I recently had the pleasure of chatting to an amazing person who spent many, many, many years in the events industry and worked on the most incredible functions and weddings around the world. It is always interesting to hear how things are done on the other side of the world.
It seem that in South Africa we have a very limited view of wedding/event planning which in turn limits our choices. The role of a wedding planner seems very straight forward – market yourself, fight hard to get the client even if it means undercutting and undercharging, spend hundreds of hours on one wedding, execute the wedding, repeat the cycle. This view of wedding planning is what is limiting our industry, hinders personal growth and caps earning potential.
Let’s face it, not every planner is a good coordinator, and not every coordinator is a good stylist or even a planner. This means that very few people are good at everything and why they be? I suggest that you figure out your strenghs and capitalise on them.
If you are an excellent coordinator then market yourself as a coordinator. Approach bigger companies and offer your services on a freelance basis. The world of eventing is never fixed, a company is never sure what type of function they will be booking or how frequently. For this reason to have a large staff base can cause a financial constraint. Having access to freelance cooridnators and event staff is key. Appernatly in the foreign lands a freelancer earns pretty well, enjoys the freedom and often finds him/herself on the most incredible jobs around the world.
I am a great planner and an excellent decorator but coordination is something that I do not enjoy. In fact, it is the most dreaded part of the entire process and for that reason, I like getting freelance coordinating team.
Everybody is different and everyone’s wedding planning business and services are different. If you are starting out then this is a good time to access the industry, find weak point and figure out a way to fill in the gaps in the market, and trust me the gaps are there!
I’ve learnt that in the UK there are ‘set-up’ companies. They specialise in the logistical execution of setting up a wedding. Imagine living where there is a company specialising in assisting flower and decor company in the dreaded logistical component – they provide packaging, transportation and manual labour of loading/offloading AND they clean the function afterwards. I would pay good money to outsource this part of our decorating service. Interestingly, one of the biggest companies offering this service in the UK is founded by a South African. In South Africa that could mean an incredible opportunity for job creation and a great business.
Many brides choose to handle their own wedding decor and flowers, but why should they not employ a set up team? If you and your friends recently graduated why not put together a set up team. This way your experience of clocking wedding set ups goes up, giving you that necessary edge when being interviewed by the perspective couples.
I’ve spoken about this before, but consulting to a couple is another way of generating an income for your knowledge of weddings. Charging for advice and sharing of knowledge is done in all professions, and it is time the same starts happening in the wedding industry.
Opportunities are endless and if you found yourself in the oversaturated market filled with recently graduated aspiring wedding planners then look around, think out of the box and look for exciting opportunities!