by: Christie A. Brogan {7.7.17}

In our May 12th blog post, we shared our conversation with local Wilmington Event Planner, Charyl Williams, who answered the question “Why Hire A Wedding Planner?” What surprised me about the feedback was how much interest there is in “how to become a wedding planner”.

The upside to all the interest is the event industry continues to grow and thrive. The wedding  biz is generally resistant to economic downturns with people still getting married in “lean times”…just doing so on smaller budgets. Although launching an event planning business comes with a hefty price tag of time and energy (as do all new businesses), it requires relatively low financial start up costs or initial overhead.  Depending on where your interests lie within the industry (read: corporate events and hotels vs. starting your own business) will determine if formal education is a necessity or if hands-on experience will get you paying clients.

Recently, our friends at EventBrite shared an informative article for those with an interest in event planning. Their helpful infographic provided some basic considerations and first steps for those preparing to launch a career in the world of weddings and events. The EventBrite team also asked if I would weigh in on the subject and provide some first hand wedding and event perspective.

  1. Wedding and Event Planning is NOT for hobbyist. This may seem pretty evident, but you might be surprised how many fall in love with the idea of event planning, but aren’t at all serious about the actual business of it. Don’t be mistaken…it is a business.
  2. You have to start somewhere, but planning your own wedding does NOT count. The process of planning your own wedding is a glimpse into event planning and a great way to wet your appetite for a new career path. The truth is, on your wedding day, you are NOT the one getting it done. And, if you are the one getting it done, then you missed the experience of being the bride (or groom).
  3. Murphy’s Law is Real. One of these days I will write a coffee table book filled with stories of the “truth is stranger than fiction” situations we have encountered in seven years of weddings and events. Until that day comes, know this…”it” can happen. Whatever “it” is…it can (and often does) happen. These are what I like to call the “unforseeables”. (Yes, I’m using that word as a noun rather than adjective, but it appropriately describes the list of unpredictable happenings that no amount of planning can offset.) This is about the time those absolutely critical problem-solving skills and grace under pressure composure are paramount. Simple stuff like a late vendor or the more unexpected twists like sewing the bride back into her dress or the cake that splits down the center…it has all happened.
  4. No two days are the same. No two clients are the same. No two events are the same. Event planning is structured and detail oriented, but there is room for lots of creativity. You end up wearing the seemingly opposing “hats” of rigid Type-A structure and easy go-with-the-flow flexibility.  Both hats are required for success.
  5. Passion is a requirement.  I would say this a necessity for true growth in any profession or field, but it seems an absolute when you are an Event Planner. The schedule can be unpredictable and demanding. The clients can be unpredictable and demanding. The weather can be unpredictable and demanding. The satisfaction, in spite of all the demands and unpredictability, is (in a word-snag from VISA) “priceless”.

The key takeaway from the EventBrite article is Step #2 Get Experience. Whether you can land a paid position or offer your time and energy at no charge, the real event experience will give you the inside look needed to decide if event planning is the right career path for you.

And, for those of you ready to launch your own Event Planning business, I offer one-on-one coaching sessions to create a blueprint for business start up, actionable next steps, and answer questions specific to your new (or existing) planning business. For more details, email me at christie@128southevents.com.
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Christie Brogan {Co-Founder & Partner – 128 South and Bakery 105 in Wilmington, NC. Entrepreneur, Event Planner, Wedding Geek, Writer, Business Innovator, Idea Maker, Boot Camp Betty, Yoga Nut, Animal Lover, Avid Reader}