When I launched my business in 2002 and the industry was still new with only a few celebrity planners around, friends were unsure how I could make money from ‘normal’ clients and why would someone hire a planner anyway?! How times have changed. It’s now very natural to hire a planner even if for partial planning and wedding planners are regularly seen on TV, in bridal and celebrity magazines, on the radio and even in tabloid press. Of course this is brilliant for raising the profile of planners thus encouraging more brides to hire us but it also brings with it an influx of people wanting to become wedding planners.
The UKAWP courses have seen a 35% increase over the last 12 months with students from various past careers including solicitors and nurses. For every student we train there is probably another 30 who decide to teach themselves or try to get a job with a wedding planner. As a planner myself I get around 10 requests per week for people wanting advice, work shadowing or a job. I always try to help whenever I can; after all training is my role within UKAWP, but if there is one thing that irritates me its people that don’t do any research. So if you are writing to a planner asking for experience or a job PLEASE do some research first.
Below, I have listed some top tips below but I also highly recommend you read this post by an American Planner (Saundra Hadley) which is so relevant to where we are at in the UK at the moment. Now this post isn’t supposed to be negative but I do hope it might explain why some planners aren’t forthcoming with advice when you contact them.
1. Don’t phone asking for advice – we are busy trying to run a business as well as planning client’s weddings, we don’t have time to talk to someone who wants to be a planner. Exceptions are those interested in our courses who I will happily chat to about the course and & whether this career is right for you.
2. If sending a letter or email make sure you have the owners name; most planners have their names on their websites. There is nothing worse then receiving a letter addressed to ‘Dear Sir’. Not putting someone’s name is, in my opinion, just lazy.
3. Make sure you can spell…. yes honestly
4. Please don’t use the line ‘I’ve always wanted to be a planner’ or ‘I planned my own wedding….’ – you would not believe how many times we have heard the same line from countless women. It’s not original and will just bring out the cynical part of us!
5. Don’t ask for a copy of our contract or proposal, it still astounds me people ask this. Just why would we give you something that is ours and that we’ve paid for? You can purchase contracts from the UKAWP and we teach you how to produce a proposal on our courses but still we won’t give templates because the proposal needs to reflect you otherwise there would be carbon copy planners across the UK.