When I was 18 I embarked on a journey which saw me start my own wedding planning business. Like most, I had dreamt up how awesome wedding dress shopping would be, how amazing my life would be, and how much I would love it.
Boy was it a big wake up call! Don’t get me wrong, I have had the pleasure of planning some incredible weddings over the past seven years. Including a huge African and Irish wedding I planned last year. Honestly, it was one of the most fun and unique days I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of.
The fact is that the role of a wedding planner is 80% admin work. About 150 hours are needed to organise a client’s wedding ensuring all key suppliers have been booked and within the clients budget.
I recall spending many days just sitting at my desk, answering emails, sitting on calls with suppliers, sorting out paperwork problems and reading supplier contracts. Yes, there is a whole other job behind the scenes, so to speak.
It’s a huge sacrifice to make. Without the support of James, working long hours on weekends could have been so much worse. If you don’t have family or a partner who supports this kind of career it can be super tough.
When they have time off on a Saturday, you’ll be knee deep in fluffing a wedding dress and straightening centrepieces until your brain hurts.
(I’m not married but like most girls I know what mine looks like!) The number of times I had to step back and look at a clients wedding differently was ridiculous. Everyone has different tastes and I was no exception. Where I would want a soft pastel colouring for the day, the client would want bright barbie pink and lime green (yes…it has happened).
Even down to things like the venue. I remember trying to find a couple their perfect venue and no matter what I came back with, they would forever say no. In the end, the went with a marquee in a field because what they wanted, no venue would allow them to have.
I wish I had known about bijouweddingvenues.co.uk back then! It may have made my life a lot easier as they have such a fantastic array of venues for you to look through, including one in the beautiful region of Provence in France.
At the end of the day your job is to make the couple’s dream wedding materialise, it should match their vision perfectly.
Couples will take their stresses and frustration out on you, it does happen and unfortunately, you will always be in the firing line. Do you have the patience to guide them through any difficult decisions they are currently experiencing? Do you have the maturity to never take it personally?
Remember being the centre of attention for many Brides (and Grooms) can be difficult and they can get a tad emotional leading up to the wedding. Listen to the concerns of the couple and answer, as succinctly and calmly as you can, trust me when I say, this isn’t the time to get argumentative!
On a wedding day as the wedding planner, you have to be the first on site, not only to greet the suppliers but also to make sure the Bride is OK. You will find that you’ll never sit down until late in the evening.
But despite being tired a wedding planner always needs to be in control and still look presentable, a couple won’t want to see a wedding planner looking tired and dishevelled.
The number of times I would come home after a wedding, roll in at 1am and just want to die was very common. It was a case of recovering on a Sunday in the bath, almost as if you’d had a five-hour gruelling gym session!
Despite all of the above and a few more negatives I won’t go into (haha), it was honestly one of the most incredible jobs ever. I got to visit so many new corners of the UK, got to see so many incredible venues, and above all, had the pleasure of meeting some truly wonderful couples.
I’d say if you ever get the chance to do it, then do it! It’s well worth it for the experience. Some of the things I’ve learnt along the way have definitely helped me going forward with my career in marketing, and with blogging. It really teaches you how important being driven is and having some gusto about you!