Expert Advice from other Experts

I have received emails from many people, who have asked "How can I become a wedding planner?"  While there really isn't any clear cut answer, I found this article to be helpful since the advice was coming from other vendors in the wedding industry.  If you have any advice for all of the startup planners, email me or post a comment.  There will be lots of grateful readers, I'm sure!  If no answers get posted, I'll be posting a session with fellow planners in the area with their answers!

Ask the Experts: Becoming a Wedding Professional

by Marta
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Ask the Experts is your chance to tap into a panel of wedding experts to get your most pressing wedding questions answered. If you have a question for the panel write
Dear Ask the Experts,
I got married last year and LOVED planning my wedding. I’ve helped with the weddings of a few friends as well and now I’m considering looking into doing this as a career. I’ve worked in a florist shop before and am considering either wedding planning, or becoming a florist for weddings. How do I go from being someone who loves to help with weddings to a wedding professional? What are some of the most common misunderstandings people have about working in weddings? Am I silly for thinking that just because I was good at my wedding, I’d be good at doing someone else’s?
Would-Be Wedding Professional

Rebecca of Studio B Photography says:
Being a wedding professional of any type requires building a network of trusted colleagues. Weddings are a group effort and require the coordination of several vendors to make the day go off without a hitch. You need to be able to have a firm grasp on every part that goes into a wedding, even the not so glamorous parts (like who cleans up after all the guests are gone?) You need a TON of patience, and thick skin. Weddings are VERY stressful so be prepared for mothers, brides, and even bridesmaids to snap at you and make outrageous demands.
Get in touch with a planner in your area and sit down and chat with them. Ask them what the hardest part of their job is, and also what is the most rewarding. Start getting acquainted with others in the floral business or other types vendors so you can understand how they all work together to achieve a wonderful wedding.
Thea of Rose of Sharon says:
The wedding industry is full of unexpected hard work. As a florist, you don't just design pretty arrangements. You also have to clean buckets, flowers, work tools, containers, work-space, coolers; carry buckets of flowers and water (sometimes in heels); and work on a tight schedule--you can't be late for a wedding! And don't forget, you're designing for a customer, not yourself. By working for someone else first, you can learn the ins and outs of the industry and see if this is something you really want. The wedding industry is a LOT of hard work, but it's also very rewarding.
Melissa of Stylish Blooms says:
Believe it or not this is a very common question. Planning your wedding gives you the opportunity to think outside the box, get creative and see something you imagined come to life. It’s not silly to want to pursue something you truly enjoyed.
I hear on a daily basis “working with flowers must be so fun” or “ You have such a great job, your so lucky” and yes these statements are true, but it is a lot of work and at times can be stressful. There is a lot that goes in to floral designing other than pretty flowers. Planning and time management is most important. Then you'll need to be able to identify flowers, know when they are in season, the longevity and care of each flower and how many stems are per bunch for each flower type so that you can order and price out your weddings carefully. Mechanics are a big part of design as well, From bouquet holders to floral foam, wire and tape you want to make sure you know how to use them and when. Knowing floral terminology is just as important, knowing the difference between a cascade bouquet and a biedermeier bouquet will help you help a bride decide what bouquet works best with her dress.
See if you can shadow another planner or florist, learn the ins and outs, the ups and downs and then see if you still feel the same way you did after planning your wedding. I wish you the best of luck!
About our experts:
Rebecca Enslein is the owner of Studio B Photography in the Atlanta, Georgia area. As a recent bride herself, Rebecca is able to better understand what her clients need and enjoys providing them with images that capture the joy of their wedding day.
Melissa Bonoffksi is the creative force behind Stylish Blooms in Bristol, Ct. She holds an A.A.S. in floriculture and has over 13 years of design experience.
Thea Daniel, owner of Rose of Sharon Event Florist in Fayeteville, Arkansas, has been designing floral arrangements for events for 15 years.