Starting a wedding planning business can be a very profitable venture. However, there are a few things you need to do in order to get started. In this article, we will outline the process of starting an event planning business and provide some tips to help you succeed.
Here are the 9 steps you can take to get started on building your very own wedding planning business.
9 Steps to Launching a New Wedding Planning Business
1. Name Your Wedding Planning Business
Give your wedding planning business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your wedding planning business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your wedding planning business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that couples will want to hire you.
2. Determine Your Wedding Planning Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a wedding planning business including:
- Wedding planning and catering
- Full-service wedding and reception planning
- Day-of wedding reception coordination
- Small wedding party planning
Choose the model that will work best for you based on your skills, interests, and target market.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
3. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your wedding planning business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your wedding planning business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common wedding planning business structures.
4. Write a Wedding Planning Business Plan
All wedding planning business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
When developing your wedding planning business plan and strategy, you should think about the following questions your customers might have:
- How much experience do you have planning weddings?
- What services do you offer?
- How much do your services cost?
- What is your refund policy?
- Do you work with a budget?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What are your hours of operation?
- Do you have any promotions or discounts?
- What methods of payment do you accept?
- How can I contact you?
Read our article about how to write a wedding planning business plan.
5. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your wedding planning business.
For example, if you’re serving alcohol at any of the events you plan, you’ll need to obtain a liquor license from your state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board. You might also need to obtain a business license from your city or county government.
You must also register your wedding planning business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper wedding planning business licenses.
6. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your wedding planning business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your wedding planning business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your wedding planning business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a wedding planning business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your wedding planning business.
7. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your wedding planning business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) system to help manage your clients, vendors and employees. A CRM system can automate many of the tasks associated with running a wedding planning business, including contact management, invoicing, task management and report generation.
8. Market Your Wedding Planning Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the wedding planning industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Wedding planning businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Develop a strong online presence with a well-designed website and active social media profiles.
- Network with wedding professionals and consumers through social media and industry events.
- Create marketing materials (e.g., brochures, case studies, website copy, etc.) that articulate the value of your services.
- Develop relationships with vendors (e.g., wedding venues, florists, etc.) and promote their services to your clients.
- Speak positively about your business to everyone you meet and always follow up with potential clients.
Read our article about how to market your wedding planning business for more tips.
9. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your wedding planning business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your wedding planning business to learn more.
Starting a Wedding Planning Business FAQs
Wedding planning businesses offer several benefits, including the ability to be your own boss, flexible hours, and the potential for high earnings. Wedding planners also get to help couples celebrate one of the most important days of their lives.
To start a successful wedding planning business, you need a combination of business acumen, people skills, and organizational ability. You also need to be able to market your services effectively and build relationships with vendors.
You can start a wedding planning business online by creating a website and promoting your services through social media and other online channels. Establish an e-commerce website to sell wedding planning products and services. Ensure that clients can book your services online. Use SEO to help potential clients find your website.
Here are some tips for starting a wedding planning business:
- Research the market – wedding planning is a complex business, so make sure you understand the ins and outs before getting started.
- Develop a niche – identify the specific type of weddings you want to plan so you can market your services effectively.
- Create a business plan – a wedding planning business is a complex venture, so you need to have a detailed business plan in place.
- Get the right licenses and permits – wedding planners need to get the proper licenses and permits before they can start operating.
- Invest in technology – wedding planning businesses need to invest in technology and software to help run their operations smoothly.
- Promote your business – market your wedding planning business through social media, online directories, and other channels.
- Build relationships with vendors – develop relationships with wedding venues, florists, caterers, and other vendors so you can offer a comprehensive service to your clients.
- Train your staff – find and train the right people to help run your wedding planning business effectively.
- Get new clients – use effective marketing techniques to attract new clients and grow your business.
- Follow up with clients – always follow up with potential clients to close sales and build relationships.
A simple checklist to use when starting a wedding planning business is as follows:
- Name Your Wedding Planning Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Wedding Planning Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Wedding Planning Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Wedding Planning Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Important factors to consider when starting a wedding planning business include creating a business plan, obtaining licenses and permits, using technology, and utilizing a good marketing strategy. It is also important to build relationships with vendors, train your staff, and always follow up with clients. With careful planning and execution, you can be on your way to a successful wedding planning business.