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How to start a wedding planning business, october 21, 2023.

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how to start my own wedding planning business

OK – you've made this HUGE decision that you want to start a wedding planning business. But not just ANY kind of wedding planning business. You want to build a business that gets amazing clients, is successful, and allows you to build and grow something that's YOURS.

You want to plan gorgeous weddings, work with incredible clients, get featured in magazines, and spend your days obsessing over linen swatches, pretty flowers, candles, and of course, the logistics that make all the pretty happen.

In this blog post, I've put together my 12+ years of experience in running a profitable, multi six figure, multi-country wedding planning & design business so you can learn how to start a wedding planning business you love quicker, faster, and better.

First, let me say how delighted I am for you. In other words, when I started my wedding planning and design company back in 2007, I had the same feelings you did about creating the life and career I wanted.

I was excited, nervous, energized, and willing to consume any information on starting a wedding planning business.

(Back in 2007, that information was hard to come by. There were not a lot of resources on how to start a wedding planning business. However, you've got a lot of information on hand to guide you.)

I'm going to break down how to start a wedding planning business–but not just any kind of wedding planning business–one that will be profitable and scalable.

Here are the 11 steps you need to take to start and grow your new wedding planning business:

I'm going to break down how to start a wedding planning business–but not just any kind of wedding planning business–one that will be profitable and scalable.  In this blog post, I've put together my 12+ years of experience in running a profitable, multi-6-figure, multi-country wedding planning & design business so you can build a business you love quicker, faster, and better.

Step 1: Know What Kind Of Wedding Planning Business You Want to Build

Before you do anything, knowing what kind of wedding planning business you want is the first step. I've got an easy exercise for you to figure this out, too.

We call it vision casting.

It's important to know what kind of business you want, which will help you write strategies to make that business come to life.

In addition, we can't know what we're really building until we see the destination we want to arrive at, right?

That's what vision casting is. It's knowing the destination you want to arrive at–the business that you want.

To make this even easier for you, I've recorded an entire podcast episode on how to vision cast for your business. 👇

Episode 42 of my podcast for wedding pros, The Power in Purpose Podcast gives you step-by-step guidance and action on how to start your wedding planning biz with vision casting.

Everyone is building a different kind of business under different circumstances. For instance, you might want to have a career that allows you to raise your family at the same time. Or, you might want to build a million-dollar empire.

This is why it's important to know what kind of business YOU want so that you can reverse engineer the strategies that it will take to get there.

Don't skip this step. And listen to this podcast episode to get started.

Step 2: Write A Business Plan For Your Wedding Planning Business

Yes, I know you wanted to skip this part–biz plans are so 2007, aren't they?

No. They're essential. To build the wedding planning business YOU want (the one you're going to vision cast for!), you have to write a strategy to get there.

That's what a business plan is: an overarching strategy for getting from where you are today to where you want to go. And it cannot be overlooked.

Writing your business plan doesn't have to be challenging or overwhelming. You don't need an MBA or a fancy degree to start a business.

Instead, you just need to discover a problem that needs solving, and then your business becomes the solution.

With that said, I know that writing a business plan isn't the easiest (or sexiest) task.

That's why I've created my Free Business Plan Outline + Guide , a way to jumpstart your efforts and get you to write a plan for your wedding planning business.

Write a wedding planner business plan with this free guidebook and outline. It'll take you from stuck to start. I take all the guesswork out of how to write a business plan and even teach you some strategies. Plus, it's free! That's why I want to make sure you grab it.

Step 3: Know The “Ideal Clients” Your Wedding Planning Business Will Serve

The #1 reason why businesses fail is they don't know who their customers are. They don't really, truly, and personally know their customers. 

Their values.

Their problems.

However, this isn't going to be you; you're here to learn how to start a wedding planning business–and a crucial step is knowing your ideal clients!

Instead, you're going to create a business that fully understands who your ideal clients are so that you can solve their problems quicker, faster, and better than anyone else.

You must get specific about your ideal clients and why they need you to solve their problems. Knowing more about what motivates them, what they value, what challenges they face, and yes, what problems they have means you can position yourself as the solution.

I want to clarify that knowing your ideal clients is more than knowing what kind of car they drive, their favorite color, and their age range. Moreover, those things are essential but only tell you part of the story.

If you want to book high-end clients in the wedding industry, you need to check out The Client Cocktail . In this mini-training, I teach you how to call in dreamy clients and magazine-worthy weddings.

When you start your business, you'll be tempted to serve everyone and anyone. That's one of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make: they reason they'll cast a wide net, increasing their chances of customers. After all, the wider the net, the more you can catch, right?

What ends up happening is you become too watered down, too unspecific, and too generic. However, by appealing to everyone, you appeal to no one because no one can really connect with your company.

They don't look at what you offer, your message, and say, “This is for me.”

Step 4: Create A Wedding Planning Brand That Gets Noticed

There are a lot of wedding planners out there. What makes you different?

One of the cornerstones of marketing is that people buy with their eyes, and your brand–aka the visual manifestation of your company–is what sets you apart.

You need to create a visual brand that gets noticed.

One that makes YOUR ideal client stop in their tracks.

One that makes your perfect client buy with their eye.

Your visual branding helps to accelerate the know/like/trust factor with your customers. The couple who wants to hire someone like you lands on your website or sees some of your marketing, and because of its polished nature and overall experience, they want to know more.

After you've set a vision and written your business plan, don't let it all fall apart by having a bad logo and website.

Your clients will notice immediately that your business doesn't live up to what it offers. And they will click off.

You have a matter of seconds to capture someone's attention (sometimes, it's a fraction of that number!). How will you capture the attention of your ideal clients with your marketing and branding?

Here are some quick resources for you to start creating a kick-ass wedding planning brand from DAY ONE (bc that's how we roll!)

  • Showit Website Platform : To create a GORGEOUS website (it's my website platform!)
  • Sourced Co : For incredible stock images created JUST for wedding pros. You can find images for marketing and your website, making it easy to start without a portfolio. Use code PLAYBOOK to get a special discount.
  • Hautestock : Use code CANDICE for 15% off gorgeous stock images that don't look stock. Firstly, Hautestock's images are great for your website to fill in the gaps where you might not have a portfolio. Secondly, they make perfect social media posts so you can start marketing TODAY – even if you don't have any clients or work!
  • Styled Stock : Another fantastic styled stock membership for beautiful stock images that don't look like “stock images.”

I'm going to break down how to start a wedding planning business–but not just any kind of wedding planning business–one that will be profitable and scalable.  In this blog post, I've put together my 12+ years of experience in running a profitable, multi-6-figure, multi-country wedding planning & design business so you can build a business you love quicker, faster, and better.

Step 5: Work More On Your Wedding Planning Business Than In It

You had the idea to start a wedding planning business because you want to be a wedding planner. However, when you decide to open up your own company, you're a business owner first. Wedding planner, second.

They say that businesses fail not only because they don't know their ideal clients but because the owner of that business doesn't work on their business. 

You toil away at being the best wedding planner, focusing all your time on planning weddings and serving your clients, but what about the business owner side? 

I want you to work more ON your business than IN your business. Consider yourself a business owner above all other roles you might have in your business.

Owning a business is like having a classic car: it needs love, care, and attention. It needs you to tune it, fix what's broken, and invest in its care.

If you're serious about owning a wedding planning business, consider yourself an entrepreneur first and a business owner second.

My advice? Seek education to help you build and grow your wedding planning business from the ground up correctly. Find mentors and business owners who are where you want to be and hire them to help you.

In addition, you should invest in courses , conferences, and other educational avenues to learn all you can and speed up your results.

Always learning, always moving forward. That's my motto.

Step 6: Network With The Right People

The wedding industry is mostly about connections, and some of the most incredible business comes from referrals (if you sign up for The Client Cocktail , you'll know how important this is!).

You have to seek out new connections as much as possible–but not just any old “links”–and focus on the right ones.

As you set out to market your business, you must get in front of the right people. Ideally, the people and companies that are already in front of your ideal clients.

They have the power to refer to you and to help lift your business alongside theirs.

Do you want to know one of the first things I did when I started my business?

I networked my butt off. Networking with the right people was one of the first things I did when I started my business, which paid off. I was armed with my biz plan, a vision for the future, and a nice-looking brand/website. I sought out businesses that were already in front of my ideal clients.

And it paid off in dividends. 

Step 7: Know Your Marketing Message And Market Your Wedding Planning Business As Much As You Can

Marketing is simply sharing your message so that it reaches the right people. What's your message?

Your company's mission, vision, and purpose are vital. They connect you to your customers and ground you when the going gets tough.

You need to have a clear, concise message about what your company does, how life looks for your customers after you do it, and why you do it in the first place.

how to start my own wedding planning business

Step 8: Make Mistakes, Try New Things & Do It Your Way

When you start a business, you follow the same path as those you admire. No doubt you've rapidly followed a bunch of people on the ‘gram who are killing it in their wedding planning biz right now.

And you're probably thinking: I need to do it this way too.

Maybe. Or maybe not. Don't fall into the trap of copying what other folks are doing. That's their business–their vision–not yours.

I want you to feel empowered to do it YOUR way. Sure, you can seek out roadmaps and blueprints on how to build your business, but make sure you adapt what you learn as it fits your unique circumstances.

Don't build someone else's business. Build yours.

If you want to hear some of my epic wedding planning mistakes, check out my tales from the clipboard email series.

Step 9: Give Your Business Time To Grow & Take Root

As a business coach for wedding planners and pros, I've seen biz owners quit just when the going gets going. Owning a wedding planning business is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time for your efforts to start to take root.

When I started my company, it took me six months to land my first client. Imagine if I had quit five months and two weeks in? 

I want you to know that things take time. Give your business time to take root. It will happen with consistency and perseverance. Don't quit at the first failure. 

Remember, your failures lead you toward your successes.

Patience is necessary for business (just like with most things in life). The strategies you implement today may not show results for 3-6 months. But they will see results if you give them a chance. 

Step 10: Hire A Wedding Planning Mentor And Learn, Learn, Learn

Let me ask you a serious question. Why not hire someone to help you do all the above and teach you the ropes so that you can accelerate your business quicker and faster?

There is no greater gift you can give your biz than enlisting the help of someone who has been where you want to go.

As a wedding industry business coach and mentor , of course, I will advocate for what I do. And that's because I've seen the results my expertise brings to those that I humbly help.

If you're serious about starting a wedding planning business, pay for an expert to teach you the road to success. 

I want you to be open to learning as much as you can from trusted sources as you navigate the tricky road of entrepreneurship. Recognize that you don't know everything, be 100% coachable, and apply what you learn in your business.

The truth is, you'll achieve the results you want quicker, better, and faster than you had expected.

Step 11: Believe In Yourself

Finally, I want you to believe in yourself because you were put on this earth for great things.

No, seriously, I want you to believe in your abilities to design a business you love, a business YOU want. While you may lack experience in certain areas, you have a wealth of knowledge about how things work.

You're smart. You're driven. And you're here for the right reasons. Believe in your abilities to learn as you go and apply your knowledge and unique life experiences to the services and products you provide.

For instance, too many people quit because they lack the confidence and belief in themselves to do what they want to do. I don't want you to be one of those people. 

I believe in you. So believe in yourself. All things are possible, and you CAN design a business that you love–and one that gives back to your meaningful life.

And if you're ready to take your wedding planning dreams to the next level, I want to invite you to check out my coaching program for wedding planners .

The Planner's Playbook is your secret weapon for planning, designing, and coordinating high-end weddings like a pro. The doors to this program are open now for a limited time. Click here to learn more about The Planner's Playbook!

Not ready for that? Then grab my free course on how to start your wedding planning business!

Let's summarize this post so you can start your wedding planning business:

How do I start a wedding planning business?

Follow these steps to start and launch your wedding planning business:

It's important to know what kind of business YOU want so that you can reverse engineer the strategies that it will take to get there. Don't skip this step.

Every business needs a strategy to grow and scale. Sit down and write your business plan using your vision as a guide for the strategies you'll create in marketing, sales, services, and pricing.

Businesses exist to serve their customers. Who are you serving? Know your ideal client as well as you know your BFF–and then create products and solutions that help them.

The wedding industry is a saturated market. You'll need to create a brand that stands out from the competition and gets noticed. How will you be different from the rest?

Initially, it'll be easy because you won't have many clients. But as your business grows, it's important to continue working on it more than in it.

The wedding industry is a people industry. Form relationships and connections with the right people–the businesses already in front of your dreamy clients–and watch your biz grow.

Marketing is simply sharing your message so it reaches the right people. Know your message and watch your ICAs start knocking on your door.

Resist the temptation to copy others and be confident that you can do things your way. A signature way of doing anything for your customers will set you apart from the competition.

Nothing happens overnight. It could take months to land your first wedding, so give your business time to take root. Don't rush the brush, so to speak. That moment you feel like quitting? Keep going.

Why try and figure this out all on your own when you could hire someone to help you achieve your goals quicker, faster, and better? Hire a mentor who has been where you want to go and watch how quickly you scale.

A little confidence goes a long way. Believe in your worthiness, experience, creativity, and capabilities. You can do this.

If you're serious about starting your wedding planning business, here are some resources I offer to help:

  • Free Business Plan Outline + Guide
  • Free Course To Launch Your Wedding Planning Business
  • The Client Cocktail
  • The Planner's Playbook
  • WeddingPro Insiders
  • Wedding Planner Business Tools

Know that I'm cheering you on and believing in you. 

Explore More Wedding Industry Resources

  • How To Become A Wedding Planner With No Experience
  • 9 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Wedding Planning Business
  • How To Build Your Portfolio As A Wedding Planner When You’re Just Starting Out
  • Why You Need To Create A Client Journey As A Wedding Planner
  • How To Get Wedding Clients When You’re Just Starting Out
  • Day of Coordination: The Pros and Cons as a Wedding Planner
  • How Much Should You Charge As A Wedding Planner? Learn How To Figure Out Your Wedding Planner Pricing
  • 5 Contracts Every Wedding Planner Must Have To Be Legally Set
  • The #1 Reason Why You’re Not Booking The Right Wedding Clients (And How To Fix It)
  • 5 Online Wedding Planning Tools You Need to Use
  • How To Become A Destination Wedding Planner
  • 4 Strategies That Will Help You Book MORE Of Your Ideal Clients
  • 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
  • 6 Reasons Why I Recommend Asana for Wedding Planners
  • Are You a Disorganized Wedding Planner? Let’s Fix That With These Organized Wedding Planner Tips!

For More Wedding Planner Business Secrets Follow Me On Instagram

The doors to The Planner’s Playbook are officially open again–for a limited time! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The Planner’s Playbook is my coaching program for wedding planners, and it’s your secret weapon to planning, designing, and coordinating magazine-worthy weddings. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Designed for wedding planners who are five years or less into their business–and it will give you all the training AND support you need to: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Design high-end, magazine-worthy weddings that bring your couples’ story to life (so you can become that industry taste-maker everyone is dying to work with) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Plan luxury weddings from A-Z like a pro without having to figure it out on your own (we’re talking big budgets, tented weddings, stellar vendors, and perfected timelines) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Serve your customers better than your competitors and turn them into raving fans (so they become your word-of-mouth champions and refer *more* luxe clients your way) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Simplify your planning process with a clear picture of how to work with your clients on any occasion or budget (like your timelines, checklists, workflows, proposals, contracts–you know, all the things) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Boost your productivity with solid systems and processes that make wedding planning easy (and deliver an incredible client experience) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 🙌🏼 Reach a higher-end clientele that’s dying to work with you and craves your one-of-a-kind wedding planning experience (so that you can charge more money and scale your business) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I’ve taken my 12 years of experience in the wedding industry and created this program to teach you everything you need to know about design, planning, and coordination. 💡 Imagine all the things you could accomplish if you had the right resources and support to guide you. Ready to learn more? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 👉🏻👉🏻👉🏻 Head to to join us inside before time runs out!

how to start my own wedding planning business

The other day I had a total meltdown. I burst into tears after feeling totally overwhelmed by everything in my life. Can you relate? I told my husband that sometimes I just can’t keep up. Keep up with the emails and the questions and the Asana tasks and the content and the exercise regime and the skincare plan and the launch scheduled and the daily water intake and the text messages and the paperwork and the making of the money and the podcast episodes and the scheduling of the everything and the 10,000 steps I need to walk everyday on this fucking walking pad. Anyway, I had a huge meltdown and loudly cried and shouted that I’m only one person and I’m tired of trying to do it all, all the time. A couple of hours later I felt a lot better but I have to be honest, at least once a week I feel an overwhelming sense of dread when I think about all that I’m responsible for lol. So, anyway, that’s my most recent nervous breakdown as told while walking on my walking pad. XO

Heyyyyy 🎉 It’s my birthday!!! And this is my theme song for today 😜🥰 thanks for all the lovely birthday messages and words of encouragement. I feel super lucky today! ❤️

Heyyyyy 🎉 It’s my birthday!!! And this is my theme song for today 😜🥰 thanks for all the lovely birthday messages and words of encouragement. I feel super lucky today! ❤️

If I haven’t told you recently, I LOVE teaching business strategy. I love sharing how you can make simple changes to something in your business and see big results. That’s why I am PUMPED to be speaking this week at the 2023 Backstage Pass Summit – the virtual event of the season exclusively for wedding pros, The summit is completely free and runs September 27th - 28th. I’ll be sharing how you can master the client onboarding process with my 10 steps to a seamless process. You’re going to LOVE my presentation and it’ll get you ready to onboarding all those amazing clients who WILL be hiring you this engagement season. During the summit, you’ll also hear from wedding industry educators and experts on topics ranging from Artificial Intelligence to Getting Published. So if you want to learn how to... * Onboard your customers * Level up your marketing funnel * Tune up your business legally * Become the CEO of your business * Book couples from Instagram ... and so much more! (👉🏻swipe to see the line up!) 🎫 Comment SUMMIT and I’ll send you the link to sign up for free. I can’t wait for you to check out my presentation and kick your onboarding experience up a notch! . . . #weddingpro #weddingbiz #weddingbusiness #weddingpros #weddingindustry #weddingprofessional #weddingprofessionals #weddingindustryeducation #weddingexperts #weddingeducation #candicecoppola #thepowerinpurpose #weddingindustryexperts #eventindustry #honeybook #honeybookeducator #eventpros #risingtidesociety #weddingcommunity #weddingplannerlife #theknot #weddingcourse #weddingindustrycoach #weddingplanner #weddingphotographer #golddiggerpodcast #communityovercompetition #creativebusinessowner #createandcultivate

Want more? Check out this video on my YouTube channel ↓

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Wedding planning business can be very successful career, if you work properly before establishing it. Many people learn the basic etiquettes about wedding planning while event planning course. If you want to get basic knowledge you can also get a course from a good institution and start up your business. Though it is a very interesting and joyful business for those, who love thrill and fun, but at the same time it demands commitment lots of energy and stress. Before starting up your business for wedding planning if you follow some important points, you can get better result in start and get good grip over your business soon.

Great post! I read your blog fairly often and you’re always coming out with some great stuff. I shared this on my Facebook and my followers loved it! Keep up the good work. 🙂

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Each week, we explore how to build a profitable business with purpose—and the stories behind successful entrepreneurs who have. Get ready to dig in and have meaningful conversations about business and life, as we explore the strategies and techniques that build the kind of business you want. 

I believe entrepreneurs who lead with their purpose are more successful, less likely to burn out, and deeply connected to why they do what they do. 

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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Do you love all things romance, follow the wedding trends, and pay attention to detail?

Starting a wedding planning business could be just the thing for you.

The event and wedding planning market’s having a moment right now, and roughly 66% of millennials are willing to employ wedding planners for their special day.

Need help to get you on the right track?

Get your budding wedding planning business in full bloom with our comprehensive 9-step guide.

how to start my own wedding planning business

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How to start a wedding planning business in 9 steps 💒

How to start a wedding planning business is all about detailed planning, the right training, and good people skills.

You want to make sure you’re doing the right things to help your new business stand out from other successful wedding planners, right?

By not taking shortcuts you will be able to talk to your potential clients confidently and plan stunning weddings of the century.

Lights out of focus

1. Get the necessary training

For starters, if you don’t have prior experience in wedding planning, you should take the time to learn the necessary skills of a wedding planner.

There are many platforms to help you out. Search for online courses or enroll in educational programs hosted by professionals in the field. Consider joining organizations that offer certifications, e.g. the American Association of Certified Wedding Planners.

Pro tip 💁 – Look for internships to gain some experience in event coordination. Contact your local wedding planners and let them know you want to assist with upcoming events and bridal shows (those are never stress-free, so it’s likely that most wedding planners will appreciate the extra pair of hands). 

Since you’ll be running an event planning business, consider learning about marketing, finance management, customer service, and other relevant topics as well.

Consider joining networking events for wedding professionals and event planners to meet with other business owners and learn from them first-hand. This might require you to travel to big nearby cities (think New York City, San Francisco, Miami, and so on), but if you plan ahead, you can save on travel costs.  

2. Draft a solid business plan

Once you’re confident with your skills in the wedding planning business, it’s time to create a business plan and start building your own business from the ground up. 

A business plan will help you determine your goals, target audience, and financial plans. It will also help you understand your business structure, whether you need a business license. 

And if you’re looking to open a business bank account, or use a business credit card, chances are that your bank will require you to have a business plan in the first place.

But how do you start?

First and foremost, you should come up with a business name.

If you’re stuck, try using the Zyro Business Name Generator to help you out. After entering your keywords (related to terms such as a wedding, events, planner, and so on), memorable business name suggestions will be presented to you.

When you pick the right name, make sure it’s available as a domain and business name in your region. This way you’re able to build a strong brand that’s easier for your clients to remember.

Your business plan should cover your business information, services, marketing plans, and financial strategy. Use a free template if you don’t know what business accounts and aspects to include.

A happy couple by a pool releasing lots of balloons

3. Define your wedding planning services 

We get it – you want to become a successful wedding planner. 

In order to differentiate yourself from the other small business owners in the market, you can offer one, a selection, or all of the following services:

  • Full wedding planning. You’ll plan the entire wedding from the first consultation to the day of, including designing the concept and coordinating with the vendors. 
  • Partial wedding planning. Typically, the paying client will only hire you to help with their timeline and manage the wedding day.
  • Wedding consultation. You’ll only give recommendations on engaged couples’ event plans.

The service fee usually gets higher as you get more involved in planning the event. This means that full wedding planning is the most expensive of all options. Be sure to include your services and pricing in your plan.

As your wedding business grows, so will your business plan and the services you offer. In the early stages, it’s better to set out realistic expectations for your small business. After all, you don’t want to be working all the hours of the day simply because you didn’t realize the workload. 

Once your business has expanded, adjust your future goals and ideal clientele accordingly.

4. Take care of legal documents

Next, it’s time to become a legal entity and sort out the legal documents to run your business.

For this, consider hiring an attorney to consult on a suitable business structure . The structure you choose determines your taxes and the protection of your personal assets.

In the US, small companies like wedding and event planners are recommended to go with a limited liability company, an LLC .

This way, you’re personally not at big financial risk if your wedding planning business venture goes under for any reason. 

When you’ve decided on a structure, register your business name with your state and local governments.

If you’re a US citizen, make sure to sign up for an Employer Identification Number as well. This will enable you to file taxes, open a bank account, and hire assistants for your business.

Also, remember to get business insurance in case of disasters, accidents, or any other risks.

Don’t forget to take care of your client contracts for when you get hired. Generally, the contract includes terms for services, payment, cancellation, and termination, among other things.

Money, plant and a candle on a table

5. Understand your finances

On average, you can expect to make an average of $49,370 per year in the U.S. when you’re starting a wedding planning business. 

But in order to get to those figures, you need to be sure you have enough cash available to cover your initial costs.

While it’s possible to get your wedding and events planning business started for less than $1,000, you might want to play it safe and have a few thousand dollars available for your startup costs.

At the very least, you will need a computer, a phone, some software licenses, business cards, and office supplies to get your event planning business up and running.

Make sure to network and build a strong, marketable brand to turn your business profitable in the long run.

6. Create your own wedding planning brand

A successful wedding planning business is based on a unique brand.

With so many wedding planners constantly appearing on the scene, having a particular niche and a brand help you to catch the engaged couples’ eye.

You could focus on working with clients who want a big wedding with hundreds of guests or cater to people who want to get married in a nature reserve.

Think about:

  • Your niche. What sets you apart from the other wedding service providers and makes you the wedding planning business someone should choose?
  • Your logo. A good logo is simple, easy to remember, and unique.
  • The overall visual look of your wedding planning business. This includes other web design elements like the color palette and typography you will be using.
  • The tone and voice of your brand. How does your business sound like when you talk to potential clients or the people visiting your website?

Two people shaking hands

7. Find trusted vendors

Since you’ll be coordinating with various vendors (think florist, catering company, furniture rental, and so on) for your events, you should establish a professional relationship with these service providers, especially reputable ones.

As a new business, you might not have an existing pool of business partners to tap into. 

Look for vendors at online directories like Wedding Wire . The wedding website features a review system so you know which suppliers are trusted. Contact them to set up a meeting and get to know each other’s business.

Cooperating with trusted vendors can help you along the way. If you hire the right people, your clients will acknowledge that you’re knowledgeable in your field. 

Additionally, when you maintain a good relationship with these suppliers, they can recommend you to their customers if they need a wedding planner.

8. Create wedding concepts

As a novice wedding planner, you probably don’t have enough content for your portfolio. That’s OK – many wedding planners start their careers by creating mock-up wedding plans to use as marketing material.

First, research current wedding trends . Find out what the most popular themes and decorations are, and what kind of locations and venues are hot among successful wedding planners.

For example, if your business focuses on cultural weddings, look for such decorations. Gather what you’ve found and design several wedding concepts.

Next, contact vendors. Ask if they’re willing to work with you in creating the concepts. You’ll probably need a vendor for flowers, food, decoration, and lighting. Also, get a professional photographer to capture the entire setup.

To make your own mockup designs, get inspiration from Pinterest and similar sites – feel free to set them up in your own home.

Try making several mock wedding timelines for different occasions. This will help potential clients visualize their wedding day when they are deciding whether to hire you.

A sheet spelling out marketing strategy on a table

9. Promote your wedding planning business

To attract new customers, you should advertise your wedding planning business online.

Focus on creating a website to show off the previous weddings you’ve organized, as well as include testimonials of your services. You should also make use of word of mouth and social media platforms when you’re starting out.

How to start a wedding planning business is just as much about marketing as it is about the wedding planning itself. 

Create a professional website

Since most people use search engines and Facebook pages to find services , it’s important that your business has an online presence. Make sure to add your business to platforms like Google My Business to maximize the probability of potential customers finding out about your wedding business.

A website can also provide business information to users. When you put up online ads on search engines or wedding marketplaces, link them to your small business website where visitors can learn more about your business.

Unsure how to start a business website? 

The Zyro wedding website builder makes the process easy for any business owner. With its AI customizations and ready-to-use templates, you won’t need any technical knowledge to design a stunning wedding planner website.

Promote to friends and family

Another way to market your business is by telling your family and friends. And tell them to tell their friends and family, and so on. 

Send them an email about your business information or promote your services during a hangout or gathering.

If some of them or their friends are getting married, offer to plan their wedding day at a discount.

Use this opportunity to build your portfolio and gather testimonials. These will come in handy later on in your wedding planner career.

Share on social media

Lastly, it’s important to create social media accounts for your planning business on platforms like Facebook and Instagram . These sites can help with marketing your services to the right people – without you needing to whip out your business credit card to pay for ad space.

For instance, Facebook’s Audience Insights provides some key information about your target market, so that you can create better advertising and content overall.

Instagram can also offer analytics about your audience to help you with your small business marketing strategy.

People cheering and raising a glass at a wedding

Why you should start your own wedding planning business

Starting your own wedding planning business can be both exciting and profitable. Today, the wedding industry is a lucrative business.

In the US, about 2.4 million weddings happen each year. Furthermore, the “wedding planner” remains the top wedding-related search term .

Regarding startup costs, starting this business is quite affordable . You can basically work from anywhere on your computer and smartphone.

If you’re passionate and multi-skilled, this job could be for you. As a wedding planner, you need to be good at customer service, event coordination, management, and design.

Risks wedding planners should be aware of

Before starting a wedding planning business, you need to know the risks of becoming a wedding planner.

Since most weddings happen during weekends, event planners do sacrifice some of their free time for work. Consider scheduling some days off during the week to minimize burnout.

Furthermore, you can’t build a loyal clientele from a wedding planning business. Your past customers might recommend you to their friends, but it’s not likely that those who have worked with you will hire you again.

As a wedding planner, you also need to market your business more during low seasons when your business bank account might look grim. Craft a strategy that encourages more people to wed in other seasons. Otherwise, you might risk losing income during idle times.

Bride and groom's shoes against a wooden background

Becoming a wedding planner

The wedding industry remains a profitable business – but it takes a dedicated and multi-skilled person to become a wedding planner.

Before you start a wedding planning business, consider the time and money needed to invest in being a wedding planner and running your own business. You will have to work weekends and holidays, and market harder during the off-seasons.

Remember that as a wedding planner you will also need to have great people skills and be able to pay attention to detail, no matter how tiny they may seem. Since weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event for many, your customers will expect to be able to have a say in everything.

If you think you can easily handle a bridezilla, and want to help create real fairytale weddings, starting a wedding planning business could be just the right career move for you.

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Matleena is a seasoned eCommerce writer, with a particular interest in emerging digital marketing trends, dropshipping, and growth hacking. She’s addicted to coming up with new eCommerce business ideas and making them a reality; she deserves her nickname of ‘print on demand business mogul.' In her free time, she enjoys cups of good coffee, tends to her balcony garden, and studies Japanese.

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How to Become a Wedding Planner, According to the Experts

One step closer to your dream job!

how to start my own wedding planning business

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

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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!

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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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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!


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how to start my own wedding planning business

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

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"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 my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business: A Step-By-Step Guide

Author Dominic Townsend

Posted Apr 18, 2023

Photo Of People Doing Handshakes

Starting a wedding planning business can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and preparation, it can also be an incredibly rewarding experience. Kaden Dean, owner of KD Weddings and Events, is the go-to wedding planner for couples in search of a stress-free wedding planning process. A decade ago, Kaden started her own small business and has since become a leader in this lucrative industry that covers everything from wedding venues to apparel retailers, florists to photographers.

7 Simple Steps to Begin Your Own Wedding Planning Business

1. choose a business entity, 2. get an ein, 3. get a business bank account and business credit card, creating your packages and price your services, discover your perfect fit: identifying your ideal clients.

According to market research firm IBISWorld, the average wedding costs vary greatly depending on location, with some areas being more expensive than others. reports that the average couple spends approximately $33,900 on their big day. However, websites like WeddingWire make it easier for couples to find deals and save money on their wedding expenses. In a nutshell, wedding planners are responsible for creating happiness on one of the biggest days of a couple's life by taking care of all the big things – from choosing invitations to managing all the moving parts on the wedding day itself.

In this article, we will outline 7 simple steps for starting your own successful wedding planning business. From learning how to stay calm during a wedding emergency to working long hours while managing multiple clients at once – we will cover everything you need to know about becoming a top-rated wedding planner like Kaden Dean. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your existing business to new heights, our step-by-step guide will help you navigate this exciting and dynamic industry with confidence!

Starting a wedding planning business can be an exciting and rewarding venture. To get your business started, begin by researching the market and determining what services you will offer. Next, create a business plan and secure any necessary licenses or permits. Build your brand with a website and social media presence, network with other vendors, and establish pricing and contracts. Finally, deliver exceptional service to your clients to grow your reputation and business.

Step 2 of starting your wedding planning business is to choose a business entity. It's important to consider the legal ramifications and tax purposes when selecting a business entity for your wedding planning business. A great option to protect yourself from personal liability is to establish a limited liability company (LLC) or limited liability partnership (LLP). These types of registered businesses will provide you with protection against lawsuits, and you won't be personally liable for any debts incurred by the business or your business partner.

Before moving on to step 3, it's essential that you consult with a business attorney familiar with the laws in your state. They can help guide you in determining which type of business entity is best suited for your wedding planning business. Taking the time now to choose the right business entity will save you headaches down the road, and it's a great time to start working on your overall business plan too!

If you're running a wedding planning business and plan on hiring employees, getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a necessity. Even if you're a one-person show, having an EIN can make things easier for you in the long run. The good news is that getting an EIN is fairly easy.

To get your Employer Identification Number, you can apply online through the IRS website. This process is extremely helpful and will only take a few minutes of your time. Once you have your EIN, you'll be able to open a business bank account, apply for a business credit card, and take care of other business necessities. Plus, having an EIN makes it much easier to file your business taxes when the time comes.

Getting a business checking account and a business credit card is an important step for any wedding planning business. It allows you to keep your business finances separate from your personal finances, which is important for tax purposes and to maintain accurate records.

Having a separate business checking account and credit card also helps to establish your wedding planning business as a legitimate entity in the eyes of lenders, vendors, and clients. This is especially important if you plan on expanding your home-based business into a small storefront or marketing products in the future. Additionally, using a business credit card responsibly can help build up your business credit score, which can be beneficial when seeking loans or other forms of financing in the future.

4. Get any funding you need

Starting a wedding planning business can be expensive, and it's important to have enough money to cover the startup costs and upfront expenses. If you don't have the funds on hand, there are several funding options available. One option is to apply for a business loan from a bank or other financial institution. To be approved for a loan, you'll need to have a great business plan and show potential investors that your wedding planning business will be profitable quickly.

Another option is to consider an interest-free loan or credit card with an introductory offer of 0% APR for the first 12 months. This can be an effective funding tool if you're able to pay off the balance before the intro period ends and avoid the variable APR that kicks in after that time. Whatever funding option you choose, make sure it's one that works best for your wedding planning business goals and financial situation.

5. Market your services and start doing business

Now that you've set up your wedding planning business and have your packages offering laid out, it's time to start marketing and finding clients. One effective way is to attend trade shows and bridal boutiques where you can showcase your services and forge relationships with other wedding vendors. Another way is to reach out to wedding venues in your area and offer to partner with them in promoting each other's businesses.

Remember that a happy customer is a walking advertisement for your business, so always keep kaden dean mind happy customers and provide referrals when possible. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful in the wedding industry, so make sure you deliver exceptional service to every couple on their special day.

Creating your packages and pricing your services is an essential aspect of establishing a successful wedding planning business. The good news is that there are 4 common types of service packages that you can offer to clients: full-service wedding planning, partial wedding planning services, wedding management, and wedding coordination.

When it comes to pricing strategies, you should keep in mind that it's better to start with a bit lower prices than to overprice your services. Don't start too low though as it could affect the quality of your work. You must find the right balance between affordable and profitable rates that will attract clients and keep your business running smoothly.

There are 4 reasons why you should review your prices annually: market changes, increased expenses, new competition, and growth opportunities. By keeping track of these factors, you'll be able to adjust your pricing strategies accordingly and maintain a competitive edge in the market. Remember that pricing isn't fixed forever - it's important to stay flexible and adapt as needed to ensure long-term success for your wedding planning business .

Start defining your ideal clients to ensure your wedding planning business goals are met. You've spent time thinking about what type of clients you want to work with, but it's essential to create client avatars for your business. This will give you a clear understanding of who your ideal clients are and how you can attract them.

Pros start creating client avatars in their 1-2 years of business. By their 3rd year, they have a great time working with their ideal clients. Book your ideal clients by identifying their demographics, values, interests, and pain points. Once you have this information, tailor your marketing efforts to attract those clients.

Not having a clear understanding of your ideal clients can be a success block for wedding planners. Identifying your ideal clients allows you to offer personalized services that meet their needs and desires. By booking more of these types of clients, you'll book more weddings that bring joy and fulfillment both professionally and personally.

Secure Your Initial Customer: Tips for Success

Securing your initial customer is crucial for any wedding planning business. As a wedding planner, you need to make sure that you're the trusted professional that couples turn to for their big day. This means putting in the true labor of building relationships and establishing yourself as a go-to resource.

Smiling African American waitress wearing casual t shirt and apron standing at counter in cozy coffee shop with female customer while serving hot drink and looking at each other

To start building your client base , you'll need to begin with an advertising strategy. Start advertising through social media channels and wedding planners book family and friends. You can also consider partnering with other wedding vendors to get the word out about your services. By starting your marketing efforts early, you'll be able to establish yourself as a reliable option before the competition heats up.

One effective way to secure your initial customer is by offering a free consultation or package deal. Couples are more likely to hire a wedding planner if they feel comfortable and confident in their abilities. Simply fill out related articles on your website or social media channels with tips and advice for planning a successful wedding. By providing value upfront, you'll be able to attract potential clients who are interested in working with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a good event planner.

A good event planner is organized, detail-oriented, and has excellent communication skills. They are able to anticipate potential problems and quickly come up with solutions, ensuring that the event runs smoothly from start to finish.

What qualifications do I need to become a wedding planner?

To become a wedding planner, it is not mandatory to hold any specific qualifications. However, having a degree or diploma in event management, hospitality or business can be beneficial. It is more important to gain experience through internships and apprenticeships with established wedding planning companies.

How can I market my wedding planning business?

One way to market your wedding planning business is to create a strong online presence through social media platforms, a website with SEO optimization, and listings on wedding directories. Networking, offering referral discounts, and creating partnerships with other wedding vendors can also help increase visibility and attract potential clients.

How long does it take to become a wedding planner?

Becoming a wedding planner can take anywhere from several months to a few years, depending on the level of education and experience you have. It typically involves completing a certification program or obtaining a degree in event planning, as well as gaining hands-on experience through internships or working with an established planner.

What should I consider when starting a wedding planning business?

When starting a wedding planning business, consider your target market, competition, budget, and legal requirements. It's important to have a solid business plan and establish good relationships with vendors to ensure successful events.

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Dominic Townsend

Writer at CGAA

Dominic Townsend is a successful article author based in New York City. He has written for many top publications, such as The New Yorker, Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. Dominic is passionate about writing stories that have the power to make a difference in people’s lives.

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Maximizing Your Income: Paying Yourself as a Business Owner

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Uncovering the Hidden Costs: What Are Business Liabilities?

Learn How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

What does it take to become a successful wedding planner?

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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 to Start Your Own Wedding Planning Business

While most people hate wedding planning, there are others that absolutely relish it.

If this sounds like you, you may want to start a wedding planning business. There’s an overwhelming need for wedding planners, and it near guarantees job security. On average, wedding planners can expect to earn around $45,000 per year . Sounds pretty appealing, doesn’t it?

But like any business, you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Here’s a quick guide on how to start your own wedding business from scratch.

Before you make others’ dreams come true, you’ll first need to do a bit of research. Ensure you have a clear understanding of all that a wedding planning business entails.

For instance, have you considered start-up costs? You’re going to need a bit of money to get your business off the ground.

Your area may have an influx of wedding planners already. While some competition is unavoidable, you don’t want to start this business in an overly competitive area.

You’ll also need to take your people skills into consideration. Let’s face it, not every bride is as graceful as she could be near the wedding. Make sure you’ve got a tough skin and can adapt to change on a near minute-to-minute basis.

Connections Are Crucial for a Wedding Planning Business

Any wedding planner needs to have connections with local venues and businesses.

By knowing people in the local community, you’ll be able to strike deals on everything from cake tastings to wedding bookings to music (we recommend David Rothstein Music ).

After all, the wedding planning business, like every other industry, is all about who you know. Spend a day going around to local businesses with your contact info. Let them know who you are and what you do. Most businesses will be thrilled to make a new connection.

Create a Business Plan

Of course, you’ll need plenty of business smarts as well as social skills. Make sure you have a thorough, well-detailed business plan ready.

You should have a portfolio of past work and references ready to show clients at all times.

Make sure your business plan includes each of the following factors:

  • Business name
  • Means of business
  • License (not always necessary)
  • Budget for marketing
  • 5-year plan
  • Services offered.

On top of these details, you’ll need a solid strategy. Think about what separates you from the competition and make sure to highlight it in your marketing.

Now all you need to do is get the word out there! Take a class on website creation and build a site to showcase your talents.

And don’t forget social media, too. Make sure that your business has its own, separate business page on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Creating your own wedding business from scratch is such an exciting venture! With a bit of knowledge, preparation, and the right social circle, your business will take off in no time.

Have any questions? Get in touch today and let us know. We’d love to help you find a class that will make your dreams a reality.

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How to Start a Wedding Venue in 6 Easy Steps

Randa Kriss

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.

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.

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How to Start an Event Planning Service Want to be an event planner but not sure how to start your own event planning service? Discover how to start this business in our step-by-step guide.

Feb 22, 2001

Some people get a lot of personal and professional joy out of making big events and special days even better for their attendees. If you have the hosting itch, and if you love to tackle complex problems and make big days go smoothly, you might have a future as a professional event planner.

But whether you choose to work alone or with a small team, starting an event planning service is no small task. Today, let's break down how to start an event planning service step-by-step.

What are the basics of event planning?

Event planning is the art (and sometimes science) of event ideation, planning, coordination and operation. When a big, important event needs to go smoothly, it's time to call an event planning service or coordinator.

Event planners are key service providers who can ensure event production and execution happens smoothly. They perform these duties for trade shows, senior events, nonprofit galas and much more.

Related: Find Your Event-Planning Niche

Event planning is most often used for purposes like:

  • Big educational meetings, like graduations or conferences.
  • Major promotions, like marketing events, product launches and fashion shows.
  • Corporate events, like after-work cocktail hours, galas, etc.
  • Celebrations and social events like parades, weddings, birthdays, reunions, etc.

Event planning is highly important to make sure the above and other major events go off without a hitch, especially so that the most important guests can enjoy themselves.

The primary duties of full-time or part-time, on-site event planner jobs include:

  • Doing research prior to the big event.
  • Event design and team-building for project management.
  • Finding the appropriate site for the event.
  • Creating event budgets and running fundraisers if necessary.
  • Arranging for decor, entertainment and food for the event.
  • Sending invitations to potential attendees.
  • Planning transportation for attendees to and from the event.
  • Arranging any other necessary accommodations, like seating.
  • Coordinating activities for event personnel, like caterers or entertainers.
  • Supervising activities at the event site.

The events industry, both for wedding planning and other events, requires good communication skills. Additionally, obtaining a bachelor's degree in public relations or related areas can be helpful but is not absolutely required. Let's look closer at this job type and business.

Why do people hire event planning services?

People primarily hire event planning services for two reasons:

  • So that event-goers and guests of honor can enjoy themselves without focusing on the event.
  • So that the event in question goes smoothly.

Imagine a typical example of a wedding. Many engaged couples hire event planners or event planning services to coordinate, organize and carry out their wedding plans. In this way, the couples can enjoy their special days and focus on getting married rather than worrying about things like catering, parking and kicking out rowdy guests. Instead, the wedding planner takes care of that stuff.

Furthermore, some events are so complex – particularly those with hundreds of guests or more – that it's almost impossible to properly plan and organize them without the help of a specialist. Knowledgeable, experienced event planners know how to organize groups of people, how much food to provide and other details that can make or break an important event.

Related: The Price Is Right: Turning a Profit in the Event Planning Business

Who should become an event planner?

You might consider becoming an event planner if you love hosting parties and the thrill of organizing a complex event and running it without an issue. Planners often have to handle many moving parts at once. Many event planners have histories as managers or coordinators in other industries. You should become an event planner or start your own event planning service if you feel that you would enjoy this kind of work.

It's also worth noting that event planning often requires you to work on weekends or holidays (since these are the days when people have free time to schedule and hold events), as well as handle chaotic, sometimes confusing work and competing agendas. You should also consider acquiring certification for your event planning service, as it can help you acquire relevant professional skills and attract more job opportunities . Meeting Professionals International (MPI) is an association that offers a list of degrees and certificates from colleges and universities. The right degree or certification can lead to more job opportunities and even pave the way to a higher salary.

Alternatively, try to become a CSEP or Certified Special Events Professional or CMP or Certified Meeting Planner. Both of these are given out by the MPI or the ISES (International Special Events Society), which also highlight your skills and designate you as an expert event coordinator.

Now that we've covered the basics, let's get into the steps you need to take to start an event planning service:

Step 1: Make your company

Your first step involves making your company and filing the right paperwork. You should first draw up a business plan, which will include details like:

  • The business's name.
  • The business's tax structure (like a sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.).
  • How you'll make a profit.

Related: Check out these business plan templates to get started.

You'll also want to get an EIN, or employer identification number. This will allow you to hire employees for your event planning service if you desire later down the road.

How to Start an Event Planning Service

Step 2: Choose your target market

Next, do market research and pick the target market you want to work for. For instance, if you want to primarily work with weddings, you need to research that target market to know how much to charge for your services, what's involved and what you need to be experienced in.

By doing some research ahead of time, you won't find running your first events to be too overwhelming. You'll also know how much to advertise your event planning service to be competitive relative to other services in the area.

Step 3: Consider startup costs

When you start an event planning business, you'll have to consider startup costs. Working from home or primarily by yourself will keep costs low as opposed to hiring employees (who will require salaries).

However, if you want to expand your event planning business, you'll eventually need extra equipment, business premises like an office or warehouse and more. All of these things can add up, impacting the kind of business you begin.

Note that you can always scale your business after acquiring steady work. For instance, you can start off as a one-man event planning service that only provides services to small events you can tackle by yourself. After you save up some money from some successful jobs, you can hire a few more employees and rent out a warehouse for your equipment, like cameras, chairs and more.

Step 4: Understand the work involved and hire employees (optional)

For your event planning service to be successful , you need to fully grasp the nature of the work involved and understand whether you should hire employees.

Planning and executing an excellent event generally involves:

  • Designing the event, which means sketching out the feel or look of the event in question. Some clients will have very specific ideas you'll need to incorporate into the design.
  • Putting together a proposal for your clients so they can improve your plans.
  • Organizing the event, which involves almost everything else, like renting the site for the event, hiring vendors, hiring entertainers, organizing caterers and much more.

There's a ton of work that goes into planning even the smallest event. Fortunately, as you acquire experience, you'll be more adept at anticipating and completing this work.

Related: The Event Planning Recipe for Success

Generally, the larger the events you want to manage and coordinate, the more employees you need to hire. At a certain point, you can't be everywhere at once! Consider hiring employees when you have the cash to do so; this will allow you to plan events for larger groups of people and make more of a profit.

Step 5: Settle on a price structure and fee basis

How you price your event planning business will impact how often you get requests. You can determine your pricing structure and fee basis by things like:

  • The market segment you serve: For instance, social events usually have different fee structures than corporate events.
  • Your geographic location: If you have a higher cost of living, you are justified in charging your clients more to plan their events.
  • Your experience and reputation: As your business gets a reputation for success, you'll be able to charge a higher premium for your services.

Step 6: Start marketing your event planning service

Once you have all of your ducks in a row and you know how to charge your clients, you can start marketing your event planning service. Do this online through Google PPC (pay-per-click) ads, social media marketing and other efforts. Don't hesitate to use in-person marketing materials, like posters or TV ads, as well.

Related: 8 Savvy Ways to Promote Your Event Planning Business

As you can see, starting an event planning service is a matter of preparation and deep consideration. If you plan everything properly, your event planning service will launch smoothly, and you'll get your first batch of clients in no time.

Check out Entrepreneur's other guides and resources today!

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How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

how to start my own wedding planning business

If you love everything that has to do with weddings, you should consider starting your own wedding planning business. According to the Association of Bridal Consulting , there are 2.4 million weddings each year in the United States, where it is a $165 billion industry. Do you want a piece of the cake – which you expertly recommended to the happy couple? Here are some tips on starting your own wedding planning business:

Have a passion for weddings Planning what some consider to be the most important days of their lives means a lot is resting on your shoulders. Wedding planning can be stressful. You have to think on your feet and try to please everyone at the same time. You will have to play the part of referee and be the voice of reason. However, if you enjoy what you are doing, planning weddings can be fun and rewarding. You need strong organizational skills and keen attention to detail, as well as a level head and the patience to deal with the emotional ups and downs that start weeks before the Big Day. No matter how well you plan, things are going to go wrong. The florist might send the wrong flowers or the maid of honor’s shoes might break. You need to set things right and make sure the day runs smoothly.

It helps to gain wedding-related experience. Go to as many weddings as you can and build a network. Get to know different caterers, florists, photographers in terms of cost, specialty and reliability. Learn which venues are booked for the next five years and which ones are usually reasonable and available. If a friend or family member is getting married, see if you can shadow the planner. If not, pay extra close attention to everything going on behind the scenes.

Keep up with wedding trends. Read bridal magazines and scour wedding websites. Know what kinds of weddings are popular in your area. Many cities and regions have their own specialized editions of bridal magazines.

Get certified See if a local college or university offers wedding or event planning and consulting classes. Some institutes offer full certification programs. There are many other ways to get your certification, which is not required but makes you more credible and serves as a means by which you get a crash course in planning. Decide if you would rather attend a two-day workshop or spread it out. Certification programs can be on the pricey side, so decide what you are looking for in your course and shop around to find your best option. Make a plan Decide how you are going to structure your business and what services you will offer. Are you going to plan entire weddings or act as a sounding board for the bride and groom when they are looking for a venue? Think of a name for your new business. Make it one that is clever and easy to remember.

More On This...

As a wedding planner, you put in the man hours so the bride and groom don’t have to. Keep this in mind when trying to figure out if you want your wedding planning business to become a full-time or part-time job. It may take years for your bridal business to get off the ground, and even longer before you start turning a profit. Can you afford a dip in income if you decide to work full time? Once you start with clients, will you be able to do your own bookkeeping? How well can you stick to a budget? These are all things to consider.

Put yourself out there Advertise your business. Let your friends and family members know about your new business and politely ask them to drop your name if they happen to be part of a conversation about weddings. Build a website with your contact information, past work and specializations. Having a website might make potential customers more at ease when choosing you because they can see what you are all about. Print up business cards and keep track of all of the contacts you make. Develop a portfolio to show potential clients. The more experience you get, the better your portfolio will become and the more in-demand your services will become.

how to start my own wedding planning business

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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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Wedding Venue

Back to All Business Ideas

How to Open a Wedding Venue

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 March 3, 2022 Updated on September 25, 2023

How to Open a Wedding Venue

Investment range

$51,550 - $134,100

Revenue potential

$155,000 - $310,000 p.a.

Time to build

Profit potential

$60,000 - $125,000 p.a.

Industry trend

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

Wedding Venue Business FAQs

Weddings are back! After a major pandemic downturn, it’s time to get the party going again. If you love seeing people get hitched, starting a wedding venue might be just the ticket for you. Weddings are a nearly $60 billion US industry, and the venues are a critical part. You could open your own wedding venue and give happy couples the day of their dreams while making good money. With a big space you could host the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself, and the reception — and perhaps offer an outdoor ceremony as well. 

But before you catch this entrepreneurial bouquet and run with it, you’ll need to do your business homework. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide details everything you need to know to develop and launch a successful wedding venue business.

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 venue has pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.

  • Fulfill Dreams – Give young couples and their loved ones lifelong memories
  • Good Money – Wedding venues cost an average of $13,000
  • Low Expenses – Venue prep will be your main cost
  • Seasonality – Weddings typically occur in spring and summer
  • High Startup Costs – Unless you already have a property, you’ll spend some $$$

Wedding venue industry trends

Industry size and growth.

  • Industry size and past growth – The US wedding industry is worth $57 billion in 2022 and rebounding following a huge dip during the pandemic.(( ))
  • Growth forecast – The global wedding planning industry, which mirrors the wedding venue industry, is projected to grow a robust 6% annually through 2028.(( ))
  • Number of businesses – In 2022, 336,725 wedding services businesses were operating in the US. 
  • Number of people employed – In 2022, the wedding services industry employed 923,123 people. 

wedding industry size and growth

Trends and challenges

Trends in the wedding venue industry include:

  • More intimate weddings are trending, creating an opportunity for smaller, more affordable wedding venues to create cozier, more intimate events. 
  • Outdoor weddings have gained ground, so having an outdoor space at your venue would mean additional opportunity. 

Challenges in the wedding venue industry include:

  • The market is saturated, so you’ll need a unique venue to stand out. Everybody wants the perfect wedding ceremony and reception, so you might partner with a wedding planner to offer appealing options. 
  • Many people are opting for destination weddings, which means less business for local venues.

wedding venue Trends and Challenges

Consumer spending

  • Average consumer spend – The average couple spends about $13,000 on their wedding venue.(( ))
  • Potential customer base – There are 2-2.5 million weddings in the U.S. each year.(( ))

wedding venue consumer spending

What kind of people work in wedding venues?

  • Gender – 83.1% of wedding coordinators are female, while 11.4% are male.(( ))
  • Average level of education – The average wedding coordinator has a bachelor’s degree.
  • Average age – The average wedding coordinator in the US is 37.6 years old.

wedding venue demographics

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

Startup costs for a wedding venue business range from $50,000 to $130,000. Your biggest expense is, of course, the down payment on the venue, which will depend on the venue’s size, location, and capabilities. 

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your wedding venue business, including: 

  • Tables and chairs
  • Various décor items
  • Tents for outdoor events

How much can you earn from a wedding venue business?

The average price for a wedding venue is about $13,000. Your profit margin after venue prep, labor, mortgage, and insurance should be about 40%. 

In your first year or two, you could host 12 weddings per year, bringing in about $155,000 in annual revenue. This would mean more than $60,000 in profit, assuming that 40% margin. As your brand gains recognition, you could host 24 events a year. With annual revenue of more than $310,000, you’d make a tidy profit of about $125,000.

wedding venue earnings forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

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

  • The cost of purchasing the venue
  • Finding a property suitable to be a venue
  • Standing out in a saturated market

Related Business Ideas

How to Open a Wedding Venue

How to Start a Wedding Planning Business

How to Open a Wedding Venue

How to Start an Event Venue Business

How to Open a Wedding Venue

How to Start an Event Planning Business

Step 2: hone your idea.

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a wedding venue, 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 venues in your area and beyond 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 venue with space for outdoor weddings.

how to start my own wedding planning business

You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as lakeside or old barn weddings.

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

What? Determine your products or services

In addition to offering your venue for weddings, you can offer it for:

  • Corporate events
  • Awards ceremonies
  • Parties including birthday parties

You could also offer deep discounts for weekday and off-season weddings.

How much should you charge for your wedding venue?

The average price of a wedding venue is $13,000. Your price will depend on the capacity and features of your venue. Your ongoing costs will be for event preparation and labor. You should aim for a profit margin of about 40%. 

Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. 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 couples getting married or thinking about getting married. You can market on sites like Instagram and Facebook, or even TikTok. You can also partner with wedding planners and vendors to get referrals. 

Where? Choose your wedding venue location

Selecting the perfect location for your wedding venue is a critical decision that can greatly impact the success of your business. You can find commercial space to rent or buy in your area on sites such as  Craigslist ,  Crexi , and  Instant Offices .

Look for a location that offers breathtaking scenery, easy accessibility, and ample space for both indoor and outdoor events.

A desirable location will attract couples seeking a picturesque and convenient venue for their special day, helping you establish a strong reputation and a steady flow of bookings in the competitive wedding industry.

wedding venue business idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Wedding Venue 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 venue”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Majestic Moments Co.” over “Vineyard Vows Weddings Co.”
  • 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 sets 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 Venue 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 : Brief overview of the entire business plan; should be written after the plan is complete.
  • Business Overview : Overview of the company, vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
  • Product and Services : Describe your offerings in detail.
  • Market Analysis : Assess market trends such as variations in demand and prospects for growth, and do a SWOT analysis .
  • Competitive Analysis : Analyze main competitors, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and create a list of the advantages of your services.
  • Sales and Marketing : Examine your companies’ unique selling propositions (USPs) and develop sales, marketing, and promotional strategies.
  • Management Team : Overview of management team, detailing their roles and professional background, along with a corporate hierarchy.
  • Operations Plan : Your company’s operational plan includes procurement, office location, key assets and equipment, and other logistical details.
  • Financial Plan : Three years of financial planning, including startup costs, break-even analysis, profit and loss estimates, cash flow, and balance sheet.
  • Appendix : Include any additional financial or business-related documents.

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’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to wedding venues. 

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 venue 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 need 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

Form Your LLC

Choose Your State

We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023

how to start my own wedding planning business

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.

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 my own wedding planning business

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’re 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 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 option, other than friends and family, for funding a wedding venue business. You might also try crowdfunding if you have a dynamic venue and an innovative concept. 

types of business financing

Step 8: Apply for Wedding Venue Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a wedding venue 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 venue 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 Curate , HoneyBook , or bloom , to manage your planning, bookings, invoicing, 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.

Some of your business will come from the casual passerby or online visitors, but you should still invest in digital marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses, as it’ll boost customer and brand awareness. Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media accounts and vice versa. Social media is a great tool for promoting your business because you can create engaging posts that advertise your products: 

  • Facebook : Great platform for paid advertising, allows you to target specific demographics, like men under age 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram : Same benefits as Facebook but with different target audiences.
  • Website : SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Book Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 
  • Google and Yelp : For businesses that rely on local clientele, getting listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be crucial to generating awareness and customers. 

Kickstart Marketing

Take advantage of your website, social media presence and real-life activities to increase awareness of your offerings and build your brand. Some suggestions include:

  • Email marketing/newsletter – Send regular emails to customers and prospects. Make them personal. 
  • Start a blog – Start a blog and post regularly. Change up your content and share on multiple sites.
  • Seek out referrals – Offer incentives to generate customer referrals to new clients. 
  • Paid ads on social media – Choose sites that will reach your target market and do targeted ads.
  • Pay–per-click marketing – Use Google AdWords to perform better in searches. Research your keywords first.
  • Influencer marketing – Pay people with large social media followings to promote your wedding venue. You can find micro-influencers with smaller followings and lower rates.
  • Testimonials – Share customer testimonials about how your wedding venue helped them.

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 venue 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 venue business could be:

  • The perfect lakeside wedding venue
  • A classic barn wedding venue for your special day
  • An intimate venue for an unforgettable evening

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 venue, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in weddings 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 venues. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

You’ll likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a wedding venue business include:

  • Event Prep People – prepare the venue for weddings or other events
  • General Manager – scheduling, staff management, accounting
  • Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media

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 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 Venue Business – Start Making Money!

Weddings need a perfect setting, and if you find the right property you can provide that for couples just starting to build a life together. It’s a fun line of work since you can be there for all the knot-tying, and it’s a money-making business as well. Now that you’ve got your head around the business aspects, it’s time to put your plan together and start delivering wedding dreams! 

Yes! The average couple spends $13,000 on their wedding venue, so even if you host 10 events per year, you’ll make good money. Your expenses will be for event preparation and labor, so you’ll keep a good chunk of that cash.

Your price will depend on the size of your venue and its features. The average price for a wedding venue is $13,000 but you should check venues in your area to see what they charge and make sure you’re competitive.

The amount of land needed for a wedding venue can vary depending on various factors, such as the number of guests, the desired layout, and the amenities offered. Typically, a wedding venue would require at least 10-15 acres of land.

The zoning requirements for a wedding venue can vary depending on the location and local zoning laws. In general, most areas will require that a wedding venue be zoned for commercial or special events use.

To determine the specific zoning requirements for a wedding venue, it’s important to check with the local zoning authority or planning department. They can provide information on the zoning laws and regulations in the area, including any permits, licenses, or approvals that may be required to operate a wedding venue.

To market your wedding venue effectively, create a visually appealing website and portfolio, utilize social media platforms, attend wedding fairs and industry events, collaborate with wedding vendors, showcase real weddings and testimonials, and optimize your website for search engines.

To create a unique and memorable experience for couples at your wedding venue, offer personalized consultations, provide flexibility and customization options, highlight unique venue features, add personalized touches, deliver exceptional customer service, and ensure seamless coordination with vendors.

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DIY wedding ideas and inspiration

how to start my own wedding planning business

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and you want everything to be perfect. However, weddings can be expensive, and the costs of hiring a wedding planner or designer can add up quickly.

That's where DIY-ing your own wedding comes in. A little creativity and Adobe Express’s digital tools are all you need to organize a beautiful and personalized wedding on a budget. From designing your own invitations to making unique thank you cards, there are endless DIY wedding ideas.

Whether you're looking to save money or simply want to put your own personal touch on your special day, this article is full of DIY wedding ideas to keep you on budget.

It's important to note that Adobe sees and celebrates the diversity of love and is inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community. The DIY approach is for everyone who is planning their wedding, regardless of sexual identity or orientation. We recognize and honor the unique challenges that members of the LGBTQ+ community may face when planning their weddings and want to provide helpful tips and advice for shaping your wedding in a manner that is both beautiful and true to your identity.


Getting organized.

Consider your personal style, interests, and budget so the decision-making process is easier. You may even want to refer to a checklist to stay organized and on-track. By partnering with Adobe Express and forming a plan, you can make informed and confident decisions about your DIY projects.

Outline a budget

Creating a wedding budget is an essential step in planning a wedding . Having a clear idea of what you and your spouse can afford is key to keeping expenses under control and ensures that the couple does not overspend.

DIYing most or all of the event is a great way to save money. It allows couples to have a hands-on approach to their wedding, and it adds a personal touch to the event.

Examine your finances and weigh your priorities. Even DIYing a handful of aspects of your wedding can help save you money. Your budget will be a tool in helping you decide what to DIY and for what, if anything, to hire a professional.

Paper vs. Digital

Today’s couples can choose between traditional paper materials and modern digital platforms. Both options come with advantages, both can be shaped to reflect your unique style, and you can even explore specific relationship invitation template options that can work in digital or paper formats.

Paper materials, like physical wedding invitations and programs, offer a tangible and timeless touch, evoking a sense of nostalgia and personal connection. They become keepsakes that the bridal party and guests can treasure, reminding them of the special day.

On the other hand, digital materials offer flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and are environmentally-friendly. Digital invitations , RSVP options, websites, and the like can be easily updated, shared, and even integrated with multimedia elements, providing a dynamic experience for guests and shaped to reflect every couple’s unique identity.

A white and brown floral wedding invitation with event details

Regardless of whether you select paper or digital, Adobe Express's tools will enhance the DIY wedding experience. For paper-centric choices, Adobe Express offers design tools to craft visually stunning invitations, programs, and other stationeries. Alternatively, for couples leaning toward a digital approach, Adobe Express provides solutions to create interactive websites, engaging videos , and digital graphics.

Note that some guests might not be comfortable with digital materials or adept with technology, so you could decide to offer paper options to those who prefer them.

The choice between paper and digital materials ultimately boils down to your personal preferences, and regardless of your choice, Adobe Express ensures that you can achieve a professional and personalized touch with your wedding materials.

Wedding theme

Choosing a theme for your wedding can be a great way to create a cohesive and professional look and feel throughout your event. When choosing a theme, consider your personal style and interests, as well as the overall vibe you want to create for your wedding. Consider selecting a color palette to assist in developing your wedding aesthetic.

Once you've chosen your theme and made your designs, carry it through all aspects of your wedding, from the invitations and save-the-dates to the décor and centerpieces. This creates a cohesive look and feel throughout your event.

Wedding binder

Creating a wedding binder is a necessary step in organizing the details of your big day. To get started, procure a durable three-ring binder and dividers with tabs to categorize sections such as "Budget," "Guest List," "Vendor Contacts," "Inspiration," and "Timeline."

Use your binder to track invoices, timelines, RSVP-related info, catering, and so forth. A well-organized wedding binder will serve as a comprehensive reference point throughout the planning process, ensuring you stay on top of every detail and make your special day memorable. What’s more, you can share it with your wedding planning team or keep it on your devices for easy access throughout the planning process.

Wedding website

To create a wedding webpage using Adobe Express, start by selecting a template that matches your wedding theme. Customize the layout, colors, and fonts to make your website look professional and elegant. Consider adding an “About Us,” contact information, photo gallery, and map section. Link to your digital invitation and RSVP. When you are done, publish your webpage and share it with your guests. Adobe Express offers an intuitive interface that makes designing and publishing a wedding webpage simple and straightforward.

Consider including the following sections and information on your wedding website:

  • Travel or transit information
  • Accommodations
  • Itineraries
  • RSVP (if you're doing digital RSVP)
  • Your love story
  • Social media/sharing guidelines (hashtags, profiles, etc.)
  • Health and safety guidelines
  • Accessibility information for the venue
  • Adults-only/kid-friendly info
  • Guest information, or what to do or see locally for those traveling in from out of town

DIY wedding invitations

Taking on the task of designing your own wedding invitation can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips to guide you in crafting DIY wedding invitations that are unique to you and resonate with charm and intimacy.

  • Find your inspiration: Before diving into the design process, gather inspiration. Look at a variety of wedding invitation samples, both online and offline. Create a mood board with colors, patterns, motifs, and typography that appeal to you. Reflect on your relationship's milestones, shared interests, or any particular themes you've envisioned for the wedding. Any of these elements are wonderful starting points for the design.
  • Prioritize legibility: While it's tempting to get experimental with fonts and colors, always prioritize readability. Your guests need to quickly grasp crucial details like date, time, venue, and RSVP instructions. Choose fonts that are elegant but clear. If you're using script or cursive fonts, reserve them for headers or names, and use simpler fonts for the details. Contrast is key, so ensure the text color stands out against the background.
  • Incorporate personal elements: This is where designing your own invitation truly shines. Consider incorporating elements that are deeply personal. It could be a sketch of the place where you first met, a quote that signifies your relationship, or even a small photo collage.

A blue and grey wedding invitation with event details

Response cards and envelopes

Response cards and envelopes, often overlooked in the wedding stationery suite, provide an opportunity to extend the thematic design and evoke a consistent aesthetic.

When designing response cards, clarity is paramount. Use a legible font and provide distinct spaces for guests to fill in their names and attendance preferences. Encourage timely replies with pre-stamped return envelopes. Quality paper and a legible, elegant font for addresses further enhance the presentation.

Start by ensuring your RSVP card mirrors the aesthetic of the main invitation in terms of color, font, and design elements. Clearly specify the date by which the response is needed, providing ample time for any final venue or catering adjustments. Offer multiple methods for reply, like via mail, phone, or digital means, to accommodate varied guest preferences.

A wedding RSVP card with event details and a picture of red flowers in the background

Include a space for the guest's name, the number of attendees, and dietary restrictions or meal choices if relevant. For an added touch of personalization, consider incorporating a brief, heartwarming message or quote that resonates with the essence of your union. Always prioritize clarity and simplicity to encourage prompt responses from your invitees.

Remember that attention to these details not only elevates the overall invitation experience but also streamlines the RSVP process for both you and your guests.

Reception cards

A well-crafted reception card should not only provide critical details like the date, time, and location of the reception but also echo the theme and style of the wedding.

To ensure your reception card stands out, choose high-quality materials and a font that's both elegant and readable. Utilize a cohesive color scheme, perhaps drawing from the hues of the wedding décor or attire. If budget permits, consider embellishments like embossing, foil stamping, or unique finishes to add a touch of luxury.

Proofread multiple times to avoid typos and, when possible, get a sample printed to ensure the final product meets your expectations. This card is a reflection of your special day, so invest time and creativity into making it exceptional.

A dark blue and gold wedding reception card with event details

Accommodation cards

Including an accommodations card in your wedding invitation is a thoughtful gesture, especially for out-of-town guests or for celebrations in destinations where lodging might be a concern. This card offers pertinent details about where guests can stay, ensuring their comfort and convenience during the wedding festivities. It should list recommended hotels, inns, or other lodgings, ideally at varied price points to cater to different budgets.

If you've arranged for special rates or blocked rooms, mention this clearly, providing the necessary booking codes or contact names. Additionally, include information about transportation options, like shuttle services between the hotel and venue or nearby attractions. By providing this card, you're not only aiding guests in their travel preparations but also showing appreciation for the effort they're making to be part of your special day.


Creating your own save-the-date cards and wedding announcements offers a unique opportunity to infuse personal flair into your wedding communications. With a touch of creativity, you can design pieces that capture the essence of your relationship and the excitement of the upcoming celebration. This approach not only provides flexibility in style and design but also adds a memorable touch that guests will cherish and celebrate with you .

Whether you choose a vintage-inspired design, bohemian chic, or minimalist elegance, consistency in style is key. Personal elements, like a candid photo of you together or artwork that tells your love story, make the card genuinely unique. If you're artistically inclined, consider drawing or painting the design by hand, or using calligraphy for the text.

For those less artistically versed, dig into customizable templates that can be tailored to fit your vision. Ensure the card clearly communicates the full names of the couple, date and location of the wedding, the dates of any other engagement celebrations, and a link to a wedding website for additional details.

A wedding save-the-date card with event details and a picture of a couple standing on a hill with their backs turned to the camera

The beauty of a DIY approach lies in its authenticity. By putting your personal touch on the "save the date," guests will truly feel the warmth and intimacy of your upcoming celebration.

Wedding menu

Crafting a DIY menu for your wedding reception adds a personal touch to your celebration, allowing you to express your culinary style and make the dining experience memorable for your guests.

There are diverse mediums to display menu choices. Posters, for instance, offer a modern and bold statement when positioned at the entrance of the reception area. Chalkboards, on the other hand, impart a rustic charm, and can be easily updated if last-minute changes arise. If you’re doing a paper-free wedding, you can even create a QR code linking to your menu on your wedding website. For a more traditional approach, individually printed paper menus placed on each table or setting can give guests a tangible keepsake of the evening's offerings. These different styles can also assist with announcing options that fit within dietary restrictions or allergen-free menu items.

Following the names and date, beginning with a heartfelt welcome and a thank you note sets the tone for the evening. This gesture acknowledges the effort and love guests have poured into being a part of the couple's journey. A simple message expressing gratitude, perhaps reflecting on shared memories or hopes for the future, can resonate deeply with attendees. By personalizing the top of the menu in this manner, couples can elevate the dining experience, turning it from a mere meal into a cherished memory.

A light and dark purple floral wedding menu

Naturally, your menu should include a description of the meal courses or a detailed list of dishes that will be served. Not only does this give guests an enticing preview of the culinary experience awaiting them, but it also helps set their dining expectations. Including the main ingredients in each dish is particularly beneficial for those with dietary restrictions or allergies, bringing clarity to the meal's composition. This attention to detail ensures your guests' comfort and safety and elevates the entire dining experience.

Wedding seating chart

Organizing a seating chart is an integral aspect of wedding planning, ensuring a harmonious flow to the reception and fostering positive guest interactions.

Beyond the chart itself, crafting escort cards and place cards can enhance the dining experience, guiding guests to their assigned tables and seats. In this section, we'll delve into the art of creating an effective seating arrangement and designing complementary escort and place cards that add a touch of elegance to the proceedings.

A black and white wedding seating chart

Creating a digital wedding seating chart using Adobe Express offers several advantages, particularly in terms of cost-effectiveness and convenience. Digital seating charts eliminate the need for printing large, intricate charts on paper, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Adobe Express provides a user-friendly platform for designing and customizing your wedding seating chart, allowing you to experiment with various layouts and arrangements until you find the perfect one. You can easily make last minute adjustments or corrections without the need for reprints, which is a significant money-saving benefit.

Wedding program

A well-designed event program sets the tone for your wedding, providing guests with a roadmap of the day's festivities and allowing them to immerse themselves fully in the celebration.

Here’s how to thoughtfully incorporate key elements into your wedding program:

  • Outline of events: Start by listing the sequence of events. This serves as a backbone to your program, allowing guests to anticipate and prepare for each segment.
  • Names: Front and center, display the names of the nearly-weds, possibly embellished with a decorative font or motif.
  • Date and location: Clearly mention the date of your wedding and the location, ensuring that guests have a memento that reminds them of the time and place of your special day.
  • Processional: Detail the order in which the wedding party will enter, from the grandparents to the flower girl and ring bearer, leading up to the grand entrance of the newlyweds. This gives context and significance to each entry.
  • Welcome/Introduction: Often led by the officiant, this section can be a brief description of the significance of the gathering and the union being celebrated.
  • Readings: If you've incorporated specific poems, scriptures, or prose into your ceremony, list them in the program. Provide the title, author or source, and the name of the person doing the reading. This helps guests follow along and understand the chosen readings' significance.
  • Exchange of vows: While the specifics of personal vows might remain private until spoken, you can mention this segment to prepare guests for one of the most heartfelt parts of the ceremony.
  • Ring ceremony: Highlight this symbolic gesture, briefly explaining the significance of the rings and their exchange.
  • Pronouncement of marriage: This is the climactic moment when the officiant declares the couple as officially married. It's a focal point of the program and of the ceremony itself.
  • Presentation of the couple: Indicate this joyous moment when the newlyweds are presented to the gathering, marking the beginning of their journey together.
  • Recessional: Outline the order of the wedding party's exit, mirroring the processional but with the newlyweds leading the way.

An off-white and green wedding program with paintings of various flowers

Throughout the development of your event program, Adobe creative tools can aid in design elements, layout, and typography. Remember that while aesthetics are vital, the clarity of information for your guests is paramount. Ensure that the program is concise, well-organized, and reflective of the couple's personality.

Wedding announcements

Making your own wedding announcements adds an intimate and customized touch to the way you share your big news. By designing the announcements yourself, you have the freedom to incorporate elements that truly resonate with your journey as a couple, from the choice of imagery, like engagement photos or significant locations, to the typography and color palette that align with your wedding theme.

A wedding announcement with an image of a couple kissing and the words "Just Married" written in cursive against a dark green background

The DIY approach not only gives a sense of authenticity and warmth to your announcements but also allows for a meaningful engagement with the wedding process. Additionally, these special communiqués often become treasured keepsakes, capturing the anticipation and joy of the occasion in a manner that off-the-shelf options might not.

Thank you cards

Crafting thank you cards after your wedding is a heartfelt gesture that expresses gratitude to those who shared in your special day. With Adobe Express at your disposal, designing personalized and memorable cards that resonate with your guests is both simple and impactful.

Begin with an appropriate salutation, addressing the recipient in a way that feels warm and familiar. The body of the message should specifically acknowledge the gift or gesture for which you're thanking them. If they brought a gift, mention how you plan to use it. If the gift was money, express gratitude for their generosity without specifying the amount. Beyond any gift, your thank you card should acknowledge their presence and how it added to the joy of your celebration, especially if they traveled a distance or made particular sacrifices to attend.

A wedding thank you card with an image of a person kissing another person's head against an orange background

Photography and videography

Capturing your wedding memories with a DIY approach is both adventurous and personal. For photography, start by researching the kind of shots you'd like to have. Whether you’d like to capture candid moments or more posed photographs, compose a list to serve as a visual guide. Consider lending a quality camera to a friend with a keen eye or even setting up a few tripods at strategic locations.

For videography , ensure you have a stable setup. Use multiple cameras or smartphones placed at various angles to capture different perspectives of the ceremony and reception. Remember to check audio quality, especially if recording vows and speeches. This will help you when it comes time for editing .

DIY-ing your wedding's photography and videography requires some preparation and post-wedding work, but it is a chance to capture memories through a uniquely personal lens. And with the right tools at your disposal, you can ensure that the end results are both professional and heartwarming.

Wedding slideshow

Creating your own wedding slideshow using Adobe Express can be a heartfelt and visually stunning addition to your special day. This user-friendly platform is key for designing and customizing slideshows that can showcase your love story, evoke cherished memories, and provide a unique form of entertainment for your guests.

One of the most touching elements you can include in your wedding slideshow is interviews with family and friends. By capturing the thoughts and well-wishes of those closest to you, you can create a genuine and emotional connection between your loved ones and the couple of honor. These interviews offer a glimpse into the diverse perspectives of the people who have supported your journey and can be a beautiful reminder of the love and joy that surrounds your union.

Wedding video

Creating a wedding video is about immortalizing the moments of your special day in a timeless visual story. With the wide range of Adobe video editing tools , you can craft a cinematic masterpiece that encapsulates the emotions, moments, and memories of your wedding, allowing you to relive the magic for years to come.

Creating a DIY wedding video can be a budget-conscious yet rewarding endeavor. If possible, use a high-quality DSLR camera to bring about better video quality. Adobe Express can assist in optimizing video settings to ensure the best results. Invest in a tripod or stabilizer to maintain steady shots.

Focus on essential moments like the ceremony, vows, toasts, and first dance. Other special moments you’ll probably want to capture on video include:

  • First looks
  • Guests being escorted to their seats
  • Musicians performing (if any)
  • Nearly-weds waiting at the altar
  • Wedding party processional
  • Nearly-weds walking down the aisle
  • The exchanging of the rings
  • The first kiss
  • The couple leaving the altar

Use an external microphone to record clear audio for vows and speeches. Adobe Express offers audio editing tools to enhance and balance sound during this process.

After shooting, import your footage into Adobe Express. There, you’ll find user-friendly editing features for creating a polished and professional-looking video without the need for advanced editing skills. Add music from the Adobe Express library of music tracks and add text overlays for a personalized touch.

An image from a wedding video edited like an old-fashioned film strip

Share your finished video digitally via email, social media, or video-sharing platforms, eliminating the need for physical copies. Adobe Express provides output options suitable for various digital platforms, ensuring your video reaches your intended audience effectively.

By taking a DIY approach to your wedding video and using Adobe Express for post-production, you can significantly reduce costs while preserving cherished memories in a personalized, professional, and visually appealing manner.

Crafting a DIY wedding is a journey of personal expression, allowing you to infuse your special day with authentic touches and intimate details. Leverage Adobe Express wedding collection tools to smoothly integrate elements of design, videography, and photography, ensuring that every aspect of the wedding resonates with personal flair and professional polish. As you step into this new chapter of your life, Adobe Express stands as a trusted companion, transforming wedding dreams into tangible memories to cherish for a lifetime.

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How To Start A Wedding Planning Business

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how to start my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

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

how to start my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

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 my own wedding planning business

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 

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

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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 Wedding Planner Salary 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

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Cost Helper: Wedding Planner Cost

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how to start my own wedding planning business

How to Start a Wedding Venue

start a business hosting weddings and wedding receptions

Steps to Opening Your Own Wedding Venue

How big is the wedding venue industry, what are the key segments of the wedding venue industry, what external factors affect the wedding services industry, who are the key competitors in the wedding venue industry, what are the key customer segments in the wedding venue market.

  • What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Wedding Venue Business?

Is a Wedding Venue Business Profitable?

What are the keys to launching a new wedding venue business, how to start a wedding venue faqs, additional resources for wedding venue owners, other helpful business plan articles & templates.

Do you have a passion for weddings and events? Are you an experienced caterer, event planner, or florist? If so, starting a wedding venue could be the perfect business opportunity for you.

In this article, we’ll outline the steps you need to take to get your business off the ground.

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

Download our Ultimate Wedding Venue Business Plan Template here

1. Determine if there is a market for your services.

One of the most important things you need to do when starting any business is to determine if there is a market for your services. This involves conducting market research to see if there is a need for your product or service and whether people are willing to pay for it.

2. Write a wedding venue business plan .

Another important step in starting any business is writing a business plan. A wedding venue business plan will outline your business goals, strategies, and how you plan to achieve them. It will also include information about your target market, competition, and financial projections.

3. Secure financing.

In order to start a wedding venue, you’ll likely need some financing. There are a number of ways to secure, including borrowing from family and friends, getting a small business loan from the bank, or starting your business as a sole proprietorship and incorporating later.

4. Find a location.

An integral step in starting a wedding venue is to find the right location. For this type of business, you will likely need to be zoned for commercial use. You’ll also want to find a space that’s big enough to accommodate your wedding guests while making sure it’s not too large so your wedding receptions are not overly expensive.

5. Establish your business. 

Before you can start your wedding venue, you’ll need to establish it by filing any necessary paperwork with the government. You will also need to obtain any required licenses and permits before opening for business.

6. Market your product or service.

It’s important for wedding venues to promote their services in order to compete in the marketplace and attract new customers. Wedding venues may market through local print media, radio/TV ads, social media, flyers, telemarketing campaigns, etc.

The wedding industry is a large and extremely lucrative market, taking up a significant part of the economy. The wedding services industry generates a whopping $56.7 billion a year. It’s an ever-growing market as the wedding culture continues to grow in popularity.

Wedding venues can be broken down into a few key segments:

Outdoor Wedding Venues : These are wedding venues that are located in outdoor settings such as country clubs, nature preserves, national parks, farms, historical sites, or even at home. Owners often emphasize the outdoor beauty and romance of these venues. Venues in this category include vineyards, campgrounds, horse properties, homes with swimming pools and gardens, to name a few.

Indoor Wedding Venues : These are wedding venues that offer the natural beauty of an outdoor wedding inside a climate-controlled environment. Owners often emphasize the affordability and convenience of these venues, particularly in the winter months where there is little to no nice weather for outdoor weddings. Wedding venues in this category include banquet halls, hotels with ballrooms, grand estates, restaurants with multi-use rooms, and country clubs.

Budget Wedding Venues : These are wedding venues that provide couples with an affordable celebration of their love on any budget imaginable. Owners often emphasize the value for money these venues provide through lower rental rates on food & beverage. Wedding venues in this category include churches, schools, community centers, historic homes not open to the public, and banquet halls with lower rental rates.

Pop Wedding Venues : These are wedding venues that typically require a high budget but provide an abundance of amenities like entertainment, food & beverage, and decorations in return. Venue owners often emphasize the level of customer service and expertise provided by these venues along with their ability to ensure guests have a fun time at the event. Wedding venues in this category include country clubs, resorts, hotels with ballrooms, wineries, breweries, and distilleries, and destination wedding locations.

Wedding Rentals : These are wedding venues whose sole purpose is to provide the couple with items they need for their special day. Owners often emphasize how much time and money these venues can save couples by providing them with everything necessary for their event rather than having them go out and purchase all of these items independently. Wedding venues in this category include caterers, florists, photographers, bakeries, disc jockeys, videographers, and photo booths.

Finish Your Business Plan Today!

The wedding services industry is a competitive market that can be greatly affected by external factors. Some of these factors include the economy, availability of venues, weather, and social changes.

The economy is a major factor that can affect the wedding venue industry. When the economy is strong, people are more likely to spend money on weddings. This means that wedding venues can charge more for their services, and they may be able to book more weddings. However, when the economy is weak, people are less likely to spend money on weddings. This can lead to a decline in the business of wedding venues.


The availability of venues is also a major factor that can affect the wedding venue industry. When there are a lot of venues available, it can be difficult to book them for weddings. Wedding couples have to wait longer to find an available venue, and they may even have to look outside of their area. However, when there are fewer venues available, it is easier for wedding couples to find a place that they like without having to go too far from home.

The weather can affect the wedding venue industry because it affects what people wear at weddings. When the weather is warm or hot, people are more likely to wear lighter clothing choices such as shorts and sandals. This means that outdoor venues are more popular since indoor ones require guests to wear formal attire. On the other hand, when the weather is cold or rainy, wedding guests are more likely to dress in heavy clothing items such as jeans and boots. Wedding venues, like ballrooms, can be more popular since outdoor venues require guests to dress up in lighter clothing items such as sundresses and sandals.

Social changes

Social changes can also affect the wedding venue industry. For example, when more couples are choosing to have destination weddings, this can affect the demand for wedding venues in local areas. Wedding couples may choose to have a destination wedding since it is more economical and convenient. Wedding venues, such as those near airports or on cruise ships, can be booked up easier than those in local areas.

When starting any business, it’s important to be aware of your competitors and what they’re doing. Some of the biggest key competitors in the wedding industry include other wedding venues, caterers, florists, planners/coordinators, DJs/videographers, and photographers.

Depending on the services provided through your wedding venue, you may or may not have to compete for customers. For example, if your wedding venue doesn’t provide food, then you won’t have any competition from caterers. However, if your wedding venue does include catering services, then these could be your key competitors in this industry.

When starting any business, it’s important to identify your key customer segments. Some of the main ones in this industry include engaged couples, event planners, and families of the bride and groom.

Engaged Couples: Many people choose to have their weddings at wedding venues because they want everything to be provided for them rather than having to do it themselves. Engaged couples are the main customers at wedding venues since they want everything to go smoothly on their special day without any problems.

Event Planners: Event planners are people who make sure that everything runs smoothly during an event, such as a wedding. For example, if something goes wrong during the wedding, then the planner is usually the first person who comes up with a solution. Event planners can be major customers at wedding venues since they typically manage the entire event and therefore choose where it is held.

Families of the Bride and Groom: The families of the bride and groom are typically responsible for organizing their wedding day as well as paying for most of its expenses. They are usually the ones handing out invitations, making table arrangements, and hiring photographers.

What are the Typical Startup Costs for a New Wedding Venue?

The typical startup costs depend on the type of venue you’re considering and the services you provide. For example, if you want to start a wedding venue that provides catering services, then the startup costs will vary depending on what foods and beverages it includes as well as how much of each is served.

On the other hand, if you choose not to offer some types of services at your wedding venue, then this could lower its startup costs. For example, if you’re only leasing a building for holding wedding events and don’t offer any catering services, then you will have lower startup costs than someone who is providing both.

Wedding venues can range from simple event space to a lavish, expensive hotel or restaurant with a full selection of wedding services.

The costs associated with starting a new wedding business vary widely depending on how you intend to run your business. Wedding venues require the most startup money while wedding planners have the lowest barriers to entry.

No matter what type of wedding venue you choose to start, you will have the following startup costs in common:

  • Rent for the first few months of business
  • License fees
  • Signage and exterior decoration
  • Insurance costs
  • Utility deposits and other possible relocation expenses
  • Payroll costs if you are hiring additional help

Wedding venues can be profitable. However, it depends on the nature of the business as well as its location, price points, and other factors that affect it’s market area.

The best way to determine whether or not your wedding venue business is profitable is by using an initial breakeven analysis. This will help you calculate how much revenue you need in order to cover all your costs and still make a profit. It will also show you how much demand there is for the type of wedding venue you’re operating by demonstrating the minimum revenue necessary for you to remain in business.

There are a number of keys to launching a successful wedding venue.

One of the most important is to have a clear business plan in place. This will help you to outline your goals and objectives, as well as how you plan on achieving them. It’s also important to have a good understanding of the costs associated with starting and running your business. This will help you to make informed decisions about how much money you need to get started, and what your break-even point is.

In order to attract wedding professionals and future customers, it’s important to start marketing your venue early on. Wedding professionals can help promote your venue to their clients, and word-of-mouth is one of the best forms of advertising. Building a good relationship with local wedding professionals will help your business grow in the long run. The internet is another great way to market your venue, especially if you are targeting a local audience. Sites like Yelp or Wedding Wire can help customers find your business quickly and easily.

It’s also important for new wedding venues to invest in good photography equipment. Professional photos give potential customers an idea of what it would be like to hold their wedding at your location, which will entice them into contacting you about pricing options. Good quality photos shouldn’t be expensive, so spend some time doing research into lighting and camera equipment before investing in anything too major.

Finally, it’s important to work and be committed in order to make your new business a success. Wedding planning season is typically during the spring and summer months, which means that you’ll be busy throughout these months running your venue yourself. Consider hiring your first member of staff during the winter months allowing for enough training time to lighten your load during the busy season.

How to Finish Your Ultimate Wedding Venue Business Plan in 1 Day!

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your wedding venue business plan?

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

What other services can I include in my wedding venue business?

If you're looking for other services to include in your wedding venue, there are quite a few. You can offer wedding planning services, event planning services, catering, and floristry services. But you could also offer lodging and transportation packages for guests who come from out of town.

If you have the land, think about offering outdoor wedding spaces as well. If your wedding venue business is unique enough you could even offer destination weddings or elopements to couples that don't want their friends and family around for the big day.

What are the legal aspects of opening a wedding venue?

The legal aspects of opening a wedding venue can be quite extensive. In order to open a wedding venue, one must first apply for the appropriate licenses from state and local government agencies. In many jurisdictions, some or all of these licenses are the exclusive province of the municipality in which the business is located.

Some requirements that a business person may have to meet include compliance with local zoning laws, noise regulations, parking regulations, zoning regulations, fire regulations, odor regulations, fire safety regulations, and securing any necessary event permits from the police department.

What are the types of wedding venues that you could open?

There are many types of wedding venues that you can open. Weddings take place all over the world, so think about what kind of weddings are going on in your area. Most places have churches and other historic buildings that could be used as a venue on their own or with some minor renovations.

You might also consider opening a barn wedding venue, a garden venue, a gazebo, or an outdoor wedding venue. There are so many different types of venues you can choose from that it's unlikely you'd have too much trouble finding the perfect wedding venue and location for your business.

How do I market my wedding venue?

There are many ways to market your wedding venue. You could use online marketing like blogs and social media to get the word out. You could also print up flyers and business cards that you can hand out at local grocery stores, malls, and other popular gathering places.

You may even consider hiring a public relations firm with experience in wedding planning marketing to give your business the boost it needs to succeed with immediate coverage in major news outlets.

Another way to market your business is to make sure you have a high-quality, easy-to-use website. Wedding venues often list their information on wedding planning websites and directories as a way to attract new customers.

How much does it cost to start a wedding venue?

The cost of opening a wedding venue can vary depending on your location. The cost of the facility itself may be included in one overall cost, but there are also many other things to take into consideration like commercial property insurance, legal fees, and marketing costs.

Some business owners feel that it costs between $100,000 to $500,000 to open a wedding venue depending on location and size. It's important to plan out your wedding venue business carefully so that you don't find yourself with no customers during the first few months after opening.

What are some tips for starting a wedding venue business?

There are many tips to successfully start up your own wedding venue. First, make sure your location is ready to accommodate weddings. Hire professionals to help you design, build, and decorate the venue to meet all your needs.

When working with a budget, be sure to research and purchase the least expensive disposable, yet still high-quality items so you can cut costs without cutting quality or appearance.

Make sure that all of the local government agencies are aware of your wedding venue business so there are no problems during the process of opening.

Where Can I Download a Wedding Venue Business Plan PDF?

You can download our wedding venue business plan PDF template here. This is a business plan template you can use in PDF format.

Wedding Mavericks

Business Plan Template & Guide For Small Businesses


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  1. 12 Things No One Told You About Wedding Planning



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    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.

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  22. DIY Wedding Ideas and Inspiration

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