As business owners, I truly believe we are forever students. We are always learning new skills, sharpening our blades, and perfecting our craft. If you're a wedding planner (and fellow business book junkie), I can only imagine that you agree. That's why I've put together my top business books for wedding planners to read in 2023.
Most of the books on this list I've read more than once– so I can promise you that even as a busy solopreneur, they are worth your time. I recommend almost all of these to the women in my mastermind, and we have even used some of them for our quarterly book club. If you let them, they can be game-changing. So read the list, save it, and then just start reading!
Think I've missed something? Or is there a book on this list you've absolutely loved? Make sure to send me a DM on Instagram and let me know!
Another disclaimer before I dive in. Although these books are highly relevant to running a successful wedding business in 2023, they don't teach you how to become a wedding planner. If you are looking for something (or someone!) to show you the ropes and give you all the training and support you need as a wedding planner to design, coordinate, and plan high-end weddings like a pro, what you really need is to get on the waitlist for the Planner's Playbook.
We Should All Be Millionaires
This was the first book we chose inside my high-level mastermind for wedding pros. If you have ever looked at six-figure wedding planners and thought “why not me” Rachel Rodgers will tell you to shoot for seven figures. In her book We Should All Be Millionaires, she also gives you step-by-step instructions on exactly how to get there.
For someone who will be the first to admit she’s not woo, this book offered up the perfect blend of practical and mindset work. Seriously, if you have never even considered being a millionaire before, you need this book. When we brought this into the mastermind for book club we even took on Rachel Rogers ‘10K and 10 days’ challenge which was a huge success (and a lot of fun).
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Have you ever felt like it’s all been done before? As you grow your wedding planning business and try to stand out in a saturated industry, it can be a hard balance between not wanting to copy your competitors and not reinventing the wheel. Do you ever have a big idea and then wonder if it’s really you that should bring it to life? Maybe it’s something you have had in your heart for a while, or even just a fleeting thought with the potential to change the wedding industry (or, at the very least, your customer experience).
Whether you have planned one wedding or a hundred, I bet that you have had at least a few of these thoughts. If you have, Big Magic needs to be on your reading list this year. Elizabeth Gilbert reassures you that you CAN take big swings, and it’s okay if it doesn’t work out. She also reminds you to slow down and enjoy the process (you are creative, after all!). As wedding planners, this is, without a doubt, a message we all need. Although not your typical business book for wedding planners, it was one of my favorite reads last year.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done
If you read just one business book this year, let it be this one. Jon Acuff telling me to “Give myself the gift of done” was exactly what I needed when I first read Finish a few years ago. It was the first time I could breathe a sigh of relief and be a little easier on myself for feeling like no matter how hard I tried, I could just never get what I wanted done. At least not in a timeframe I found acceptable.
He completely reframed my mindset by asking the question: “What if the problem isn’t that you're lazy but that you are trying to be perfect?”
Listen, I’ve never really identified with being lazy, but after a while, you do start to wonder why you’ve been working on the same project for months (or years). I knew that I was a recovering perfectionist (and I also know that many, many wedding planners are as well!). But what I had never seemed to put together was just how much of my perfectionism tendencies were to blame for never getting things done. I know I'm not alone in this, which is why I knew I had to include it in my list of business books for wedding planners.
I have read this book from start to finish about five times now, and let me just tell you: it will change the way you think about yourself. In a really, really, good way. As a wedding planner, your desire for perfection is likely one of the things that makes you so great at what you do. I’m not telling you to throw that away, but this book might just open your eyes and help you change your ways when it comes to getting more things done.
Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content
I am a BIG believer in the power content marketing has to grow your business, but I also know that as a wedding planner, your heart might not light up writing an Instagram caption or 2000 word blog post. I get it.
You don’t need to love it, but you either need to outsource it or get better at it. Don’t worry – it’s easier than you think. In Everybody Writes, Ann Handley talks about creating content that your ideal customer wants to read (whether long-form like a blog or short-term like an Instagram caption). Then, she tells you how to make it better.
Here’s the thing: no matter what your writing looks like now, you can absolutely get better. It’s not as hard as you think. Beyond content marketing, better writing will help you put together your proposals, your design decks, and so much more. This is one skill worth investing in.
The Power in Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact
As wedding planners, we are all about the power of moments, aren’t we? In the Power of Moments, the authors dive into why moments matter. Whether big or small, certain moments have the power to linger in your mind. How can we leverage this as a wedding planner to make our customers' wedding days even more memorable? And how can we strategically make certain moments throughout the planning process stand out?
You’ve likely given a lot of thought to the experience you give your customers. As wedding planners, when we plan a wedding, we know how important it is to get everything right. As I always say inside the Planner’s Playbook, on a wedding day, there are no do-overs. What I love about this business book for wedding planners is that it exists outside the wedding industry. That means, although highly relevant to our industry, the strategies and research they bring up here haven’t been diluted and overdone yet. It’s definitely worth the read!
Ego Is The Enemy
When I first read Ego is the Enemy, it hit me right in the gut. As a top wedding planner in Connecticut, my ego was absolutely killing me. I was constantly striving to work with the best couples, the highest budgets, and the best venues. I wanted it all (and then some). In a lot of ways, my business was a picture of success.
Take it from someone who has been where you are. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious, but if you don’t get your ego in check, you are going to be blaming it for a lot of bad decisions. When I read this book as a wedding planner, I realized just how many business decisions I was making from the eye of my ego and not reality.
Notice what I said earlier: I was running a successful wedding business. Making decisions from a place of ego doesn’t mean that your business will fall apart, but why take the risk?
I’m not a “woo-woo” kind of coach, but I do know that working on your mindset is one of the most foundational things you can do for your business, and this book will help you do just that.
Never Split The Difference
Whether you absolutely love to negotiate or the thought of negotiating makes you absolutely cringe, Never Split the Difference is an absolute must-read. Former hostage negotiator, Chris Voss, talks about negotiating from the perspective of “high stakes” situations – like your life depends on it. Although we might not really be dealing with life or death, it can certainly feel like it!
As women, I think we can ALL learn to be better negotiators. It’s not something most of us grew up learning in school. Not only does he provide tips for your next round of negotiations (whether that’s a client paying you more or a partnership with another wedding vendor), but Never Split the Difference is also just entertaining. If you were waiting for your love of True Crime to relate to business, this is one business book for wedding planners you won’t be able to put this one down.
This Is Marketing
Have you ever thought to yourself, what is marketing, and can you ever truly master it? Marketing is so much more than just posting on Instagram (or even writing this blog).
I have to be honest with you guys, I’m a huge Seth Godin fan. His latest book, This is Marketing, talks about how marketing is the generous act of helping others become who they seek to become. Marketing is spreading your message to the people that WANT what you have to offer. Not marketing your business is doing a disservice to those who could genuinely benefit from your services.
Listen, when it comes to marketing, you will always be sharpening your blade. In This Is Marketing, Seth Godin dives deep into what you SHOULD be focusing on as you market your business, and it’s a lot deeper than any social media algorithm.
Be honest with me: has your business turned into a cash-eating machine?
If you are making money in your business, any money, and still don’t feel like you are getting ahead, you need to read Profit First. Seriously. This is one of the first books I recommend to the women who join WeddingPro Insiders. It's one of my absolute top business books for wedding planners and creatives alike.
This is not another “manage your money better” kind of finance books. I know you don’t have time for that (and even if I convinced you to read it, the strategy would never get implemented, right?). Instead of using dry technical language, Mike Michalowicz leverages the power of your own psychology to get you to make more money in your business.
The truth is, there are a million shiny new objects to spend your hard-earned cash in the wedding industry. Whether it’s investing in the latest software or buying yet-another wedding planning course, it’s easy for your expenses to scale just as quickly as your income.
If you are like me, you prefer to see your money sitting in your bank account (or hanging in your closet as the latest designer bag). If 2022 is the year you are ready to start really making more money in your business, you need to read Profit First.
Start With Why
We have all watched the TedTalk where Simon Sinek famously claims that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, right?
Listen, this book is an oldie, but if you haven’t read it yet, it’s well worth the read. Finding my own purpose (in business AND personally) and choosing to run my business through a purpose-driven lens has been a game-changer.
Before I really found my purpose, I was burnt out. Not the cute kind of burnt out where you might be a little tired while you take on the next project and try to run the world, but the kind of burnt-out that has you seriously considering whether you need to burn your entire business down and move to the beach (no, it isn’t just you fantasizing about it).
Although more people may be talking about it now, this book, for me, has truly stood the test of time and is well worth a read (or re-read). Being a wedding planner is STRESSFUL. Starting with Why will help you build a solid foundation to make sure you are building a business that will stand the test of time.
Top Business Books for Wedding Planners
Although I always love to learn from others in the industry, I do believe in order to grow and build something truly unique, you need to look outside your wedding bubble. Although these business books for wedding planners aren't necessarily “wedding-related”, I believe you need to take the business part of your business just as seriously as you do the rest of it.
As a former wedding planner, I also know the power of recommending something you love, so I take my recommendations seriously. I read many, many books every year, but most will never make a list like this! Listen, the skills and perspective found between these pages are worth adding to your tool chest. These 10 business books for wedding planners are tried and true, and I hope you enjoy and grow from them as much as I have.
Looking for something to read to help you become a better wedding planner? You need the Planner's Playbook.
I can't let you go before reminding you to sign up for the Planner's Playbook waitlist. Each month, I dive deep into an aspect of running a successful wedding planning business – from creating an onboarding experience that wows your clients to adding wedding design to your service menu. If you are ready to create an in-demand business and become the go-to planner in your area, it's all inside.
Explore More Wedding Industry Resources
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- How To Go From Side Hustle To Full Time Wedding Planner
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- How To Become A Wedding Planner With No Experience
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- 8 Free Ways To Market Your Wedding Planning Biz
- What Are The Best Resources For Wedding Planners?
- 5 Tips On Crafting a Business Plan To Book Out Your Biz With Your Ideal Clients And Get Paid
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