Do you want to start a wedding planning business with no experience? If so, find here a detailed stepwise business plan guide on starting a wedding planning business from home with no or low money.
An average of 2.5 million weddings is performed in the U.S every year. According to Brides.com, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S is approximately $44,000 in 2018 depending upon the location of the wedding event. According to Knot, Manhattan is the most expensive location to get married. An average couple here spends an astounding amount of $96,910 in a wedding event.
A wedding consultant is a professional who plans the event and organizes it successfully to making it perfect for the bride and groom on their big day. To sustain in such a high-stress environment, you must be patient, extremely organized, and able to think on your own feet. If you are interested to start a wedding planning business, read this guide to learn more about different aspects of starting a wedding consulting business.
Here is a 10 step guide to starting a wedding planning business
1. Check Whether Wedding Planning is fit for You?
A wedding planning business demands certain qualities to be successful. One needs to have a creative attitude toward the job. You have to be always innovative while planning a wedding so that not only the host gets satisfied but also the visitors take a note of your creativity. The people coming to the wedding are going to recommend your name for their near and dear ones if satisfied.
In addition to this, you must be highly disciplined and organized as you need to manage a lot of activities smoothly. People skill is another requirement as you need to handle both the hosts and the vendors positively.
2. Learn Different Aspects of Wedding Planning
It is advised to learn the job as a wedding planner before you start your own. The best way to learn is by working as a coordinator of an existing reputed wedding planning company. This will give you the needed experience in handling and managing vendors who are an important part of a successful event.
In addition, you can also consider getting certified as a wedding planner from appropriate certifying organizations like for example the American Academy of Wedding Professionals. This will not only give the extra edge but also a platform to meet people already in the trade.
3. Research the Market
It is extremely important to understand the trends of the local people about their approach for the wedding day. Do extensive research on the local market and try to gather as much information as possible from hosts, vendors, etc.
4. Evaluate Startup Costs to Start Wedding Planning Business
If you are starting from home instead of an office, the startup cost to start a wedding planning business becomes much less. As per existing wedding planners, the startup cost to startup cost can be as low as $100. However, if you add running costs, you must be ready with an investment of around $1000.
5. Create a Business Plan
Based on the findings from your market research and costs involved, start writing a plan for your wedding consulting business. Check this article to learn more about writing a business plan. You can also use free business plan tools to write your wedding planning business plan
6. Select the Services
The key focus area of a wedding planner will be meeting couples together to identify their needs, preparing a budget, planning a detailed checklist, preparing attendee list, identifying venue, identifying and hiring wedding professionals and service providers like caterers, photographers, videographers, beautician and florist, coordinating deliveries and services on the wedding day and devising a backup plan in the event for a disaster.
The different levels of wedding planner service determine the fees you command like a professional in the wedding consulting business. Before committing to offering your professional services, be realistic and honest about your own style, your personality, and how much hands-on involvement you’re (really) comfortable with for such an emotional event. As you sign on clients, be careful how you space out this level of planning.
7. Name Your Wedding Planning Business
A catchy and relatable name for a wedding planning business is extremely critical in becoming successful. Check this guide to know more about the steps involved in naming a business.
8. Make Your Wedding Planning Business Legal
As a start-up, consulting with an attorney is always a smart idea when starting a business of any kind of legal formality. They can provide information and advice to determine which structure will work for you and as well as registering your business with the appropriate authority.
In the United States, forming an LLC will provide you with extra benefits for some extra cost.
You also need to talk to concerned authorities for the licenses and permits required to run the business legally.
9. Business Accounting
As a wedding planner, you need to be always aware of the financial health of your business. The expenses and income on a day to day basis must be documented. It will help you in filing annual tax returns. Choose proper accounting software for smoothening the process of day to day financial transactions of your wedding planning business.
10. Promote Wedding Planning Business
Wedding planning is all about style and theme. Brides are actually, trusting your eyes and your ideas to make their wedding memorable and beautiful. You will need to have great-looking business cards and a smartly designed website to promote your services. The website should be properly optimized for search engine ranking to drive prospective brides to your company. A blog in this regard will be much effective.
It is always recommended to concentrate on online leads generation. If you are focusing on a particular niche like ‘ethnic wedding’ promote your services on the sites and blogs that cater to that clientele.
In the wedding planning business referrals from clients, vendors, and professionals in complementary industries will generate a steady clientele. A website featuring footage from a successful wedding and special online coupons for a free initial consultation can generate client interest.