4 Hurdles I Faced Becoming an Event Planner
QC tutor Regina Young is the owner and creative director of Meant2Be Events, a top Arizona wedding planning firm that manages 30-40 weddings a year. This week, Regina provides insight into the most common event and wedding issues that will arise in your career.
I shudder sometimes when filling out any paperwork that includes “occupation”. Now I just put self-employed. It’s not that I’m not proud. It’s the guaranteed conversation that happens when someone reads it: “Wow what a cool job. I always thought I should do that!”.
Being a wedding planner has great perks such as being invited to all the industry parties, going to uber fun conferences and staying at incredible hotels while you “tour” the event space. We also get to work with wonderful clients on one of the most important days in their lives.
There are days when I can hardly believe I get paid to do something I love so much, but there are also days when there is not enough money in the world to make me plan or coordinate a particular wedding again.
This life is not glamorous. It’s not what you see in the movies, or even better what WE portray through social media channels. Our day-to-day is most often not floral design meetings, cake tastings or dress fittings. In fact, getting started in this industry is not for the weak of heart.
Before you take the full leap, I want to share with you some of the challenging things I have faced or have had to come to terms with in this career!
Nights & weekends
Free time is over. You will never have the same days off as your friends or family. Being a wedding planner means having a work schedule that doesn’t match the standard 9-5 weekday gig. If you own your business, you can set boundaries to help with this and plan other types of events to balance your schedule. However, the reality is that 95% of weddings happen on Saturdays and many of your clients need to meet after work for planning meetings.
Stress – and lots of it
There is a reason why wedding planners are said to have one of the most stressful careers you could possibly choose — right up there with Military General. Often, your job might feel similar to going to war. As much as you try to weed out less-than-ideal, there will be some who slip through the cracks.
Having difficult clients can take a mental toll. It’s already a stressful job but when you have clients who add to that stress, you will question why you chose this career. You need to be able to walk away from the wrong client when your intuition tells you something is wrong. If you don’t have patience, determination, and thick skin, a career in wedding planning is probably not a good fit.
It will take a few years before you are comfortable in your business and comfortable working with brides. Then, it will take a few more years to get your name established, make a decent living, and start seeing referrals.
Big picture business
Be prepared to do it all,whether you like it or not! When you are first starting out, you won’t have the funds to invest in accountants, web designers, PR companies and social media managers. You will need to do it all. If you aren’t prepared to understand these processes and strategies, then you most likely should work for someone instead of independently.
Legitimize your business
One of the most important things you can do is protect yourself with a strong business foundation. This includes registering your business name, getting a business license for your region and obtaining the proper insurance and financial status.