How Do I Become a Wedding Planner?
Even though there aren’t any formal requirements for wedding planners, education is the key to gaining both the necessary knowledge to carry out your duties as well as earning support and respect from other professionals within the wedding planning industry who may at some point refer you to potential clients.
Step #1 – Get the certification
The most direct way to get started as a wedding planner is to obtain a professional certification. Most professional wedding planning certificate programs take less than three months to complete. Others offer college credits and enable you to start your home business right away.
There are many offerings of courses available both online and on campus offering the necessary training needed to become an exceptional wedding planner. From certificate programs to master’s degrees, the options are endless, and only limited by your career ambitions.
For on campus programs, look at your local community college or university for a list of available courses. If you need more flexibility and freedom an online distance education course offering.
Valuable skills learned will include oranzation, organisation, the latest trends in fashion, colours and design, budgeting, working with vendors, different customs and traditions, and handling different types of weddings and religious preferences.
Step #2 – Start the Business
Once you have completed your educational programs or received your certificate, you will need to name your business and choose a location in Australia. Think of a catchy name and prime location will help get your business noticed. One way to bring in customers is to advertise online and offline which include distributing business cards to wedding fairs, yellow page ads, brochures, flyers, affiliate marketing and bridal magazine ads.
Step #3 – Get Online
You will want to invest in a website because today’s modern bride is extremely busy with day to day living and often times career oriented. Therefore, she will have very little time to plan a wedding. A professionally designed website will give you the opportunity to review your services and other details of your business at her convenience.
Your website should have easy to read articles and pictures, describe who you are, your expertise, certificates or diplomas obtained, all of the different services you offer and, most importantly, contact information. Add your website address to the bottom of business cards and other forms of advertising.
Step #4 – Setup your office
You will want to acquire basic office furniture for setting up your office including a separate checking account dedicated specifically to your business. This will assist you keep up with income and expenses of the business separately from your personal finances. Other basic officd requirements include a start up include a computer, printer, dedicated phone / fax lines,, filing cabinet, high-speed internet connection, and various office supplies. These days, lots of meetings with the brides are done at coffee shops so a trendy tablet or iPad for taking notes or showing pictures would suffice.
Step #5 – Get social!
More than just a degree and a creative spark, you will need to have an alliance with other wedding professionals in town to break into this industry. Familiarise and introduce yourself with wedding vendors such as caterers, florists, bridal shop owners, and photographers, giving them business cards and brochures for easy referral to brides and grooms. Consider promoting other vendors that you like for your next wedding.
Attend bridal shows and always offer to help-out in any way possible. By circulating your business card and participating with those already established professionals in the industry, you become part of an elite group who average over 120,000 weddings in Australia.
Wedding Ideas For Planning A Wedding
When planning a wedding efficiently and effectively, you must understand and get to know the bride and groom in order to get wedding ideas. The more you know about the couple, the better you will be able to organize the wedding with confidence and make better informed choices on suppliers to make the wedding list.
It’s no secret that planning weddings can be expensive. As an online wedding planner, the last thing you need for your clients is a financial headache. With so many costs to cover – from the venue, to the ring, the guest and the dress, it’s easy for your clients’ wedding budget to spiral out of control. Check your spending and bring you budget back on track with a wedding checklist.
The budget is one of the most sticky issues that couples have when planning their wedding. It will be up to you to help sort through all the ideas and help them save money whenever possible.
Consider the following wedding savings tips:
Talk to the couple (and their parents if they are involved) early before any of the suppliers are booked.
Help the couple prioritize what they want to have in their wedding. Since they can not have everything, they can choose 2-3 areas that they must have.
Break down their wedding budget so they can stick to it
Shop around and obtain quotes from your suppliers that you deal with the most.
If the budget is still too low, propose to the couple to have an out of season wedding.
Cut the guest list if possible by asking them if the guest is an active part of their life
Have a backyard wedding or use a friend’s place
Spread out the wedding bills across a few months so all the bills do not reach the couple at once.
Horrifyingly, some of the weddings are way over budget in the thousands of dollars. Planning a wedding early is definitely the way to go.
Day In The Life Of An Online Wedding Planner
There are many online wedding planners in Australia that we have interviewed from Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin & Tasmania.
A day in the life of a wedding planner could include any of the following tasks:
- Meeting with the couple to identify their needs and special requests.
- Preparing a budget and ironing out the details to save money.
- Planning a detailed checklist for remembering items to do before the wedding day.
- Preparing the attendee list and ensuring all guests arrangements are made.
- Identifying ceremony/reception venues.
- Identifying and hiring wedding professionals and service providers including caterers, photographers, videographers, a beautician and/or a florist.
- Coordinating deliveries and services on the wedding day such as cakes, ice sculptures or special guest dietary restrictions
- Devising a backup plan in the event of a disaster or rain.
Being a wedding planner in Australia is amazing in many respects; it being the most testing, varied, emotional, exciting, physically demanding, creative and rewarding job you will have ever do.
Organising weddings and parties for clients in some of the most beautiful corners of this island combines the perfect balance of work and play.
Getting married is, for most people, is new territory and no longer involves a quick chat with a vicar and booking a function room and disco. Today people want the memories of a lifetime…the ‘big movie’, and Australia is the perfect stage setting. With numerous paperwork procedures however, strict time frames …it can be a minefield. More often than not, many couples don’t have the spare time or speak the lingo but they have the budget to throw an incredible party and celebrate in style, in the sun.
As glamorous as it may seem, behind the scenes surprise becomes your closest ally and a wedding planner needs to be prepared for…anything.
From asking Aussie Rugby stars their underwear size, to chasing wayward priests on vespas through vineyards, comforting emotional mother in laws, proof-reading speeches, refereeing rugby matches, re-routing helicopters and trying to convince barons that 120 drunk Aussies dancing to a live salsa band will not be a problem.
There spectacular Australian venues you work with, and have come to love, vary from luxury 5 star hotels on cliff-tops to spectacular beaches surrounded by family villa estates with their own vineyards and village church.
Many of the venues are private properties that may not have hosted weddings before. If so, you must consider building new relationships and meeting incredible people with a staggering wealth of family history and inspiring vision. The warmth and generosity of some property owners will be unparalleled and the secrets they share with guests are real treasures.
Take a wedding planner course online!
To help you get on your way to success we have created the best home-based wedding planning courses you should take to get started to become a world class wedding organiser.
Here are two recommended resources to get you started:
They claim they are the only training company in Australia specializing in courses for wedding planners, event planners, wedding stylists and event designers who are accredited through Australia’s top two Bridal Associations ABIA (Australian Bridal Industry Academy) and ABS (Australian Bridal Service). This is an exclusive accreditation and our courses are the only courses to receive this award. This is true as we have researched these prestigious accreditations and have found that they are legitimate claims.
From their website they were founded in 2003 the Academy has created a highly sought after range of courses and training tools to accredit wedding planners, event planners, wedding stylists and event designers in Australia. They started off with basic paper based wedding planning course we have undergone many course upgrades to bring the course into the 21st century.
The Academy are active members of ACPET (Australian Council for Private Education and Training) ensuring that the highest standards are achieved in course quality and we offer nationally accredited units through partnering arrangements with the registered training organisation, Quality Training Solutions RTO ID: 40474
They offer the following courses and their prices are as follows:
- Certificate in wedding planning (One-time payment of $1,495)
- Diploma in wedding planning, styling and design (One-time payment of $2,400)
- Diploma in wedding & event planning (One-time payment of $2,145)
2. Wedding Inc
Wedding Inc is a wedding course provider that we recommend because of their history of providing quality and value. Wedding Inc was the first professional training course for Wedding Planners in Australia in 2004.
Since then they have trained hundreds of individuals who have gone on to become business owners and professionals in one of the largest industry segments in Australia.
From their website online, they claim that they are an Australian company and knows the Australian market. Their success is based on first hand knowledge – having run a successful wedding planning businesses we are more then willing to share our experience and knowledge with you!
Wedding Inc. courses are endorsed by the Wedding Planning Association of Australia. They encourage all their students to be members of the Wedding Planning Association for ongoing Industry support.
Their courses are 100% practical and designed for people who want to run their own business or work in the wedding and events industry. Wedding Inc. has trained many hotel and reception venues in Australia and around the South Pacific.
We have played an active role in training resorts in Fiji and New Zealand (Malolo Island, Hilton Fiji, Turtle Island, Fiji, Treasure Island, Fiji).
They offer the following courses and prices:
- Diploma in Wedding & Event Planning ($1,250)
- Diploma in Wedding Planning ($1,035)
- Certificate in Wedding Planning ($800)
- International Diploma – Weddings ($1,500)
Get Online With Wedding Websites in Australia and Wedding Invitations
There are many wedding websites in Australia that you should host your clients wedding on. These host websites will make your life and your clients life easier and more organized. These will make a huge impact on guests and best of all they aren’t costly at all. Definitely the benefits outweighs the costs.
Some of the websites we recommend are as follows:
This wedding website provides planning tools such as to-do lists, budget planners, suppliers, guest list, wedding invitations, seating planners and wedding websites. It is definitely the all-in-one go-to website for wedding planning.
The Australian modern wedding site is a must go to get organized. This site offers checklist, budget manager, guest list, seating planner and supplier shortlist. The one drawback was that there was no website to host the wedding on to collect wedding invitations RSVPs.
Get Styling with Your Wedding Receptions
Wedding styling is very similar to interior decorating or merchandising as it brings all the elements of the design to life. These skills are essential when planning wedding receptions.
By getting in touch with your creative side, it allows you to develop develop theming concepts that make a ‘wow’ statement for your clients. By taking wedding planning courses, will learn the necessary skills to decorate and style real weddings. Experience will be gained in overall theming and decorating, chair styling, draping, table layouts and centrepiece design.
We recommend that you look online at Pintrest websites to gather ideas for different themes. There are so many valuable and free resources online. You will gain the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to oversee all the details of a wedding, and to prepare for a magnificent event, as well as obtain the money back for tuition and support for the key elements of running a successful business.