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  • Wedding Ideas & Advice

How to Become a Wedding Planner, According to the Experts

One step closer to your dream job!

how to start a business in wedding planning

Have you ever thought about becoming a wedding planner ? If you dream about helping couples craft the most special day of their lives, get a thrill every time you hear “I do” or see a bride in her wedding dress for the first time, and love organization, details, and design, then it might be the profession for you.

While it's one of the most rewarding jobs a person can have, becoming a wedding planner takes more than just good taste. "The top skills for a wedding planner in my opinion are communication, organization, creativity, and impeccable attention to detail," notes Nicole-Natassha Goulding of Chic by Nicole .

In order to share what the road to becoming a wedding planner is really like, we tapped some successful industry insiders to share what skills are needed to make it in the industry and how they got their own start in the field.

Meet the Expert

  • Nicole-Natassha Goulding is the creative director and founder of full-service wedding planning company Chic by Nicole .
  • Heather Hoesch and Lindsay Ferguson own LVL Weddings & Events , known for producing one-of-a-kind weddings in California, Hawaii, and Colorado. They are also co-owners of Planner Life Academy , which offers workshops and virtual training programs to prepare leaders to open their own wedding planning businesses.
  • Francie Dorman is the owner of 42 North , a full-service wedding and event planning firm. She is based in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and specializes in high-luxury celebrations across New England. She also mentors young wedding planners through a sister company, Mavinhouse Events.
  • Teissia Treynet is the founder and CFO of Firefly Events , a high-level event planning company with offices in New York, California, and Wyoming. She also runs The Firefly Method , a community and education platform for thousands of wedding planners and small business owners across the world.
  • Michelle Rago owns Michelle Rago Destinations , a wedding and events company considered one of the best in the world. Her office is based in New York City, but she is known for organizing elaborate destination weddings in far-flung locations.

Ahead, learn about the qualifications you need to become a wedding planner, straight from the experts.

Skills and Qualifications for Wedding Planners

Like in most career fields, you need certain skills, personality traits, and qualifications to become a wedding planner. Ahead, see some of the most important ones, according to the pros.

Be a Great Leader Under Pressure

Being a wedding planner requires you to wear many hats. At any one time, you have to deal with vendors , couples, their families, and finances. Of course, there can also be a lot of drama. “Being a good leader and being able to stay calm, delegate, listen, and lead in a time of stress is your most important skill,” wedding planner Lindsay Ferguson says. 

Learn these skills by interning or shadowing with wedding planners, so you can be immersed in different situations and learn how to address the chaos. 

Having Empathy While Remaining Professional

“Anyone can learn the systems and standard operating procedures of event planning, but what makes a planner really great at their job are characteristics like problem-solving, empathy, professionalism, and high attention to detail,” shares planner Francie Dorman . “Someone who likes to feel purposeful, and strives to make others feel important and cared for are two factors for success in this unique industry.”

Being Organized and Attentive to Details

Wedding planning requires you to be uber-organized and attentive to details. After all, so many components go into the event from schedules to menus to dance playlists . “These skills or traits can be built on as you grow into your role,” explains Dorman. “They are muscles that can get stronger as they are flexed.” If you don’t have these traits naturally, consider an internship or entry-level job to help you develop them.

Getting Hands-On Experience

While you don’t technically need any certifications or degrees to become a wedding planner, getting experience from a veteran is essential. “As a wedding planner, you’re also safeguarding one of the most important times in most people’s lives so it’s imperative you know what you’re doing,” says Teissa Treynet . While getting experience in regular event planning is helpful, Ferguson notes that wedding planning is a different game. “Corporate planning or non-profit planning does not count," she says. You must seek out quality education from a reputable source and couple this with hands-on experience by working under a wedding-trained and experienced planner.”

Seeking Out Learning Opportunities

While having a pro show you the ropes is important at the beginning of your career, expect to continue that education over the years. “The best wedding planners have a ‘never stop learning’ mindset,” says Hoesch. “They read, they watch webinars and social media lives, and they collaborate and listen to wedding podcasts . They take courses, and attend workshops and conferences.” Many of these resources are available online, so you can start your education in your free time. As Rago puts it: “If I have learned anything over the last 20 years, it’s the importance of constantly learning and keeping up with what is tried-and-true.”

How Real Planners Got Their Start

For those who want to pursue this path but don’t know where to begin, we interviewed five renowned wedding planners —many of whom run courses to teach up-and-coming event organizers—on how they began their careers in the field.

Lindsay Ferguson got her start by working part-time for a wedding planner in Chicago as a young professional. “I always had a love for hospitality and customer service-focused careers,” she says. “I grew up with an entrepreneurial mom who really encouraged me to find something that I loved and was passionate about.” Meanwhile, Heather Hoesch worked for a family friend who owned the local bridal salon in high school. “She hired me to clean, hang, and steam dresses,” she recalls. In college, Hoesch worked for a catering company that primarily did weddings. “It was a crash course in weddings,” she continues. “I learned a ton about food, service, timelines, flow, logistics, guest experience, and catering to couples' needs for their special day.” Five years later, she was ready to start her own company. Ferguson and Hoesch now are co-owners of LVL Weddings & Events and of Planner Life Academy , which offers workshops and virtual training programs to prepare leaders to open their own wedding planning businesses.

Early in her career, Francie Dorman worked as an event hostess, an executive assistant, and a GM at a restaurant. “These experiences helped me build fortitude and a deep understanding of what happens in the ‘back of the house.’” Dorman explains. Her first wedding planning job was for a small, local company where she took on more responsibilities before getting clients of her own. She now is the owner of 42 North , a full-service wedding and event planning firm, and mentors young wedding planners through a sister company, Mavinhouse Events.

Teissia Treynet started a career as a development coordinator for a nonprofit in Los Angeles, where she planned large-scale, celebrity-driven events. A year later, she helped her best friend plan his wedding on the island of Holbox, Mexico, and started Firefly Events soon after. (Fun fact: She booked her first paying client off Craigslist!)

Michelle Rago attended the New York Restaurant School, worked in hotel sales, and operated a flower business for years before landing on weddings. Those experiences gave her a “more holistic approach of producing with an emphasis on design, food and beverage, and service,” she says. She now owns Michelle Rago Destinations , a wedding and events company based in New York City, and is known for organizing elaborate destination weddings in far-flung locations.

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how to start a business in wedding planning

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

start a wedding planning business

Starting a wedding planning business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful wedding planning business.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a wedding planning business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

14 Steps To Start a Wedding Planning Business :

  • Choose the Name for Your Wedding Planning Business
  • Develop Your Wedding Planning Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Wedding Planning Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Wedding Planning Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Wedding Planning Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Wedding Planning Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Wedding Planning Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Wedding Planning Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Wedding Planning Business
  • Open for Business

1. Choose the Name for Your Wedding Planning Business

The first step to starting a wedding planning business is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own wedding planning business:

  • Make sure the name is available . Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  • Keep it simple . The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  • Think about marketing . Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your wedding planning business.

2. Develop Your Wedding Planning Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a wedding planning business is to develop your wedding planning business plan . The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your wedding planning business.
  • Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your wedding planning business and what type of event planning business you operate. For example, are you a full-service wedding planner, partial-service planner, or a day-of coordinator?
  • Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the wedding planning industry. Conduct market research and document how big the wedding industry is and what trends are affecting it.
  • Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing services like the ones you will offer?
  • Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
  • Product : Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
  • Prices : Document the prices of your products/services
  • Place : Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
  • Promotions : What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your wedding planning business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  • Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  • Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  • Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
  • What startup costs will you incur?
  • How will your wedding planning business make money?
  • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
  • Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

3. choose the legal structure for your wedding planning business.

Next you need to choose a legal structure for your own wedding planning business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the owner of the wedding planning business and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small business owners. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a wedding planning business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a wedding planning business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a wedding planning business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your own business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

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4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Wedding Planning Business (If Needed)

In developing your wedding planning business plan , you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a wedding planning business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a wedding planning business that they believe has high potential for growth.

5. Secure a Location for Your Business

When looking for a location for your new business, it’s important to think about the needs of your customers. You’ll want a space that is big enough to accommodate your staff and clients with adequate parking and public transportation. You’ll also want a neighborhood that is safe and convenient for your clients.

6. Register Your Wedding Planning Business with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your wedding planning business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  • Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  • Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  • Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  • Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them

8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your wedding planning business to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.

9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

Licenses and permits that are typically required to start a wedding planning business include a business license and a zoning permit. In some cases, you may also need a contractor’s license or a special event permit.

Contact your local municipality to find out if there are any other licenses or permits you need to operate your business.

10. Get Business Insurance for Your Wedding Planning Business

The type of insurance you need to operate a wedding planning business will depend on the services provided. 

Some business insurance policies you should consider for your wedding planning business include:

  • General liability insurance : This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance : If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Commercial property insurance : This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance : This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance : This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs. 

11. Buy or Lease the Right Wedding Planning Business Equipment

You will need a computer with reliable internet access to create a website and research wedding planning ideas. You will also need a phone or email account to communicate with clients. Additionally, you will need access to a printer to print out contracts, flyers, and other wedding planning materials.

12. Develop Your Wedding Planning Business Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your wedding planning business.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  • Logo : Spend some time developing a good logo for your wedding planning business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  • Website : Likewise, a professional wedding planning business website provides potential customers with information about the services you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  • Social Media Accounts : establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your wedding planning business.

13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Wedding Planning Business

There are various software programs you need to be a successful wedding planner. You’ll need accounting software to trace your expenses and income and project management software to track your progress on individual weddings. You may also find it helpful to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to keep track of your clients and their contact information. Finally, you may want a good email marketing program to stay in touch with your clients and keep them up to date on your latest offerings.

14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your wedding planning business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.

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With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business FAQs

Is it hard to start a wedding planning business.

It is not hard to start a wedding planning business. In fact, there are many resources available to help you. The most important thing is to have a clear vision for your business and be organized and efficient in your planning.

How can I start a wedding planning business with no experience?

One way to start a wedding planning business with no experience is to do some research on the industry. Learn as much as you can about the services people typically look for when planning their weddings, and what kind of pricing structure to use. You can also join online groups for wedding professionals, network with other wedding planners, and read articles about the topic.

What type of wedding planning business is most profitable?

There are many types of wedding planning businesses, but the most profitable type is the full-service business. This type of business offers a wide range of wedding planning services, from wedding planning and coordination to catering and floral arrangements. They typically cost more than other types of wedding planning businesses, but they also generate the most revenue.

How much does it cost to start a wedding planning business?

The cost of starting a wedding planning business will vary depending on the size and scope of your business, as well as the location. Generally, you can expect to spend somewhere between $5,000 and $10,000 to get your business off the ground.

What are the ongoing expenses for a wedding planning business?

The ongoing expenses for a wedding planning business include things like marketing, salaries, and office supplies. Wedding planners often need to market their services to attract new clients, so they may need to invest in advertising and website design. Salaries can be another significant expense for wedding planners, especially if they have a team of employees. Wedding planners need to be aware of all the costs associated with their business to stay profitable.

How does a wedding planning business make money?

Successful wedding planners make a commission from wedding service providers for referring them to weddings. They also make money by charging the bride and groom a fee for their services. Additionally, they may earn money from selling wedding planning products.

Is owning a wedding planning business profitable?

Yes, owning a wedding planning business can be profitable. One reason is that the demand for wedding planners is high, as couples want to ensure that their weddings are perfect. Most wedding planners also charge a premium for their services, which results in a good profit. Finally, the wedding industry is growing, which means there is excellent growth potential in the wedding planning business.

Why do wedding planning businesses fail?

One of the main reasons wedding planning businesses fail is because they do not have a clear business plan. In order to be successful, a wedding planning business needs to have a detailed plan that outlines how it will operate, what services it will offer, and how it will attract customers. Without a solid business plan, a wedding planning business is likely to flounder.

Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates

Business Plan Template & Guide For Small Businesses


resources & community for wedding planners

Resources for wedding planners

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how to start a business in wedding planning

25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business

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Confidently start your wedding planning business with this comprehensive guide and worksheets. 25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business guidebook includes each step necessary to start your own wedding planning business. This 70+ page guidebook and business plan template are perfect for aspiring wedding planners who are ready to start their own business.

Start your wedding planning business on the path to success today!

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A 70-page comprehensive guidebook

Written by Debbie Orwat, Founder + Chief Inspiration Officer at Planner’s Lounge. Topics covered include naming your business tips, legal entities available, what to consider when choosing your advisory board, trademarks, resources for creating your first website, bookkeeping guidance when starting out, branding basics for new wedding planners, pricing and service offerings when starting out, what you need to know about social media, how to get paid by clients, and much more! Not only does the guide go through the details on how to start your business, it includes personal experiences plus links to more than 30 additional resources and recommendations. Click here to see the full table of contents

Basic business plan template specific for wedding and event planners

This isn’t your typical 50-page grueling business plan for a business that requires investors or loans. It’s a simple nine-page plan that covers the important topics for aspiring wedding business owners.

A one-page summary checklist

Use this to keep track of your to-do list as you go through the 25 steps in the guide.

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what they're saying

how to start a business in wedding planning

"it gets you started off on the path to success!"

“This guide takes all the mystery and headaches out of trying to figure out what needs to be done before you take your first client. It gets you started off on the path to success.”

"one of the best initial investments you'll make!"

“This guide truly guides you through all the essential components. (Plus some stand-out extras!) Complimenting the abundance of helpful information, this guide is not only beautiful, but it’s easy to digest. If you’re on the brink of leaping into your passion-turned-business, this will be one of the best initial investments you’ll make. Go on – make your first step! You can do it with this guide! This is a gift to the up-and-coming wedding and events industry entrepreneurs!”

"an all-in-one resource that planners can refer to often!"

“It’s an all-in-one resource that planners can refer to often. I wish I had this e-book when I started my business 5 years ago. I will be sure to refer to it often now to help me with my business! It’s concise and easy to read, yet extremely detailed. With this e-book, you will have many tools of the trade to get on your feet, stay organized, and succeed in the industry.”

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how to start a business in wedding planning

The 25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business product is fully electronic. After purchasing, you will receive immediate access to download all of the files to start using today.

Yes, the files are compatible with both PC’s and Mac computers. After your purchase, you will receive a link to download a zipped file which is a compressed file that contains all of the included files. Open the zipped file on a computer to access the files which can then be used on your computer, tablet, or phone.

If you are not completely satisfied, we offer a 7-day money-back guarantee with no questions asked. Click here to see the full table of contents.

There are a few sections of this guide that are only relevant for U.S. based businesses. For example, the links for where to file your business name, what U.S. banks require to open a business account, and U.S. trademarks won’t apply to you. However, the processes in this guide are the same steps you would use to start a business in most countries and would be helpful no matter where you live. There is a 7-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t fully satisfied.

One-on-one coaching is an ideal way to get personalized professional guidance to start your wedding and event planning business. You can find more information for one-on-one coaching here .

Please save the product files to a safe location immediately after your purchase. We recommend using Google Drive or Dropbox for free online storage. You can also download the zip file and email it to yourself, then keep that email for future use. We do not reissue files or links for the 25 Steps to Start Your Wedding Planning Business product.

Yes, this guide would work well for anyone wishing to start a business in the wedding industry. The two sections in the guide that won’t apply to you are related specifically to services and pricing for planners and to managing client tasks as a wedding planner.

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How to Start a Wedding Venue in 6 Easy Steps

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Whether you're a wedding professional, real estate investor, or simply an entrepreneur interested in the wedding industry, starting a wedding venue can be a big business opportunity. But it's also a big commitment. Learning how to start a wedding venue means you'll have to be undeterred by the idea of navigating zoning committees, renovation costs, and financing.

Because, even as changing trends sweep through the industry (ball jars one week, kraft paper another...), in reality, a great wedding venue doesn’t need a ton of bells and whistles to host fantastic weddings. So, if you're a fearless entrepreneur, starting a wedding venue just might be the perfect opportunity to open your first business, or expand an existing one.

These six steps should help you get on your way to starting the wedding venue of your (and many future couples’) dreams.

how to start a business in wedding planning

Start a wedding venue with these 6 steps

Once you’ve decided to start a wedding venue business, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the industry. It’s a good idea to make connections with wedding vendors, who can provide helpful advice and recommendations throughout the process.

After you’ve set up a reliable network, the real work begins: You’ll need to assess your current finances, scout and renovate properties, and of course, secure financing.

1. Assess your current finances

A thorough understanding of your current financial health, and your predicted expenses, should guide all major decisions when you start a wedding venue. A few questions to ask yourself are:

Are you looking to purchase a property or lease one?

Do you have enough cash on hand for a down payment or will you require financing?

Are you building a new structure or touching up an existing building?

These questions, among others, will help you determine what type of small business loan you’ll need to apply for, and in what amount. While you’re at it, you should find out your credit score and create an organized, complete financial portfolio, which will be essential to securing a loan. Wherever you are financially, it’s crucial to start the process with a realistic estimate of the investment you’re able to make. With a handle on how much capital you can contribute, and how much additional capital you’ll need, you’re ready to start exploring potential properties.

2. Location, location... Which location?

With your finances in order, you can look for a property to convert into the perfect wedding venue.

If you’re interested in rural properties, keep in mind that a barn could require $250,000 in renovations just to be brought up to code. On the other hand, with an outdoor property, you can start by hosting events under a tent—a quality 100-person tent with a liner should cost less than $5,000, for instance—while you complete work on pre-built structures.

For leasing or purchasing in urban areas, your property costs will largely depend on the location and the state of the building you rent. You'll also want to look into the size of the wedding market in your area to gauge local demand.

Look for inspiration, too

As funny as it might sound, Pinterest can really be a great ally here—and not just for wedding party members. Try browsing popular pins to get ideas for your project. Before you reach out to a wholesaler, auctioneer, broker, or your personal connections in real estate, answer these questions about your ideal venue:

Are you looking for a rural or urban location?

An indoor or outdoor structure?

A multi-use space or a dedicated wedding venue?

Research local laws

In a location-driven business like a wedding venue, local zoning laws and building regulations determine much of what you’re able to do—and how quickly. If you’re not a property owner, or plan to open your wedding venue in a different county than where you live, start your search with a specific place in mind. Then, call the county where your prospective property is located, and ask for zoning information and code requirements for event spaces before making a down payment.

Once you’ve secured your location, conduct an audit of the property. Make preliminary decisions about how much renovation you’ll need to take on to bring your building up to code.

Finally, decide if your venue will provide any additional services. If you are currently active in the wedding industry, this could mean tying in a service you or a partner already provide. Otherwise, focus on finding a property with great potential, and worry about additional services once you have a business plan in place.

3. Decide what to renovate—and what can wait

Your financial plan is set, you’ve locked down a venue—and now you’re ready for financing... right? Well, not quite. Before you apply for a small business loan, you'll need to get an on-location estimate for the repairs, renovations, or additions you plan to make on your venue. It's important to know the number so you can figure it into the cost of the capital you'll need to invest.

Consult a contractor or architect about the cost of your initial renovations. Depending on your finances and time constraints, you might not be able to complete all of your ideal renovations in one fell swoop. To get your wedding venue up to snuff ASAP, prioritize the following projects:

Water and utilities. Identify a water supply and connect utilities. If your space is outdoors, this could require working with the city or county water works, and renting or purchasing a generator.

Bathrooms. Restrooms are essential to making your event space usable and code-compliant. If restroom facilities are not already on the premises, get estimates for installing plumbing, or seek a temporary solution, like rented portable restrooms.

Catering space. An onsite food preparation area is ideal for a wedding venue. But if your venue doesn’t have an existing kitchen, start by creating a place where caterers can set up and serve. Make sure it’s accessible to the reception area. Remember that different types of food prep and service have different types of permitting required—so you'll want to look into what permits you're willing to pursue in tandem.

Shelter. For outdoor venues, having a weather contingency plan is non negotiable. Depending on the structures available, this might mean investing in a tent.

Venue size. Another detail to keep in mind while handling zoning and code compliance for your venue property is maximum occupation or capacity.

Parking. No one will show up if there’s nowhere to park. Whether it’s a field with parking cones, or an adjacent parking garage, make sure you know how guests will park.

Bonus: Is it Instagram-ready?

Photography should definitely be a consideration in choosing a location and specifying renovations. If you envision a wedding venue as a visual and experiential backdrop for a couple’s special memories (including their posts), you’ll get a good idea of what makes some spaces so picture perfect.

4. Finance your venue

Okay: Now you’re ready to secure financing to get your wedding venue off the ground.

Depending on your available capital, and the work you need to conduct on your venue right off the bat, you might want to take an incremental approach to financing. Focus first on obtaining a loan to purchase or lease the property, then bringing the space up to code. Then you can start thinking about further additions, like changing rooms or a dance floor, which might require a different type of loan.

Start your search with these four options, which suit a variety of financial profiles and needs for your soon-to-be wedding venue.

Personal loans for business

If starting a wedding venue is your very first business endeavor, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the financial stats—like existing annual revenue and profitability—that most lenders want to see before extending you a loan. In that case, you might want to consider a personal loan for business. Personal loans are easier for new businesses with limited business history to obtain, since lenders use your personal credit score and finances to determine your eligibility and loan amount.

Heads up: Even though you can use your personal loan for business purposes, this loan blurs the line between your personal and business finances. For so many reasons, we recommend keeping your personal and business finances separate (not the least of which is avoiding a tax-season headache).

But if a personal loan for business is your only option, you can take the loan and work on building business credit in the meantime. That way, you can position yourself for an even better business loan down the line.

Short-term loan

For entrepreneurs who have already been in business for a year and have established credit, there's a wider variety of financing options. For instance, if this wedding venue is an expansion of an existing wedding business or service that generates revenue, you might be a good candidate for a short-term loan. Before deciding which financing option is best for you, find out more about business loan requirements, so you have an idea of the information you need to have ready before taking financial action.

The time it takes to get your venue up and running is a big factor in choosing a loan. If you’re in a time crunch, a short-term loan provides the financing you need within a compatible timeline, since repayment terms generally range between three and 18 months.

Short-term products are good options if you need a relatively small amount of funding—the average short-term loan amount is $20,000. So, if you own a venue with existing structures and plumbing, you might consider a short-term loan to cover your remaining, urgent expenses.

Business line of credit

Many wedding professionals move into event spaces as a natural complement to an existing catering, photography, or wedding-planning business. For business owners with demonstrable revenue and credit history, a business line of credit can give you access to the capital you need to run a wedding venue. Pull down on this revolving pool of resources whenever you want or need—say, for hiring employees, major equipment rentals, or installing a kitchen—and only pay for the funds you use.

Business credit card

Paying for major renovations and labor will likely require a loan, but you can take care of most daily expenses with a business credit card . For new business owners looking to refurbish an existing building or space, a business credit card gives you spending flexibility and helps you build credit for your business.

5. Improve on the go

One great thing about a wedding venue is that you can continue to make improvements while you conduct business—as long as you take the right precautions to ensure renovations never interfere with events.

Particularly for rural or outdoor spaces, you can start showing and renting the space as soon as you’ve finished foundational improvements and met code requirements, and continue to make incremental improvements as you begin to generate revenue. If you’re waiting on major structural renovations, but your bathrooms, parking, and utilities are squared away, consider renting or purchasing a large tent so you can rent your space ASAP.

Indoor spaces are less amenable to opening with ongoing work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your remodeling period. While you wait on renovations or inspections to be completed, use your time to expand your professional network and invite vendors and prospective clients to preview the space. An informal event or open house is an unparalleled opportunity to get industry and clientele feedback.

6. Keep the couple in mind

In the wedding industry, the customer—namely, the couple-to-be—really is always right. Because the wedding planning process is so personal, keep your target audience in mind when scouting locations, choosing improvements to prioritize, marketing your event space, and planning what kind of amenities you’ll provide.

Here are three places to start when marketing your wedding venue:

Website: Consider your website an outpost for your wedding venue, where potential clients will visit before deciding to view your space in person.

Focus on creating an attractive, easy-to-navigate user experience that reflects the positive experience your venue offers.

Think about writing blog posts on your site, which will also increase visibility without costing you extra marketing dollars. (Tip: This can be done in advance and posted later.)

Search: Make your business easy to find—think carefully about a searchable name—and then spread it as much as you can on your personal social media and within your existing business network.

Do a Google search for wedding venues in your area, and notice how you can set your venue apart.

Search for terms you would like to appear for (i.e. “Memphis outdoor wedding” or “converted barn venue”) and see what kind of businesses or websites appear. Later, this might be a strategy for identifying good terms for paid search on AdWords or with Facebook ads.

Social: You’re working on opening a great venue—before opening your doors, get a head start on social media to gain exposure and engage with potential clients.

Create Facebook and Instagram accounts for your venue. Even if you don't plan on using social media, your business needs a location on Facebook in order to be tagged in future posts. Instagram or Facebook posts with your geo-tag is a great way for clients to find you.

Start posting—now! Even before your venue is open for business, posting early and often will cultivate an audience and kickstart engagement with your business.

Remember, too, that the wedding industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations, and a happy couple is your best marketing asset (followed by a network of reliable vendors). Ask happy customers to write positive reviews on WeddingWire, the Knot, or social media when you can.

Start your wedding venue and get the word out

Starting a successful wedding venue is a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. If you choose a property based on your experience and resources, and focus on preparing your venue to open, you can continue to make improvements while you bring in revenue. Because a venue space is adaptable by nature, you have more flexibility, which presents a great opportunity for investors ready to start a business. Throughout this process, one of the best ways to ensure that you keep expectations realistic is consulting other wedding professionals when possible.

Assess your finances. Get a clear understanding of your credit, as well as the size of investment you are in a position to make.

Find a location . If possible, tour local wedding venues, and try to identify an unsatisfied need. Visit different potential properties, and determine what kind of venue you want to open based on availability, price, and the degree of renovation you're equipped to oversee.

Identify improvements and estimate costs. With a firm grasp on your finances and the kind of wedding venue space you're looking for, you’re ready to start looking for properties and sizing up necessary functional renovations and value-adding additions, like a bridal lounge or catering kitchen. Before you seek financing for your wedding venue, consult an expert—a general contractor, venue owner, or experienced property flipper—to assess any necessary repairs, and estimate the cost and time for renovations.

Pick a financing plan. After getting remodeling estimates and determining how much financing your venue requires to get up and running, you’ll be able to choose the appropriate financial product and payment schedule.

Adapt as you go. Once you start working on the venue, you can make a roadmap for further improvements, and adjust your business plan to reflect work schedules and inspection appointments. Continue to make improvements—and potentially seek further financing—after opening your wedding venue, incorporating feedback from clients into planning new additions.

Focus on your clientele. When choosing between properties, renovations to prioritize, and venue decor, keep the couples in mind. Attend a wedding expo as a visitor, and talk to other visitors and vendors about what kind of wedding venue they are looking for.

Now that you have a clear idea of how to open a wedding venue, it’s time to start researching and reaching out to relevant connections—recently married couples, wedding vendors, or event space owners. You can even get a head start on marketing as you move through the process of checking your finances, viewing properties, and applying for funding.

This article originally appeared on JustBusiness, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

On a similar note...

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

A wedding planning business may help couples with any and every aspect of planning for the wedding. This may include helping pick clothing for all parties, creating thematic decorations and décor, picking a wedding cake, handling photography and video, and more.

You may also be interested in additional side hustle ideas .

Learn how to start your own Wedding Planning Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Wedding Planning Business Image

Start a wedding planning business by following these 10 steps:

  • Plan your Wedding Planning Business
  • Form your Wedding Planning Business into a Legal Entity
  • Register your Wedding Planning Business for Taxes
  • Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
  • Set up Accounting for your Wedding Planning Business
  • Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Wedding Planning Business
  • Get Wedding Planning Business Insurance
  • Define your Wedding Planning Business Brand
  • Create your Wedding Planning Business Website
  • Set up your Business Phone System

We have put together this simple guide to starting your wedding planning business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Wedding Planning Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

  • Your state's business records
  • Federal and state trademark records
  • Social media platforms
  • Web domain availability .

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Want some help naming your wedding planning business?

Business name generator, what are the costs involved in opening a wedding planning business.

One of the most exciting aspects of a wedding planning is that many planners start by working out of their own homes. This effectively sidesteps the need for an expensive monthly office lease, related utilities, and so on. Because of that, most of the costs involved in opening your business involve advertisement. It's important to have a highly professional-looking website, and either hire a professional or design it yourself. It's possible to set up good-looking website using templates you can buy and use for under $1,000. If you have to hire designers or others to help provide content, it may cost between $500 to $5,000 extra, though you can potentially do all (or most) of this yourself. Beyond that, it is worth establishing a social media presence on sites such as Facebook (this is free) and doing traditional advertising (newspapers, radio, and possibly television), which should cost between $1,000 to $5,000 depending on how you advertise and how much you advertise.

What are the ongoing expenses for a wedding planning business?

Another highly attractive feature of being a wedding planner is that there are almost no ongoing expenses. The various costs related to vendors for the wedding are paid for by the couple, and if you are operating out of your home or meeting clients at their own homes, the only real ongoing cost is your advertising. After the initial advertising push, you should probably spend less than $500 on advertisements each month, as your social media advertising and positive word-of-mouth, along with your website, will handle much of this for you.

Who is the target market?

In general, the best customers that wedding planners can have are those who are both flexible and realistic. Sometimes, customers may have their fixed ideas of a “perfect wedding” that do not mesh well with their budget or location. Therefore, customers who are realistic about how far their money can go and flexible enough to listen to alternative suggestions make for the best customers.

How does a wedding planning business make money?

On the most basic level, a wedding planning business makes money by charging money for the planning and execution of the wedding itself. However, there is great flexibility in how you charge customers. Some planners charge a flat fee, whereas others might charge a percentage based on the overall cost of the wedding. You may even simply charge clients by the hour. An additional way to make money is that some wedding planners also negotiate and receive a certain percentage of the amount that clients pay to different vendors (between ten and twenty percent). However, this effectively ends up making the different vendors cost more, so building a fee structure that doesn't seem like it has hidden costs may go over better with your customers.

How much you charge, and how you charge, is usually contingent on how much you have to do. For customers who merely want a consultation to help them with their own plans, charging between $40-$60 per hour is appropriate. For people who have their own wedding somewhat planned but want assistance finalizing the plan, conducting the rehearsal, and coordinating the day of the wedding, you could charge between $600 to $1,800 (variances typically reflect differences in regional economy and level of work involved for you). For a full-service package, in which you plan everything, coordinate with all vendors, develop the theme and décor, and help coordinate the day of the wedding, you may charge between $2,000-$10,000 (variances reflect differences in regional economy and whether the client is involved and helps out with anything).

How much profit can a wedding planning business make?

How much profit you make is mostly a matter of mathematics. For instance, many wedding planners only choose to do “full-service” packages, so you can essentially multiply the cost of that full-service package times the number of weddings you conduct per year. Thus, someone charging $5,000 per wedding and conducting 20 weddings a year could easily crack six figures, though you will likely be making less as you are starting out and establishing your name. Plus, more rural areas or areas with a slower economy will likely necessitate charging closer to the $2,000 for full-service packages.

How can you make your business more profitable?

To make your business more profitable, offer incentives or prizes to people who refer friends to you. Consider sponsoring monthly parties where you talk about how people can have a perfect wedding, and offer them a chance to win a nice door prize for attending. Aside from ideas like these, the best thing you can do is to do the best job possible on the weddings you plan and let positive word of mouth do the rest!

Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your wedding planning business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

  • Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • Build your company's credit history , which can be useful to raise money later on.

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

In most states, it is necessary to obtain a business license. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

For more information about local licenses and permits:

  • Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
  • Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .

Services Contract

Wedding planning businesses should require clients to sign a services agreement before starting a new project. RocketLawyers Make your Free Wedding Planner Agreement clarifies clients expectations and minimizes the risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions in advance.  Here is an example service agreement.

Recommended: Rocket Lawyer makes it easy to create a professional service agreement for your wedding planning business when you sign up for their premium membership. For $39.95 per month, members receive access to hundreds of legal agreements and on call attorneys to get complimentary legal advice.

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Wedding Planning Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Wedding Planning Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a wedding planning business

The key ways to market and promote have already been mentioned. You should use a combination of a professional-looking website, social media presence, and advertisements via newspapers, radio, and television. Flyers, business cards, and other print advertisements at locations like florists and hotels can also help to catch the eye of couples looking for a planner.

How to keep customers coming back

In addition to using the advertisement methods above, you should run contests via social media where people can win things like dresses and discounts from your affiliated vendors. To add to the impact of such contests, part of the free entry should be customers writing sweet poems or stories about how they met their significant others. People get excited about the prize but quickly come to associate your business as a place that understands and cares about why people fall in love. This helps spread word of your business and its contests via traditional word-of-mouth advertising.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
  • Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
  • Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com

Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

This business is good for those who thrive on interactions with new people. It is also good for those who grew up playing “matchmaker” and get a thrill out of helping bring two lives together. Much of the planning business is visual, so those with a flair for design and/or a good eye for stylish clothing and skill at creating a unique atmosphere in any room will do very well.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a wedding planning business?

The nature of a wedding planning business is that each day may involve different tasks. Some of those activities, however, include helping the couple set a realistic budget, taking the couple to different places in town that will suit their needs, and creating a detailed plan for pretty much every moment of the wedding. You will also have to call, email, and otherwise coordinate with various bands or DJs, photographers, caterers, florists, and any other vendors the couple may require. This requires a lot of contracts for the couple to sign, so much time will be devoted to walking them through the finer points of the paperwork. You may also help design and distribute wedding invitations and serve as a kind of liaison and supervisor of the various parties during the actual day of the wedding.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful wedding planning business?

Because of the nature of the work, a college degree in fields such as Public Relations or Communications can help you with the coordination of various different entities related to this job. Prior experience as an intern or other kind of worker that helped plan weddings can be invaluable. While there are certifications for things like wedding planning, they offer little to no practical, real-world experience.

What is the growth potential for a wedding planning business?

The growth potential for a wedding planning business is steady, though there can be variances according to region and time of year. Overall, though, about 6,200 weddings happen each day, and many of them are getting married for a second (or even third) time, so the market is steady. Weddings are more common in warmer months (the most popular month for weddings is June), and the costs of the wedding can vary, ranging from an average of just over $15,000 in Utah to just over $31,000 in Manhattan. Those differences can affect how much you get paid and when you are likelier to be busier.

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For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a wedding planning business?

If possible, volunteer or get permission to “shadow” successful wedding planners in other cities in order to figure out how to make your own business highly successful. Try to get to know various vendors, hotel managers, and others you will work with as soon as possible in order to make your future business successful. Make sure that your website has a dedicated place for you to feature customer testimonials about successful weddings you've helped with before.

How and when to build a team

Most wedding planners start out on their own. This makes it easier to create a cohesive vision for weddings and to make sure everybody sticks to a set game plan. However, there will always be more weddings than you can reasonably work, so when you have more interested clients than you have time to serve them, it may be time to hire a partner or a team. While this can make things a little harder to organize, it does give you the flexibility of hiring people that are naturally better at some of the aspects of the job you are weaker at (such as hiring someone who studied graphic design and making sure they are in charge of creating invitations and wedding programs).

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

  • American Academy of Wedding Professionals
  • Association for Wedding Professionals International

Real World Examples

  • California-based wedding planning business

Further Reading

  • Advice from successful wedding planner
  • Wedding Planning Business Plan
  • Information on the wedding planning industry

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

Learn How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

What does it take to become a successful wedding planner?

  • Event Planning
  • Retail Small Business
  • Restauranting
  • Real Estate
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Import/Export Business
  • Freelancing & Consulting
  • Food & Beverage
  • Construction
  • Operations & Success
  • Becoming an Owner
  • Frostburg State University

Wedding planning can be an exciting field. If you're interested in this type of career, you probably have a passion for romance and for the beauty of weddings. You might even have planned your own wedding. But a solid business plan is essential if you want to begin a wedding planning venture that will blossom into a successful business.

Consider Learning the Ropes As an On-Site Coordinator

Learning the business while you're employed by someone else can be a great way to get started in the wedding industry. Of course, you can jump in with both feet and start your own business, but a lot can be said for gaining experience working as an on-site event coordinator for a reception venue or catering company.

Event coordination is an entry-level position with many venues and caterers, and it allows you to gain experience in a stable work environment without immediately taking on the inherent financial risks of business ownership. You'll also have an opportunity to work with a variety of wedding vendors from bands to photographers to cake bakers as you're exposed to a wide variety of weddings and events. Weddings involve many protocols and traditions, and you'll perform most of the essential tasks that a wedding planner is responsible for, such as creating event timelines and managing the vendor team. 

On-site wedding coordination is a viable career path that might serve your interests well, but if and when you decide to launch your own wedding planning business, consider following these five steps.

Get Your Feet Wet With Some Education

Several professional associations offer educational programs and even accreditation in the wedding planning field. Although accreditation won't necessarily guarantee your success, at least by itself, these programs can help you learn more about the various aspects of running your own business.

Some of the more popular associations and programs include the Association of Bridal Consultants , the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants , June Wedding Inc., and Weddings Beautiful Worldwide.

As for hands-on experience, you might have numerous friends and family members who are ready and willing to allow you to plan their weddings if you're fortunate. You can include them in your portfolio.

Otherwise, you'll have to start out by assisting other, more established planners with their events. Many experienced wedding planners feature a "careers" or "internships" section on their websites. Otherwise, just email or call them and ask if they'd be willing to accept your assistance on an event...for free. That usually catches their attention and increases your chances for an affirmative response.

Develop a Company Image That Reflects Your Style

Wedding planning is all about style. Brides are trusting you, your eye, and your ideas to make their weddings beautiful. Your company image from your business name to your logo to the colors and fonts you'll use in your marketing must demonstrate great style and attention to detail. 

Maybe you or someone you know is acquainted with a great graphic designer who can help bring your image to life at a nominal cost. Otherwise, websites like 99designs offer logos, cards, and stationery at a relatively modest cost. Some even create websites.

At the very least, you'll need great-looking business cards and a smartly designed website to start out. Brochures and print ads can come later.

Keep Realistic Financial Goals

You know where you want to go. Now you have to get there. Make sure you have sufficient cash on hand to cover startup costs.

CNBC named wedding planning as one of 27 businesses you can launch into on $1,000 or less in 2018, but many estimates come in higher. You might be better off planning on investing $2,500 or more. At a minimum, you'll need a computer, software, and office supplies and this assumes you can network and market your new business at virtually no cost.

CNBC puts the median pay for wedding planners at $19.89 per hour as of 2018. That means at least half of all planners earn more than this. Not bad, even for an investment of $2,500 or more.

Create a Marketing Strategy That's Low on Cost, High on Returns

Savvy business owners know that the way to reach brides these days is online. Many wedding vendors get great results advertising on WeddingWire and on prestigious local sites.

If your business will be serving a particular niche—maybe ethnic weddings, "indie" brides, or eco-conscious brides—consider targeting your advertising dollars to sites and event planning blogs that cater to that clientele. Otherwise, having a great website that has been properly optimized for search engine rankings will also drive prospective brides to your company.

Finally, be wary of large-scale "bridal shows." These tend to be exorbitantly expensive and they usually have a very low rate of return for wedding planners because planners don't have a tangible service to display the way caterers or dress shops do.

Make Your Business Legitimate and Legal

Consulting with an attorney is always a smart idea when you're starting a business of any kind. He can provide invaluable advice when it comes to determining which business structure will work best for you, whether that's a sole proprietorship, an LLC, or a corporation. In any case, you'll want to register your business name with your state. 

An attorney can also review the documents you plan to use in your business, such as a client contract, or can help you create them. 

Realize That Your Success Depends Upon Building Relationship

Investing your time and energy into developing relationships with other wedding professionals in your area can be well worth the effort. You'll create referral sources for new business, and you'll get an understanding of which vendors are professional and reputable and which might not be worth referring to your own clients.

Consider joining local chapters of the National Association of Catering Executives and the International Special Events Society. They can put you in direct contact with venues, caterers, photographers, videographers, florists, officiants, and more. 

You can also contact wedding vendors directly to set up lunch meetings or get together for coffee. You'll find most professionals are eager to build their networks and learn more about other service providers in their area.

Is It All Worth It?

As a wedding planner, you'll be an artist, a juggler, a referee, and a visionary. It's extremely hard work, but you'll be rewarded for many years to come if you start your business the right way and operate it well.

And the rewards can be significant. Consider that about 2.4 million weddings took place in the U.S. in 2016. It’s a thriving, multibillion-dollar industry. Even at the worst of times and in a bad economy, love isn’t likely to go out of style or become unpopular. ​

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How do i write a wedding planner business plan , may 24, 2022.

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Can I just say, if you are here because you searched “how to write a wedding planner business plan”, you need to pat yourself on the back (and possibly pour yourself a celebratory cocktail). I know that when you set your sights on building a wedding planning business, writing a wedding planner business plan wasn’t exactly what you had in mind (be honest – it was the pretty pictures and the cake tastings).

However, if you want to run a “successful” wedding business (whatever success looks like to you – we will talk about that later!), writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do. 

As you commit to reading this blog post and writing a business plan for your wedding business, make it count. If you know me, you know I like to keep things as short and impactful as possible. This business plan should be your north star as you grow your wedding business so although you can always change your mind, it also isn’t something you should rush through.

After all, you're a wedding planner, right? You know how important it is to make a plan and work the plan. Your wedding planning business deserves the time and attention to make it count.

Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember: this isn’t Shark Tank . I want you to be intentional here, but if you are not out there looking for investors, the most important part about writing your wedding planner business plan is that it’s good for you.

If at any point you start promising yourself you’ll “start this later”, here are a few tips for moving forward:

  • You don’t need to fill out your business plan in sequential order . I know this might be hard for my fellow type A, enneagram 3’s but you don’t. Start with the parts that excite you (and are most important to you!), and slowly fill in the rest. 
  • Don’t check your grammar or try to use “perfect words”. Remember those free writing exercises in school? Let the ideas flow and don’t worry about making them look or sound perfect.
  • Start with bullet points. If you feel a little scattered as you start to free write, or if you are used to bullet journaling, use it. Remember, this doesn’t need to be perfect. These bullet points can always be fleshed out later but for now, just get those high-level ideas floating around in your brain on paper.
  • You don’t have to finish this all in one sitting . It IS okay to take a break. Just make sure you come back to it so you can give yourself the gift of done (as Jon Acuff would say). Sometimes committing to X amount of words per day is a good place to start.

Can I just say, if you are here because you searched “how to write a wedding planner business plan”, you need to pat yourself on the back (and possibly pour yourself a celebratory cocktail). I know that when you set your sights on building a wedding planning business, writing a wedding planner business plan wasn’t exactly what you had in mind (be honest - it was the pretty pictures and the cake tastings). However, if you want to run a “successful” wedding business (whatever success looks like to you – we will talk about that later!), writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do. 

As you write your wedding planner business plan, consider these 5 sections: Your Vision, Your Mission & Purpose, Your Ideal Clients, Your Pathway to Profit, and your Attraction & Sales Plan.

I’m going to break down these further below, but can you see already how it’s not too scary? I’m not going to ask you to write a 30-page analysis of your market and competitors here.

We are going to dive into how to write a wedding planner business plan, but your first assignment is downloading my free business plan outline and guide .

Nothing in this post is intended to be hard, and this outline was written to walk you through it step-by-step to keep you focused on what really matters as you write your business plan. You’re about to be busy with ideal clients you love, so let’s not waste any time. The strategies I share in the guide (and below!) are strategies that work .

Got your free outline ? The first step to writing a wedding planner business plan is taking some time to vision cast.

I know how hard it can be to take the time, but I usually recommend setting aside one FULL day in the next week to vision cast for your business. Although I said you don’t have to do these steps in order, I really do recommend this be the first one. After all, we can’t make a plan if we don’t know the destination right?

A successful wedding planner's business plan should look a little different to everyone. Maybe your dream is to build an empire with 100+ associate planners across the country. Or, maybe you have your sight set on moving to a little island like Barbados (make sure to say hi!), and you want a business plan that will let you plan dreamy luxury weddings but also give you time to enjoy a little bit of that beach laptop life. I tell the women in my mastermind all the time: bigger is not always better. You can make just as much money running a boutique wedding planning company, taking only a few weddings per year, as you can running a volume-based wedding business booking day-of coordination packages every weekend.

Once you know the destination, we can start building your wedding planner business plan to help you get there.

As you write your wedding planner business plan, include your mission, vision, and purpose.

Despite what you might think, these don’t need to sound pretty. They don’t need to be plastered on your website or client-facing at all. All you need to consider when writing your mission, vision, and purpose is that they are clear and inspiring to you. 

Not sure which is which and what each statement should include? Here’s a quick summary I like to use so that you don’t get stuck on this:

  • Your mission should focus on how you help solve your customer’s problems: what do you do? How do you do it? Who do you do it for? What value do you bring?
  • Your vision statement should be a reflection of what life looks like for your customers after you’ve done what you do.
  • Your purpose statement should combine both your mission and vision statements into one short and impactful statement that explains why you exist.

You’ll notice that not much of this is actually about YOU (that’s why vision casting was so important). Although these statements don’t need to be client-facing, they will likely be something you share as you grow your team one day. 

Can I just say, if you are here because you searched “how to write a wedding planner business plan”, you need to pat yourself on the back (and possibly pour yourself a celebratory cocktail). I know that when you set your sights on building a wedding planning business, writing a wedding planner business plan wasn’t exactly what you had in mind (be honest - it was the pretty pictures and the cake tastings). However, if you want to run a “successful” wedding business (whatever success looks like to you – we will talk about that later!), writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do. 

Next, one of the most important parts of your wedding planner business plan is outlining your ideal clients. Exactly who do you want to serve?

I’m going to try not to jump on my soapbox about this, but I have to be honest with you guys: the number one reason why businesses fail is that they don’t know who their customers are. This is arguably one of the most important sections when we talk about how to write your wedding business plan.

If your ideal client is someone in their mid-30s who is a busy professional with more money than time, a big budget for their wedding, and frequently drinks Starbucks and shops at JC Penney, I have news for you…

There’s a really good chance that you don’t know who you are talking to either.

You need to know so much more than where they like to vacation (or whatever else other wedding industry experts are saying nowadays). You need to think about what they value and what their biggest problems are.

Want a little (a lot) of help getting this right? Jump inside the Client Cocktail : your mini-course (read: fast & actionable) on ideal clients. We cover repelling the customers you don’t want, attracting the ones you do, selling them on YOU once they notice you, and then serving them really really well.

(it’s only $47, by the way, and it includes the world’s best rum punch recipe)

As you start to write your wedding planner business plan, let me remind you: you get to decide who you want to work with. You don’t need to serve everyone, and in fact, you shouldn’t. Although you might be tempted to pay attention to the demographics (and how much money they make), I want to make sure you also dive deep into their values and their problems. You don’t want to work with the kind of clients who don’t value what you value. 

Now, let’s talk about why you started your wedding planner business in the first place: to profit. Building your Pathway to Profit is one of the ways we will make your wedding planner business plan a reality.

Again I want to remind you that you are in the driver’s seat. Not only do you get to decide who you want to work with, but you also get to decide what products and services you want to offer in order to solve their problems.

As a business coach for wedding planners, I see this all the time. Don’t want to offer design? Don’t! Feeling burnt out with day-of coordination clients? You don’t need to offer anything you don’t want to in order to run a profitable and successful wedding planning business (and in fact – I break down the pros and cons of offering day-of coordination as just one example here ).

First, think about what kind of products and services your customer really wants that also line up with what you want to offer (and the life you want to live). This is why knowing your ideal clients is so important. What do they value most (and therefore, are willing to pay a higher price for)?

Pricing is more of an art than a science, but in your wedding planner business plan, you need to list out the services you really want to offer. Remember: focus on what you want. There is no room for your scarcity mindset in your business plan. If you want a little more info on setting your pricing, you can always check out this post here.

Can I just say, if you are here because you searched “how to write a wedding planner business plan”, you need to pat yourself on the back (and possibly pour yourself a celebratory cocktail). I know that when you set your sights on building a wedding planning business, writing a wedding planner business plan wasn’t exactly what you had in mind (be honest - it was the pretty pictures and the cake tastings). However, if you want to run a “successful” wedding business (whatever success looks like to you – we will talk about that later!), writing a business plan is one of the most important things you can do. 

Lastly – at least for now – we need to create your sales plan. This is what turns your wedding planner business plan into reality.

Ready for the more actionable stuff? Feeling excited by all we have put together so far? Good! Now we are ready to make everything you have done so far into a realistic, achievable plan. I like to break this down into two parts: your attraction plan (marketing!), and your sales plan.

Download free wedding planner emergency kit checklist

1) Your Attraction (Marketing) Plan

Everyone and their dog has something to say about marketing, but you’ll notice this really is only one small part of your wedding planner business plan. Marketing experts are the noisiest, and marketing IS important, but chances are you’ve given it a lot more attention than needed. Listen, marketing is not just about Pinterest and Instagram. At its core, marketing is just spreading your message to the people who need what you have to offer. You already know who those people are, right? If you are still unclear, please do yourself a favor and grab my client cocktail. 

As you build your marketing plan, you have a chance to do a little market research. As you consider where you want to focus your marketing efforts (for now, less is more), ask yourself:

  • Where do I like to show up?
  • Where are my ideal customers searching for my services?
  • How can I show them that I can solve their problems?
  • Where are my competitors showing up? What seems to be working for them? 

Marketing is ultimately one big experiment, so although you want to spend some time here, this is a place you might need to pivot as algorithms change and marketing trends evolve. One promise though: it’s a lot easier than it looks.

2) Your Sales Plan

You’ve got your ideal customers’ attention, now how do you get the sale? Both now and in the future? How do we make sure you are building a profitable and sustainable business? Wedding planning can be stressful! In fact, it’s often voted one of the most stressful jobs in the world. How do we avoid burnout? How do we make sure our business plan is viable?

First, start with a SWOT analysis. I know this can sound a little technical and boring, but really I just want you to take a look at yourself (and the wedding industry where you want to serve), and ask yourself:

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • In my area, where are the biggest opportunities?
  • What are the biggest threats/challenges you might face?

I always say: look at your competition but don’t base your business plan on them. There is a big difference between being aware of those around you and being consumed by them. Don’t fall into the comparison trap, if you have read this far, you are ready to build a business that lasts (and works for YOU).

Okay – that was a lot! Need help with how to write your business plan? If you haven’t grabbed your free wedding planner business plan outline and guide yet, make sure to grab your copy here.

Explore more wedding industry resources.

  • 5 Tips On Crafting a Business Plan To Book Out Your Biz With Your Ideal Clients And Get Paid
  • What A Business Plan Will REALLY Reveal About Your Business

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

  • The Secret to Designing a Business You Love: How To Vision Cast For Your Biz – And Why You Need To
  • How Much Does It Cost to Become a Wedding Planner?
  • Top 5 Blogging Tips For Wedding Pros in 2022
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  • 5 Online Wedding Planning Tools You Need to Use
  • How To Become A Wedding Planner With No Experience

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Christmas at my home in the day vs night 🤩 I’ve finally finished putting together our home for the holidays. What do you think of our 2023 look? Almost all of the decorations - from candles, ornaments, garlands, and trees - I already had in my collection. This year I just styled it differently and added a few pieces (like the flocked garland 😍). I’m so excited to host friends and family for the holidays in the space. Stay tuned 💁🏼‍♀️ . . . #christmastree #christmasdecor #christmasmood #christmasdecorating #christmasornaments #christmasiscoming #holidaydecor #christmasinspo #christmasdecor2023 #christmaslights #christmasdecoration #christmasideas #christmasinspiration #christmasstying #christmasmagic #christmashome #ba lsamhill

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✨ it’s time ✨ I still have lots more to share, but I couldn’t wait to show you our Christmas tree for 2023 (at least the main one in our living room!). I 10/10 recommend putting a mirror behind your tree to add some extra sparkle! I love how this tree turned out this year. ❓Which ornament is your favorite?! Stay tuned tomorrow to see how I transformed our living room into a snowy glam wonderland 💁🏼‍♀️ . . . #christmastree #christmasdecor #christmasmood #christmasdecorating #christmasornaments #christmasiscoming #holidaydecor #christmasinspo #christmasdecor2023 #balsamhill

Before you start decorating for Christmas, you need to see what you have. My years as an event designer and stylist taught me how to style my home for the holidays. Watch me set up all my Christmas decor and holiday decor and get some Christmas decor inspo! I’m so excited to share with you my theme this year and some of the new items I picked up 👀👀👀 . . #christmasdecor #christmasdecorations #christmasiscoming #christmasseason #christmasdecorating #christmasinspo #christmasdecorinspo #balsamhill #christmasdecor2023 #holidaydecor #christmassetup #christmasstyling

It’s all happening! I am SO ready to decorate for Christmas this year and I’ve been wanting to share with you how we decorate our home for the holidays… So, introducing decorating for Christmas 2023! This is the first if many videos I hope to share over the next few weeks. Let’s inbox my four Christmas trees and get things started. Yes, I have 4 Christmas trees. Decorating for the holidays is my THING and I can’t tell you how much happiness it brings me to have our house brimming with Christmas food, music, scents, and decorations! Which tree should I decorate first?! . . . #christmasdecor #christmasdecorations #christmasiscoming #christmasseason #christmasdecorating #christmastrees #balsamhill #christmasdecor2023 #holidaydecor #christmassetup

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Wedding Planning Business Plan Template

Wedding planning business plan.

You’ve come to the right place to create your Wedding Planning business plan.

We have helped over 1,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their Wedding Planning businesses.

Below is a template to help you create each section of your Wedding Planning business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Elegant Weddings is a wedding planning company founded by Carrie Goode in 2023. It is located in Milford, Massachusetts and the company primarily plans weddings for couples who want a luxurious wedding. Carrie has been a wedding planner since 1999 and uses her decades of experience to offer the most prestigious, elegant surroundings and wedding services available within Massachusetts. Carrie is highly-skilled at communicating extensively with wedding couples, assisting in making selections based on those communications, and recommending the best of every vendor for select weddings.

When Carrie opened her business, she recruited from her former colleague, an assistant wedding planner, Danielle Woods, to support the efforts of the company in meeting the needs of Gen Z couples and those who are looking for “less than traditional” ceremonies and settings. Danielle has ten years of experience and enjoys providing wedding plans that cover every item wedding couples want.

Product Offering

The following are the services that Elegant Weddings will provide:

  • Introduction luncheon with wedding planner and couple
  • Pre-wedding scheduling and calendar-setting
  • Pre-wedding vendor event with selections and tastings
  • Pre-wedding honeymoon planning
  • Wedding Day and Reception management, coverage and 24/7 attendance
  • Post-wedding consultation and luncheon with couple
  • Day-to-day management of the wedding and reception processes

Customer Focus

Elegant Weddings will target clients who are considering a wedding or are already planning a wedding. Elegant Weddings will also target couples who are engaged, but have not yet confirmed a season or date for marriage. Secondary targets will include couples who aren’t engaged, but who are considering possibly becoming engaged and marrying. Also, the parents and friends of engaged couples within the Massachusetts region will be targeted.

Management Team

Carrie Goode holds a master’s degree in business development and has been employed as a wedding consultant for over 20 years. Her experience as a wedding planner has earned her hundreds of clients and, as a result, hundreds of recommendations by former clients to engaged couples who are beginning to plan weddings.

Carrie Goode, president of Elegant Weddings, left her former place of employment in 2022 to begin building her idea for her own company, which is scheduled to open in 2023. She recruited a former associate, Danielle Woods, also a wedding planner, to join her in the new company. Danielle will support Carrie in her business while she grows her own clientele base with her new title of Senior Wedding Planner.

In addition to the above, Janice Parker has joined the company as the Office Manager, assisting with onboarding wedding coordinators and vendors who partner with the company. She will handle phone calls, social media, website updates and other administrative tasks.

Success Factors

Elegant Weddings will be able to achieve success by offering the following competitive advantages:

  • Friendly, knowledgeable, and highly-qualified team of Elegant Weddings.
  • A minimum of two private luncheons: initially with engaged couples to determine needs and wants and, second, to analyze at a post-wedding luncheon
  • Thorough and extensive attention offered to details determined by wedding couples.
  • Wedding software for exclusive use of the wedding party, parents and planner.
  • Guaranteed vendor experiences for clients (or refunds are issued).
  • Elegant Weddings offers the best pricing in the “luxury” category of weddings. Their pricing structure is the most cost-effective when compared to the competition.

Financial Highlights

Elegant Weddings is seeking $200,000 in debt financing to launch its company. The funding will be dedicated toward securing the office space and purchasing office equipment and supplies. Funding will also be dedicated toward three months of overhead costs to include payroll of the staff, rent, and marketing costs for the print ads and marketing costs. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Office space build-out: $20,000
  • Office equipment, supplies, and materials: $10,000
  • Three months of overhead expenses (payroll, rent, utilities): $150,000
  • Marketing costs: $10,000
  • Working capital: $10,000

The following graph outlines the financial projections for Elegant Weddings.

Elegant Weddings Pro Forma Projections

Company Overview

Who is “elegant weddings”.

Elegant Weddings is a newly established, full-service wedding planning business based in Milford, Massachusetts. Elegant Weddings will be the most prestigious, communicative and luxury-oriented wedding planner choice for engaged couples in Massachusetts. Elegant Weddings will provide a comprehensive menu of wedding planning services for any engaged couple to utilize. Their full-service approach includes a pre-wedding, private luncheon with the wedding planner and a post-wedding wrap-up luncheon with their wedding planner.

  Elegant Weddings will be able to plan and prepare for luxurious and elegant weddings to suit all couples. The team of professionals are highly qualified and experienced in luxury weddings and in the most capable and efficient vendors. Elegant Weddings removes all headaches and issues of the wedding and reception and ensures all issues are taken care of expeditiously while delivering the best client service. In addition, if a guaranteed and vetted vendor fails to perform to expectations, refunds are given to the wedding couple.

Elegant Weddings History

Elegant Weddings is owned by Carrie Goode, who is the president of the new company. She has been a wedding planner since 1999 and, while employed formerly in the industry, consulted with hundreds of engaged couples who thought so highly of her services that they recommended her to several hundred additional engaged couples. Carrie is known throughout the east coast as an exemplary wedding planner who brings true “luxury” to the “luxury wedding sector of the industry.” Carrie has recruited former associates, Danielle Woods, to the be Senior Wedding Planner and Janice Parker to be the Office Manager.

Elegant Weddings is founded on the concept that all weddings should include at least a touch of elegance to mark the symbolism of a wedding. This may mean the wedding planner includes a few touches of distinctive beauty to a wedding, or if the engaged couple chooses, the planner can include something whimsical or of special note to the engaged couple, as long as the items add to the “elegance” of the ceremony itself. This practice has built successfully over the years into the development of the concept for Elegant Weddings.

Since incorporation, Elegant Weddings has achieved the following milestones:

  • Registered Elegant Weddings, LLC to transact business in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Has a contract in place for a 10,000 square foot office at one of the midtown buildings
  • Reached out to numerous contacts to include Elegant Weddings in their portfolios.
  • Began recruiting a staff of three and two office personnel to work at Elegant Weddings

Elegant Weddings Services

The following will be the services Elegant Weddings will provide:

  • Day to day management of the wedding and reception processes

Industry Analysis

The wedding planning industry is expected to grow over the next five years to over $1.6 billion. This growth and increase in the market is based on the east coast region of the U.S., where wedding planners are traditionally employed for all weddings, versus the west coast, where more weddings are viewed as casual affairs to be conducted informally and without a typical reception. The growth has more heavily been in the “luxurious” or “elegant” wedding categories, as those who opt for weddings choose to have memorable and large wedding experiences overall.

Costs will likely be reduced as innovation continues to create more convenience and comfort for the engaged couples, including reservations for honeymoon adventures, software that tracks wedding gift receipts, 3D printing that assists in creating unique invitations, and other inventive touches.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market, customer segmentation.

Elegant Weddings will primarily target the following customer profiles:

  • Engaged couples with a wedding date
  • Engaged couples who do not yet have a season or date
  • Couples who are not engaged, but are considering marriage
  • Parents of engaged couples who are seeking professional counsel

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Elegant Weddings will face competition from other companies with similar business profiles. A description of each competitor company is below.

Cherished Moments

Cherished Moments is an established wedding planning company founded in 2010 by Bridgette Inqvist and Lars Solene. Bridgette and Lars were wedding consultants with a national chain bridal store for over ten years when they formed Cherished Moments as a wedding planning company focused on “partial wedding planning.” A partial wedding planner assists with certain elements of the wedding that are especially crucial to the clients, such as the venue selection, vendor coordination, or design and decor. These areas are visible to guests and make or break the wedding overall and, as such, many engaged couples want help in these areas only while they handle the remaining wedding details.

Cherished Moments provides partial wedding planning with event venue selections and design and decor elements of any wedding, including outdoor and themed weddings. Bridgette and Lars do not conduct pre-wedding consultations, preferring to communicate via online conversations and they have engaged couples complete thorough instruction lists for their services that list everything needed or wanted on paper.

Backyard Wedding Planners

Billie Seevers and Jonnie Taylor formed their company, Backyard Wedding Planners, after each had an informal backyard wedding in 2020 and 2021. Their experiences led to conversations and a partnership that focuses strictly on fun, informal backyard weddings. This may mean the wedding couple serves a barbecue meal from the grill or the meal is served by a fast food delivery truck. Events usually include outdoor games for the guests, group singing (with guitar) and informal dancing on the lawn.

The premise of Backyard Wedding Planners is that formal weddings are too difficult and expensive; weddings should be reminiscent of a backyard gathering that is fun. Couples choose from a variety of decor options and settings and vendors are offered for the elements of the wedding that couples choose. The company currently has two employees, Billie and Jonnie.

Destination Dream Weddings

Pat Roberson and Clint Dory formed Destination Dream Weddings while employed as travel agents in 2009. Together they created a format for wedding planning that includes everything destination weddings might require. This means health insurance for the bride and groom are included (in the event of food poisoning, etc), hotels are fully vetted by Destination Dream Weddings, fees are prepaid and costs are set and guaranteed. Destination Dream Weddings often include the wedding parents, grandparents, siblings and friends of the wedding couple, which leads to large-scale planning of multiple people traveling from various points to the destination. Planning is key for Destination Dream Weddings. Pat and Clint have hired one office manager to oversee communication; however, most of their planning services are conducted online and via email communication. They do not travel to the wedding destinations as a rule.

Competitive Advantage

Elegant Weddings will be able to offer the following advantages over their competition:

Marketing Plan

Brand & value proposition.

Elegant Weddings will offer the unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Highly-qualified team of skilled employees who offer personal, detailed planning with wedding couples from pre-wedding parties through to the end of the reception.
  • Private luncheons before and after the wedding with the wedding planner.
  • Guaranteed results from preferred vendors or money is refunded by Elegant Weddings.
  • Wedding software for exclusive use of the engaged couple, parents and planner.
  • Unbeatable pricing for their clients in the “luxury wedding” category.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Elegant Weddings is as follows:

Word of Mouth/Referrals

Elegant Weddings has built up an extensive list of contacts over the years by providing exceptional service and expertise to their previous clients. Their contacts and clients will follow them to their new company and help spread the word of Elegant Weddings.

Professional Associations and Networking

Networking will take place at industry events, bridal fairs, personal meetings, and professionally-associated organizations. Private events for parents and selected referrals will be hosted by Elegant Weddings.

Print Advertising

Direct mail pieces will be sent to attendees of bridal fairs and other industry events. Special offers will be given in the direct mail pieces when engaged couples meet with Elegant Wedding planners.

Website/SEO Marketing

Elegant Weddings will fully utilize their website. The website will be well organized, informative, and list all the services that Elegant Weddings provides. The website will also list their contact information and offer sample photos of elegant weddings and wedding couples. The website will engage in SEO marketing tactics so that anytime someone types in the Google or Bing search engine “wedding planning company” or “luxury weddings near me,” Elegant Weddings will be listed at the top of the search results.

The pricing of Elegant Weddings will be on the high end of the wedding planning industry; however, it will be on par with competitors so customers feel they receive excellent value when purchasing their services.

Operations Plan

The following will be the operations plan for Elegant Weddings. Operation Functions:

  • Carrie Goode will be the owner and President of the company. She will oversee all business development and manage client relations. Carrie has spent the past year recruiting the following staff:
  • Danielle Woods will become the Senior Wedding Planner and oversee staff, handle phone calls and social media.
  • Janice Parker will also join the staff as the Office Manager, overseeing all scheduling, calendar events and tracking engaged couples through the process of planning. She will onboard new employees, as well.


Elegant Weddings will have the following milestones completed in the next six months.

  • 5/1/202X – Finalize contract to lease office space
  • 5/15/202X – Finalize personnel and staff employment contracts for the Elegant Weddings
  • 6/1/202X – Finalize contracts for Elegant Weddings clients
  • 6/15/202X – Begin networking at industry events
  • 6/22/202X – Begin moving into Elegant Weddings office
  • 7/1/202X – Elegant Weddings opens its doors for business

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Elegant Weddings are the fees they will charge to clients for their services.

The cost drivers will be the overhead costs required in order to staff Elegant Weddings. The expenses will be the payroll cost, rent, utilities, office supplies, and marketing materials.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the startup business loan.

  • Number of clients per Month: 20
  • Average revenue per Month: $27,500.
  • Office Lease per Year: $100,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, wedding planning business plan faqs, what is a wedding planning business plan.

A wedding planning business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your wedding planning business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can easily complete your Wedding Planning business plan using our Wedding Planning Business Plan Template here .

What are the Main Types of Wedding Planning Businesses? 

There are a number of different kinds of wedding planning businesses , some examples include: Traditional, Extreme wedding planning, Destination, Luxury, and Budget-saving wedding planning.

How Do You Get Funding for Your Wedding Planning Business Plan?

Wedding Planning businesses are often funded through small business loans. Personal savings, credit card financing and angel investors are also popular forms of funding.

What are the Steps To Start a Wedding Planning Business?

Starting a wedding planning business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

  • Develop A Wedding Planning Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed wedding planning business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  
  • Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your wedding planning business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your wedding planning business is in compliance with local laws.
  • Register Your Wedding Planning Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your wedding planning business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 
  • Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your wedding planning business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 
  • Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 
  • Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 
  • Acquire Necessary Wedding Planning Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your wedding planning business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 
  • Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your wedding planning business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful wedding planning business:

  • How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

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Wedding Planning Business

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Written by: Carolyn Young

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by: David Lepeska

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

Published on February 7, 2022 Updated on November 28, 2023

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Investment range

$2,250 - $7,600

Revenue potential

$36,000 - $120,000 p.a.

Time to build

0 – 3 months

Profit potential

$32,000 - $72,000 p.a.

Industry trend

Oh, that big day that children dream about. The day when they get to be the star and marry the person of their dreams. It has to be perfect!  But planning that perfect day can be a monumental task. In comes the wedding planner to (hopefully) make it the best day of their lives. If you’re someone who loves that planning process, why not turn it into money in your pocket? You can start your own wedding planning business for just a small investment. 

First, however, you have to go through the planning process for your business. You’ll need knowledge about the process to do so, and it’s your lucky day! This step-by-step guide is chock full of tips and insights to put you on the path to becoming a successful wedding planner.

Step by Step Business values real-life experience above all. Through our  Entrepreneur Spotlight Series , we interview business leaders from diverse industries, providing readers with firsthand insights.

Uncover wedding planning tips in our interview with Epic Elopements’ founder, Amber Sironen-Massey.

Looking to register your business? A limited liability company (LLC) is the best legal structure for new businesses because it is fast and simple.

Form your business immediately using ZenBusiness LLC formation service or hire one of the Best LLC Services .

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons.

Starting a wedding planning business has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.

  • Bring Joy to Brides! – Make wedding dreams come true
  • Good Money – Get paid 10% to 20% of the total wedding cost
  • Flexibility – Run the business from home
  • Bridezillas – The wedding day has to be perfect!
  • Weekend Work – Long weekend wedding days

Wedding planning industry trends

Industry size and growth.

  • Industry size and past growth – The US wedding planning industry is valued at just under $900 million. The industry has decreased annually by 7% per year for the last five years but is still big enough to offer opportunities.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/wedding-planners-united-states/ ))  
  • Growth forecast – The global wedding services market, which includes planning, is predicted to grow around 5% yearly through 2030.(( https://www.alliedmarketresearch.com/wedding-services-market-A15864 )) 
  • Number of businesses – More than 20,000 wedding planners operate in the US.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/wedding-planners-united-states/ ))
  • Number of people employed – The industry employs more than 25,000 people.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/employment/wedding-planners-united-states/ ))

wedding planning industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in wedding planning include:

  • Wedding themes are being influenced by pop culture, including shows like Bridgerton. 
  • Weddings are becoming increasingly non-traditional, sometimes with “wear what you want” rules. 
  • Unsurprisingly, eco-friendly weddings are trending, with recyclable materials used for as many wedding accoutrements as possible. 

Challenges in the wedding planning industry include:

  • In the wake of the pandemic, people are opting for smaller guest lists, reducing fees for wedding planners.
  • Many online wedding planning sites have popped up, creating new competition for traditional wedding planners.

wedding planning industry Trends and Challenges

What kind of people work as wedding planners?

  • Gender – 90% of wedding planners in the US are female, while 10% are male.(( https://www.zippia.com/wedding-planner-jobs/demographics/#gender-statistics ))
  • Average level of education – 71% have a bachelor’s degree and 13% hold an associate degree.(( https://www.zippia.com/wedding-planner-jobs/demographics/#degree-level-types ))
  • Average age – The average age of a wedding planner is 37 years old.(( https://www.zippia.com/wedding-planner-jobs/demographics/#age-statistics ))

wedding planning industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a wedding planning business?

Startup costs for a wedding planning business range from $2,000 to $5,000. The largest costs are for a website and an initial marketing budget.

How much can you earn from a wedding planning business?

You can charge between 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding, for an average of 15%. The average wedding costs $20,000, so you should earn about $3,000 per wedding. Your expenses will be limited, so you should expect a profit margin of about 90%.

In your first year or two, you could work from home and plan 12 weddings, bringing in $36,000 in annual revenue. This would mean over $32,000 in clear profit, assuming that 90% margin. As you begin to get traction and referrals, that could increase to 40 weddings a year. At this stage, you might hire a staff, reducing your profit margin to 60%. With annual revenue of $120,000, you would make a cool $72,000.

Wedding Planning business earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a wedding planning business. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Having great planning skills
  • Facing competition, particularly from online wedding planning services

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Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a wedding planning business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research will give you the upper hand, even if you’re already positive that you have a perfect product or service. Conducting market research is important, because it can help you understand your customers better, who your competitors are, and your business landscape.

Why? Identify an opportunity

Research wedding planning businesses in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a wedding planner who handles deliveries to the event.

how to start a business in wedding planning

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as non-traditional weddings.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your services

Make a list of all the tasks that you will handle for the wedding. You might consider making different packages of services at different price points. 

How much should you charge for wedding planning?

Generally, wedding planners are paid 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding. Your expenses will be limited to marketing and fuel for travel. You should aim for a profit margin of about 90%. 

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price point. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Your target market will be primarily brides and parents of the bride, which makes it a very broad market. You should spread out your marketing to include sites like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.

Where? Choose your business premises

In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office. Find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .

When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:

  • Central location accessible via public transport
  • Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
  • Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
  • Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed

wedding planning business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Wedding Planning Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “wedding planner” or “wedding planning”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Dream Day Planners” over “Vintage Vows Wedding Planning”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Find a Domain

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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that set your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.

Step 4: Create a Wedding Planning Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Highlight the main goals and strategies of your wedding planning business, focusing on offering personalized, comprehensive wedding coordination services.
  • Business Overview: Describe your business’s focus on planning and organizing weddings, including venue selection, vendor coordination, and event design.
  • Product and Services: Detail the range of services offered, such as full wedding planning, day-of coordination, and consultation services for couples.
  • Market Analysis: Assess the demand for wedding planning services, identifying target markets like engaged couples, wedding venues, or event suppliers.
  • Competitive Analysis: Compare your services to other local wedding planners, focusing on your unique offerings like specialized themes, personalized service, or budget management.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline your strategy for attracting clients, using methods like bridal shows, social media marketing, or partnerships with wedding vendors.
  • Management Team: Highlight the experience and qualifications of your team, especially in event planning, customer service, and vendor relations.
  • Operations Plan: Describe the operational process of planning weddings, from initial consultations and concept development to execution on the wedding day.
  • Financial Plan: Provide an overview of financial aspects, including startup costs, pricing strategy, and income projections.
  • Appendix: Include supplementary documents such as portfolio photos, client testimonials, or vendor agreements to support your business plan.

what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to wedding planning businesses. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your wedding planning business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just needs to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.

types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

how to start a business in wedding planning

Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

how to start a business in wedding planning

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Crowdfunding: Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Bank and SBA loans are probably the best options, other than friends and family, for funding a wedding planning business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have an innovative concept.  

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits

Starting a wedding planning business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your wedding planning business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.

types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as HoneyBook , Aisle Planner , or bloom , to manage bookings, workflows, contracts, and payments.

  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero . 
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial. 

Develop your website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism.

You can create your own website using services like  WordPress ,  Wix , or  Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.

Congratulations on embarking on the exciting journey of starting a wedding planning business! To ensure your venture thrives, consider these effective marketing strategies beyond the obvious website and networking approaches.

  • Social Media Campaigns: Leverage platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to showcase your portfolio, share real wedding stories, and engage with potential clients through visually appealing content.
  • Collaborate with Local Vendors: Forge partnerships with local florists, photographers, and catering services, creating a mutually beneficial referral network that enhances your credibility and widens your reach.
  • Host Free Workshops or Webinars: Position yourself as an expert by organizing workshops or webinars on wedding planning tips, trends, and budgeting, establishing trust with potential clients and showcasing your expertise.
  • Offer Limited-Time Promotions: Create a sense of urgency and attract clients by offering limited-time promotions or discounts for early bookings or bundled services, encouraging couples to secure your services promptly.
  • Collect and Showcase Testimonials: Encourage satisfied clients to leave testimonials and reviews, then strategically showcase them on your marketing materials and social media to build trust and credibility with potential clients.
  • Targeted Local Advertising: Invest in targeted online and offline advertising in local publications, community boards, or social media groups to specifically reach your target audience in the geographical area you serve.
  • Participate in Bridal Shows: Set up a booth at bridal shows to directly engage with couples planning their weddings, offering them a glimpse of your services, and collecting leads for future follow-ups.
  • Create a Blog: Share valuable content on a blog related to wedding planning, offering advice, inspiration, and behind-the-scenes insights to establish yourself as an authority in the industry and improve your website’s SEO.
  • Utilize Influencer Marketing: Collaborate with local influencers or bloggers in the wedding industry to reach a wider audience and gain credibility through their endorsement of your services.
  • Implement a Referral Program: Encourage satisfied clients to refer your services by implementing a referral program, rewarding them for each successful referral, thereby creating a word-of-mouth marketing engine for your business.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your wedding planning business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your wedding planning business could be: 

  • Non-traditional weddings to fit your unique style
  • Eco-friendly weddings to keep our earth healthy
  • Short timeline? The perfect wedding on time, guaranteed

unique selling proposition

You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a wedding planning business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in wedding planning for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in wedding planning. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a wedding planning business include:

  • Wedding Assistants – assist with planning, wedding setup
  • Delivery Drivers – deliver items to weddings
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media, other marketing

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Wedding Planning Business – Start Making Money!

Making a client’s wedding day perfect can be a very rewarding experience. You take care of the details, and let the bride be the star. A wedding planning business can be a very lucrative venture, and as your business grows you can make some good money. You could even have a whole team working for you while you handle the high-level details and supervise the events from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding day and the next day brunch.

Now you’re prepared, so you can put your plans into action and get ready to launch your wedding planning adventure!

  • Wedding Planning Business FAQs

Yes, a wedding planning business can be profitable. You’ll need to market yourself before you start to make money, but once you get some traction, you’ll have very few expenses so most of the money you make will stay in your pocket.

Generally, wedding planners charge between 10% to 20% of the total cost of the wedding. If you charge an average of 15%, for a $20,000 wedding, you’ll make $3,000.

To stay organized and manage multiple weddings simultaneously, create a detailed timeline and checklist for each event, and use project management tools and software to track progress and deadlines. Communicate clearly with clients, vendors, and staff, and delegate tasks effectively to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

The key skills and qualities needed to become a successful wedding planner include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, attention to detail, creativity, problem-solving skills, time management, and the ability to work under pressure.

To differentiate your wedding planning business from competitors in the market, focus on developing a unique brand identity and marketing strategy that highlights your strengths and values. Offer personalized and customized services that cater to the specific needs and preferences of each client, and provide exceptional customer service and support throughout the planning process. 

Yes, you can start a wedding planning business on the side by identifying your target market, developing a service offering and pricing strategy, and creating a strong online presence. Build a portfolio of work samples and showcase your expertise through online marketing and networking. Ensure that you can balance your time and resources effectively between your full-time job and your side business, and consider hiring assistants or coordinators to help with the workload.

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  • Decide if the Business Is Right for You
  • Hone Your Idea
  • Brainstorm a Wedding Planning Business Name
  • Create a Wedding Planning Business Plan
  • Register Your Business
  • Register for Taxes
  • Fund your Business
  • Apply for Licenses/Permits
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get Business Insurance
  • Prepare to Launch
  • Build Your Team
  • Run a Wedding Planning Business - Start Making Money!

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Avoid Surprises When Starting a Wedding Venue Business With 11 Simple Steps

Wedding venue business

Wedding Venue Essentials

Blog: Collection: Wedding Venue Essentials

If you’re thinking about starting a wedding venue business, the most important first step is taking off those rose-colored glasses. Running a wedding venue company is more than a labor of love, and far more challenging than you may think. It takes grit, honesty, and resources — not unlike the institution of marriage itself.  

Read on to learn the 11 essential first steps to take before opening a wedding venue, and get answers to top questions about the process.

Discover how to start a wedding venue business in a few simple steps:

Step 1: ask yourself the hard questions.

Don’t rush into starting a wedding venue business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 20% of small businesses fail within the first year , and only about 50% of them stay in business past five years.

You need to be prepared for the bumps and roadblocks that come with running a small business and realistic about your capacity to manage these challenges. Here’s what to ask yourself before you start hashing out your wedding venue business plan :

  • Can you afford the financial risk? Because of the data shared above, it’s essential you’re prepared for the possibility that the business goes under and you lose your investment.
  • Are you prepared for a busy schedule that includes weekend work? Typically, weddings take place in the evenings and on the weekends. Hopefully, you will have backup to help you manage, but be prepared to be busy when most people are kicking back. 
  • Is the timing right? We all go through challenging life phases, and opening a wedding venue business (or any business) is a definite stressor. Try to minimize the other stressors in your life as much as possible before diving into the small-business life.
  • Can you open the business and keep your day job? This approach will definitely require a business partner or partners who can share the responsibilities of running the venue. Have enough backup so you can manage the new venture without dropping the ball at your day job. It will provide a sense of security to start because you are launching your business with a safety net.
  • After asking the above questions, are you still excited about the prospect of opening a wedding venue business? It takes a lot of passion and energy to run a venue; if imagining your business in full swing makes you happy, then you are probably ready.

Wedding venue assessment CTA

Step 2: Research the event venue market in your area

What is the demand for wedding venues in your region? Every business needs a market to be successful. You have to do your research and some legwork to make sure you are opening a wedding venue business that will draw customers. Here are the essentials to research and explore:

  • Wedding venues in your geographic area. Look up wedding venues in your region. Are there scores of popular wedding venues already? You will have to have a specific offering that makes your venue special. Is your venue a lakefront property in a lake region? How many other lakefront wedding sites are there? Are those venues booked solid, so there’s overflow demand?  
  • Online reviews of competitor venues. There is a treasure trove of information about competitive venues in the reviews on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google. Read them carefully and go back in time. Look for consistent complaints and chronic problems, such as lackluster menus or inexperienced staff. Can you fill in the gaps where those venues fall short?
  • Talk to people you know about competitor venues and visit them yourself. Message friends and family to see if anyone has firsthand experience of competitive venues. Also, many sites include restaurants and cafes for the public. Visit several times in the evenings and on weekends. You will get an idea of the overall operation, and you may even see the arrival of guests for an event.
  • What is the population density of your region? What are the age demographics? Of course, people of all ages get married and throw parties. But most people across the U.S. get married in their late 20s or early 30s. Additionally, you’ll need a density of population that supports your venue (and any other popular venues in the area). Unless your venue has a spectacular setting or special features that will attract people from across the state and country, avoid areas with a sparse or aging population.

Let us help you attract more wedding business!

Step 3: Write your wedding venue business plan

Open business, book clients, make money. Repeat.

If only writing a business plan were that easy. No matter how straightforward your business is, you need to write a brief but detailed plan. This document will serve as a guideline for you and your team, as well as marketing for investors and partnerships you may be seeking.

The good news: You’re well on your way if you’ve done the market research above. The U.S. Small Business Administration has a helpful guide to writing business plans . Here’s how it would look for a wedding venue business: 

  • Summary: Think of this as the “About” section of a business website. Describe your business niche and what makes your business unique. Include your passion for running a wedding venue.
  • Market: Share the market value you determined in your research.
  • Your business organization: Are you the sole owner of the business? Do you have one partner or several? Are you a limited liability company (LLC)? How many permanent and temporary employees will you have? Will you have an onsite, fully staffed catering offering? Or will you provide a fully equipped kitchen that catering vendors can use? 
  • Your timeline: When will you build/renovate the venue? When do you plan to do a soft open? When will you be fully open for business?
  • Marketing plan: How do you plan to get the word out about your business? Get specific. How? Check out Step 8 below for a detailed look at building your marketing strategy.
  • Business projections: What are your financial and growth goals? Do you plan to open other venue sites?  

Step 4: Figure out your finances

Opening a wedding venue is an investment, but the size of that investment depends on many factors.

Are you building a facility from the ground up or renovating an existing building? Is the venue located in a rural area with low taxes and low real estate prices or in a city with high taxes and high real estate prices? Does the venue feature extensive grounds that require tending? Are you buying an existing wedding venue? Or are you leasing the property?

Clarify how much (if any) of your own money you are willing to use for a down payment. Will you have business partners contributing to the funding? What type of financing are you looking to use? Possibilities include:

  • Traditional bank business loan.
  • U.S. Small Business Administration loan.
  • Business line of credit.
  • Equipment financing.
  • Short-term business loan.

Clearly, you want to avoid endangering personal assets or emptying your retirement savings account. Talk with trusted family, friends, and financial advisers about realistic personal investments and safe business loans.

Step 5: Choose your wedding venue location

Perhaps you have a barn on a rural property you already own and want to convert it into a wedding venue — a highly popular setting for weddings! Or you may be interested in opening a venue but haven’t selected the location yet. Perhaps you have your eye on an existing venue that’s for sale.

Before you start building your business, you have to find a location. Start exploring properties or land based on your business capital. If your funding is low, consider leasing a property before buying — you can invest the profits in the permanent facility. If you have abundant funding, you may be able to build a brand-new facility.

Now is when you’ll decide how much to provide onsite. Perhaps you want to have a caterer use your kitchen facility, rather than manage event catering yourself. You could scale back even further and offer space for food trucks near a large wood pavilion with a gorgeous view. Will couples need to rent their tables and chairs from a supplier, or will you provide them? If you offer tables onsite, know you’ll need storage space for them in case the couple prefers a different style of table and decides to rent.

Step 6: Create and register a catchy wedding venue business name

Create a unique, appealing, and memorable name for your new business. When coming up with wedding venue name ideas , the options should evoke the style of weddings and clients you hope to attract to your venue. A stately and sophisticated venue calls for a refined name that makes people think of elegant galas and white-glove service (think Rushing River Estates, Sterling Lakeside Manor, Sleepy Hollow Banquets). A rustic and laid-back venue should call to mind joyful times minus any stuffed shirts (e.g. Bear Den Inn, Ivy Lane Lodge, Aspen Farms).

Step 7: Refine what makes your wedding venue special

Why will couples clamor to book your venue? What will have them set the date and reach out to you immediately? This is your unique value proposition. Some possibilities include:

  • A one-of-a-kind view.
  • A pastoral landscape and grounds.
  • Outstanding menu options.
  • Sophisticated décor and stunning details.
  • A historic property.
  • Rustic charm.

Other selling points are pretty surroundings at an affordable price, proximity to an airport (for out-of-town visitors), and all-inclusive capacity, such as tables, chairs, table settings, décor, tents, catering, and flowers, so couples won’t have to worry about hiring multiple vendors. Whatever the unique value of your venue, make sure you continue to refine and improve upon it after your business opens.

Step 8: Launch your venue marketing strategy

Your wedding venue marketing strategy is how you get the word out about your venue’s exceptional setting, décor, and food. It makes you easy to find and builds word of mouth. Here’s what your venue marketing strategy should include:

  • Hire a photographer. You need beautiful pictures of the space to share across multiple channels. Before opening, set up your venue for a wedding and get glamour shots from every vantage point.
  • Put your property on wedding venue sourcing sites. Couples visit sourcing sites such as Wedding Spot and the Cvent Supplier Network . You’ll add details such as your location, the venue style, and guest capacity. You’ll also include your unique service offerings, such as catering, included amenities, wedding ceremony space, parking capacity, and a link to your website.
  • Design your website. With services such as Wix and Squarespace, it’s easier than ever for any business to build a wedding venue website . Use those beautiful photographs and include all the details that make your venue special. Write appealing copy that includes keywords that people will likely search to find wedding venues in your area. In other words, if you are opening a rustic barn wedding venue, make sure your website includes those exact words. If you find the process challenging, reach out for help from tech-savvy friends and family, or hire a freelance website designer to help you build the site. As you get reviews from happy couples and permission to share their wedding pictures, you’ll be able to add galleries and quotes.
  • Create your social media accounts and handles. Usually, your handle will be the name of your venue, but watch for the formation of unwanted words when you squish the name together! For wedding venues, the most important sites are Instagram and Facebook. Establish social accounts before opening so you can build interest and attract bookings. 
  • Advertise in local magazines. Though most information is online today, couples will flip through magazines that advertise local businesses while they wait at the doctor’s office or while trying on wedding dresses. Make sure your beautiful venue is among the listings in wedding-specific publications, as well as planner- and luxury-focused magazines such as Cvent Meetings .
  • Watch for online reviews after you open. Keep an eye on review sites such as Yelp and Google Reviews. Respond to both positive and negative reviews promptly. With positive reviews, try an authentic “Thank you! We’re so glad we helped make your wedding a special experience!” For negative reviews, apologize sincerely and ask that they reach out to you offline to understand their complaint better. Listen with an open mind; often, being heard is what people want the most.

For more ideas on attracting planners and couples, check out The Venue’s Guide to Booking Wedding Event Business  and our blog post detailing What Couples Want From a Wedding Venue .

CTA for wedding venue marketing

Step 9: Zoning laws, licenses, and insurance

This isn’t exactly what pops to mind when people dream of opening a business, but getting insurance coverage and all the necessary permits and licenses helps make your dream a reality.

Every local municipality and state has different requirements regarding business operations licenses, and they vary based on your business type. Head to your town’s municipal offices and share your plans for your business — they should be able to give you a clear rundown of the codes and permit requirements. These may include:

  • Building permits.
  • Business license.
  • Certificate of occupancy.
  • Liquor license.
  • Food handler’s permits.

For those opening a barn wedding venue, local zoning laws can be a bit dicey. Many barn sites are typically zoned for agriculture, rather than business, and often require individual variances. With your permits and licenses in order, you won’t get unwelcome attention from officials or risk a shutdown on the day of a scheduled wedding.

As for insurance, don’t begin construction, train your staff, or open your doors for business without coverage. You may need:

  • Commercial property insurance.
  • General liability insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance.

You must also make sure couples and vendors have their own event liability insurance in case they cause property damage. Always request proof of this coverage.

Step 10: Select an event management system

You and your team need to stay organized and on the same page to run a wedding venue successfully. Event management software is an invaluable tool for venue teams. You can detail the size and scope of incoming events, store contact information for your top vendor partners, manage guest seating, and track special requests.

The best event planning tools allow you to collaborate with wedding planners on table layouts. You’ll be able to share optimal banquet floor plans , seating charts, and special dietary requests, as well as monitor any changes the planners make. If they add a configuration that doesn’t work for the space, you can let them know immediately.

The system will then be the guide for the wedding reception, ensuring a streamlined guest arrival, seating, and meal service.

Step 11: Hire and train a friendly and detail-focused staff

You can’t run a wedding venue by yourself. You’re going to need to hire an outstanding staff to help you make these special days extra special. The size of your team will vary, depending on the scope of your venue. A barn venue that depends on food trucks for catering, for example, will not have nearly the same staffing requirements as an all-inclusive wedding venue. Here are job roles you may need to fill:

  • Venue coordinator. This is the person who coordinates with wedding planners, couples, and vendors in the runup to the big day. In the early days of your business, this will likely be you. If you expand your venue business to include more properties, however, others will have to take on this role.
  • Maitre d’ or event captain. This is the front-of-house person on the wedding day. They will interact with the couple and their guests and coordinate with the back of the house to keep the event running smoothly and the newlyweds happy.
  • Kitchen staff. This includes the head chef, who designs the menu; the line chefs, or cooks who help the head chef prepare the food; and food-prep cooks who clean, chop, and prepare the food for cooking.
  • Servers. These key employees serve guests their food, either at the buffet table or during table service. They also deliver drinks, cocktails, coffee, tea, and water to guests.
  • Bartender. This staff member makes drinks for guests at the bar and for the servers to deliver.
  • Coat check attendant. If you offer this service, you’ll need someone who takes coats and gives coat-check tickets to guests at the beginning of the event, and then returns coats at the end of the night.

These workers may or may not be employees of your business, depending on how busy you are. If you plan to use temporary workers, research reputable agencies in your area, because these employees play an essential role in the success of a wedding and your business.

The next step on the list? Booking dates for your venue and hosting your first wedding! When you follow the above steps, you should be ready for the big day and avoid unwelcome surprises.

Now you’re ready to begin your wedding venue business!

Learn how Wedding Spot can help you attract couples who are planning their own weddings. Then, check out Social Tables’ Event Services Solution to streamline your wedding venue business. Or get up to speed on exactly what event planners look for in a venue — so you can meet and exceed their expectations.

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How To Start Your Wedding Planner Business In 2023?

Guide To Start Wedding Planner Business

A Wedding is an important event in which people willingly spend a huge sum of money to ensure everything is in order. Wedding planning involves venue selection, flower decoration, DJ or band hiring, photographers booking, menu selection, bridal dress selection, and a lot more things that are difficult to manage. Here, wedding planners come to the rescue.

In the last decade, the steep growth in wedding planners’ market size is experienced, that’s expected to become $1.2 billion by 2023 in the USA. Post-corona, the wedding market size, and revenue get a facelift but the Russia-Ukraine war influence is projected to revise by 2028.

Millennials and high-class people are increasingly employing wedding planners to make their special day- very special. Have you decided to start your wedding planning business? Do you want to work with big clients, get featured in magazines, and be recognized as one of the top wedding planners globally? If so, you need to learn how to start your wedding business.

Here we have come up with a guide that helps you build a profitable and scalable wedding planning business. Take a deep dive to stay on the right track and grow your wedding planner business gradually.

How can you set up a wedding planning business in 10 steps?

Step Guide To Start Wedding Planner

The 10-step guide helps wedding business planners to get started effortlessly and market their business to grow boundlessly. The steps are-

Perform market research to know your ideal client

Establishing the goals for the wedding planning business is all-important as they change over time, which requires plan changes as well. For instance, you are planning for a celebrity wedding, a millennial wedding, a destination wedding, or small-class people wedding business. After selecting one of the options, industry research is vital.

Under the market research umbrella, you should be ready with a list of questions- how can I get the first customers, know the minimum expectations of the target customers, and how to get started? The research help in building a solid foundation for the business. Thereafter select the right business models based on your business needs.

Brush up wedding planning skills

The budding entrepreneurs willing to start a wedding planning business with no prior experience need formal training to acquire the necessary skills to become wedding planners. You can join organizations that provide wedding planner certifications or join online courses for wedding planners hosted by wedding professionals. Also, assisting local wedding planners in their wedding planning events is a pro tip to gain experience.

You need to learn about customer service, marketing, finance management, and other event planning topics. Join networking events organized for event planners and wedding professionals and learn them face-to-face.

Select a wedding planning business niche

Wedding Planning Business Niche

The business to plan a wedding comprises different wedding planning services that you should select before you get into the details of business planning and its setup. Majorly, wedding planners opt to provide the wedding planning service in three different packages that are-

Full-Service Wedding Planning

This type of business offers comprehensive planning and coordination services from start to finish. They handle every aspect of the wedding planning process, from vendor selection and negotiation to day-of coordination. Different types of this include traditional wedding planners, extreme wedding planners, and budget-friendly wedding planners.

Wedding Day Coordinator

As the name suggests, the coordinator is responsible for overseeing all the details and getting all the necessary assistance for all the events of your wedding day to ensure that everything runs smoothly. They usually come on board a few weeks before the wedding day to ensure all plans are in place and executed perfectly on the big day.

Partial Wedding Planning

This type of wedding business provides support for specific aspects of the wedding planning process, such as vendor selection, budget management, or timeline creation. This option is ideal for couples who have already completed a significant amount of planning but still need help with certain tasks.

Destination Wedding Planning

This wedding business specializes in planning weddings at exotic locations, both domestically and internationally. They have the expertise and knowledge to help you navigate the unique challenges of planning a wedding away from home.

Luxury Wedding Planning

The business providing luxury wedding planning is an expert in creating extravagant and elegant weddings. They have access to the best vendors, suppliers, and venues, and provide their clients with personalized, top-of-the-line service.

Niche Wedding Planning

This type of wedding business specializes in a specific type of wedding, such as beach weddings, eco-friendly weddings, or LGBTQ+ weddings. They have in-depth knowledge of the challenges and opportunities associated with their niche and can provide tailored planning and coordination services.

Create a business plan

When you have got the necessary training for the business of planning a wedding and decided on the wedding planning services to offer, it’s time to create a solid business plan that helps in building the business from scratch. Basically, a business plan includes- business information, wedding planning services, management strategy, financial plans, and marketing strategies that create a roadmap that helps in making the business profitable.

The business illustrates the goal of starting a wedding planning business, identifies target customers, creates financial plans to arrange funds, revenue models to make money, and much more. The business plan helps in comprehending business structure, which further determines if you need a business license, need to open a business bank account and pick up a business name.

Also Read: How to choose the best Business Plan for your startup?

Register the wedding planner business

The wedding planning business registration is critical to becoming a legal entity to run the business glitch-free. The wedding planner business can opt to register as a sole proprietorship, general/limited company, or limited liability company. Generally, small wedding planner businesses prefer to be registered as LLCs. If you are unsure about this, hire an attorney for the required consultation.

When the business structure is chosen, the business name is selected that’s available as the domain in the region gets registered with local authorities. Not to forget, obtain EIN (Employee identification number) even if your business is a one-person business because gradually as your wedding planner business grows, you need to scale the staff. EIN helps in filing taxes, opening a bank account, getting business insurance, and other business necessities.

Create a business account

Keeping the business account and personal account transactions is healthy for your wedding planner’s business growth. The EIN helps in getting a business credit card or business bank account. When wedding planners need to set up their business, they work either from a home-based office or working out of the house to buy décor or marketing products.

When wedding planners are outside, having a business credit card helps them complete the purchases easily. In the same vein, having a business credit card helps in filing for tax seamlessly and increase business credit score.

Raise required funds

Regardless of the size of the wedding planning startup you are launching and the place from where you are operating the business- a home-based office or business space, you definitely have some expenses to start a wedding planner business. You need funds to start a new venture when you don’t have enough savings to cover the initial cost.

You can opt for getting a business loan, raise funds by showcasing the business plan to investors, and get interest-free APR business credit cards. The latter option is preferable as it allows wedding planners to set up their business cost-effectively without any burden of interest.

Build a wedding planning business that gets noticed and market it

The wedding business requires showing visual proof to the prospects that make customers stop in their tracks. Create and publish a logo on your wedding planner website that’s unique and memorable. Place the design elements aptly that make the brand visually appealing.

Take care of the brand’s voice and tone with contextual content even on social media. It is to be made sure that the wedding planner business looks professional and communicates wedding planner services to potential prospects well.

A better idea here is to get an app developed for your wedding planner business that will ensure your customers that every aspect will be looked into in the most appropriate manner.

It will include features wherein customers can check the available options for all their requirements and be timely notified of the preparations made for every wedding function. Thus the app development for wedding planning will strengthen customers’ trust in the brand.

Brand building is accompanied by business marketing to continuously draw in maximum customers and convert them at scale. To summarize the branding and marketing aspect here’s a tried and tested approach to promote and market wedding planner business services-

Get a website built for a wedding planning startup

Enable online presence by opting for quality web development and adding a business name to My Google business page that improves organic traffic. It is suggested to first build a website and get a response on how it is working and what changes are required. Then based on the budget you have in hand you can plan to top it up with a mobile app.

Harness social power for wedding planning startup

Create social media pages on various social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest where people are searching for wedding planning business services. The insights from social platforms help in improving marketing strategies.

Power wedding planning startup with mobile app

As people spend more time on their mobile phones, event management app development is on the rise. It makes perfect sense to get build a mobile app that enables business owners to view potential venues, manage appointments with calendars, connect with clients, and plan budgets at their fingertips.

Publish reviews of weddings planned

Publish the reviews of the existing customers on the website and social platforms that inform the people about unique services that are well-liked by the customers.

Start a wedding planning blog

Begin publishing blogs on the website or even start guest blogging for leading wedding planner magazines or blogs that helps in spreading the word about your business.

Find Trusted vendors to cater to all needs of the wedding business

When you are starting a business to plan weddings it is crucially important to locate and establish relationships with vendors and suppliers in the wedding industry who can provide the products and services you need to plan and execute successful weddings. These vendors might include florists, caterers, photographers, musicians, and other professionals who play a role in creating the wedding day experience and making the occasion memorable.

Having trusted vendors is important for a wedding planning startup because it ensures that the products and services you offer your clients are of high quality and reliable. It also helps to build trust and credibility with your clients, as they know that they can count on you to provide them with the best possible wedding day experience. Building relationships with trusted vendors can take time, but it is a critical aspect of starting and growing a successful wedding planning startup business.

Create wedding concepts to help clients visualize

When starting a wedding planning startup being creative, innovative, and unique are the utmost required skills that clients ask for before all. So to be a step ahead developing unique and creative ideas for weddings should work well. Creating wedding concepts is an important aspect of starting a wedding planning business not only helps you to stand out from other planners but also offers your clients to visualize something truly unique and memorable.

A wedding concept is essentially a theme or vision for a wedding, which can guide all aspects of the planning process, from the decor and color scheme to the menu and entertainment. Clients often look to wedding planners for inspiration and guidance, and having a variety of well-defined wedding concepts can make it easier to attract and retain clients.

When developing wedding concepts, it’s important to consider your target audience and their preferences, as well as current trends in the wedding industry. You should also take into account the availability and cost of different vendors and suppliers, as well as the logistics of executing each concept. With careful planning and creativity, developing wedding concepts can be a rewarding and lucrative aspect of starting a wedding planning startup.

Popular Blogs to Read about App Development

  • Have an app idea what’s next?
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  • How to conduct market research for a mobile application?
  • Cost of developing a wedding planner app
  • How much will it cost to develop an app?
  • Things you should know about Mobile app maintenance
  • Tips to avoid hidden app development costs

Do it yourself- launch your wedding planner business

The business of planning a wedding is a profitable one and doesn’t require you to have any degree to start the business right away. Hold on! To survive and thrive in the lucrative market, you need to have some skills, dedicatedly paying attention to details, and be committed to giving the best shot. With everything ready, launch the wedding planning business step by step to make the ‘once in lifetime event of the people special.

Hire Dedicated Developers team to build Wedding Planning Business Solution


The world is now very much compact, we call it Global Village as a result of digitization and this impresses him! He likes to explore the nooks and corners of the incessantly modernizing world and marvel technologies. He leads the Digital Marketing Team at Prismetric . His passion for digital trends taught him the knack of reaching the huge digital mass to find business opportunities instantly. He writes articles about digital, technical and marketing tactics for business enhancements.

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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business with No Experience

Do you want to start a wedding planning business with no experience? If so, find here a detailed stepwise business plan guide on starting a wedding planning business from home with no or low money.

An average of 2.5 million weddings are performed in the U.S. every year. According to Brides.com, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is approximately $44,000 in 2018 depending upon the location of the wedding event. According to Knot, Manhattan is the most expensive location to get married. An average couple here spends an astounding amount of $96,910 on a wedding event.

A wedding consultant is a professional who plans the event and organizes it successfully to make it perfect for the bride and groom on their big day. To sustain in such a high-stress environment, you must be patient, extremely disciplined, and able to think independently.

If you are interested to start a wedding planning business, read this guide to learn more about different aspects of starting a wedding consulting business.

10 Steps to Start a Wedding Planning Business

1. check whether wedding planning is fit for you.

A wedding planning business demands certain qualities to be successful. One needs to have a creative attitude toward the job. You have to be always innovative while planning a wedding so that not only the host gets satisfied but also the visitors take note of your creativity. The people coming to the wedding are going to recommend your name to their near and dear ones if satisfied.

In addition to this, you must be highly disciplined and organized as you need to manage a lot of activities smoothly. People skill is another requirement as you need to handle both the hosts and the vendors positively.

2. Learn Different Aspects of Wedding Planning

It is advised to learn the job of a wedding planner before you start your own. The best way to learn is by working as a coordinator of an existing reputed wedding planning company. This will give you the needed experience in handling and managing vendors who are an important part of a successful event.

In addition, you can also consider getting certified as a wedding planner from appropriate certifying organizations like for example the American Academy of Wedding Professionals. This will not only give the extra edge but also a platform to meet people already in the trade.

3.  Research the Market

It is extremely important to understand the trends of the local people about their approach to the wedding day. Do extensive research on the local market and try to gather as much information as possible from hosts, vendors, etc.

4. Calculate the Costs to Start Wedding Planning Business

If you are starting from home instead of an office, the startup cost to start a wedding planning business becomes much less. As per existing wedding planners, the startup cost to startup cost can be as low as $100. However, if you add running costs, you must be ready with an investment of around $1000.

5. Create a Business Plan

Based on the findings from your market research and the costs involved, start writing a plan for your wedding consulting business. Check this article to learn more about writing a business plan. You can also use free business plan tools to write your wedding planning business plan

6. Select the Services

The key focus area of a wedding planner will be meeting couples together to identify their needs, preparing a budget, planning a detailed checklist, preparing an attendee list, and identifying a venue.

In addition, you will b responsible for identifying and hiring wedding professionals and service providers like caterers, photographers, videographers, beauticians, and florists, coordinating deliveries and services on the wedding day, and devising a backup plan in the event of a disaster.

The different levels of wedding planner service determine the fees you command as a professional in the wedding consulting business.

Before committing to offering your professional services, be realistic and honest about your own style, your personality, and how much hands-on involvement you’re (really) comfortable with for such an emotional event. As you sign on clients, be careful how you space out this level of planning.

7. Name Your Wedding Planning Business

A catchy and relatable name for a wedding planning business is extremely critical to becoming successful. Check this guide to know more about the steps involved in naming a business.

8. Make Your  Wedding Planning Business Legal

As a start-up, consulting with an attorney is always a smart idea when starting a business of any kind of legal formality. They can provide information and advice to determine which structure will work for you and as well as register your business with the appropriate authority.

In the United States, the popular business structures for a small are proprietorship, partnership, and LLC.  Forming an LLC will protect your personal assets in case a company is sued in financial disputes for some extra cost. You also need to talk to concerned authorities about the licenses and permits required to run the business legally.

9. Business Accounting

As a wedding planner, you need to be always aware of the financial health of your business. The expenses and income on a day-to-day basis must be documented. It will help you in filing annual tax returns. Choose proper accounting software for smoothening the process of regular financial transactions of your wedding planning business.

10. Promote Wedding Planning Business

Wedding planning is all about style and theme. Brides are actually, trusting your eyes and your ideas to make their wedding memorable and beautiful. You will need to have great-looking business cards and a smartly-designed website to promote your services. The website should be properly optimized for search engine ranking to drive prospective brides to your company. A blog in this regard will be much more effective.

It is always recommended to concentrate on online lead generation. If you are focusing on a particular niche like ‘ethnic wedding’ promote your services on the sites and blogs that cater to that clientele.

In the wedding planning business referrals from clients, vendors, and professionals in complementary industries will generate a steady clientele. A website featuring footage from a successful wedding and special online coupons for a free initial consultation can generate client interest.

how to start a business in wedding planning

About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their businesses.

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How To Start A Wedding Planning Business

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how to start a business in wedding planning

Do you have a talent for the logistics of event planning?

Do you have a heart that beats to arrange every perfect detail to make the special day come off as a dream come true for brides and grooms?

If so, you just might have what it takes to start a wedding planning business.

A knack for working with a budget, coordinating with suppliers and service providers, and the interpersonal skills to listen to someone else’s vision and turn it into a reality will be a big part of your success as a wedding planner.

You’ll need to have the business sense to handle the administrative and legal details of your venture.

You will also need the aesthetic instinct and problem-solving skills to pull together the organizational and decorative details of the wedding day while making it seem painless and seamless.

If you can do all that while maintaining a cool head under pressure and handling the emotionally-charged requests or demands with aplomb, you may have a future as a wedding planner.

How Big Is The Wedding Planning Industry?

how to start a business in wedding planning

According to IBIS World, 12,606 wedding planning businesses employing 13,492 people compete for their share of the one billion dollars in revenue that the wedding industry generates every year. The Association for Wedding Planners International reports that over two million weddings take place every year in the U.S. alone. They expect accelerated growth in the next five years.

Why Starting A Wedding Planning Business Now Is A Good Idea 

how to start a business in wedding planning

As the economy has gotten stronger in the past five years, couples have increased their disposable income, married more frequently and spent more on hiring wedding planning help and other services for their big day.

The internet reduces your marketing costs and increases your profit margins as it makes your business more accessible to potential clients.

It also draws more brides and grooms to your door looking for someone to help them make their nuptials unforgettable and special.

It’s a growing business that offers opportunities for lucrative returns for your efforts if you have the skills and the capital to make a name for yourself as a wedding planner who can deliver dreams on any scale.

Wedding Planning Business Facts

how to start a business in wedding planning

Here are some facts and figures about the wedding planning business you should consider:

Wedding planning business startup costs

Entrepreneur estimates that a wedding planning startup can run between $2,273 to $9,237. This would include office supplies, equipment, and furniture; financial, word processing and wedding planner software and a computer.

How much do wedding planners make?

 $9.91 to $50, per hour or $20,640 to $89,659 per year, according to Payscale.com.

how to start a business in wedding planning

How much do wedding planners charge?

Depending on the services provided and your experience in the field, the services of a wedding planner can run anywhere from $600 to $10,000 or more. Wedding consultants average between $40 to $150 per hour while day-of coordinators generally charge $600 to $1,800 per event. A full-service wedding planner can expect $2,000 to $10,000 per wedding. Some planners charge 10 to 20 percent of the total wedding cost instead of a flat or hourly fee.

How do wedding planners find customers?

Print ads can include the Yellow Pages, bridal magazines, brochures and business cards. Networking with other wedding service providers such as churches, wedding chapels, bakers, florists, photographers and wedding dress stores may land some referrals. Listing your business in several online directories can also help brides find you. Establish yourself as a knowledgeable voice in the field through an active business social media presence and blog. Host a professional website where potential clients can learn about your services and communicate with you. Learn about SEO and use marketing tools such as Google Ad Words to promote your page in the search engines and make it easy for brides in search of a wedding planner to land on your page. As you gain experience and establish a portfolio, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied brides will be a valuable source of business as well.

how to start a business in wedding planning

What skills are required?

Organization, attention to detail, concern for quality, imagination, people skills, mature judgment, patience, logistics and orchestration of events, hospitality, event planning, decorating, knowledge of wedding trends, traditions, products, services, food, music, ceremony and décor; fashion sense, diplomacy and arbitration, ordering and alterations, communication, bridal psychology, networking with quality, reliable wedding service providers, negotiation, problem-solving, bookkeeping, marketing and strategies for handling competitors, financial management, knowledge of your market and how to attract clientele by carving out a niche in the local field that makes you stand out from others.

What do I need to operate a wedding planning business?

Business license and tax structure; liability insurance, bookkeeping system; scheduling system; computer and printer, scanner, word processing software, QuickBooks, wedding planner software, surge protector, digital camera, fax machine, copy machine, phone and voicemail, postage meter/scale, calculator, desk, chair, file cabinets, bookcase, letterhead, envelopes, business cards, pens, folders and other miscellaneous supplies, copier/printer paper, printer cartridges, fax cartridges, flash drive; certification as a wedding planner is also a plus; social media accounts, a wedding-related blog and professional website.

Wedding Planning Business Ideas

how to start a business in wedding planning

Will you work with local vendors?

What kind of wedding will be your specialty.

Struggling with what to name your wedding planning business? Here are a few ideas:

Happily Ever After                                                                                               Making Memories

Bliss                                                                                                           Weddings To Remember

As You Wish                                                                                                               Wedding Point

Dreams On A Budget                                                                                   Destination Weddings

Weddings By Design                                                                                       Customized Dreams

Simply Beautiful                                                                                                                   Cloud 9 

Wedding Elegance                                                                                           Exquisite Weddings

Charm Wedding Planners                                                                                     Simple Elegance 

Youtube Videos 

Related Content

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business by Cho Phillips and Sherrie Wilkolaski

Brides Magazine: Wedding Planning: The Basics

Wedding Planner Magazine


Perfect Wedding Guide: Head Over Heels

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Jobs in Weddings and Funerals

Career Bond: ABC Certified Wedding Planner Program

Huff Post Weddings: Thinking of Starting a Wedding Planning Business? 6 Things to Keep in Mind

Stratford Career Institute: Wedding Consultant Distance Learning Course Summary

New York Institute of Art + Design: Certified Wedding Planning Course

Payscale.com: Wedding Planner Salary

Payscale.com: Start a Wedding Planner Business

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

IBIS World: Wedding Planners in the US: Market Research Report

Library of Congress: Wedding Industry Research

Association for Wedding Planners International: Statistics for the Wedding Industry

Power Home Biz: How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

Entrepreneur: Events Planner

Entrepreneur: How to Become a Wedding Consultant

Startup Smart: Wedding Planning Business

BPlans: Wedding Consultant Business Plan

The Wedding Planner Book: How Much Do Wedding Planners Charge?

Cost Helper: Wedding Planner Cost

The Knot: Wedding Planner Prices

Wedding Stats: Cost of a Wedding Planner

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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business from Home With No Money

By: Author Tony Martins Ajaero

Home » Business ideas » Entertainment Industry » Event Planning

Are you interested in starting a wedding planning business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a wedding planning business from home with little money and no experience plus a sample wedding planning business plan template. Wedding planning is a good business if you are looking into how to start your own business.

This is because you get to express the creativity within you which gives you a feeling of satisfaction from within alongside the financial gain that comes with it. To excel in this field, you must be passionate about the business and like everything associated with weddings.

Being a wedding planner requires that you become involved in helping couples plan their wedding and everything that surrounds the wedding day. You are solely accountable for the success of their wedding event and you have to ensure that you please everyone that is involved with the wedding by rendering them top notch services.

A wedding planning business requires that you pay keen attention to detail, have good organizational skills, patience and a level head to deal with the emotional problems that arise before and on the wedding day on the part of the people you have to deal with as weddings can be very emotional for the people involved. If you have the love of events, parties and weddings, then you should consider starting the business if you are thinking of the kind of business to set up.

Clients that use wedding planners are those that have bought into the idea of the service the wedding planner is offering and they trust that you can organise what is to them their important personal event. You therefore need to have the ability to make your client feel at ease with you.

Another way to gain experience in this field is to pay close attention to what wedding planners do when friends and family are getting married or offer to assist more established wedding planning outfits at no cost so as to gain the much needed experience you need to set up your own company.

23 Steps to Starting a Wedding Planning Business from Home With No Money

1. understand the industry.

According to the Association of Bridal Consulting, 2.4 million weddings are held every year in the united states and weddings make up billion in the United States. According to a market research firm, the money spent on weddings has increased by 47% since 2009. It went up from $995 per weddings to $1,466 in 2012.

The wedding planning industry has an annual growth rate of 1.5% and it employs about 13, 492 people. The expansion witnessed in the industry is as a result of stronger economic conditions. With increased disposable income, it is expected that couples will be encouraged to get married and spend more money on services that are related to wedding activities. Wedding planners are also now more accessible to clients that need their services as a result of increased use of the internet, this has led to a decrease in the costs incurred by the industry for marketing activities and has increased their profit margins. The industry growth is expected to accelerate in the next five years if the economy keeps on getting stronger.

The wedding planning industry is still growing and as a whole, it is an industry that represents a lot of money, but the industry is made up of other multiple smaller enterprises. These smaller enterprises that make up the wedding planning industry include wedding consultants, caterers, photographers and a host of others. The industry cannot be said to be saturated because if you find a niche that you can occupy, you will continue to attract lots of clients for your business.

The factors and incentives that encourage people to go into this line of business is the ability to get good returns on little investment in the business as long as you are passionate about the job. It is a cost effective business that can be started with little initial investment.

2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies

  • Demographics and Psychographics

The demographic and psychographic composition of the people who require the services of a wedding planner cuts across men and women who are planning for their wedding ceremony. The following represents the list of people that needs the services of a wedding planner.

  • brides family
  • grooms family

3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On

In setting up a wedding planning business, there are a couple of niches ideas in the industry that you can choose from as an entrepreneur. Tapping into the niche market helps you distinguish yourself in what is now a crowded industry. Once you have decided on the niche you want to work in, then you can go ahead to own it.

The following are some of the niches / areas that a private a wedding planning company can be specialized in;

  • encore weddings
  • same sex wedding planning
  • high end wedding planner expert
  • theme weddings
  • celebrity weddings
  • price conscious bride weddings
  • hurried weddings
  • ethnic weddings
  • destination weddings
  • vintage weddings

The Level of Competition in the Industry

Survival in the wedding planning industry is dependent on a number of factors which include your organizational skills, ability to manage different people effectively and deal with different emotions. Survival in the industry is also based on your contacts as these are the people who will give you jobs and keep you in business.

There are a lot of big investors in this industry such as Martha Stewart Weddings and Sarah Haywood, but that does not mean that there is no room for new wedding planning companies that are just emerging. To survive as a start-up company in this industry, you should concentrate on getting your friends and family to know your business so that they can patronise your business and spread the word around about what your company does.

4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry

There are some well-known brands in the wedding planning industry and you can hardly talk about wedding planners without mentioning the likes of US based Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza events and uk based Sarah Haywood.

The following is a list of leading wedding planning companies:

  • Sasha Souza Events
  • Sarah Haywood Wedding Design
  • Marcy Blum Associates
  • David Tutera
  • The Bespoke Wedding Company
  • Mindy Weiss
  • Designer Wedding Planner
  • Yifat Oren& Associates
  • Along Came Mary
  • Lady Elizabeth Anson
  • Rafanelli Events
  • Kevin Lee Productions
  • Preston Bailey
  • Colin Cowie Weddings

Economic Analysis

To start a wedding planning business, you need to carry out critical economic analysis to make sure that the risks and threats that which are associated with starting a business or putting your investment in a business idea are reduced.

Opening a business is not just about getting a nice looking office space and furnishing the place. A major concern you should have as a business owner is how to get customers for your business and how to ensure that the existing customers keep coming back to use the services your company offers.

On the average, starting and running a wedding planning business is cost effective. This is because you do not have to spend a lot of money in starting up the business. If you are able to deliver quality services to your client, the quality of your service you render will attract more customers for your business, as the invited guests for the wedding you planned for will always remember the good job you did and they will use your services if they have a wedding to plan as well.

5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch

In starting your wedding planning business, you need to consider the best approach for your business, whether to start the business from scratch or to become part of a network that has already been established? If you have the intention of starting your wedding planning business from scratch, you will have absolute control over all areas of your business and in the process you will end up building a brand that can be transferred to your children or a brand which you can sell as a franchise in the future. Starting a business from scratch can be a refreshing experience but it can also be exhausting.

If on the other hand, you are more interested in making money and becoming a part of a network that is already established, you should consider buying the franchise of a successful wedding planning company. This way, you get to become part of an already established community which can be helpful in some ways but limiting in some aspects.

6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face

In the wedding planning industry, new and established companies are subject to threats and challenges from various angles and one of the greatest challenge is the influx of new wedding planners with no trainings and certifications in the industry who are in the habit of charging ridiculously low amount of money and providing poor services to people thus giving the industry a bad name.

There is also the challenge of a lack of industry standards with which to hold vendors accountable for the quality of their services, products and ethics. This is because there is no regulation in the industry and these set of wedding planners give the good wedding planners a bad reputation with their activities.

Newly established wedding planning companies are also faced with the problem of competing with other well established businesses in a location where their business has got a strong presence.

7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)

The legal entity you choose for your wedding planning business will go a long way in determining how big your company can grow. Before making a choice, there are a lot of things you need to put into consideration. Speak to an accountant and an attorney before making a decision; this is because different laws exist for business structures in different states. The decisions you make will affect your personal liability, the amount of money you pay as tax and how much money you can borrow and so on.

Different legal entities exist for a wedding planning business that you can choose from. They include sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnership, C corporations and S corporations. Each of them has got its own advantages and disadvantages so it is imperative to choose the right one that is applicable to your situation.

If you are just setting up your wedding planning company, sole proprietorship and LLC are the best legal entity you should consider using as the legal entity for your business. Sole proprietorship is not difficult to set up and it gives you total control over your business.

Choosing an LLC gives you the benefits of a corporation without the hassles involved and a sole proprietorship. This legal entity protects the business owner from having their personal assets confiscated when the company runs into debts.

You can start your wedding planning business as a LLC and later upgrade it to a corporation or S corporation whenever you have plans of going public. This way you will be able to compete with major players in your industry.

8. Choose a Catchy Business Name

There are a lot of factors to be considered in the process of choosing a name for your wedding planning business. You should also remember that some of the names you are considering for your new business might have been taken already by other wedding planners that are already in the business. At t the end of the day, the name you eventually settle for will go a long way in defining your brand and your business.

The following are a list of catchy business name ideas that you can choose for your wedding planning business:

  • Early Bird Planners
  • Turtle Dove Weddings
  • Weddings on a Budget
  • Marital Bliss Wedding Planners
  • A bride’s best friend
  • Unique Nuptials
  • Wedding Bells Planners
  • Elegant Weddings
  • Simply Natural Planner
  • The Wedding Planner
  • Sophie’s’ Wedding Planners
  • Wedding to Remember
  • Weddings on Edge
  • Destination Weddings
  • Weddings to Die for
  • Weddings R Us
  • One Sweet Day Weddings
  • As You Wish Planners
  • Save the Date Planners
  • Victorian Wedding Planners

9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You

As a wedding planner, you need to think of cases where things can go wrong in the event of planning a wedding. This is because there are so many aspects to co-ordinate such as booking of the wedding venue, booking of entertainers and getting the right wedding band amongst other activities that needs to be done to ensure that the wedding day is a success. Something can still go wrong despite all the backup plans you might have put in place to ensure your client has a perfect wedding.

As a result of this, you need to protect your business adequately in the case that a disgruntled customer decides to sue you. Having an insurance cover will shield you from such problems when they occur as you can be forced out of business if you are not careful. You can get in touch with an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best insurance policies needed for your business. They can help you assess your risks and give you the necessary advice.

The following are the basic insurance covers that you will need if you intend to start your own wedding planning business:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Property Insurance
  • Business Owner’s Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Errors & Omission Insurance
  • Umbrella Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Auto/ Hired and Non-Owned Auto Insurance
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Business Interruption

10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents

You should consider filing for intellectual property protection if you are considering starting a wedding planning business. Asides from protecting your company documents and company logo, filing for intellectual property can also serve as a form of protection for your company name and software applications.

Filing for intellectual property protection and the registration of your trademark requires that you begin the process by filing your application with the USPTO. Getting the final approval for your trademark is subjected to a review of attorneys which is required by the USPTO.

11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification

A lot of professional associations offer accreditation and some form of educational program in the field of wedding planning. These can be helpful in helping you to learn a lot about running a business though this is not a guarantee as to whether your business will be successful or not.

You should consider getting the following certifications for yourself and staff if you have any.

  • Association of Bridal Consultants
  • Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants
  • Weddings Beautiful Worldwide
  • Professional Wedding Planner Certification
  • American Association of Certified Wedding Planners

12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate

In the wedding planning industry, you are required to meet up with the legal document needs as stipulated by the constitution of your country and register your business name in your state and get the necessary business licenses required at both state and local level.

To operate your wedding planning business successfully, the following is the list of legal documents that you need to put in place:

  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  • Employment Agreement
  • Operating Agreement
  • Company Bylaws
  • Insurance Policy
  • VAT certificate
  • Federal tax identification

13. Write a Business Plan

To start a wedding planning business, one of the first few steps you should take is to put a well written business plan in place, this you can do by hiring the services of an expert to help you write one. Your business plan is the blue print that you need to run a successful business.

With a well written business plan, the trial and error method of doing business becomes a thing of the past and you have a well-documented plan in place with which you can use to take the appropriate actions towards managing your wedding planning business in terms of how to handle growth and expansion within your business.

A business plan is a detailed guide for the business which tells you how to run your business effectively from inception. The strategies you need to put in place to manage and grow the business should be detailed in the plan. When putting figures to your income and profits, put in realistic values as it is safer to underestimate than to be disappointed when reality finally sets in.

The following are the key areas to be covered when writing your business plan:

Executive Summary and Company’s Descriptions

Here you are expected to write about the concept of your wedding planning business, the company’s description, the mission and vision statements and also include information about the company’s location and if you intend to sell out franchise or open outlets in different places around the world.

Your business plan should have a SWOT analysis which will provide information that will help your company match its available resource and capabilities with the competitive environment where its business operations take place.

The other important components of your business plan includes product and services offering, target market, competitive analysis, , market goals, publicity and advertising strategies, marketing and sales analysis/strategies, costing and financial projection, expansion and growth strategies, start-up generation and budget.

14. Prepare a Detailed Cost Analysis

To successfully start your wedding planning business, you will incur several expenses. The location you want to set up your company will have an impact on the total cost you need to start the business. As a result of this, it is important to carry out a proper feasibility studies and market survey before you create a budget and source for capital to begin your business.

The following are the basic cost you will need to incur in order to set up your wedding planning company:

  • The Total Fee for incorporating the Business – $750.
  • The budget for Insurance, permits and license – $5,000
  • The Amount needed to rent a suitable office facility with enough space (Re – Construction of the facility inclusive) – $50,000.
  • The Cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics) – $15,000
  • The Cost of Launching an official Website – $700
  • Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $2,500
  • Other miscellaneous – $1,000

According to the report from our research and feasibility studies, you will need about $8,000 to set up a small scale private wedding planning company.

On the average, you would need over 150,000 dollars to start a medium scale wedding planning company. If you decide to start a large scale wedding planning company, then you should consider starting the business with about 1.5 million US dollars and above.

15. Raise the Needed Startup Capital

If you want to set-up your wedding planning business on a small scale, you won’t require a lot of capital for it. On the other hand, if you want to open the business on a large scale, the capital requirement needed to start the business will be huge. You will then need to raise more capital apart from what you have personally to be able to set up the business as you might not be able to put down all the money on your own.

Starting a wedding planning business on a large scale requires that you get an office space, equipment, furniture, capital for supplies and capital to pay the salaries of your staff for about 3 months. You can fund your wedding planning business through the following means:

  • Raising capital from properties, personal savings, and selling off personal stocks.
  • Applying for a loan from your bank
  • Raising capital from your business partners and investors
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for funding from donor organizations and angel investors
  • Sourcing for loans from your friends and family members.
  • Using money from credit cards
  • Getting cash advance against income from credit card
  • Raising money through grants and subsidies
  • Raising money through venture capital

16. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business

In starting a new business, choosing the right location is vital to the growth and survival of a business, the same rules apply when you are setting up a wedding planning business. If you have to, you can consider getting the services of a consultant when you are making the decision on where you intend to set up the company for your wedding planning business. If you set your office in the wrong location, it can affect your business negatively and you might keep on struggling to make ends meet in the course of running your business, this can also lead to the eventual closure of your company.

Nevertheless, if you become successful at building a flourishing wedding planning brand, your Business model will be a huge success anywhere it is in the world. If you are a newly emerging company, ensure that your business is located within an area that has good business potential.

You should consider the following factors when you want to choose a location for your wedding planning business.

  • Your style of operation
  • Amount of foot traffic in the area
  • Availability of competition
  • Closeness to other businesses and services
  • Accessibility of the place
  • Availability of parking space for your clients
  • Presence of traffic and security
  • The building’s infrastructure in terms of the requirements needed to support the high technology needs of contemporary business

17. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs

If you are toying with the idea of starting your own wedding planning business, then you should invest in good wedding planning software to manage all the details for the weddings you are planning. Having a software gives you control over itineraries, budgets, guest lists and information about the wedding process such as the venue, transportation and helps you know what stage the vendors you are working with are in the planning of any wedding.

Concerning the space where you need to set up your office, you can start the wedding planning business from your home initially if you don’t have much money at the beginning and as the business begins to grow; you can then consider moving out to get a proper office space . Renting or leasing an office space is dependent on the size of the company you wish to set up. If you have enough capital, consider leasing an office space, it will enable you work with long term planning.

You can start a wedding planning company as the only member of staff since you mostly work with external vendors in this industry. If the need arises to hire extra hands, you can pay them per wedding event handled instead of putting them on a fixed salary. If you are going to be hiring staff, that will depend on your financial capability. You will need a Chief Executive Officer or a president, you can occupy this role as the business owner, a human resource officer, an Events Manager, Accountant, Front Desk Officer and 2 other members of staff to work with you in planning wedding events.

On a medium scale, you can run the business with an average of 7 key staff. You can also go into partnership with other wedding planning businesses to be able to offer client services in the niche that you are not specialized in. Take for instance; if you offer wedding planning services on ethnic wedding and a client wants you to plan a Victorian wedding, you can form an alliance with your partners to help you get the job done.

The Service Delivery Process of the Business

The service process involved in the wedding planning industry depends on the niche your company caters to. The service process is initiated by the customer who calls to ask for your services, depending on the niche you cater to in this line of business; you will know if you can handle the customer’s request or if you need to get in touch with your partners to get the job done. Once you accept to plan the wedding, you need to make an appointment to see all the parties involved in the wedding process to know the kind of wedding they intend to have so that you can be able to bill properly for the service.

Once the issue of the payment process has been agreed on, then the wedding planner can begin to put the plan in place for the wedding. Over and above, it is the practice for the wedding planner to sit down with the key participants in the wedding before billing them for the services to be rendered.

18. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies

  • Marketing Ideas and Strategies

A wedding planning business needs to market its services and advertise in order to get customers. Online and traditional marketing strategies will help your business to get a desirable company growth and advertising exposure.

You can market your wedding planning company through the following means to potential customers:

  • Advertising through your company website or through magazine ads
  • Take advantage of social media and put updates about your company on it
  • Inform local media to put word out about your company
  • Design and print business cards, fliers and some inexpensive things you can give out that has your company info
  • Give special incentives to your first set of clients so that they can spread word around about your wedding planning business
  • Create a company brochure to show clients
  • List your company on local directories/yellow pages
  • Advertise on radio and television stations
  • Network by attending local events and other activities that enable you to meet people and introduce your business to them
  • Feature past weddings you have handled on a wedding blog
  • Write guest posts for blogs and articles for magazines to give your business exposure
  • Publish helpful wedding guides for brides and grooms
  • Give discounts and special offers for repeat customers
  • Give a special offer to people who recommend their friends to you
  • Team up with industry colleagues and start a referral system for when you are fully booked
  • Attend industry shows and other wedding events
  • Network with other industry professionals in your field

19. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win

It is quite challenging to be in competition with old hands in the wedding planning business. Based on this, carefully choose the type of people that you want on your management team so that you can be rest assured that they will be able to lift the visibility of your business.

Take time to study your competition in the industry and compare your business ideas with theirs. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are, and compare them to yours to see if you can build on your existing strengths and improve on the weaknesses. When your customers get better services from other wedding planning company, they won’t use your services again so make sure you give them the kind of service that keeps them coming back.

Alternatively, you can go into partnerships with existing wedding planning companies in the industry to have an advantage over your competitors. Doing this will put you in a position to get more customers for your business.

20. Brainstorm Possible Ways to Retain Clients & Customers

In every business one does, customer satisfaction is important in retaining customers for the business. If you satisfy your client with the quality of service you render to them, they will come back and bring more business for your company by telling others about the quality of service you company renders.

If on the other hand, your customers in the course of doing business with you have a bad experience, they will abandon your services and take your business to your competitors making you lose other potential customers in the process. Bad customer service therefore is a major reason that makes businesses lose their customers. Improving on the quality of your service delivery will make your client base increase.

In the wedding planning industry, practising good customer relationship management practices is vital to retaining your customers. You can achieve this by investing in good software for your business, this will help you keep track of all aspects of the business and keep up with your client. The relevant information concerning your business and your clients is at the tip of your fingers and you can use it to keep in touch with them on important events like anniversaries, birthdays and public holidays.

21. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity

The caliber of your past client is essential to the branding of your business. Discuss with a consultant who can assist you in putting together a strategy for publicity and advertising which will be directed towards your target market. The platforms that you can use for brand awareness includes the following:

  • Placing advertisement about your company on websites and magazines
  • Listing your wedding planning business on local directories / yellow pages
  • Advertising on satellite TV and radio stations
  • Direct mail
  • Take advantage of social media advertising like Facebook, twitter and YouTube
  • Through branding of your business vehicles and shirts

22. Create a Suppliers / Distribution Network

There is room for networking in the wedding planning industry; this can be done by joining existing associations of wedding planners in your community. You can join the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners. Alternatively, you can form an alliance with other wedding planning companies in the business. By doing so, you can learn from one another and trade valuable information with each other in the business.

23. Tips for Running a Wedding Planning Business Successfully

A business becomes successful if all the workers work in line with the vision and mission of the company. The driving force behind the company who is the CEO is responsible for giving direction to the members of staff.

Staff meetings should be held regularly to keep the CEO informed about what is going on in the company and the feedbacks from the meetings should be implemented. Performance appraisals should also be carried out from time to time to determine if members of staff are following the standard operating procedure of the company and the results got from it should be used to correct any errors found.

Finally, give your staff training to assist them in carrying out their duties promptly; praise them and encourage them to get them motivated, reward those that are hardworking to promote healthy competition and have a listening ear to encourage staff to open up to you.

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