So, you want to be a wedding planner?! Congratulations! Welcome to the party. I promise you being a wedding planner is a fantastic job and career. I can't wait to see what you do! But now you're asking the obvious question… how do I become a wedding planner with no experience? Such a good question– and I'm here to help!
I'll also answer some of the burning questions you probably have about how you can become a wedding planner.
Inside this article, I'm walking you through how to become a wedding planner even if you have no experience (yet!). Actually, I don't want you to worry too much about the experience part. And here's why…
I got my first whiff of entrepreneurship while I was on the couch, recovering from having my appendix removed. I was an unlikely entrepreneur. At 26, I had an unfinished college degree in Art History and a horrible corporate job to match. But just like you, I had big dreams and the determination to make what I wanted happen.
Flipping through the TV (as one does when they've called out sick from work), I came across a show on TLC called “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?”
I was hooked.
The next day, I remember being SURROUNDED by bridal magazines. Every issue I could get my hands on. I was thumbing through the pages like a private investigator. I wanted to be a wedding planner, and I was going to figure out how to become a wedding planner with ZERO experience.
Day and night, I inhaled weddings. I spent every free moment buried in BRIDES magazine, gazing at pictures and actually reading the articles. (I kinda had to–at that point in my life, the only weddings I attended were ones of family members when I was a kid. Remember, I was doing this with ZERO experience.)
I'd come home from CVS with two arm-fulls of newly released bridal magazines, ready to pour myself into them as I began to lay the foundation for my business.
That's how I started my wedding planning and design company way back in 2007. A life-changing moment, a determination to leave a job I abso-freaking-lutely hated, and the glossy pages of BRIDES magazine to inspire me and keep me company.
The world of wedding planning looked a lot different back then, but the freedom and abundance of owning my business looks the same as it does today. I built my wedding planning and design business, Jubilee Events, from zero to six figures. And my nervousness about starting a business with zero experience? A thing of the past.
Over the years, my team and I worked with hundreds of clients worldwide, from New York City to Fiji, Vermont to Costa Rica, and Barbados to Paris, celebrating moments that mattered in our clients' lives.
I started Jubilee Events with NO experience, NO contacts, and none of the training or support that's available these days. Even so, I signed high-end clients from the very start of my business and produced events for over $1,000,000.
I wrote and published two books and have been featured in countless publications (THIS was the biggest thrill since those magazines were at the start of it all).
I grew a team that supported my business– while I moved to Barbados and married the man of my dreams (that's a story for another day).
Fast forward to 12 years later, and my scribble of a signature found its way on a bill of sale. I built a business that I loved, and then I sold my successful wedding planning and design business to teach you how to do what I did.
I know what it takes to run a successful wedding industry business. And I know what you're feeling right now as you ask yourself: how do I become a wedding planner with no experience? Let me share with you the first steps you need to take.
Step One: Get some wedding planning experience by taking an online course
The world of wedding planning has changed, and you can become a wedding planner by taking an online course that'll teach you the “ins and outs” of planning. So many incredible planners (that you've likely stumbled upon on Pinterest and Instagram) all started where you're starting now. And most of them found an incredible event planning school to show them the ropes.
My favorite wedding planning school is The QC Event School. I actually taught there for several years and it's me you see on your video lessons (heyyy!). But regardless of my affiliation with the QC School, I think they have *the best* wedding planning program out there. Trust me, I've seen it and helped to build it.
At the QC School, you can explore a variety of wedding planner related courses, such as Wedding & Event Planning, Destination Wedding Planning, Wedding Design, and more!
Plus, the QC School links you up with a REAL tutor. Someone who owns their own wedding planning business and mentors you throughout the process. It's pretty incredible!
So, now that you know you can take an incredible online course that's TAUGHT by successful wedding planners (including me!), here's the next step you should take to become a wedding planner with no experience (except if you take the course, you've got experience!)…
Step Two: Intern with some wedding planning companies or wedding venues
As you're taking an online course or after you've finished–go and intern with a wedding planning company or wedding venue.
It's important that you get a taste of what it's like to really be a wedding planner (because it's NOT like the movies). By interning (no matter your age), you'll get a feel for the job. And you'll be able to tell quickly if you really LOVE IT or if it's not for you.
And trust me when I tell you, you need to *LOVE* it (I'm sure you will!).
So, why a wedding planning company OR a wedding venue? Let me explain…
Interning for a wedding planner
There might be a wedding planner local to you–and if so, great! Wedding planning companies range in shapes, sizes, and opportunities. The first place to gain some on the ground experience would be with a wedding planning company.
During the decade I owned my business, I hired many interns. Here are some tips on approaching a wedding planning business that'll increase your odds of getting hired as an intern:
- Do Your Research: Before you apply, do your research about the company and its owner. Understand who they are, what types of clients they serve, and the opportunities available. Many wedding planning companies will have a ‘careers' webpage or instructions on how to submit your resume.
- Be Personable: Wedding planners get tons of applications to intern/assist. Stand out by being personable. Don't send a canned email addressed to “Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir/Madam”. Know who you're emailing and be personable in your approach.
- Follow Them On Social: Become one of their fans on social media and show an interest in their content and marketing.
Because wedding planning companies come in all shapes and sizes, many of them being small, there might not be an opportunity to intern with a company. And if you desire to start your own wedding planning business… many planners in your area will be guarded. The next best opportunity if you can't get an internship with a wedding planner?
Interning for a wedding venue
Our natural inclination is to intern as a wedding planner, but wedding venues are great opportunities to intern and work full time if you want to be a wedding planner. They assist hundreds of couples every single year and often have a “site coordinator” who helps to facilitate the wedding. That can be you!
When approaching a venue as an intern or hire, I strongly suggest you complete your coursework at The QC School and pitch working for them during the upcoming wedding season. The same steps I gave you to apply at a wedding planning company also apply here–so follow them closely.
Step Three: Decide if you want to own a business or work for a business
After you've gotten experience through an online course and internship, you'll need to decide if you want to own a wedding planning business or work for someone else.
Our exercise thus far should have proven to you that being a wedding planner is what you were MEANT to do (if you have any doubts, keep interning until you make a decision). So, now we've got to decide if we should open a business?
I'm going to be honest… in MOST cases, you'll make more money and have more opportunities if you start your own wedding planning business.
Most wedding planners in your area are small businesses and even solo entrepreneurs. While they have a steady stream of clients, it's likely not enough to have a full-time employee… so you're left with fewer opportunities to work for someone. I've seen this hundreds of times, and while my business had a team and employees, most wedding planning companies don't.
This, of course, depends on your area. If you live in a large city, there is a stronger chance you can work for an event company in your area. But if you live in a smaller town or city, those chances get slimmer and slimmer.
But here's the good news: you've gotten a ton of experience up until this point, and you're totally capable of starting your own business. Remember my story? I had even LESS experience than you… and I went on to do some pretty cool stuff!
If you're interested in starting a wedding planning business, be sure to check out this article. I walk you through the 11 steps you'll need to take to get started!
Let's answer some common questions you probably have about how to become a wedding planner without experience…
Can you be a wedding planner without a degree?
You don't need a degree to become a wedding planner. Anyone can become a wedding planner with the right experience, drive, and curiosity for the wedding industry. Don't worry too much about having a college degree. Instead, try taking some online courses to learn the wedding planning ropes.
Remember the story I shared at the beginning of this article? I had an unfinished college degree and zero experience. I didn't even sign up for a wedding planning class. If I can do it, so can you! I really hope this gives you some encouragement to go for it.
What qualifications do you need to be a wedding planner?
Anyone looking to become a wedding planner should have a love for weddings, love stories, and people. The job of being a wedding planner is all about celebrating special moments in a family's life–and you should be driven to help them create something memorable and special. A good wedding planner is also organized, dependable, a logistical wiz, quick on their feet, action-oriented, curious, cool under pressure, in control, responsible, level-headed, and good with time management.
Does that sound like you?!
Is it hard to be a wedding planner?
Being a wedding planner can be challenging–and it's often regarded as one of the most stressful jobs! There's a lot you're responsible for as the wedding planner, and events can be stressful to manage. But just like any job, if you love what you do and it's your calling (or your purpose!), then you'll enjoy being a wedding planner–even during stressful moments. Here are some things to consider…
- Being a wedding planner is not like the movies! It's a lot of “behind the desk” work, emails, phone calls, site visits, and working with people of all personalities.
- You're on your feet for VERY long hours. At some weddings, it's like 18 hours of work and up to 15 miles of walking. But funny enough, I always had enough energy to keep going.
- Things WILL go wrong, and you'll be in charge of figuring out how to fix it. Sometimes, with zero resources or adequate time. If you love challenges (and have a competitive streak), the job will suit you.
How much money do wedding planners make a year?
This all depends on the types of weddings they plan, the clients they serve, and how much they charge. When I was a wedding planner, I made multiple six-figures… but that isn't the case for everyone. If you work for an event planning company, expect to make $20,000-$60,000 a year, depending on your position and your geographical area. If you own your wedding planning business, your opportunities for income and financial growth are far higher.
A few parting words about becoming a wedding planner with no experience…
I hope this has answered your questions about how you can become a wedding planner with little or no experience. If you're curious about how to start a wedding planning business, check out this article. I have several free resources for you, too!
Have any other questions? Add them to the comments below, and we'll respond with support!