How to Set Up a Wedding Planning Business

Graphic of a wedding planner with various wedding-related icons floating around her. She's pointing to a speech bubble featuring wedding rings, while other bubbles show a wedding cake, champagne glasses, a floral bouquet, and a checklist, symbolizing different aspects of wedding planning.

If organising weddings is your passion, then setting up a wedding planning business is probably as close to your ideal career as you’re ever likely to come. As a wedding planner, your full-time responsibility is to make your clients’ dream weddings come true in spectacular ways. What could be better than that?

What’s more, figures indicate that the wedding planning industry is growing fast and expected to expand by 6.6% year-on-year, more than double the rate of the economy as a whole. This also shows that opportunities abound for wedding planning businesses that offer clients genuine value on their big day.

Keen on setting up a wedding planning business? Take a look at these tips to get started.

a. Get trained.

Wedding planning isn’t something you can jump right into. It takes a considerable amount of preparation. Many people in the wedding planning industry have taken wedding planning courses or have sought training from accredited institutions, providing them with the tools and skills necessary to run an effective business.

Likewise, wedding planners need to know how to communicate with couples. They must also know how to maintain the quality of the services they offer, and have the ability to coordinate a wide variety of activities seamlessly and professionally. The tasks are easier said than done, and thus proper training is essential.

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b. Do work on the ground.

Before starting your own company, it’s good to do work on the ground in a wedding planning business. You need to gain experience in the field and find out exactly how the industry works.

Wedding planning businesses tend to be small, but because of the growth of the sector, some are currently looking to make new hires. Go ahead, start creating an impressive resume, and send them out to employers so you can increase your competence and experience.

c. Create a personality for your company.

Wedding planning businesses are boutique: customers want personalised experiences that reflect their personalities. Most couples don’t want generic, cookie-cutter service, but something identifiable and unique.

Injecting personality into your wedding company is, therefore, vital. You may want your website, logo and photo gallery to be clear indicators of the kind of service that you provide. Make sure to specify what differentiates you from others in the industry.

Instead of going for the market as a whole, some wedding planning businesses try to garner niche appeal, specialising in outdoor weddings or overseas weddings in a particular country. Having this focus will draw your target market to you.

d. Set realistic financial goals.

While you may have dreams of launching a wedding planning business and immediately becoming a millionaire, that’s not the experience of the majority of people who get into this industry. That’s not to say that the pay is terrible, it’s just that you’re unlikely to make megabucks in a snap.

Before launching a wedding planning business, you’ll need to build up some money to invest in your company. You’ll often read online articles claiming that you can find a successful planning firm for $1000 or less, but the chances are that your wedding start-up costs will be closer to $3,000, all things considered.

Most people just starting need to buy a capable laptop (something that can run multiple programmes concurrently and is compatible with all the latest standards) as well as business cards and office supplies. On top of that, you’ll have to plan for marketing which, as you will discover, is expensive no matter how you slice it.

The average pay for a wedding planner in Australia is $52,338 according to Indeed. But those who run and operate mature businesses are likely to get more than that. An investment of $3,000 doesn’t seem to bad in that context.

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e. Develop a low-cost marketing strategy.

Remember we said that marketing costs tend to be high? Well, if you’re not careful, they can get completely out of control.

The trick to keeping your online advertising costs down is to play to your strengths. If you’re a niche wedding planner, then target keywords that reflect your services. Instead of bidding for “wedding planning,” try going for something a little less popular like “eco-friendly wedding planners in Queensland.”

Enhancing your strategy through online marketing courses could further optimise your efforts. The other effective strategy is to flesh out the content on your website. Think of ways that you can provide value to customers with videos or articles and create a content plan. Nothing is stopping you from building a library yourself, especially if you feel it represents a better use of your time than paying a third party to do it.

f. Build and establish good relationships.

While you’ll gain a few new customers with online marketing campaigns, the real success of your business will hinge on creating relationships. As a wedding planner, you’re not solely providing a project management service – or that’s not how your clients see it. What you’re doing from their perspective is creating their magical special day. If you get it right, they’re liable to tell their friends and contacts about you who will then solicit your help with their weddings.

Your success also depends on the relationships you can forge with wedding vendors, such as photographers, florists, caterers, and venue providers. The deeper those relationships go, the more you’ll be able to rely on them to deliver the high quality of service that your clients expect.

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Being a wedding planner is a varied and rewarding job. The word “planner” might be in the job description, but you’re more of a negotiator and creator than anything else. The hours might be long, but the work is highly rewarding.

If you think it’s time that you started training to get into this multi-billion dollar industry, our wedding planning courses can help you out.

All the best!