Friday, April 24, 2009

What Is a Wedding Planner Really?

I hope you enjoyed article 1 and article 2 on finding your niche.

Now that you know (or are on your way to knowing) what your niche is, the next step is to figure out what kind of wedding professional you really are. Are you a...

Wedding...Planner, Consultant, Coordinator, Designer
Event...Planner, Designer


There are differences, believe it or not, so before you go and have a bunch of business cards and brochures printed up, you need to spend some time thinking about what services you want to offer couples on their way to the alter.

Most of these titles are used interchangeably in the industry, depending on preference but for the purpose of this post, I will stick to definitions of these titles. Others may disagree but this is how I see them based on my experience.

A wedding planner is someone who will plan weddings from start to finish. They will help their clients choose a venue, vendors and any other elements for a wedding. They will also coordinate all the details of the rehearsal and wedding day as well as any other parties pre and post wedding.

On the day of the wedding they will be the eyes and ears as all the pieces are put into place before ceremony. During the ceremony and reception they will be the director of traffic to ensure a wonderful event.

A wedding consultant is someone who gives advice to the wedding couple and their families. Etiquette, religious and cultural requirements, budgets, fashion, decor etc., are some of the subjects a consultant will provide information on as a service.

A weddding coordinator comes into the picture usually after the venue and vendors and have been hired. If there are any vendors left to hire, they will provide pre-qualified vendors for their clients to hire on their own. A coordinator will usually begin working with a couple 4-6 weeks out from the wedding day and will also provide email and phone support during that time. Time lines, production schedules and other wrap up duties are also provided with this service.

A wedding designer is someone who will design and execute an overall look for your wedding. Some designers will also plan, consult and coordinate but more often that not, they will limit their services to design and decor.

A bridal consultant is a title that isn't used as much anymore in describing a professional that performs the tasks listed above. These days a bridal consultant is usually someone who works in a bridal shop and helps the bride and the bridal party with their wedding day attire. (Bridal Consultant is the official title designation for members of the Association of Bridal Consultants. Many of the members call themselves wedding planner, consultant or coordinator when among the general industry population)

And finally...

An event planner or designer is all of the above, but sometimes only does events OTHER than weddings.

So you see, there are many, many choices when choosing a title for yourself. Again, these terms are generally used interchangeably throughout the industry. It's the service you provide that matters the most.

Next week we'll talk about Marketing and Advertising and how to choose the right methods for your business. Remember to keep those comments and suggestions coming and until next time...

Aspire to Plan!


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