Certification is not required for someone to market themselves as a wedding planner. But that doesn’t mean that you will be hired (either by venues that want event planners on their payroll or directly by clients) if you don’t have the required skills to become a wedding planner.
Below, we’ve broken down all the relevant skills a wedding planner should work on! (With bonus asides from the expert Canadian wedding planner, Imtazur Rahman):
Imtazur Rahman: “I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had clients call me after hours or during the weekends — or even, during the holidays! It’s something that I’ve had to mentally prepare myself for. That is, to always be ready to put my ‘work’ hat on, so to speak.”
As Imtazur described, flexibility is one of the staples of any good wedding planner. The kind of hours that event planning, of any kind, requires is very demanding. This is not your average 9-5 job. As a wedding planner, you must be prepared to act as needed and when needed to ensure that everything is in place — even if that means fielding late-night phone calls.
Imtazur Rahman: “It’s not just about the flexible hours, of course. As a wedding planner, I also had to be mentally flexible. No matter how good an event planner is at their job, accidents can and do happen. It’s my job to make sure that those accidents are handled. And that takes a lot of creative thinking — which is available only to a flexible mind.”
As much as the job title implies a lot of ‘strict planning’, wedding planning actually requires an open mind as well. One that will allow you to create solutions out of disasters and ready to present alternatives as is fit. As Imtazur explained, accidents are inevitable, and as a wedding planner, you need to be able to fix them as they come.
To exercise this skill as a wedding planner, try to prepare for negative eventualities beforehand. Write it out if you must. The more that you work as a wedding planner and experience such incidents, the easier it will be for you to come up with quick solutions. But, before that, a certain level of forward-thinking should help prepare you for what to expect.
Imtazur Rahman: “Here comes the ‘boring’ part for most people. I personally find the finance aspect of the job just as enjoyable as the other aspects. It’s rewarding, in a way. To see things all come together. But I know for a fact that a lot of my wedding planning colleagues have to really work at it sometimes.”
In order to organize an event as big as a wedding, a wedding planner must be able to wrangle up all the different ‘parts’ required to get it moving. And the work doesn’t stop once those sources have been found either. A lot of management is required — as well as a lot of negotiation, to make sure that the event budget is being adhered to.
Improving on this skill is a bit harder to quantify than the rest. Practice at it. Let it come. Managing finances is a big part of the job and should be handled with care and discipline.
4. Listening & Communication
Imtazur Rahman: “Wedding planning requires a lot of talking. Well, a lot of talking and a lot of listening. You’re talking and listening to your client. You’re talking and listening to the vendors you’ve hired for the job. You’re talking and listening to the owner of the venue. And so on and so forth.”
Much like most jobs that require close or direct communication with clients, wedding planning requires that you have solid listening and communication skills! Practice at this. Be mindful about what you are being told at all times and make sure that you are communicating to the best of your ability so that there are no misunderstandings.
Imtazur Rahman: “The job is especially tougher on the body near the end. Months before the event, wedding planning usually involves a lot of sitting down and talking. But as THE day gets closer? Expect to do a lot of running around to make sure everything is in place.”
If stamina is something that you have issues with, it’s probably time to head to the gym and shape up. As Imtazur described, the job can get a bit demanding on the body when it comes time for everything to come together.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No California Times journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.