Today I am back with my regular feature ‘Advice from the Married Side,‘ real life wedding planning advice...
Hello again and welcome back to part 8 of How to become a wedding planner we had a little break last week for a Wedding Wednesday discussion, but it’s back on schedule now as we head into part 8 of this 10 week course. last week we looked at getting experience and this week it’s all about getting out and meeting supplier and venues.
One of the most important things about being a planner is being able to recommend the right suppliers to your brides and grooms. Each supplier will have their own style, some will have a certain geographical area they cover and all will have different price points.
The only way to do this is 1) work with them directly at weddings you have booked and 2) go and visit them and build relationships.
You need to find out if they are people you can work with, what their style is and what they can offer your bride and groom, and sitting behind a computer isn’t going to do this for you.
I touched on this subject when we spoke about networking, but this is more specific sort of networking.
When I first started I set aside 2 days a week to go and visit suppliers and venues. As I cover quite a large geographical area, I would set aside days to cover a certain city, or area and book appointments for the whole day with people I had either had email conversations with or with people that had been recommended. Yes it’s a lot of leg work but it’s impossible to recommend them if you haven’t met them!
As for the venues it’s so important to get to see as many of them as you can, otherwise how can you begin to do venue searched for people if you haven’t seen the venues first hand?
I have to admit some of the venues I went to see in my first year were a bit funny with me at times, some didn’t quite understand what I was doing there when there was an in house planner already on site, while others thought I was going to want some sort of commission for recommending them. But this is also a good way of sussing out what sort of venues you want to recommend and how they would act with you if you were to hold a wedding there.
With the venues it’s also a great way of finding out stuff like how to get there, what facilities they have on site, look at menu options and what they allow and what they don’t!
The other advantage of getting out to meet the suppliers and venues is not just you meeting them but them meeting you!
It’s all about getting out and telling people what you are about as well as finding out what you are about.
Again you have to remember you are building a brand! And that brand is you, and if you don’t put yourself in front of people, how are they going to know you exists! Plus people are more likely to get back in contact with you or recommend you if you have taken the time and made the effort to go and see them.
Remember to take business card with you and literature with you and always take a few spare as some people, are happy to hold onto more to hand out to prospective brides or other suppliers, but remember you need to do the same for them!
Take a notebook, and if your memory is anything like me take notes. You may see a number of people in one day and by the end of the day they may all roll into one.
This all may sound obvious but I really do believe you have to do the leg work and get yourself out there otherwise people will never know you exist!
Come back next week for part 9- Do your first few jobs and make mistakes
Have you missed any of this series? ‘How to become a wedding planner’
Week 1 – Get business advice
Week 2 – Start a wedding planning course
Week 3 – Research your competition & the market around you, find a niche
Week 4 – Create your Brand
Week 5 – Networking and Social Networking
Week 6 – Get a Website and a Blog
Week 7 – Get some experience and work for free
(Thank you to www.andertoons.com/ for the illustrations)