Do you enjoy a well executed wedding? Do you dream of being behind the scenes, helping to visualize, and successfully bring abstract plans to fruition? If you want to make a career of something you already love, read on and I’ll show you how you can make a living by planning weddings.
Weddings are a billion dollar industry and one of the fastest growing in Nigeria right now. A quick look at Bellanaija weddings would show you how extravagantly themed some weddings can be, as well as the amount of production and coordination that goes into these colorful and creative events.
We stated earlier in this article, the estimated costs of planning a medium scale wedding. Between the excitement, budgeting, and demands of planning weddings, this can cause major stress on the would-be bride, and that’s where you come in the “professional hands-on wedding planner”.
To venture into this industry you will need a smorgasbord of skills:- professionalism, creative visionary, style/trend, courteous, organization, accounting, negotiation, quality, reliability, communication, empathy and interpersonal relationships.
Step 1 – Take training courses on event planning with a specialization on weddings, at this stage you can freelance for friends, family and acquaintances. There is actually a very good package offered by a US-based event planner called Melanie Woodward, and she has managed events large and small, including events for celebrities. The package includes elements such as:
- How to plan for the event
- How to budget
- How to avoid timewasters
- How to charge your clients
- 39 places to market your event planning service
- How to find event sponsors
It costs much less than school fees (lol) – $97 and you can purchase the whole system here
Step 2 – Start an internship or work for a professional wedding event company, this is necessary to garner experience in the field, help determine your niche and it is also a great avenue for contacts.
Step 3 – Branch out on your own; write your business plan/strategy, register your business with the appropriate agencies, get your business account, office space and vendors.
Step 4 – Create an attractive workable portfolio; you can have a mini photo shoot with your trusted vendors, get friends to play the couple and guests, this can be given to clients to showcase your expertise and also included in your website/brochure.
Where do I get my training?
These are a few resources I came across online
- Or you could just enrol in live training classes with the big names.
How much do I need to start?
For your Wedding planning start-up costs, you have to consider your training fees, home or office setup costs, business registration, marketing, company branding, supplies and equipment.
Training fees – N50,000
Home office – N0
Office Rent (one room) – N100,000
Furniture/decor – N50,000
Equipment – N120,000
Stationery – N50,000
Client portfolio – N0 to N30,000
Company branding – N35,000
Business registration – N10,500
Total – N445,500
Who are my clients?
Couples, brides, grooms, bridesmaids, and families
What events can I plan?
Weddings, Anniversaries, Vow renewals, Bridal showers, Proposals and engagement ceremonies
How much can you charge?
Full package – 10-20% of total wedding costs or a flat fee
Consulting – flat fee/hour
Day coordinator – flat fee/day
Your services should be delivered in a cost-effective manner and custom tailored to their individual needs. You must have client meetings regularly, keep your phone handy for communication, and have a task board and checklist.
It is your responsibility to;
- Help the couple decide on a budget and expenses required
- Manage every activity on the wedding timeline including wardrobe
- Get the best vendors at the best prices and within budget
- Offer and scout for locations for pre-wedding shoots, church, court and receptions
- Ensure that vendors are up-to-speed with order details and they deliver on time
- Organize the guest list, design seating charts and hall arrangements
- Organize couple logistics
- Total supervision of the “big day” event from Home – Church – reception
- Professional advisory services
- Gift registry and procurement
How do I get clients?
Your marketing strategy should be aggressive
- Get your classified ads in bridal and women’s’ magazines, blogs, wedding television shows, this should fully specify your services.
- Social media: Get on every picture sharing social app out there especially Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Detail your organization process, you can even start a Vlog but ensure to ask for client permission.
- Places of worship: This can be in the bulletin or announcement section.
- Client’s referrals: Endeavor to do a very good job, this will make it easier for you get client referrals or repeat business on subsequent parties or anniversaries.
- Wedding vendors’ affiliate programs: wedding vendors are suppliers of wedding-related goods and services. These vendors are as important as the client; having a good relationship with them will get you discounts on orders, allies on late demands and referrals. You can have an affiliate program where you recommend each other and get discounts for services offered.
- Brochures: These are so much better than flyers; it can be 3-6 fold-able pages detailing your awesome services and photos with your contact information. Place this in shops, malls, salons, lounges, bridal shops, etc.
- Wedding trade shows and events: These events are a great way to market your services, conduct research, and also meet vendors and clients alike. Be armed with business cards, brochures, camera, and your notepad, you do not need a stand for this because there’s no tangible goods to market. In 2015, the wed expo boasted of about 10,000+ guests.
Get planning, and Good luck!
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