Overcome the 5 Excuses That Are Stopping You From Becoming a Top Wedding Planner

Have you been dreaming of becoming a wedding planner but can think of many reasons why it would not work for you? Your reasons may just be excuses that are standing in the way of you being successful doing something you would really love.

If any of your reasons are the excuses listed below, my advice on each may help you move forward:

Excuse #1 – “I’m too old (or too young)”

Age is not a factor to becoming a success as a wedding planner. You can develop the skills and get the experience you need no matter what your age.

Excuse #2 – “I don’t have the right background”

Maybe right now you’re in an entirely different job or career, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start acquiring the knowledge and experience you need to become a top wedding planner. Look into evening, weekend and online classes that can teach you the business, marketing and wedding and event planning skills that you need. Also, see if there are wedding planners, florists, caterers, and bridal boutiques who would be willing to take you as an intern.

Excuse #3 – “I don’t have any connections”

Most wedding planners don’t have the connections they need when they start out. You have to get out and start talking about your wedding planning business with friends and family members. Find out if they know photographers, caterers, florists and wedding vendors whom you can meet and work with and brides who need you. Start attending and joining business and social groups to meet more people and widen your circle of contacts.

Excuse #4 – “I don’t live in a big city”

It isn’t just brides who live in big cities who need help planning their weddings. In fact, brides who don’t have access to all of the resources that they may see on wedding websites and Pinterest would welcome a wedding planning expert who can help them find local resources. Or, you can help them create what they want with what is available in their local area and online.

Excuse #5 – “I don’t have the time”

You may think because you have a job, school or a family, there isn’t enough time to become a wedding planner. But, if this is important to you, get focused. You may need to give up some free time in order to start realizing your dream but it will be worth it.

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Building Your Planning Business While Working a Fulltime Job

Many aspiring planners ask me how to build their wedding planning business while they’re still working a traditional 9 to 5 job. I tell them that it is entirely possible as long as they plan it well. (Good practice, right? Plan, planner? OK, bad joke!) While starting a wedding planning business on a part time basis may be difficult, it can be successful if you focus on some essentials.

Here are some of the things I feel are important areas of focus while building your business while working full time. Pay special attention to:

Money

Having startup capital that covers your living expenses is a key ingredient anytime you start a business. You can’t let your home life suffer while you’re building your dream, right? Let’s face it…you may not book your first bride right away.

You can operate a wedding planning business on a part time basis as long as you take care to provide yourself enough money to “build” the business. Allocating a portion of your full time job salary will help you to continually grow your business, especially when investing in monthly marketing activities.

Education

Continue to sharpen your expertise with continuing education. Workshops, books and spending time with other more experienced planners are a must. Carve out time in your schedule for each of these on a consistent basis. Set a goal to read at least one business book per month; meet with 2-3 vendors (including other planners) each week and find a workshop or some sort of information sharing event at least 3-4 times per year.

Hands On Experience

Get some experience at real weddings. Either shadow another planner or offer to help friends and family plan their weddings for free or for a nominal fee. It’s crucial that you learn what happens at a real event before you take on the planning and coordinating of a paying bride. Weddings are highly emotional events and you must be prepared for all of the things that can go wrong.

Creative and Compelling Marketing

Be creative and intentional about your marketing. The number one marketing activity for new planners is networking! I can’t stress this enough. Word of mouth referrals are going to be the best way to build your clientele and to get the word out that you are a wedding planner with a new message. Be different and be bold because if you dont, you’ll end up getting lost in a sea of planners.

And attend a variety of networking group events in your community…not just wedding and event related…and start to build the “know, like and trust” factor among the business owners that share your target market. Nail shops, hair salons and spas, popular meeting places for brides like trendy boutiques are great businesses to join forces with. Bridal shows may also be very beneficial if the attendees are in your target market. Learn how to maximize your time at a bridal show and be sure to follow up!

Professional and Precise Systems

Make sure you setup systems to do everything in your business. Attending networking events, educating yourself, etc. will mean nothing if you don’t have the right system setup for when you DO get a call from that first bride. Write down and fine tune your client experience. From the moment they first come in contact with you and your brand, until the wedding is over, what is the process? Phone calls, emails, documents and the entire planning process you take your bride through should be written down and followed consistently.

A Plan to Ditch Corporate America

And finally, plan on going full time with planning weddings in twelve to eighteen months. Anymore time than that, and you won’t be able to effectively be of service to your growing clientele. Also, you won’t be able to spend enough time on activities that grow your business, as described above.

So? Are you ready to make that move?

Wendy is the founder of Aspire to Plan and Before the Bride; a program created to empower and develop wedding planners into wedding industry leaders. She feels there is a need for more business coaching for aspiring wedding planners in order to promote more professionalism in the industry.

After successfully running a wedding planning business for 5 years, Wendy now uses the very principles she learned in corporate America, and in the wedding industry to teach others how to successfully start a wedding planning business.

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Becoming A Wedding Planner

Starting a wedding planning business is similar to starting any other business. To become a wedding planner you need to be highly tactful, organized and patient. You can start by setting up a business plan, finding a place to put up your office, start a website and also start advertising about your services. It would be an added advantage if you can secure some certification in wedding planning. Some universities do have courses to train you in event planning and wedding planning. You can always pick up a course and finish it to add more value to your services.

To be a good wedding planner you need to have a good eye for detail. Communication skills are also of utmost importance as you would have to communicate with different types of people. If you are tactful you will be able to act as a liaison between family members who would have a difference in opinion with some of the things in the wedding. In short you need to be a good people person as the whole business of wedding planner is based on people. Your utmost goal should be to please everyone who would be involved in that very special day.

Weddings are expensive affairs now and it has been identified that the average cost of a wedding is around $25,000. The fee of a wedding planner is normally based on the overall expenditure and the usual pay is 20% of the expenditure. This shows that the pay is pretty good in this business but as said before you will have to strengthen the qualities needed to be a successful wedding planner. You need to learn about wedding too. The details involved in planning a wedding and reception is enormous. From selecting the wedding venue to the wedding favors – you will have a lot of duties to perform and you should be ready to take up responsibility for the same. Before you start it is recommended to go through other wedding planner sites and visit the shops and boutiques that sell items needed for a wedding. Good knowledge about the products available for weddings is always a good idea.

Once you have learnt about the different aspects of a wedding you have to get a portfolio done which would be a collection of photographs showing prospective customers your wedding planning skills. If you have worked in the wedding industry then that would be an added feature to your portfolio. Make sure that you setup your office in a way you would decorate for a wedding. You can show your skill through the outlook of your office too. Setup costs for an office is minimal as you would just need the basic utilities like computer, fax, phone lines, mobile phones and other communication devices. Make sure you register your firm before you start as it adds to your portfolio.

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Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

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What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The results of this past election proved once again that the Democrats had a golden opportunity to capitalize on the failings of the Trump Presidency but, fell short of a nation wide mandate. A mandate to seize the gauntlet of the progressive movement that Senator Sanders through down a little over four years ago. The opportunities were there from the very beginning even before this pandemic struck. In their failing to educate the public of the consequences of continued Congressional gridlock, conservatism, and what National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation would do led to the results that are playing out today.. More Congressional gridlock, more conservatism and more suffering of millions of Americans are the direct consequences of the Democrats failure to communicate and educate the public. Educate the public that a progressive agenda is necessary to pull the United States out of this Pandemic, and restore this nations health and vitality.

It was the DNC’s intent in this election to only focus on the Trump Administration. They failed to grasp the urgency of the times. They also failed to communicate with the public about the dire conditions millions have been and still are facing even before the Pandemic. The billions of dollars funneled into campaign coffers should have been used to educate the voting public that creating a unified coalition would bring sweeping reforms that are so desperately needed. The reality of what transpired in a year and a half of political campaigning those billions of dollars only created more animosity and division polarizing one extreme over another.

One can remember back in 1992 Ross Perot used his own funds to go on national TV to educate the public on the dire ramifications of not addressing our national debt. That same approach should have been used during this election cycle. By using the medium of television to communicate and educate the public is the most effective way in communicating and educating the public. Had the Biden campaign and the DNC used their resources in this way the results we ae seeing today would have not created the potential for more gridlock in our government. The opportunity was there to educate the public of safety protocols during the siege of this pandemic and how National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles of Confederation provides the necessary progressive reforms that will propel the United States out of the abyss of debt and restore our economy. Restoring our economy so that every American will have the means and the availability of financial and economic security.

The failure of the Democratic party since 2016 has been recruiting a Presidential Candidate who many felt was questionable and more conservative signals that the results of today has not met with the desired results the Democratic party wanted. Then again? By not fully communicating and not educating the public on the merits of a unified progressive platform has left the United States transfixed in our greatest divides since the Civil War. This writers support of Senator Bernie Sanders is well documented. Since 2015 he has laid the groundwork for progressive reforms. He also has the foundations on which these reforms can deliver the goods as they say. But, what did the DNC do, they purposely went out of their way to engineer a candidate who was more in tune with the status-quo of the DNC. They failed to communicate to the public in educating all of us on the ways our lives would be better served with a progressive agenda that was the benchmark of Senators Sanders Presidential campaign and his Our Revolution movement. And this is way there is still really no progress in creating a less toxic environment in Washington and around the country.

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