Canapés or cupcakes? Limousine or Lamborghini? Champagne or chardonnay? Silver service or serve yourself? Castle or cathedral? Peonies or pansies?
The decisions you have to help make as a wedding planner are endless, not to mention the stress and organisation that goes into make a couple’s big day special. Still think you might be cut out for it? Then take a wedding planning course to prepare you for anything.
Georgina Way from the Wedding Planner School has worked in events for several years and is passionate about helping others succeed in wedding planning. She says that there are specific qualities it’s helpful to possess if you’re considering taking a wedding planning course: 'Wedding planners need to be organised and efficient, as well as empathetic. These qualities are vital to successfully plan and coordinate a wedding day down to the last detail with nothing left to chance, and to truly understand what a bride and groom-to-be are feeling.'
As a wedding planner you are responsible for organising all the different aspects of the day – the ceremony, the wedding breakfast, the evening reception – so organisation is particularly important. Therefore most wedding planning courses will take you through each part, step by step so that you know exactly what each entails and what will be expected of you.
Many schools that offer wedding planning courses also teach general event management too, such as the Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. These two subjects can really complement each other, as planning an event involves many of the same considerations. However, they do have their differences, 'When organising a wedding, there are more people who want to have a say and who behave in a less professional way than when you plan other events! This sometimes causes conflicts within a family – obviously the couple, but also their parents and anyone else making a financial contribution,' says Georgina.
There are also a lot more emotions involved in planning a wedding compared to organising any other event, Georgina points out that it can be difficult if the couple starts to have problems in their relationship, 'It is the very worst is if a couple separates and cancels the wedding. It’s also difficult when they are caught up in family rows, or when unreasoned outbursts of emotion over minor problems, even when things are going smoothly, cause problems between the couple. Diplomacy is key here so as not to offend or alienate one or both of them.' Thankfully, most wedding planning courses will prepare you for this kind of situation.
Though there are many wedding planning courses for those looking for a career in wedding planning, there are also classes aimed at brides and grooms planning their own big day. If you are taking a wedding planning course with a view to planning your own wedding, the skills you develop on such a course can also be useful to careers in the future too. For example, you will become highly organised, you’ll learn how to work to strict deadlines, and you will acquire effective networking skills. These are all transferable to most occupations.
So what is the best thing about being a wedding planner? Georgina thinks it’s the sense of achievement, 'Seeing the smiles resulting from the hard work is the best part. Not forgetting visiting stunning venues, tasting delicious food and being paid to sip champagne – that’s pretty good too!'
Did you know…?
- The most popular colour choice for weddings in 2011 was purple.
- 37% of newlyweds chose a beach holiday for their honeymoon.
- Contributions to honeymoons are the preferred gifts for most couples.
- The majority of brides plan to keep their dress in a box after the wedding.
- The average couple spends £12,059 on the big day plus another £2,761 on a honeymoon.
- The wedding industry is worth over £10 billion in the UK.
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