Tuesday, 12 April 2011

What does a wedding planner actually do? Part 4

The issue of hiring staff...

from doreese illustration and photography

I get a lot of emails from people looking for a job in wedding planning and asking about paid work at Savoir Weddings and thought it was about time I tackled the issue of staff.

From the amount of interest I get it seems everybody wants to be a wedding planner these days. Which I get because it is a rewarding and varied job. So I hope no one finds this patronising, because I'm certainly not saying I know everything, but here's my advice for those of you thinking of becoming a wedding planner.

I can't speak for all wedding planners and the big guns (who don't work on weddings less than £60k) are probably different but most of us don't make enough money to hire full time staff.

I am a full time wedding planner. It took me well over a year to get to this stage. I'm certainly not rich but I make enough to live on which is great. I should point out here incidentally, if you're thinking of becoming a planner or starting a wedding planning biz to get rich, think again. It's incredibly hard work, involves working anti social hours, is at times stressful, and when you work it out per hour it definitely doesn't fall into one of those 'easy money' jobs likes some people seem to think.

So even though I am a full time planner I don't generate enough income to support staff. There is Dan who is involved in the music side of things and I work with interns during particularly busy periods. But whilst I pay the interns' expenses I definitely don't make enough to pay someone else a salary.

And this is quite common according to my fellow wedding planners.

So for those of you who want to become a wedding planner you really need to think whether you're prepared to become a business owner too. Because 99% of people who are wedding planners run their own businesses. So if you really want to do it you have to not only be good at planning/styling weddings, but also self motivating, managing your own time, finances and everything else that goes with running a business.

I don't want to discourage anyone considering a career in wedding planning. I genuinely love my job and often see it more as a way of life than a job. But it's not enough to just love weddings. There's a very high chance you'll have to establish and run your own business to become a planner and that's not a decision to make lightly.

For more on being a wedding planner see here.

What are your thoughts? Fellow wedding planners, do you agree? What about you other freelancers, do you get lots of job applications too?


  1. OMG, you have totally read my mind, and I couldn’t agree more with you! As a wedding planner i get swamped with people asking for work experience, summer work, placements and jobs. I would love to have myself a little assistant but as you say I can only just cover my own salary let alone pay anyone else. Plus there is the fact that my office is my spare room at home....so not exactly convenient for staff!
    I do often want to say ask what people’s expectations are out of the job, as you say it's a labour of love certainly not a job to make a million, I do think that people see us as being very glamorous, when really it is a hard, but very rewarding job.
    only this morning did I have a lady call me asking for summer work, when I told her I wasn’t tacking on anyone as I work from home she told me I was rude and dismissive, trying to explain to her that I have the same request numerous times a day every day didn’t seem to change her mind.
    Well done for a fab post and something that certainly needs to be brought up!

  2. Very well said. I have been working in the event planning world for about 16 years (working mostly for non-profits) with the occasional wedding. It wasn't until last year that I decided I wanted to make wedding planning about 75% of my business last year. I went out an sought wedding specific training that I paid for and when I sought the tutelage of more experienced planners, I knew it would not be paid. I have had a lot of inquiries lately and when I tell them that I cannot offer them a paid full time position, they are very surprised and at least one person was a little rude. I hope that those considering entering the wedding planning world will read this and take the information to heart before they seek out opportunities in the wedding world. Thanks so much for this post!

  3. i think it's AWESOME that you are going in and out of the details, lady. i wondered what it was like to be a wedding planner last year and i volunteered with one for ONE day and it was miserable for me! i think more people should read this and explore before they decide it's super fun & easy and all of that...i'm positive it's fun, i'm positive it's rewarding, i'm only saying it's not for some people, like you are...don't want this to come out a way i'm not meaning, ha!

  4. That pretty much covers it...and it flows into what I do as an Interior Designer! Hard work, really rewarding...but not paying someone else's salary :) Maybe one day, but lots to be done now! Great post!

  5. Fabulous post, sweetie! So informative. A few years ago I considered making the switch, ditching my current job in cosmetics to be a wedding planner but I decided I'd better stay put for all the reasons you mentioned. I so admire planners and all the talent, hard work and dedication it takes. You're my hero :)

  6. I think too many people think running your own business is easy and must mean you have so much free time! What they often don't realise is the hours spent doing admin, accounts, networking, answering emails or deleting ones we don't actually want or need to read. Working for yourself is not hte easy option but often the most rewarding, that's why we choose to do it.

    Great post,

  7. Dawn said it best. I think a few of us brides get the wedding planning bug when we plan our own weddings but it really is so much work and pressure for a single day! I love the design and details but leave it to the professionals (and can't wait to see your business evolve and grow!)

    Chic 'n Cheap Living

  8. I know exactly what you meant. My husband runs a music entertainment company, and he loves how he can add a personal touch to his services for all his clients.while he loves his job, sometimes he can't help complaining that he wish he has somebody to share his workload with. but that's the thing, if he is going to hire, he has to think about how to train this staff and how much responsibility this person needs to have. It will be quite devastating it will be after all that training and trust and have that person job-hopped after a while.


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