More Career Watch Blogs
- Choosing Careers ...when you have more than one interest
- Career: Radio Show Host
- Career Watch: Being a Life Coach
- Career Watch: Wedding Planner
- Deciding Your Career
- Career Watch - Life of an Art Director
- Career Watch - The Life of a Copy Writer
- Career Watch - Personal Trainer
- Career Watch - Construction Manager
- Career Watch - Stylist
June 2008 Blogs
- Real Girl: Shevya
- Feeling Stuck When Friends Are Changing
- No Matter What!
- Career Watch: Wedding Planner
- Ponytails of Love
- How to Create Your Own Time Capsule
- Ask a Guy: best childhood memory, fave sport, fashion and the way you look, guys pants hanging low
- The Problem with Plastics
- Gnarls Barkley, Rap/Alternative
- Panic at the Disco, Rock/Punk/Alternative
- Locks and Lashes: will my hair turn green, makeup and sensitive skin, sunscreen and moisturizer, stage makeup tips
- Spring Cleaning
Career Watch: Wedding Planner
CAREER WATCH, June 2008, by Jenifer Merifield
Jennifer R. Maxwell is one of those people you meet and instantly like. She’s got a friendly, upbeat personality and knows how to make you feel warm and welcome.
That personality is perfect for the kind of work she does!
What Is a Wedding Planner?
A wedding planner is a good listener. They hear how a couple envisions their perfect wedding and then offer suggestions to make that even better. “I help them choose things like; colours and themes, type of flowers, music, food, and decor. Once everything has been decided, it starts to get busy!” says Jennifer.
“There is a lot of coordinating involved too. I make all the arrangements for the details to happen. For instance, I will call the florist, the DJ and the photographers to make sure they have the date available and they can do what we like on budget. It gets really fun when we do things like menu tasting to select the food and wine!”
How Much Work is Involved?
According to Jennifer, lots! But she says that if you love it, it doesn’t feel like work. Depending on how many weddings you manage at a time, Jennifer often works on the weekends and evenings. During her days she deals with vendors and does her research and running around. “I can be a lot more flexible with my time during the day. If I need a break I can take a few hours if I need to. Since weddings are usually on Saturdays, I also do event planning for office parties and other corporate events throughout the week. On a smaller scale they are very similar to weddings in what needs to be done.”
What About the Money?
There is quite a range in what wedding planners make. The bigger the budgets, the bigger the profit for you. It also depends on how many weddings you do per year, but it can range from part-time about $40,000 to $50,000, to f/t well over $100,000.”
How Do You Become One?
Some planners aren’t certified and don’t have a diploma, yet are very good at what they do. Jennifer highly recommends you get the proper certification from Wedding Planners Institute of Canada (WPIC.ca) though, or a college diploma in either event planning or something for the hospitality industry. Your clients will take you more seriously and pay you more. Then, “get yourself a great pant suit, comfortable -yet stylish- flat shoes, and never be caught without your emergency kit (safety pin, double sided tape, phone numbers, nail file, tissues, wet naps and all the little things that may be needed on the big day)!”
Being a wedding planner requires serious time management and organizational skills. You have to be able to handle a lot of demands while maintaining a smile and being cool under pressure. “And when everything runs smoothly,” says Jennifer “it’s so satisfying seeing a happy couple and a perfect wedding day come together without a hitch.”
“For years I collected magazines and ripped out the pages of the most beautiful weddings and events I could find. I eventually stashed them away and didn’t think much of them. At all the jobs I had I found myself being the one to plan the staff parties and corporate events. It just came naturally to me.
One day after I moved I found the pages I had stashed away. It turned out to be 10 BINDERS worth of great ideas! After that and after planning my own wedding I realized that being a wedding planner was what I was meant to do all along. I get to be creative. Every wedding is unique and it’s always so fun because people are there to have a good time.”
Wanna Be One?
If you think you would like to be a wedding or event planner some day, Jennifer recommends that you start looking at wedding and party magazines to start. Flip past the dresses to the event pages. Notice details like the centre pieces, cakes, favours and decor. When you are at holiday parties or family weddings, watch how it all flows and everything happens in a particular order. Plan birthday or sleepover parties and make them fancy and fun.
Jennifer believes that: “whatever it is that you are meant to do in your life, you’re probably already doing it in some way or another! Feed your passion and do what feels right!”
Check out Wise Bride, Jennifer's website!