Steps to Starting a Wedding Planning Business

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    Set the stage for a successful wedding planning business

    • 1). Connect with wedding vendors and ask if they need help on a volunteer basis, or ask if they might be interested in taking you on as an apprentice. You will need to know the ins and outs of operating wedding-related businesses such as florists, caterers, reception halls, limousine services, and so on. The insight and information shared during volunteer or apprentice work at these types of businesses will allow you to offer valuable insight to your future clients and better negotiate prices with vendors.

    • 2). Read wedding literature and trade publications to keep up to date on the latest wedding trends. Not only do commercial wedding magazines and wedding trade publications give you insight and ideas, they help you give good suggestions to clients based on the type of wedding they would like to plan.

    • 3). Conduct research on the vendors in your area. Know what they offer and know their prices. Ask current and former clients about the vendors' level of service and quality for the price. It's important to establish relationships with reputable, quality vendors that will in turn help you get good prices and good service for your future clients.

    • 4). Practice your people skills. Perhaps getting a customer service-oriented job on the side will help you sharpen your skills for your future clients. It's important to practice remaining calm and level-headed no matter the situation and no matter the crisis. It's also important to know how to effectively deal with a customer or client who is upset or angry and might project that anger on to you. Clients will remember most how well you handled sticky situations - and in turn recommend you to others if you make the grade.

    • 5). Practice your design skills. Go to a local craft store and purchase supplies to make cheap centerpieces or other wedding decorations. Not only will it help you exercise your creativity, you'll have examples of work to display to future clients.

    Put yourself out there!

    • 1). Identify venues in your area or in neighboring cities where wedding expos are hosted. Then, inquire with these venues about getting on the list as a vendor. Wedding expos and shows are great places to meet new business contacts, scope out the competition and score new clients.

    • 2). Create business cards and other advertising to help spread the word about your business. If you have already established good relationships with vendors, ask them if they would be willing to mention you to clients or display one of your advertising materials in their shops.

    • 3). Offer your services for free or at a low cost to friends and relatives. Do an excellent job - and then watch your client base begin to grow thanks to the good word of mouth you will get!

    • 4). Set up a website for your wedding planning business, either through a professional web designer or by taking advantage of a free or low-cost web design program such as Googlepages. A website is an essential part of your marketing program because it helps you show potential clients who you are as a planner, communicates your breadth of services and pricing, and provides your contact information to potential clients.

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