Job Description : Wedding Planner
Career Profile of Wedding Planner
What is Wedding Planner?
A Wedding Planner works with couples to help them bring their dream Wedding to life. It is an exciting, yet challenging career that is quite unique in that it is perfect for those who feel drawn to romance, creativity, design and style, but who also appreciate order, organisation and attention to detail. From minimalist to extravagant, romantic to modern, a Wedding Planner interprets the image a couple has of their day and then executes that vision by paying attention to each detail of the event. Because each couple is different the role is extremely varied and brings together a real mixed bag of skills from Creative Director to Personal Assistant and sometimes therapist! This is an excellent career for anyone who has a strong creative streak. Very often a couple will come to a Wedding Planner with ideas for their Wedding but no cohesive theme or idea of how these elements will work together. It is the job of the Wedding Planner to help them define their theme and then bring that concept to life. This is an exciting process for creative types, but it also requires excellent communication skills and the ability to ‘visualize’ the event for the couple and the other people who will work on it with you. Equally as important is the ability to develop strong relationships with suppliers; whether you work with them once or time and again.
The services a Wedding Planner provides can range from sourcing and booking suppliers and ‘on-the-day-coordination’ only, to a more comprehensive service that includes working on all elements of a Wedding, from helping a couple to determine their budget, to designing their Wedding Day theme, styling the Wedding Day and overseeing and coordinating the day itself. A good Wedding Planner will save a couple both time and money and enable the couple to enjoy the process of planning their Wedding rather than feeling stressed and anxious.
Personality Requirements. A Wedding draws together numerous creative industries and this is an ideal profession for anyone with a flair for creativity, design and innovation. However, a Wedding Planner needs to be more than just creative, they must also be organized, detail orientated, have good problem solving skills and stamina also helps. The ability to keep a cool head in stressful situations is essential.
A Wedding Planner needs to have good listening and communication skills and patience is another useful quality. Sales and Marketing skills are also important, particularly for Wedding Planners who intend working in their own business.
Quick Facts. Wedding Planning is a growing profession and expectations are that the industry in Australia will follow the U.S and the U.K ., where Wedding Planning is seen as a profession equal to that of Corporate and Special Event Planning. Evidence of the growth of the industry here in Australia is found by looking at the number of venues now hiring ‘Wedding Planners’ who work with couples on the Wedding from the venue’s point of view. For anyone looking for job security these roles are an ideal way to get a start in the industry. However, this career definitely lends itself to ‘small business’. Start up costs are minimal and because you generally travel to your clients you do not need office premises; a good, functioning home office is all you need to get started. It is also a profession you can start on a casual or part-time basis and grow as you become more known within the industry (referrals provide a great source of leads for Wedding Planners so most planners find that the more Weddings the do, the more opportunities they get).
Education. There are no formal education requirements for Wedding Planners. However, to be a professional Wedding Planner you need more than simply the experience of planning your own Wedding, or that of a friend or family member. Even an intimate Wedding can be costly and the couple and their families have a huge investment in the success of the Wedding Day. When a Wedding Planner signs a contract with a couple there is an expectation that as much as possible they will ensure that the day runs smoothly. Carrying such as responsibility takes this career beyond that of a hobby and a good Wedding Planner has undertaken studies such as a Certificate III in Wedding Planning or a Diploma of Wedding and Event Planning at www.aawep.com.au
Basic Job Description. The primary job responsibilities of a Wedding Planner vary depending upon an individual couple’s needs. At the heart of the job is the aim to satisfy the couple’s desires and dreams when it comes to their Wedding.
In the first instance a planner meets with a couple to discuss their Wedding and their needs. A proposal is then put together for the couple and a contract signed. Wedding Planners typically help a couple with the full coordination of their Wedding from setting budgets, designing the theme and sourcing suppliers to being there on the day to ensure that the day runs as it should. A Wedding Planner can also be hired to work on individual elements of a Wedding.
Related Jobs. Wedding Stylist, Event Producer, Event Manager, Event Planner and Venue Coordinator.
Earning Capacity. A Wedding Planner who works full-time can earn between $40 -90k. A Wedding Planner running their own business can earn much more than this if they are able to have a team working with them.
Interview with an Event Designer
What’s your name and how did you get your start in this industry?
My name is Christine Kerr. My pathway to this career actually began with a career in the Financial Services industry. I knew that I was not passionate about this career, however my then husband was also in this industry and together we were able to travel Australia whilst being employed in well-paying jobs wherever we went. During this time I also completed a journalism degree and my minor was Public Relations. It was through my studies that I was first introduced to the concept of Event Management (a tool of Public Relations). Whilst working for the National Bank in Darwin I was fortunate enough to become a Personal Assistant to a team of Commercial Managers. I say fortunate because the role was a very non-traditional banking role and allowed me to combine my skills of writing and new-found interest in Event Management. I was often in charge of planning meetings, corporate functions and social events and my interest in Event Management began to grow.
How did you make the move from Corporate Events with a Bank to working in your own business?
After 5 years in Darwin we decided to start our family. I had known before I had children that I wanted to manage my own small business, so that I had the freedom to be there for them and pursue work that interested me. After the birth of our first child and a serious illness for my then husband we moved back to Brisbane and had another child. I was able to take a break from work during this time and this allowed me to spend time considering my next move. I determined that the decisions I made would be informed by my ultimate goal; to own and manage my own Event Management business.
As the Mum of two young children how did you get started?
I started small but as I mentioned, I kept my ultimate goal in mind at all times. I began with just one small contract to run a monthly event for a local Chamber of Commerce. With time my reputation within the industry grew and soon I had four Chambers of Commerce under my control. My role involved a lot of Administration but I was now running a minimum of four events each month and this was a valuable experience for me and required me to be super organized.
How did you make the move from Corporate Event Planning to Wedding Planning?
To some extent I was living my dream. I worked from my Home Office and was able to stagger my hours to accommodate my children’s schedules. However as they became more independent and headed off to school I realized that whilst I was living the dream of combining motherhood with my own business, there was a side of myself that was not being nurtured; my creative side. As well as my career in finance and events I am a writer and a lover of art and basically anything handmade. Around this time and during a particularly long illness I found myself absorbing hours of ‘bad’ TV. I actually became slightly obsessed with American Wedding Planning shows. Whilst I ate up the drama of these shows during my illness, there was something about the career that stayed with me beyond this time and I began to research the industry in earnest. I played with the idea of just launching into a career as a Wedding Planner; after all how much different to Corporate Event Planning could it be? The answer is, significantly. The more research I did into the industry and the career, the more I realized that to be a professional Wedding Planner I needed to do a course and this is what led me to the Australian Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. I now work as both a Wedding and Event Planner and enjoy the flexibility of being able to do both.
What do you enjoy most about being a Wedding Planner?
Whist I still work on Corporate Events it is Wedding Planning that really fuels my passions. This career draws together all of my experiences and skills (yes even those from the banking industry) and my passions and I believe that the industry will only grown in Australia; which is good news for any of us who see Weddings as a vibrant creative industry to be part of.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into this industry?
This is a wonderfully creative, romantic and exciting industry to be part of. I am often asked what it is like to be amongst the glitz, glamour and romance of a Wedding and my answer is always; its fantastic. However, this job also requires stamina, a thick skin and excellent organizational skills. I think one of the best things you can do to get started is a course such as those offered by the Australian Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. A course will focus your attention on your new career and give you a professionals understanding of the role. We all have an understanding of what goes into planning a Wedding but being the person in control of this on a professional level is a very different thing. I would also suggest researching websites, blogs and magazines. Find ones that inspire you and subscribe to them. Immerse yourself in the world of Weddings and keep up to date with trend. As your knowledge and confidence grows you will find inspiration everywhere I recommend keeping a notebook of ideas. You need to be an authority figure on the subject of Weddings to be a good Wedding Planner. Finally enjoy!