video. For this reason, forking out for advertising at wedding fairs can be a mistake. Instead, develop an attractive and informative website that clearly conveys your specialisms and includes photographs of weddings you have previously organised.
Also, you can attract new clients by offering discounts. As a professional wedding planner, you’ll be developing relationships with suppliers and companies like bridal gown boutiques, caterers, make-up artists, florists and photographers. If possible, try to strike up deals with them so you can offer reduced prices to your clients.
4. Recognise the importance of great customer service
A huge part of your marketing will rely on word of mouth. If a client thought you were brilliant, they’ll probably recommend you to any friends who get engaged in the following weeks or months. For this reason, you should make sure you offer the full package. This means providing great customer service as well as the wedding plans and preparations. By being there for your clients and supporting them every step of the way, you’ll provide a personalised service that they’ll appreciate and remember for years to come.
It’s important you recognise the power your clients have and ask them to leave testimonials on your website and social media pages. Many people rely heavily on reviews when choosing their wedding planners, so make sure your testimonials work for you.
5. Develop the skills you’ll need
Running a wedding planning business isn’t easy; you’ll need to have a specific skillset if you’re to pull off your clients’ dream weddings. Some of these will be innate qualities that you either have or don’t have; business acumen and the ability to stay calm under pressure, for example.
However, if you have these essential characteristics, you should also work on developing other skills. To be a great wedding planner, you’ll need to be able to work to a budget and negotiate with suppliers to get the best deals. You should also have great attention to detail and be reactive, responding to emails or texts within several hours.
It’s also important to be empathetic and understanding when there are bumps in the road. Although this will be your day job, you need to remember that you’re planning one of the biggest days of your clients’ lives. It is an emotional process, so be tactful and approachable when talking to the bride and groom. Also, you’ll need to be capable of solving problems and taking the initiative without pestering the happy couple – especially on the big day.
Wedding planning franchises
If you’re hoping to take advantage of the surge in demand for wedding planning services, franchising can offer an excellent entry point for budding entrepreneurs. Franchises provide comprehensive support and training, giving your business a better chance of success. Here are a couple of wedding planning franchises currently looking for new franchisees.
Bridal P.A. is headed by Michelle and Rena, who have a combined total of over 40 years of experience in the industry. They operate an impressive business model, and have even launched innovative services like ‘Ask The Expert’, a standalone consultation service priced at £50 per hour. This wedding planning franchise has an impressive history, boasting previous clients that include His Royal Highness (HRH) the Price of Wales and HRH the Duke of York.
New franchisees benefit from a business model that was developed with the British Franchise Association Code of Ethics in mind and a turnkey package, ready for almost immediate launch. Once you’re on board, you’ll be granted an exclusive territory for five years, as well as initial training and support.
One Vision Photography & Videography
This national franchise is looking for talented franchisees in Bristol, Oxford, London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Scotland to take high-quality wedding photographs.
It offers full and part time opportunities, with investment costs ranging from £7,495 for a standard photography franchise, to £10,495 for a photography and videography franchise. You can even open your own studio if you like. Once you’re up and running, you can expect to make between £3,500 and £5,500 per month.
One Vision Photography and Videography offers extensive franchisee support, starting with intense photography and business training. You’ll get an exclusive territory, clothing, stationery, marketing materials and website to showcase your photographs.
In addition to this, the wedding photography franchise will provide sales and marketing training, and ongoing support with business development. You’ll have access to experts on the other end of the phone 24/7 and online administrative systems to ensure the business runs smoothly. What’s more, the franchisor will carry out regular training reviews to make sure you continually improve your skills and are kept up to date with the latest industry developments.
Start your own franchise unit
Unfortunately, we don’t currently have any wedding franchises on our books, but there are plenty of other businesses you can join in a whole range of different industries. Click here to browse our directory, or use the Menu on our homepage to filter your choice by sector, region or investment level.
Or, you may be interested in Venture Studios, a photography franchise that captures all kinds of special moments, specialising in everything from family portraits to pet and baby photography. To get started, you’ll need to make a total investment of £70,000. Franchisees who join this business have the opportunity to make a significant return on their investment, as many make an annual revenue of £440,000 after two years in operation.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©