How to Start a Small Wedding & Event Planning Business

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When it comes time for a wedding or other large event such as a graduation party, 50th birthday, corporate outing or fundraiser, a lot of people will hire a planner to map out the entire function and take care of all the little details. Starting a wedding and event planning business can be a lot of fun but is also a lot of work. However, if you like dealing with people and planning parties, this could be right up your alley.

Things You'll Need

  • Sample books
  • Photos of previous events
  • Business cards
  • Camera

Plan your own wedding or special events. Get to know some vendors and keep their information in a file. As you use them, make notes about what they offer, their pricing, service and your overall satisfaction. Take lots of photos of your events, before-and-after photos as well as detailed pictures of individual elements such as centerpieces and flower arrangements.

Come up with a creative and catchy name for your business. Get your business license, bank account and other small business paper work done with. Set up a website with photos from the events you've planned as well as services and information about your company. Have business cards printed with your website and contact information.

Offer to plan a few events for friends and family members free of charge in exchange for use of photos from their events and recommendations/references/quotes for potential customers. Use these events as a chance to meet new vendors or reuse old vendors and establish a working relationship. Take the photos and quotes and post them on your website.

Join your local chamber of commerce. You will be listed in their directory automatically, which will give you visibility instantly. Go to the networking events; these are opportunities for you to meet local business professionals and talk about your company. Everyone throws parties, so they may eventually need a party planner. Hand out business cards and stay in contact.

Go visit vendors and talk to them about your services. Build partnerships and discuss referral fees. Leave your business cards and promotional materials. Continue to market your services and get clients listed. One place you can get some business is at wedding shows. Book a booth and talk to brides-to-be who want someone to help them plan the perfect day. Be persistent and your business will grow. Have fun and good luck!

Tips & Warnings

  • Be as personable and personal with clients as possible.
  • Find something that makes you different from the other planners.
  • Don't drop out on clients or leave any one dissatisfied; word will spread.

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