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Getting Work Experience as a Wedding Planner

Work experience as a wedding planner

How do I get work experience as a wedding planner? This is a question we hear a lot at the Wedding Academy and it’s a great question.
We strongly believe that to be successful and launch a profitable wedding business there are three key elements you need:

  1. Knowledge
  2. Experience
  3. Confidence

The great thing is that with knowledge comes both experience and confidence, but without the knowledge and the right training you’ll find yourself left behind in the dark.
Recently two of our students had the opportunity to put what they’ve learnt at the Wedding Academy into practice by getting work experience as a wedding planner with a recent Academy Graduate, Martha of Anemone Style.
We love to see things come full circle like this. Its great for us to see the journey from student to successful wedding business owner, which Martha now is. Our students are lucky in that we get plenty of opportunities like this that allow them to put their new skills to work.
For those of you looking to start a wedding planning business this is exactly the type of experience you want. So I asked Maila Enea and Yasmine Smith to answer my questions about their experience.

Kylie: Maila can you describe the event you worked on?
Maila: I helped Martha, aka Anemone Style, during an on the day coordination wedding for Samirah and Peter, a lovely multicultural couple – her family is Pakistani, and his family has Chinese origins. It was an eco-friendly wedding that took place in a beautiful venue called The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park, London.

Had you ever worked on an event like this before?

Yasmine: I had never worked on an On The Day coordination before so was very pleased and excited to have this experience. It’s a service I want to offer my clients in my event business so wanted to gain some further experience so I felt more confident.

What were your top lessons learned from the experience?

Yasmine: This event was a great one to have my first ‘on the day” experience as many things happened that I felt was great to be expose to and learn from.
Be very prepared for additional guests for dinner! We had a few guests turn up for the dinner service that were not on the list and expected to be sat. The family expected us to find space for these guests so we had the task of finding and making additional space for them. We were conscious of finding space and seating the guests quickly which was pretty stressful.
Friends and family will suddenly dump their tasks on you! It was customary for friends and family to work on parts of the wedding for the bride and groom. Two of the bride’s friends made lovely floral chains to be hung on an arch behind the ceremony space. The friends left after asking me to help them fix the intricate floral strings onto the arch. This left me with a tangled mess of fishing wire and flowers.
Luckily I kept my cool and completed the task at hand in time adapting the method to something less time consuming. But I still got the same results of a full floral curtain.
Personally, this was a great task and experience for me. I will no doubt encounter problems like this in my own event styling busines. It was great to adapt around a design flaw.

What was it like being able to put everything you have learnt as part of your course into practice?

Maila: It was amazing to finally help with a wedding in England. It was my first time and I am sure I will remember it all my life. The words of my tutors often echo in my head when I study or am invited to my friends’ weddings. But this was the first time I could actively participate on a set up and it was a very rewarding experience.

Did you have any moments where you were able to think, ‘oh yes, I remember learning this in my course’?

Yasmine: Putting together all the table settings really drew my memory back to all the design parts of the course, thinking about presentation, layout and form. I remembered learning about having an odd number of candles on the tables and adding elements with different heights. It made the simple table look very elegant.
Colour was also a significant part of the table settings with mismatched vases and tea lights. I felt really confident being able to pair up colours with the floral elements effectively, even though the choices were not mine at the very beginning of the design process.

Did you have any moments where you were able to think, ‘oh yes, I remember learning this in my course’?

Maila: Yes, and it happened while I was thinking about how important is good communication with suppliers. Many times people don’t answer your emails or show up on time. I remember learning to go with the flow and do the best you can to effectively overcome any last-minute setback on the day. And to not feel discouraged when this happens, because it will happen!

If you had to sum up the experience in one sentence what would you say?

Yasmine: A brilliant experience full of ups and downs with a brilliant explosion of colour and cultures, with a great team!

What would you say to others looking for a similar experience?

Maila: Do not give up if you are often rejected by other Wedding Planners. If this is really your passion and you have the right attitude, someone will get that and give you the opportunity to learn. Be honest about your work experience, show gratitude and willingness to learn, and you will be rewarded. Martha trusted me, and I will never forget that… thank you!
If you’d like to enjoy the same opportunities as Yasmine and Maila then you need to register for our FREE mini course to see if you’ve got what it takes to become a wedding planner.
How to Become a Wedding Planner
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