When you have a strong desire to become a wedding planner, it can be challenging to gain relevant wedding planning experience in the beginning.
There are many people who aspire to be a professional wedding and event planner which makes the competition fierce when applying for event planning internships and entry-level jobs.
Here are four ways to get experience in event planning that will jump-start your career:
1) Help plan parties and events for friends and family
Offer to help plan birthday parties, anniversaries, reunions, holiday events, and weddings for friends and family. Consider volunteering to plan events at your current place of work or at your church. These could be events such as picnics, lunches, dinners, holiday parties, meetings, and conferences.
For an event that involves decorations or a theme, make an inspiration board using Pinterest. For events where timing is important, practice your skills by creating an event timeline.
Any kind of event, meeting or party planning experience will expand your skills in organization, event timing, event design, logistics and working with clients.
2) Work as banquet or catering staff
Working for a local catering company, hotel, or venue is one of the best ways to get quick experience with all of the logistics that are involved in managing weddings and events. Working in catering is hard work and will give you a feel for what it is like to work as a wedding and event planner.
Working in catering or at an event venue exposes you to local event vendors, venues, food service, business, weddings, and the logistics of how events work.
3) Create table designs at home
Use fabric, tablecloths, napkins, plates, chargers, glassware, candles, stationery, and flowers to practice table designs at your home. During the holiday season, you may have the perfect opportunity to be creative and design a beautiful table for a family or holiday dinner.
For holidays such as Valentine’s day, create a special table for your significant other or display a cute dessert bar for your kids.
4) Volunteer for a nonprofit organization
Inquire with local nonprofit organizations and volunteer to help plan their events, galas, and meetings. Not only do you get to volunteer for a good cause, but you will also gain valuable event planning experience and make connections that can will help with your future career as a wedding planner.
Keep in mind that real-world work experience in any industry is important for your future in event planning. Learning how to act professionally, how to communicate respectfully, and how to interact with coworkers and colleagues are skills that everyone should have, regardless of the industry.
Being a strong writer is also essential to event planning. As a professional planner, you will write many proposals, emails, blogs, and social media posts. If you struggle with writing, consider using dictation software, speech-to-text programs, spell check, and grammar editing software.
Take photos of events you work on and ask for clients and/or coworkers to write testimonials about your event planning work. Use these to start your wedding and event planning portfolio. This will give you an advantage when applying for wedding industry jobs and internships.
Learn more about what I wish I knew when I started out as a wedding planner and how to become an event designer.
Are you a new or aspiring wedding planner?
The Wedding Planner’s Toolbox is a complete set of business templates and tools for professional wedding planners. As a wedding planner, you have one chance and a huge responsibility to plan and coordinate the perfect wedding day for your clients. The Wedding Planner’s Toolbox gives you the tools needed to get things done correctly.
Timeline templates, consultation forms, questions to ask vendors, planning checklist, and much more!