How to Become a Wedding Planner Who Can Work with Different Cultures
As a wedding planner, you get to choose which clients you will take on. This means you can go your entire career without ever planning an event that is centered on a different cultural tradition or religion than your own. However, that also means that you could be turning down a lot of business.
You shouldn’t take on a wedding that you don’t think you can handle because it can ruin the event and tarnish your reputation. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn down clients from different cultures when they come knocking at your door. You just need to get educated!
Keep reading to find out how to become a wedding planner who can work with various religions and cultures.
Take a Course
Taking a course where you will learn about religious, civil, and cultural variations is your best bet for really understanding the many types of ceremonies you can plan. You’ll learn all the ins and outs of the sometimes complicated steps of planning various weddings. You can, of course, simply Google “Jewish wedding ceremony”, but you aren’t necessarily going to get all the nuanced details. Plus, if you don’t have credible sources, you could get all sorts of incorrect information! Nothing would look worse than having your clients discredit your incorrect ideas.
It might seem like a large commitment both financially and time-wise, however, you can always take your course online and work at your own pace! That way you don’t have to compromise your current lifestyle and work schedule. It will also be significantly less expensive than signing up for a brick-and-mortar program. You won’t have to break the bank while you’re trying to expand your services!
Pick a Focus
Don’t immediately try to do every type of wedding. You can’t master everything at once, so tackle one type of event before you move onto the next. If you take a course that trains you for different cultures and religions, be prepared to plan those events. Just make sure you also gain practical experience in at least one of the different niches.
It’ll be easier for you keep all the details straight with practice. It’s common to have mix-ups like forgetting a piece of the ceremony or bringing in an article from a different religion to the ceremony. So pay close attention!
For each celebration, you’ll need different vendors, décor, ceremonial programming, etc. So if you’re juggling events from four completely different traditions, you’re going to need to find all new vendors that can accommodate your needs. That is going to take a lot of time and effort. It may even be difficult starting from scratch in building your vendors. Especially when it comes to finding officiants that accommodate every type of wedding, you may find yourself at a loss if you’re spreading yourself too thin.
It’s completely possible to dive in and market yourself as the wedding planner that can do it all. But if you don’t have a portfolio that can back you up, you might lose credibility. People might think if that planner can do everything, they must not do any one thing extremely well. So take your time to diversify your offerings and build up your reputation by focusing your efforts on one cultural wedding ceremony and then adding more as you go.
There is no better way to learn about a culture than to experience it firsthand. If you want to plan Hindu wedding ceremonies, try to attend a couple—don’t crash people’s parties, though! By immersing yourself into that culture while remaining vigilant, you can gain knowledge and insights into how, where, and why certain things are done.
Trying to recreate a type of event without ever having seen one in person can be a really difficult and daunting task. So, ask your friends, relatives, vendors, etc., if they know of any weddings you can accompany them to. If you don’t have any connections, you can also consider attending a religious service that is open to the public.
However, do your research before getting involved in any type of religious or cultural event. You have to assure that you are being respectful, non-intrusive, and non-judgemental. Don’t forget that it really is a gift for other people to welcome you into their space. They’ll gladly teach you anything about themselves and their practices, so treat them with respect. Never think that anyone owes you information or an explanation about their practices. So observe but don’t pester people with dozens of questions. You might think that you’re being kind and inquisitive, but they might not.
It is no easy task to become a wedding planner with multiple specializations. But, it is not an impossible task either. Don’t overstep your boundaries, and take one day at a time. Culture and religion are integral parts of a wedding, and you can learn how to take them on. Just be patient, understanding, and don’t give up!
What type of wedding planning do you want to specialize in? Let us know!