I’ve seen so many different types of portfolios from planners and wedding professionals. Most planning companies have their creative work shown on their website and blog. You can create professional photo albums from weddings you have planned (get permission from the photographer and from your clients). Some planners create a physical portfolio book that includes sample timelines, stationery pieces, and photos from client’s weddings. You could have an online slide show or have a slide show on your laptop or iPad with images from weddings you have done. Since wedding planners provide an intangible service, it is important to show potential clients what we can do and create.
Here are four ideas for building and expanding your event planning portfolio:
1) Plan and organize a styled photo shoot
A photo shoot is a mock setup of a wedding. It typically includes a guest table with linen, stationery pieces, place settings, a centerpiece, and guest chairs. Sometimes photo shoots include a model bride, a cake or dessert display, and a place card display.
A photo shoot gives you the opportunity to show your creativity and teaches you how to work with vendors. The cost of the photo shoot is minimal since each vendor would provide complimentary details or services for the photo shoot. Once you determine the location and possible date, confirm your photographer who will take pictures of the setup. Then you can work on securing vendors for the tables, chairs, linens, flowers, cake, and stationery.
After the shoot, ask the photographer for digital images that you can use on your website and in your portfolio. Share the images with all of the participating vendors so they can use the photos in their portfolios. If you are just starting out, look for other vendors professionals who are also just starting their businesses. They will need images for their portfolios and might be more willing to participate than someone who has been established for years. You may want to submit the images for publication as well.
2) Help a friend, friend of a friend or family member with their wedding
Not only will this give you valuable experience, it will also give you photos and real timelines to show potential clients. If your clients were happy, ask for a written testimonial to use on your website.
3) Show off education certificates and professional memberships
Whether you have a certificate from an online certification program, a membership certificate from a wedding industry association, or a diploma from a design class, don’t be afraid to put these in your portfolio. This will help potential clients see that you are serious about education and your business.
4) Create sample inspiration boards and wedding day timelines
If you already have experience, show potential clients what you can do by showing off photos and production schedules from weddings you have done. If you are just getting started, create sample inspiration boards and sample wedding day timelines to show prospective clients. The Wedding Planner’s Toolbox has timeline templates to help you get started.
What has been the best way for you to show off your work to potential clients? Online photos, a slideshow, photo albums, social media outlets, or something different?