“Everyone thinks they can be a wedding planner these days,” complains Jen R., an independent wedding planner in California with eight years experience, who preferred to remain anonymous. “It’s hard to command a higher fee when there’s so much competition pushing rates down.”
There’s a huge difference, however, between being a person who plans a wedding, and being a successful wedding planner who earns a decent living. Just like there are bargain-basement lawyers (think Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad) and rock-star lawyers who command $1,000 an hour. And you’d never hear that rock star lawyer complaining that there are “too many lawyers out there.”
So how do you separate yourself from the pack? For starters, you have to know more than the competition when it comes to planning logistics, such as:
- How to create a venue cost comparison grid that factors in “hidden costs” of hosting the same wedding at different venues.
- How to keep guests wanting to film the ceremony with their phones from walking “into the shot” of the professional photographer.
- That two clients can both want “classical, but not too stuffy” and mean two completely different things.
- How to train your Bridezilla client to behave properly without having to take out a restraining order.