When I tell people I’m a wedding planner, I often see their eyes brighten with excitement.
“Lucky you,” they say. “You must have a dream life – you always get to be at beautiful, fun parties!”
It’s true that every day I ask myself if it’s real, and if this is really a serious business.
Before I became a wedding planner, I worked as a lawyer – and that was definitely serious. But the seeds of becoming an event planner were always in my heart. Let me back up and tell you how it all happened:
My childhood was spent in Casablanca, where my parents and their friends hosted a seemingly endless stream of opulent parties that filled my youth with the sumptuous tastes, regal style and vibrant music of Northern Africa.
At the age of 15, I moved to Paris, studying art history at Le Musée du Louvre and earning a law degree from La Sorbonne. My Parisian flat became a favorite gathering spot for a crowd of upcoming young stars in fashion and design, and I entertained them with chic, creative parties. Soon, I was invited to join an elite Parisian design firm, and – voilà! -- my career as an international event planner began.
In 2002, I brought my event planning expertise to Beverly Hills and launched Véronique Events, which was immediately in high demand. My team and I at Véronique Events create more than just weddings and parties – we create stylishly-designed experiences during which life’s special moments can unfold with all the charming surprises, joyful connections, and tender memories that the perfectly-planned event can provide.
But all that charm, fun and joy requires a lot of work -- before, during, and after the event. So how do you know if wedding planning is the right career for you? Here are ten questions to ask yourself if you’re considering a career as a wedding planner:
1. Do you dream about planning events? When you see events in magazines or on television, or when you attend your friends’ and family’s events, do you wish you could help them organize it?
2. Do you have artistic talent? Do you enjoy everything about design and love putting together gorgeous tables for your family and friends? Do you stand gaping in front of flowers, and do colors make you scream with joy? Some wedding planners are not designers, and so they hire designers to help them with this part of the job, but I think you do need to have an artistic inclination so you can at least contribute to style choices.
3. Do you have organization skills? Are your home and work environments organized and clean? Do you have folders for everything? Wedding planners need to be extremely organized because you’ll be dealing with lots of details. You know how to prioritize your tasks.
4. Do you have leadership skills? Do you have a take-charge attitude, enjoy giving direction and have excellent management skills? When you’re running an event, you’ll be in charge of managing vendors and staff and also need to be able to interact professionally with hosts and guests.
5. Do you have good psychological skills? You’ll need to understand your clients, what they’re looking for, what they want to experience, how much they want to pay, etc. This takes excellent interpersonal skills, patience humor and a lot of psychology.
6. Do you manage stress well? As in many other businesses that involve relationships, money, and dreams, wedding planning is a highly stressful business. I’ve heard about one study that showed that being a wedding planner is more stressful than being a stockbroker or lawyer! You’ll need to be able to manage stress both in yourself and with your clients, and you’ll need to find healthy outlets for releasing your stress as well!
7. Do you have a good personality? Are you a people person? You’ll need to have a pleasant demeanor when you’re interacting with clients, vendors and staff if you want to earn repeat business.
8. Are you smart and curious about the world? Good wedding planners love to search out new ideas and are interested in studying industry trends. This takes a keen mind and curious spirit. I’m always checking out new locations, meeting new vendors, and learning about their inventories. I study fashion collections, art exhibits, and new styles of cooking. There is no end to education in this field!
9. What investment will you need to begin? The good news is that you need very little investment to start your business it’s a service business. You can start in your room with a computer and a cell hone.
10. Do you have business skills? As with any other business, you’ll need to create a business plan (your local Chamber of Commerce may have templates) and also have good accounting skills. And you’ll also need to do marketing, marketing, and more marketing!
So Wedding planning is your dream career? Fantastic! Follow your dream. This is the only way to live a happy and meaningful life. Enjoy the road!