Friends, family and strangers all think my job is glamorous. Yes I am lucky, I have a career that I love. But I sometimes wonder if people enter this industry without knowing the facts first. This article is not meant to scare you, it’s supposed to give you an insight into the reality of wedding planning.
Wedding Planning Myths
- We spend our days at cake tastings and visiting bridal shops
- That the majority of our role is creative, buying pretty ribbons, creating mood boards and choosing table settings
- That we earn huge amounts of money
- It’s, fun, fun, fun
Wedding Planning Facts
- Yes I do get sent beautiful samples in the post from cakes to cookies but honestly that isn’t that often (note to cake suppliers out there – I love cake 😉 )
- Would it surprise you to learn that my role is 80% administrative? It’s spending circa 150 hours organising a clients event ensuring all key suppliers have been booked and within the clients budget. No point spending my time choosing pretty ribbon if there are no napkins on order to put them round.
- Would it surprise you to know most UK planners can only manage 8-10 weddings per year? Let’s do some math, multiply 8 x 150 hours = 1,200 hours. Assuming you will take 4 weeks as holiday per year that’s 25 hours per week organising client weddings. The rest of the working week is spent “running your business” (marketing, accounts, PR, admin). Thus a planner needs to make sure she is earning enough from those 8-10 weddings per year to cover her N.I, tax, business running costs + her wage to cover her time. Don’t forget when you’re employed your wage is what you take home, when you run a business the fee you get from a client is not the fee you personally earn.
- You will be working evenings and weekends so make sure your family support you with this knowledge, take a day off in the week instead as a compromise
- It’s not the same planning your own wedding compared to someone elses, your tastes might differ. Can you deal with that fact?
- At times couples might take their stresses and frustration out on you, do you have the strength to shrug it off? Do you have the patience to guide them through any difficult decisions they are currently experiencing? Do you have the maturity to never take any such stress personally?
- You might be working on 8 weddings simultaneously, that’s approx.. 120-160 supplier emails, contracts, negotiations, schedules and meetings to arrange! If you’re not organised this isn’t the job for you. Over the years I have had many brides or grooms with the same name, getting married in the same year, I always had to think fast to make sure I was speaking with the right couple!
- I am my brand, clients hire me because they like me. I pride myself on the ability to relax a couple within minutes. If you’re shy, timid and lack confidence this isn’t the career for you. The wedding industry is people focused, think about it, a bride is going to choose the photographer that relaxes her AND takes fabulous pictures. If she isn’t relaxed, it doesn’t matter how good the photographer is, the photos are not going to look good.
If you are still interested in learning more about becoming a wedding planner then keep an eye out for another blog post with key advice on starting out as a wedding planner. I also cannot recommend the UKAWP enough as a key source of information and honestly I highly recommend the training courses, I know I am a director, but time and time again past students tell me how inspirational our courses were.