How To Create Partnerships To Grow Your Wedding Planning Business

Growing a wedding planning business can be a daunting challenge especially if you are just starting out. There is stiff competition and marketing can be costly at a time when you want to cut down expenses.

However, you can achieve significant level of success and attract more customers with wedding business partnerships. This simply involves partnering with other businesses that serve the same niche market (couples looking to wed) to promote your services across a wider market.

Here are a few tips on how to create wedding business partnerships that will attract more customers your way:

  1. Cross promote with other businesses

Cross promotion is one of the popular techniques businesses use to start partnerships. As a wedding planner, all you need to do is find reputable businesses that serve your niche and put links that refer people to their sites. They can be florists, wedding photographers, venue providers, bands or garment designers.

Beyond just likes however you can contact them and create a more formal relationship. If you show you are willing and able to promote their business, they should appreciate the customers you bring to them and return the favor in kind.

You should keep track of how many referrals you make and receive so that you can focus on those that are most profitable and worthwhile to your business.

  1. Offer referral fees to other providers

Everyone needs an incentive to motivate them to action and nothing impresses an affiliate marketer like a referral fee. Offering a small fee to other providers (florists, dress makers, venue providers…) may be what you need to start getting those important mentions and referrals.

Simply create a program that allows other providers to earn a small commission or fees for referring customers to your business. If the customers end up buying your services, then offer an even bigger commission. Nonetheless, make sure you are not spending money on referral fees that do not yield any profit.

Wedding business partnerships require a win-win situation for all people involved. If you are also referring business to another provider, then you can also earn back something in referral fees.

  1. Develop a strong reputation for excellent customer service

The best way to market yourself and make other people want to mention your business is by providing high quality services. A wedding planner that satisfactorily meets client requirements will not only attract a good reputation from the customers, but will earn respect from other providers as well.

You can start by offering unique and exceptional customer service that impresses everyone or pursue any other quality assurance that surpasses client anticipations. When you offer reliable services that are highly reputed in the area, people will naturally respect your brand and promote it even without requesting a fee as they know customers will trust them if their referrals offer the sought quality.

When looking to create wedding business partnerships, start with small achievable options that do not stretch your budget. Simple steps can help you grow a large network that includes several businesses and providers recommending each other across the network. Focus on providing high quality services with every opportunity you get and this will build your reputation in the market.

effectively-plan-wedding

How to Effectively Plan a Wedding

For most people, planning a wedding is a stressful affair. You may find yourself with so much to do within a very short time. It can actually take a toll on you.

But like with most things, planning a wedding effectively calls for discipline and thoroughness. You need to complete tasks within the required time frame in order to have a smooth time planning your big day. Here are a few tips on how to plan a wedding effectively:

1. Prepare a Budget

effectively-plan-wedding-image-2

The first and perhaps most important step of creating a wedding plan is deciding just how much you are willing to spend on your wedding. Without a budget, it is hard to plan for anything else.

A budget will provide the much needed focus for your entire occasion. For instance, the number of guests you can invite to your wedding, the venues for the wedding, and the kind of entertainment you can provide during your wedding are all dictated by your budget.

Before you settle on much else, first sit down with your significant other and create a budget. Make it as detailed as you possibly can, and also make allowances for changes that may occur in the course of time.

2. Create a way to Stay Organized

effectively-plan-wedding-stay-organized

When planning a wedding, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do. How do you stay on top of everything without forgetting some critical aspect of your special day? The answer is to create a way to be organized. Depending on your style this could be in a written notebook or task management app like Task Pigeon.

Create a checklist and tick off tasks as you complete them. Have you already bought the wedding dress or ordered the cake? Tick it off your list.

If you are not organized, a lot of things could go awry. Take steps early on in your planning to stay organized and it will prove invaluable in the long run.

3. Decide on the Size and Style of Your Wedding

effectively-plan-wedding-cake

There are virtually endless ways to celebrate your big day, but you need to settle on one or a combination of a few as you plan your wedding. Do you want a traditional church wedding? Or do you want a garden wedding?

Or maybe you want something elaborate that will forever remain etched in the minds of your guests. Perhaps your budget dictates that you should have a small, simple but intimate wedding. You really have to settle on this as soon as you possibly can.

The other factor you have to decide on is the size of your wedding. Have you always wanted a big event with many guests to witness your big day? Or do you simply want your close friends and family to attend your joyous occasion?

All of these are important questions that need urgent answers if you are to progress smoothly with your wedding plans. The sooner you settle, the easier it will be to plan your event.

4. Choose Your Date and Lock in Key Venues

effectively-plan-wedding-venue

Another important thing that you must do as soon as you possibly can is to settle on a wedding date. With a fixed date in mind, you can easily book venues early enough to avoid a lot of last- minute inconveniences.

Another benefit of picking a date early is that it allows for some flexibility. For instance, you can be better able to choose prime venues for your wedding and at a time which suits you best.

It is critical that you contact the proprietors of the locations you settle on as soon as you have chosen a date. Putting it off can prove to be disastrous, so do it early in advance.

5. Notify Your Wedding Party

effectively-plan-wedding-party

Once you have made most of the essential decisions, you now have to contact the people who will be playing critical roles on the special day such as bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you haven’t yet decided who will play what role, now is the time to make that decision.

Get your wedding party involved as early as you possibly can. Settle on what they will wear for your wedding from the onset to ease your planning arrangements.

6. Lock in The Big Ticket Items

effectively-plan-wedding-big-ticket-items

Once your wedding party is involved, it is now time to think about the big ticket items on your checklist. This would include such things as music, photography and entertainment.

It is now time to start looking for professionals and making contracts with them. This is perhaps one of the hardest parts of planning a wedding, particularly if you have no idea who the best professionals are.

Get recommendations if you must, but be very careful with your hiring process. Remember, the people you hire to take care of certain aspects of your wedding can either make it perfect or ruin it for you.

7. Involve Your Bridal Party/ Family to Help Co- ordinate Things

Wedding planning is no easy task, and it is no use believing that you can execute it by yourself. Ask others help to oversee certain preparations so that you can focus better on the things you choose to do yourself.

But before you delegate tasks, it is important that you appoint responsible people to help you. Your bridal party and family can aid you greatly since they want the best for you as well.

8. Take some time off

It is also important that you take breaks from planning your big day. If your entire life revolves around that day, it could kick the balance out of your life. Take time off planning on purpose to relax and even concentrate on other areas of your life.

Conclusion

There is no denying that planning a wedding can be hectic. But with the right support and discipline, you can get the task done.

Remember to start your planning as early as you possibly can. The earlier you get the bulk of the work done, the more relaxed you will be as your wedding approaches.

If you need help, don’t shy away from asking for it. It could be the difference between a perfect ceremony and a disastrous one.

 

How Much Does The Average Wedding Cost?

Today, planning a wedding is anything but easy. What with the ever- rising cost of holding the ceremony? Add to that the emotional constrain of planning a wedding and you will agree that there is nothing easy about the big day.

When it comes to managing the cost of your wedding, it is important that you create a budget and stick to it. There is no better place to start than educating yourself on the average wedding cost. It will provide guidance on how much you should expect to spend on your special day.

What is the Average Cost?

Research shows that on average, the budget for a wedding in 2016 was $ 35,329, up from $ 32, 641 the previous year. If the trend continues, it would be safe to expect even a greater rise in wedding expenses this year.

Where Does Most of the Money Go?

So, how do the expenses add up so much? Wedding venues are the most expensive item on most couples’ wedding budgets.

On average, it costs about $ 16, 107 to secure a good venue for your ceremony. That is nearly half your budget spent on a single item. Other noteworthy expenses include hiring a DJ, portrait artists and full gospel choirs.

Other items such as photo booths, lawn games and food trucks also cost a considerable amount of money. This explains why despite the decreasing number of guests invited to weddings, the cost of holding one keeps increasing by the day.

How Can You Cut Costs During Your Wedding?

One can understand why you want to splurge on your wedding: it is an incredibly important day to you. But in weddings, perfection does not necessarily equal extravagance. Here are a few tips to help you create a manageable wedding budget:

  1. Ask Both Sides to Contribute

Although traditionally it is the bride’s family that bears the burden of paying for the wedding, it is becoming more and more common for the groom’s family to contribute. You can ease the stress of planning for the wedding by asking both sides to contribute some money for the wedding.

For instance, you can ask the groom’s family to pledge a certain amount of money to cater for some wedding expenses. Or they could also be in charge of certain aspects of the wedding, such as the food or decoration.

  1. Choose the Right Venue

Some wedding venues invariably cost more than others. City venues charge very high prices while most small town venues are generally affordable.

A wedding held in Manhattan and another held in a small town will certainly not cost the same. If you are really low on cash, choosing an inexpensive venue can go a long way in easing your burden.

  1. Choose the Time Right

You may also consider getting married during off- peak seasons and even on weekdays. During off- peak times, you will generally spend less money on your wedding.

Conclusion

There is no denying that weddings can be an expensive affair. But with careful planning and a little thriftiness, you can be able to save quite a lot of money. Just make sure to spend money on the important things and make compromises where you can.

How Much Should I Charge as a Wedding Planner

Planning a wedding is one of the tasks that require the utmost attention to detail. Even though humans make mistakes, ruining a couple’s big day with any poor preparations on your part can make you ingrained in their bad books forever.

Even with the challenges, it is always a unique experience planning a wedding for each couple. It can be exhilarating. You can wonder, ‘How much should I charge as a wedding planner?’

This question does not have an exact response. Instead, a few factors influence what you can charge your clients for planning their wedding.

First, you have to identify what kind of clients you want to attract. You might want to go for the high end, middle market or for those who are budget conscious. Clients demanding more class for their wedding will pay more due to the extra work that goes into making a wedding look exceedingly exquisite.

  • High-end clients will often want to flaunt their wealth and show off on their wedding day. It will be your job to help them choose what flowers, setting, and venue that screams expensive. Due to the amount of money that they are spending on the wedding, your skills and more will be required no to disappoint them.
  • Middle market clients still want spark and life at their wedding only that they have to stick to a budget. Even though not a tight budget, they do not want to be too extravagant to ensure they can still pay their bills after the wedding.
  • Budget-conscious clients have a strict budget to adhere to, and it is your job to make their wedding beautiful within their means.

Clients are valuable regardless of their budget. However, there are the clients you seek to attract and that will determine your wedding planner fees.

Secondly, you need to know what package the couple desires. This affects the wedding planner fees. They could be interested in the Day of Coordination planning or the Full-Service planning.

Day of Coordination planning will involve you taking care of the logistics on the said wedding day while the Full Service will require more work. It involves everything in the Day of Coordination and all the preparations that come before the wedding day. These two attract different fees for the wedding planner.

You will also need to have different packages to satisfy the client’s diverse needs. You will make this clear during the consultation. Try to ensure that the couple understands what they are asking for and use your professional experience to help them arrive at a decision.

If the clients need you to be in charge of the budget (for the Full-Service planning), understand the choices you have to make not to veer off the budget. Compare prices for venues and all the wedding vendors relevant to their wedding.

It is essential for you to understand the client’s budget to avoid conflict.

The best thing is to ease the couple’s stress because they are under a lot of pressure to finance the wedding and please their loved ones in addition to wrapping their heads around the whole idea of marriage.

Make thorough inquiries for venues and present them with the most suitable narrowed choices.

Thirdly, your level of education will affect how much wedding fees you charge. An established and experienced wedding planner can charge quite high due to their ability to execute and deliver to please their clients. They often have an impressive record of accomplishment that clients find confidence in.

If you are just beginning, you might want to charge a reasonable fee especially if you are unsure about whether you can do a good or an excellent job.

One’s academic credentials also matter especially for high-end clients. They like to feel that you know what you are doing before they can entrust you with their wedding planning. However, it is all about the fantastic job that you can do.

Since different clients will have different demands, it will affect how much they pay you.

A couple will often need your opinion on almost everything. It could be the bridal attire, cake, flowers, table setting or what spoons to use. This is your chance to show them why they had every reason to hire and pay you as much. Put your heart into it.

start-wedding-planner-business-image-1

How to Start a Wedding Planner Business

Do you often wish you had a wedding planning business? Perhaps you are passionate about planning events from scratch to their realization. Or maybe you love the beauty and romance of weddings.

However, being passionate about something and deciding to set up a business are two very different things. With a business comes risk and the need to make profits. One can therefore understand why many people are reluctant to start a wedding planner business.

Be that as it may, such a business can prove to be extremely beneficial if only you start and run it the right way. Doubtless, the beginning is bound to be rough and demanding, but once you have established yourself in the industry, it will prove to be worth the effort. Here is how to start your planning business:

Start the Business

start-wedding-planner-business-image-3

If you are going to run a planning business, you certainly must set it up first. This means getting an office and all the necessary equipment as well as looking for clients.

However, if you need a little experience first before you invest in your own business, you would be well advised to start off as an on- site planner for an established planning company. This will give you an opportunity to get hands- on experience as well as build your confidence in the job.

It is also a chance for you to determine whether wedding planning really is the career for you. Although it might not appear to be stressful and demanding on the surface, it really is a lot of hard work. If you decide that it is an ideal occupation, you can then go ahead and set up your own business.

Getting clients is perhaps the hardest part of starting your business. How do you get people to come to you so that you can plan their weddings?

First, you can start by offering free planning services to friends and family. This helps build your portfolio and you also gain a lot of invaluable experience.

You should also think of creating a website for your company. A website is a cheap but extremely effective way to market your services to the ever growing online community.

You can also market your services on websites such as Weddingwire to allow prospective brides to find you. This works best if you have settled on coordinating a given type of weddings, such as traditional weddings.

You must also take care of the legal aspects of your business. Ensure that you have duly registered it before you start running it. If you need to, seek the services of an attorney to ensure that you fully comply with the laid down laws.

Expand Your Business

start-wedding-planner-business-image-2

After you have acquired your initial clients, what remains is for you to expand your business. The one sure way to expand a wedding coordination business is to build a rock solid reputation for yourself. In this industry, reputation is everything.

You build your reputation with every wedding you plan. Many successful weddings mean a great reputation, while the not-so-good ones can seriously impede the growth of your business. Like any other business, wedding planning calls for a lot of hard work, dedication and a strong desire to succeed.

You can also build your business by building strong relationships with wedding vendors such as bakers, photographers and caterers. Often, they will refer their clients to you, which ultimately leads to the growth of your business. Keep in mind the fact that you will rely on them to organize your events, so the earlier you build good relationships with them, the better.

Manage Weddings

start-wedding-planner-business-image-4

After you have built a client base, then go ahead and do what you love: plan weddings. Just make sure to offer excellent services so as to build your brand.

Organize as many weddings as you possibly can. In the initial stages, don’t be so concerned about how much people will pay as much as about the experience you will gain.

However as your brand grows, you could start paying more attention to the prices you offer your services for.

Wedding planning is as demanding as it is rewarding. However, a passion for organization and a keen attention to detail can go a long way in helping you make it in the industry. If you want to start your business, don’t hesitate to: it will be worth it in the long run.

wedding-planning-career-right-for-you-image1

Is a Wedding Planning Career Right for You?

Choosing a career is a tough decision for most people. Almost every career demands something from those who choose it, and comes with its own unique challenges. Wedding planning is not any different.

Forget the illusion that being a wedding planner is an easy task. It might appear to be so on the surface, but that is not all there is to it.

Generally, a wedding planner’s job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the wedding day. This is not an easy goal to achieve given that things often run amok on the very wedding day, and this can be extremely stressful for the planner. Here is what it takes to be a wedding planner.

What Skills Should a Wedding Planner Have?

wedding-planning-career-right-for-you-image2

Great problem solving skills

As a wedding planner, it is solely your task to ensure everything goes as planned on the wedding day. If you are lucky, you might not encounter any problems, though problems are quite the norm.

What do you do if the catering company runs late? Or what will you do if the wedding venue suddenly becomes unavailable a few days to the wedding? Or perhaps your master of ceremony bails out on you when it is too late to start looking for another one?

As a wedding planner, you have to envision every possible challenge that could arise, and to have solutions lined up in case things go wrong. In the event that an unforeseen challenge comes up, you must be able to think on your feet and come up with a solution. This is one of the most important skills that you need in your wedding planning career.

Emotional Intelligence

Pressure can easily mount as you prepare a wedding, and you may often find yourself having to control tempers and cool heated arguments. When expectations are not met, brides and grooms can easily become irritable. You have to learn how to deal delicately with such clients.

What Are the Pros of Being a Wedding Planner?

wedding-planning-career-right-for-you-image3

It is rewarding

There is no denying that being a wedding planner is a fulfilling job. It is extremely rewarding to see an event you planned from scratch come to be, especially if it runs smoothly.

Monetary Gains

You can also earn more than just a livelihood from your planning job. You only need to ensure that you create and maintain a strong reputation and the clients will keep coming in.

What Are the Cons of Being a Wedding Planner?

wedding-planning-career-right-for-you-image4

Inconvenience

If you want to make it as a planner, you have to be dedicated. Sometimes, this means facing extreme inconveniences with a smile on your face. When a client calls after your work hours or very early in the morning, you have to be there for them without grumbling about it.

You generally have to work a lot of weekends and evenings. And can never tell if a client will be happy with your service until after the wedding.

Commitment

Wedding planning calls for more commitment than most other careers. You will have to go out of your way innumerable times to ensure that everything goes as planned. You will have to address problems you never thought you would have to, and you have to address them fast.

This is an important day in the life of your clients and they will all want it to be 100% perfect.

9 Unique Wedding Location Ideas

you simply aren’t content with traditional wedding locations. Luckily for you, there are inexhaustible ideas of cool, unique and somewhat unconventional places to exchange your vows.

At first glance, you may dismiss the ideas as too eccentric or odd, but don’t be quick to judge. These venues are guaranteed to make your wedding unforgettable for all the good reasons.

Unique Wedding Location Ideas

A Royal Castle

If you always wanted to get married like royalty, don’t for a second think it impossible. Today, you can actually get married in a number of royal palaces and castles around the world. Some of these royal palaces and castles can even be found in the USA.

The royal home of William and Kate, the Kensington Palace, is a popular wedding location. If you’re lucky, you can have your wedding at some of the ballrooms, halls and gardens in the palace.

Theaters

Theaters are an ideal wedding location for those who are passionate about the arts. There is no better way to show your love for the performing arts than saying “I do” on a stage.

One of the perks of getting married is the assurance that you can bring liquor since most of them have a liquor license. If you want to get married in an open area, you could also look for an amphitheater.

Aquarium

Aquariums are perfect wedding venues for those who adore water animals. One cannot deny that there is a rare beauty about having live sea creatures as a backdrop to your wedding photos.

Boat

Another venue you should consider for your wedding is a boat. Depending on your preference, you can opt to get married out in the sea or on a still boat.

The good thing about a moving boat is that your special day will be filled with lots of nature’s beauty. On the downside, if the weather gets rough, it might ruin everything for you.

Theme Parks

Parks such as Busch gardens and Disneyland are also great locations for weddings. What with all the fun that is synonymous with these places?

However, make your plans early in advance since these places are generally flocked most of the time. The parks however make an exception for special ceremonies to be held here during off peak hours.

Zoo

For animal lovers, the idea of getting married in a zoo must be exceptionally appealing. Many may find it a bizarre location for a wedding, but it really is not.

Countless couples get married each year in zoos. Sometimes, the animals join in the celebrations, or at least make the photographs extremely beautiful.

Tree House

Who says you can’t get married in a tree house? Tree houses are great especially since they are located in picturesque woodlands. They are ideal for intimate ceremonies.

Ice Caves

For the brave souls, ice caves are also a great location for weddings. Just be ready to have at most three guests when exchanging vows!

Museums

Finally, you can also hold your wedding at a museum. Let history spice up your special day and it will undoubtedly be memorable.

If you are looking for a unique place to hold your wedding, try out some of the locations suggested here. They may be unorthodox but you will create unforgettable memories there.

7 Ways to Save Money on a Wedding Venue

Wedding venues are often the most expensive item on a wedding budget. Sometimes, they may cost nearly half the entire budget. However, if you are careful with your choice of location, you could end up saving a lot of money. Here are a few ways to save money on wedding venue:

1. Book Early in Advance

The rule of thumb if you want to spend little money on a wedding is to book the venue as early as you possibly can. It should be one of the first things to do when planning for a wedding.

It is not enough to settle on a given venue: go ahead and make the necessary calls to secure that venue. But how does booking early save you money, you ask?

First, when you book early, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to the date of your wedding. If you are lucky, you might get the venue at a time when they are offering discounts, or during off- peak times when the cost is generally low.

Additionally, booking early allows you the luxury of comparing the prices for different venues. You can then go ahead and choose whichever location best fits your budget.

2. Book Outside the Peak Season

Another way to save some money is to schedule your wedding during off- peak seasons. When there is little competition for space, you generally pay less money. The contrary is true: when the demand for wedding venues is high, the prices will skyrocket too.

3. Consider Non- Traditional Locations

You could also opt to have your wedding at unconventional locations. Who says you can only exchange wedding vows at expensive halls and ballrooms?

Try theme parks, museums, antique shops or even city parks. They might appear to be odd venues, but you will certainly make lifelong memories here.

4. Consider Self- Hosting Your Wedding

If you have a huge compound, you could opt to have your wedding in your home. But even if you are short on space, you can still have your wedding at a friend’s or relative’s. It will cost you nothing and you will still have a great occasion.

5. Hold a Small Wedding at The Venue

Generally, the larger the space you consume during your wedding, the more expensive the charges will be. You can opt to exchange vows with your lover at the venue, with a few close friends and family, and then hold another party at a cheaper venue or even in your own home. That way you will have saved plenty of money.

6. Combine Your Wedding with Your Honeymoon

Another genius method to save money on a wedding venue is to combine it with your honeymoon. First, your guest list will be remarkably small, so you do not have to worry about securing a huge, expensive venue. Secondly, by combining the two, you will invariably end up spending less than if you held them separately.

7. Consider Venues where You can Provide Your Own Catering

Finally, you can cut costs on a wedding venue by looking for venues where you provide your own catering. It will give you more control over how much you spend on the wedding not to mention that you get to create your own menu.A little creativity can go a long way in helping you save money on your wedding. Try the tricks above and you could end up saving a considerable amount of money.