1. What Is a Wedding Planner?
2. What Should a Wedding Planner Do?
3. What to Keep in Mind Before Starting a Wedding Planning Business

How to start a wedding planning business is a smart entrepreneurial move as the wedding industry creates a billion dollars of income each year with millions of weddings happening yearly in the United States. It is expected that the event-planning industry will grow rapidly in the next five years, putting wedding planning businesses in a sweet spot for growth and success.

This field of work is perfect for romance lovers with a keen eye for detail and the gift of organization. A successful business starter will also need a strong plan and understanding of the business world. If you feel like you're lacking in the business knowledge side of things, contacting a lawyer for help is a great option.  

A startup is going to cost you, so you'll need funds, likely around $5,000, ready to use towards getting your business off the ground. Beginning steps like legal needs, advertising, and business cards are going to cost you, but with a median salary of around $40,000, you can make up the difference quickly. 

Wedding planners can charge as much as $10,000 for certain services offered during an event. Consulting services can earn wedding planners an average of $100 per day, but coordinators who are in the thick of the wedding day event can charge up to $1,800 for the day. When you consult during the months leading up to the wedding and take on the actual event as well, you can make as much as $10,000 total for one wedding. Another option for determining your cost is charging a percentage of the total wedding budget, rather than a fixed fee.

What Is a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner acts as an assistant, organizer, and sometimes designer for the bride or anyone involved in planning a wedding. Wedding planners are also known as bridal consultants, event planners, or wedding coordinators. 

What Should a Wedding Planner Do?

Any wedding planner should perform the following tasks while planning an event:

  • Set up a meeting with the couple to get an idea of what they want for their big day.
  • Visit florists, wedding photographers, bakeries, and other wedding vendors to find the best deals for the event.
  • Create contracts with the chosen vendors for their services.
  • Keep track of vendors and the goods and services they've agreed to provide to ensure agreed-on prices and schedules are met.
  • Coordinate with food vendors and other services provided on the day of the wedding.
  • Act as a friend and support system to the couple throughout the process of planning and especially during the actual event.
  • Keep an eye on every facet of the wedding day to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch.

What to Keep in Mind Before Starting a Wedding Planning Business

Getting your start as a wedding planner doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg, as you don't need an office or employees to run a successful business. You want to keep some important things in mind as you work to get your business off the ground. 

First, you'll want to get in touch with a legal consultant to be sure that you are protected from any financial issues and to help you formulate the contracts you'll want to have customers sign before doing business with them. Opening a credit card specifically for your business can help defer some of the startup costs and keep your personal finances separate from professional finances, which is always a good idea. 

Next, you'll want to set some goals for your business to help keep you on track as you'll be your own boss. Start with a base goal for salary during your first year, and keep notes on how you can be sure to meet and improve on that goal. Make time frames for networking and improving your skills to keep you up to par with the competition. 

Creating a business website with a portfolio is going to be your best asset for finding customers. Include these items in your portfolio:

  • Photos of a mock wedding showing everything from the table set-up, decor, cake, and a mock program for the ceremony. Include work from local vendors who may be willing to provide services for your mock-up in exchange for future work with clients.
  • Ask family members and friends to write up reviews of the work you've done for them during past weddings and events. 
  • Create a list of any wedding planning professionals you are affiliated with and any certifications you've earned.

If you need help starting a wedding planning business, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.