10 episodes

Listen and learn everything you ever wanted to know about being a phenomenal professional wedding planner. Learn more at WeddingsForaLiving.com

All Weddings For a Living Podcasts Debbie Quain

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Listen and learn everything you ever wanted to know about being a phenomenal professional wedding planner. Learn more at WeddingsForaLiving.com

    4 (more) Wedding Planner Niches – WFAL400

    4 (more) Wedding Planner Niches – WFAL400

    I am a HUGE advocate of specializing.  With a wedding planner niche or specialty, you’ll have less competition and will likely make more money.

    Here are four (4) not-so-obvious wedding planner specialties to consider

    Niche #1: Offer All Inclusive Wedding Planning

    Become a one-stop-shop for couples getting married in your area.

    If you have your own venue, this is a no-brainer.  But what if you’re home-based?

    Good question!  The answer is to bundle a group of wedding planner services from 3rd-party wedding vendors and offer one flat price to your clients.

    Your clients pay you the wedding planner directly and you pay each wedding vendor for their services.  The difference is your profit.

    Niche #2: Work with Select Local Wedding Venues, Only!

    Limit the weddings that you plan to a handful (2 or 3) local wedding venues.  Weddings happening anywhere else are bespoke and are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

    You become the wedding specialist for that particular venue.

    The couples getting married pay your fee directly to you OR the venue may choose to tack it on to their own advertised wedding planning package.

    Niche #3: Plan Pre- and Post-Wedding Celebrations

    With this specialty, you won’t actually plan weddings.  Instead you’re the go-to person for engagement parties, bachelorette or bachelor parties, hen or stag nights, bridal showers, wedding rehearsal dinners and post-wedding brunch events.

    Similar to the all-inclusive arrangement, you’ll need to spend time negotiating deals with area venues, entertainment, rental companies, etc.

    Keep in mind your clients may not be the engaged couple.  Relatives and wedding party members – the folks who are likely to be hosting these types of events – need to know that you exist

    Niche #4: Plan Speedy Weddings

    A wedding planner who specializes in putting a wedding together in a matter of weeks instead of months certainly stands out!

    Couples who are flexible and willing to do things differently – e.g. host a wedding on a weeknight, perhaps or forego some of the traditional ‘rules’ for tying the knot are ideal for this type of specialty.

    Repeat after me: “There are Riches in Niches!”

    A wedding planner niche is a good thing!  The wedding planning market is crowded.  Give yourself a chance and stand out by being different.

    Once you settle on a niche, you must promote it…don’t bury it.  And, it’s okay to turn away potential business.  Every wedding is not for you.

    Additional Wedding Planner Niche Episodes



    * Episode 370: Pop-Up or Quick Weddings as a Niche – WeddingsforaLiving.com/370

    * Episode 390: “How Do I Select a Wedding Planner Niche?” – Weddingsforaliving.com/390



    Would L-O-V-E to hear from you…



    * Call and leave a voicemail message 24/7 on the Listener Talkback Line: +1 (202) 681-2126

    * Please share your comments about wedding planner niches or specializing in the box below

    * If the spirit moves ya, please leave a review on iTunes! 🙂  WeddingsforaLiving.com/itunes



    HAPPY PLANNING!

     

    I am a HUGE advocate of specializing.  With a wedding planner niche or specialty, you’ll have less competition and will likely make more money.

    Here are four (4) not-so-obvious wedding planner specialties to consider

    Niche #1: Offer All Inclusive Wedding Planning

    Become a one-stop-shop for couples getting married in your area.

    If you have your own venue, this is a no-brainer.

    • 40 min
    Wedding Guest Seating – WFAL399

    Wedding Guest Seating – WFAL399

    Here’s a basic overview of seating wedding guests at the wedding reception.

    Wedding Guest Seating Stationery

    When it comes to seating your client’s wedding guests, at the very least you’ll need:



    * An alphabetized list of attending guest names

    * Escort cards with each guest name and table assignment in alphabetical order

    * Place cards (if applicable) with guest names

    * Table signs (with either numbers or table names) for each table and a corresponding room layout

    * Seating chart(s) (if applicable)



    Keep in Mind:



    * You need your clients’ input to determine where guests should be seated at the wedding reception

    * Wedding guest seating arrangements are made during the final part of the wedding planning process – allow yourself enough time…you have lots to do!

    * Wedding guests are not likely to spend more than an hour and 15 minutes (give or take) seated together at a table.

    * Do whatever you can to avoid a bottleneck at the entrance to the main wedding reception room



    HAPPY PLANNING!

    Here’s a basic overview of seating wedding guests at the wedding reception.

    Wedding Guest Seating Stationery

    When it comes to seating your client’s wedding guests, at the very least you’ll need:



    * An alphabetized list of attending guest names

    * Escort cards with each guest name and table assignment in alphabetical order

    * Place cards (if applicable) with guest names

    * Table signs (with either numbers or table names) for each table and a corresponding room layout

    * Seating chart(s) (if applicable)



    Keep in Mind:



    * You need your clients’ input to determine where guests should be seated at the wedding reception

    * Wedding guest seating arrangements are made during the final part of the wedding planning process – allow yourself enough time…you have lots to do!

    * Wedding guests are not likely to spend more than an hour and 15 minutes (give or take) seated together at a table.

    * Do whatever you can to avoid a bottleneck at the entrance to the main wedding reception room



    HAPPY PLANNING!

    • 29 min
    How to Collect your Wedding Planner’s Fee – WFAL398

    How to Collect your Wedding Planner’s Fee – WFAL398

    If you’re planning weddings for a living then the goal is to receive payment from your clients for your professional services.

    This episode will walk you through the payment options that are available and provide advice on what you can do to ensure that you are paid on time for your wedding planning services.

    During this episode discover:



    * Why you need a business bank account for your wedding planning business

    * A quick explanation of ‘Doing Business As’

    * Best practices for accepting cash, checks and credit cards for your wedding planner services

    * Fees associated with a credit card merchant account

    * A possible solution that lowers the risk of accepting checks

    * Affordable alternatives to a traditional merchant account

    * Advice if you’re charging clients a fee for paying you with a credit card



    Resources

    Evo Payments (formerly PowerPay) – If you’re looking for a new (or better) traditional merchant account, I recommend PowerPay.  This is the company I used before switching to Stripe (see below)  Great customer service. Visit PowerPay

    Square – Here’s a credit card reader that plugs into your smartphone or tablet giving just about anyone the ability to accept credit cards for payment. Visit Squareup.com

    PayPal HERE – Not to be outdone, ‘Here’ is PayPal’s triangular answer to the ‘Square’ credit card reader. Visit PayPal Here Card Reader

    PayPal Payments – This is the world’s largest online payment processor.  As long as your clients and customers have an email address, they can use PayPal to pay your wedding planning fees. Visit PayPal

    Stripe – This is my hands-down favorite option for accepting credit card payments online. To use Stripe, you’ll need to purchase an SSL certificate for your wedding business website (making your domain name or website payment page secure; indicated by ‘https’ instead of ‘http’).  Visit Stripe.com

    HAPPY PLANNING!

    If you’re planning weddings for a living then the goal is to receive payment from your clients for your professional services.

    This episode will walk you through the payment options that are available and provide advice on what you can do to ensure that you are paid on time for your wedding planning services.

    During this episode discover:



    * Why you need a business bank account for your wedding planning business

    * A quick explanation of ‘Doing Business As’

    * Best practices for accepting cash, checks and credit cards for your wedding planner services

    * Fees associated with a credit card merchant account

    * A possible solution that lowers the risk of accepting checks

    * Affordable alternatives to a traditional merchant account

    * Advice if you’re charging clients a fee for paying you with a credit card



    Resources

    Evo Payments (formerly PowerPay) – If you’re looking for a new (or better) traditional merchant account, I recommend PowerPay.  This is the company I used before switching to Stripe (see below)  Great customer service. Visit PowerPay

    Square – Here’s a credit card reader that plugs into your smartphone or tablet giving just about anyone the ability to accept credit cards for payment. Visit Squareup.com

    PayPal HERE – Not to be outdone,

    • 40 min
    Avoid These Newbie Wedding Planner Mistakes! – WFAL397

    Avoid These Newbie Wedding Planner Mistakes! – WFAL397

    When you’re new to an industry you’re bound to make a few mistakes. You don’t know what you don’t know.  And with no shortage of available online information, the endless options can be confusing.

    For a newbie wedding planner it is no different.

    In this episode I shed some light on some of the mistakes that I  have made so you can avoid making them too.

    MISTAKE #1: Not thinking like a business owner

    For the most part, planning weddings for a living means almost no recurring income; PLUS hiring a professional wedding planner is not a service that is in-demand (yet).

    What also tends to be the case is that most professional wedding planners spend lots of hours planning a wedding but do not bill for the actual amount of time spent working.

    This means that wedding planning tends to be a labor of love instead of a HUGE money generator.  Keep this in mind!

    MISTAKE #2: Not creating a business plan

    You may not need a traditional 25-page document to start your wedding planning business, but at the very least, you must be prepared to answer some important questions:



    * How much do you charge?

    * What type of wedding planner services do you offer?

    * Are you in tune with the local wedding scene?

    * Do you have an office? Where will you meet clients?

    * Are you certified? Do you even need to be?

    * How much money do you need to make each month?

    * What is my core marketing strategy?

    * How will I balance my business with my job?

    * Are you comfortable asking for the sale?



    MISTAKE #3: Not being local enough

    If you’re actively planning weddings, do you know:



    * How many weddings are happening in your area, locally?

    * How much couples spending on local weddings?

    * Who are the top 3 planners in your area? How much do they charge?



    Do your research before launching your wedding planning company.

    TIP: Survey local brides – ask them about their wedding experience

    TIP: Commit to being the local wedding guru; start a blog, a local YT channel

    MISTAKE #4: Underestimating the emotional side of weddings

    Weddings are emotional.  This means your emotions PLUS the client’s emotions are likely to be affected.

    As a professional wedding planner, you MUST ‘click’ with your clients.  But you must also be prepared to set boundaries and establish standards to increase the likelihood of a great working relationship.

    Remember:

    Not everyone will welcome you as a wedding planner; get used to it!

    No one owes you a thing as a business owner; not even a reply or common courtesy.

    MISTAKE #5: Not creating systems

    Document your professional wedding planning process (here’s the process I use).  Planning each wedding the same way – more or less – will save you time and allow you to grow.

    Create and implement telephone and email scripts, write down your planning procedures, use checklists and templates instead of having to repeatedly explain your processes to others.

    TIP: You need to implement systems for your wedding business

    MISTAKE #6: Not being accountable

    This is important for all entrepreneurs, even if wedding planning is your side gig.  You have no excuses as a business owner. Find ways to run your business effectively and figure out how you will provide your customers with the service they have paid you for!

    MISTAKE #7: Not discussing my business with my family

    Planning weddings affects your family and those closest to you.  You’ll likely forfeit your weekends and evenings; running a business affects your money and your mood. Talk to your family and discuss what they should expect.

    MISTAKE #8: Not being different enough

    Why should someone hire you as a professional wedding planner instead of the planner located a few blocks away?...

    • 42 min
    An Intro to Wedding Music – WFAL396

    An Intro to Wedding Music – WFAL396

    Get the need-to-know details about creating a soundtrack for your client's wedding ceremony and wedding reception. Learn more at WeddingsForaLiving.com/396

    • 39 min
    More of Your Wedding Planner Questions, Answered – WFAL395

    More of Your Wedding Planner Questions, Answered – WFAL395

    If you’ve got questions about being a professional wedding planner, then, Weddings For a Living has answers.  This episode is a replay of part two of a live broadcast in response to several of your listener wedding planner questions.  (You can catch part 1 of the broadcast, here.)

    Questions and answers in this episode include:

    What are the top 5 things to do to become a wedding planner?

    What is the best form of advertising for a wedding planner?

    How old is too old to start as a wedding planner?

    I’ve been asked to coordinate a same-sex wedding. I’m clueless, what should I do?

    Where do I go to get wedding planner training?

    I can’t afford to hire additional staff for my wedding business, what should I do?

    My clients are going against my professional advice (in this instance, it’s about a Save-the-Date) what should I do?

    How else can I make money without having to plan weddings?

    What are the top 5 things to do to become a wedding planner?

    Dynisha asked for a rundown of the top five (5) things to do as a wedding planner.  Here’s my take (thanks, Dynisha!)



    1. Get hands-on experience planning weddings for others – make sure this is something you truly enjoy doing. Work alongside a few local wedding vendors and professional.

    2. Talk to and spend some time with professional wedding vendors already in the wedding industry

    3. Make sure there’s a demand for professional wedding planner services in your market area

    4. Consider a specialty or niche as a wedding planner

    5. Develop a presence THE local wedding expert

    What is the best form of advertising for a wedding planner?

    Thank you Dawn for this question

    First, no matter what type of advertising that you invest in, make sure you have a professional website for your wedding business that your advertising leads back to.

    Print Ads – place in publications targeted to your ideal clients, especially a local one

    Bridal Expo – if you can locate a smaller or niche wedding expo (like Pamela Noxon’s Wedding Party – http://www.sandiegoweddingparty.com/about-us/) that your target clients are likely to attend, this may be a worthwhile advertising expense.

    WORTH CHECKING OUT:



    * WeddingWire.com, TheKnot.com ,Thumbtack.com each offer advertising opportunities for wedding planners



    How old is too old to start as a wedding planner?

    Molly is concerned about ageism in the wedding planning industry – thanks Molly!



    It’s not a requirement to look like your potential clients.  What is important, however, is that as a wedding professional that you provide a solution to a problem that your client is experiencing.

    Make sure you’re not inventing ‘situations’ for yourself as a business owner that don’t really exist.  Your work and past events should speak volumes!

    I’ve been asked to coordinate a same-sex wedding. I’m clueless, what should I do?

    Valerie is being considered for same-sex wedding but isn’t quite sure where to begin.  Thanks for writing, Valerie.



    Whenever you’re asked to plan a wedding that you’re unfamiliar with, it’s time to start digging around and conduct your own research.  Google, Amazon, Wikipedia, associations and social media are likely to divulge an avalanche of results.

    Once you decide that this is  a topic that you’re interested in pursuing (why bother if you’re not jazzed by it), look for one or two books on the subject and spend the next 48 hours learning all that you can.

    Believe it or not, with this focused approach of study you’ll know way more ...

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Stokesbons ,

Debbie is awesome!

Debbie is an awesome host. Her passion for Wedding planning shines through and her massive amount of preparation is easily recognized by me, a future wedding planner :)

Stephmillie ,

Love it!

This is great. so much insight on a topic that I feel is greatly overlooked. Weddings….. whew!!!