Event Planning 101: How To Start a Wedding Planning Business

Do you enjoy planning events (and even running the logistics of these events)? Perhaps you have a particular eye for the finest detail that other people (friends, family, etc.) absolutely find ravishing. Or maybe—just maybe—you have a knack for making peoples’ days a thousand times brighter. If any or all of these are the case, you may just be one of the few special people who manage a successful wedding planning business. Let’s find out below how you can get started running your own wedding business.

Let’s get down to brass tacks here: running a successful business—regardless of the industry—requires relentless work, dedication, and expert administration skills. Do you have what it takes?

Wedding planner on the job

1. Calculate Costs

This one is a no-brainer, right? However, calculating the hidden costs of things can be tricky. For example, here is a “short” list of things most people overlook when calculating expenses:

  • Furniture
  • Computer set up
  • Office supplies (printer, fax machine, etc.)
  • Wedding planner software
  • Etc.

However, depending on where you live and who your clientele are – these costs may be minimal.

According to Payscale.com, the average salary of a wedding planner is $42,407 per year. However, your experience, services and qualifications certainly play an important role. Wedding planners make anywhere between ~$10.00-~$50.00 an hour. Keep in mind that some planners even charge up between $3,000-$10,000 per wedding.

2. Advertising

This point is crucial: without successful advertising, your business will tank. By now, suggesting you use social media to spread the word is a no-brainer. I respect you too much to tell you to do something you’ve most likely already done. However, have you considered any of these advertising/marketing methods?

  • Snail mail (rent a list from list brokers and write your own one-page sales letter)
  • Writing a story about a successful wedding you planned and sending it to bridal magazines
  • Networking with the organisers of church events, wedding chapels, local bakers at fundraisers, etc.
  • Google ad words lets you promote your website (you do have a site, right?) on Google’s search engine
  • You could also get creative and “run the rounds” on LinkedIn. (This social platform is by far the place for savvy professionals.)

Wedding ring

3. Get Qualified

Nobody in a profitable industry is successful by their talents and connections alone. In this world, the true profiteers are “stuffed to the brim” with qualifications. (Let’s say your Smartphone or tablet breaks. Would you trust your Smartphone or tablet to someone who’s never had one… or your friendly Tech Geek?) It never hurts to have formal certifications. They make you look good to prospects, and give you the experience and credibility necessary to ensure your business doesn’t fail.

The International Institute of Event Management, for a mere $350-$875, will teach you:

  • Budgeting
  • Venue Selection
  • Event Marketing
  • Logistics
  • Planning Strategies

At the Special Events Institute ($199-$499) you will cover these topics:

  • Catering/Cuisine
  • Event proposals
  • Event marketing
  • Wedding planning
  • Corporate Events

There is no ending the amount of wedding planner institutes that teach you how to successfully launch a wedding planning business.

4. Develop A Business Plan

Dave Lavinsky, writing for Forbes.com, states that “All entrepreneurs and business owners should have a business plan.” A business plan is a life-saving strategy that keeps your business’ goals on your horizon, as well as educating investors and lenders about where it is your business is going.

Here is a brief summary of what needs to go into a successful business plan:

  • Cover page
  • Executive summary
  • Company overview
  • Industry analysis
  • Customer analysis
  • Competitive analysis
  • Marketing plan
  • Operations plan
  • Management team
  • Financial plan

As you can see, building a business plan requires a lot of research and diligent studying.

Photograph of a wedding couple


Let’s get down to brass tacks here: running a successful business—regardless of the industry—requires relentless work, dedication, and expert administration skills. Do you have what it takes? Luckily, going forth in this venture will surely put you in the path of many lifelong couples who will thank you to eternity for making their special day a one-of-a-kind day. In the end, you are in business to help people in love have the best day of their lives.