If you’ve ever planned a birthday party, or even a vacation, you know that there is a lot more that goes into planning an event than just arranging for transportation, food, and entertainment. For many people, their wedding is the biggest event in their lives and something they have dreamt about for years, so it is important that the day be perfect. That doesn’t mean that everything will always go right—it won’t!—but wedding planners need to do everything they can to make sure that their clients’ special day lives up to their dreams.
The main skills wedding planners need to create these special days, and run a successful business, can be divided into four categories: communication and interpersonal skills, creative skills, planning and organizational skills, and business skills. Let’s look at each one in more detail.
Communication and Interpersonal Skills
Weddings are often quite stressful. They are large financial investments for clients, and they often bring out personality quirks in individuals and disagreements within and between families. You may occasionally find yourself in the therapist’s chair or helping to mediate disagreements. One of the wedding planner’s most important skills is helping clients stay calm and keeping them from becoming overwhelmed, and good interpersonal skills are vital to this effort.
You will also be doing a lot of communicating, with clients, their families, vendors, guests, and so on. You will talk to them in person, on the phone, via email, through official documents, and probably over text message and social media as well. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that your verbal and written communication skills are solid.
As a wedding planner, your job is to make your clients’ dreams come true—whatever those dreams might be. Each client will have a different vision for their special day, and you will need to help them define that vision and then make it into reality. This will take a lot of creativity and resourcefulness on your part.
This doesn’t mean you need to be an artist or to come up with endless fantastic ideas out of thin air. Many wedding planners keep notebooks and binders full of things that inspire them—photos, fabric swatches, quotes, and so on—and then draw on these things to generate ideas. Even as a beginning student, it isn’t too early to start collecting these things now, so buy a binder and start filling it up!
Interpersonal skills, communication, and creativity are three of the top qualities a wedding planner needs. The next post will explore the more practical side of the business.
Debbie Quain. Top Wedding Planner Skills. Weddings for a Living.