If you’ve been thinking of starting a new wedding planner business but fear is holding you back, then you’ll enjoy today’s post. I have a special treat. Jenn Contente of Jenn’s Joyous Events Wedding & Event Planning is sharing what her fears were when first starting out and how she overcame them.
New Wedding Planner Business Fear
New adventures can be scary. Deciding to become a wedding planner, either as your full-time job or as your side business, can be an exciting time in your life. It also has the potential to be a time filled with fears and maybe some doubt…
You may be thinking, I am a great planner and love being creative; weddings are my jam! But what if this isn’t the right time? What if I can’t get any clients? What if I fail?
Fear itself will never let the time be right. Mindset matters. Try now imagining yourself booked with clients a full year out. How does that feel? Imagine what it feels like to see yourself successful in your business. Does that feeling make you smile?
“Too many of us are not living our dreams. Because we are living our fears.” -Les Brown
Feelings such as fear only want one thing: to be felt. While mindset is a very important part of success, it is also important to recognize how you feel. It is all right to be afraid. Remember, though, you don’t know what you can do until you TRY.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike for the first time? It seemed scary in the beginning; you may have struggled, even crashed a few times… But you got back up and tried again, until one day you were riding freely, feeling the wind in your face on a warm summer day! After a while you forget what it was like not to be able to ride a bike. So I say, “Feel the fear… then TRY anyway.” Some of the most successful people ever are those who chose not to allow fear stop them from trying over and over until they reached their goals.
If being a wedding planner is your dream, go for your personal best and set realistic goals for yourself and your business. Here are 4 ways to help you work through some common fears.
#1 Not Having any Wedding Industry Education
Submerge yourself in wedding industry knowledge. There are a ton of fabulous free resources available, including, but certainly not limited to, podcasts, blogs, masterclasses, YouTube, and, of course, the fabulous Valerie Pritt right here at The Engaged Wedding Planner Academy. Other amazing people in this industry are usually happy to share their knowledge as well.
#2 Being Afraid to Network
Network, if you are not already doing so. Even when you are unable to attend bridal fairs or networking events, you can look for your tribe through Facebook groups, virtual dates, emails, phone calls, or by sending a caring gift card or nice note. You can send DMs or comment on Instagram. Take time to fill yourself with knowledge; this industry is filled with amazing, supportive, knowledgeable people! It takes time to learn a new skill, and knowledge is power. The more you learn, the more you will know, the more confident in your skill you will become. Much like the bike riding I referred to earlier, the fear begins to subside as your skills and abilities increase.
#3 Won’t Be Able to Cut It as a New Wedding Planner Business Owner
Take small steps daily. Make lists with realistic goals, and take action on those items on your lists. Being a new wedding planner isn’t only about the shiny, sparkly stuff (like you may see in movies); there is a lot of hard work behind every fabulous wedding. Most of us are also business owners, which in itself can be scary. Take time to learn the less shiny side too. Have a business plan, if you don’t already. Don’t skip this step.
Time management is very important as well, especially if you are like many of us who are also moms (currently, most of us are also homeschooling now if you weren’t before, which can add an interesting new twist to time management). I have a morning routine (after I start the coffee and feed the pets). I try to start each day with a positive affirmation.
“Attitude is a little thing, that makes a big difference.” -Winston Churchill
It has helped me many times to look over at my daily “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will!” quote. It helps me to reset my mindset (especially when I feel overwhelmed by the extraordinary amount of emails I need to respond to or my long to-do list). I write out my “To-Do” list. I love lists; it makes me feel accomplished to cross items off. Then I dig into my emails. I used to scour over each and every one… now I give myself an hour and try to prioritize the most important ones.
I also give myself time to soak up knowledge via several of the ways I mentioned above. I take breaks and try to get up and move around often. As much of a wedding planner’s life is spent sitting in front of a computer doing research, finding venues and vendors, emailing, creating floor plans or designs, getting inspiration on Pinterest, connecting on social media, and more, I find that it helps me stay creative to get up and change my scenery. To be honest, I could go on and on about the behind-the-scenes work of a wedding planner.
Many of us have families, maybe a part- or full-time job, in addition to our business. It can be scary to think about just how you will manage it all at the same time. For that reason and many others, proper time management will help alleviate the fear of adding more to your plate. Find a routine that works best for you and your needs. That can look different for everyone. Once you do find what works for you, block out that time, let your clients know when you are available, and do your best to stick to it. Don’t be afraid to change it as life changes, especially if you work for yourself. Remember, you are the boss!
#4 Telling People You’re a Wedding Planner
Self-care and support, this is a two for one. Having them both is important, especially when those pesky fears rear their ugly heads. Finding support in your partner, a friend, or mentors in the industry. Your mom, dad, whoever it may be for you. As long as they are positive, supportive, offer constructive feedback, and believe in you, they will be a tremendous help, especially in the beginning when you are likely flooded with feelings of fear and self-doubt. Reach out to those who support you when you have questions, fears, setbacks, or just want to chat about that awesome client you just signed. Support is significant. With that, self-care is essential!
If you are anything like me, you wear many hats, you are the mom/dad, the referee if you have more than one kiddo, the nurse, the significant other, the housekeeper, the chef, friend, daughter/son, you may have a part-time job or even a full-time job in addition to being a wedding planner. That is a lot for anyone! Self-care is NOT selfish.
Self-care helps you recharge, much like your cell phone or laptop you spend so much time on and expect so very much out of. They need to be recharged to keep being their magical selves. The same applies to us; we need to care for ourselves to allow for time to recharge and keep wearing those various hats, giving your all to each. Self-care can be different for everyone. I like hot baths, long walks, talking to my friends, shopping alone (before the pandemic). Painting your nails, having your hair done, reading, binge-watching Netflix, whatever you do, be sure it is for YOU.
Be kind to yourself. You will have setbacks, disappointments, and face fears along the way, and that’s okay.
Let your determination to live your dream be more powerful than your fears.
Set realistic goals for yourself and your business.
Get educated, and stay up to date on wedding information, trends, and all things wedding. This helps you do your job efficiently and have confidence in your abilities, to show up as the pro I know you are!
Take small steps daily towards your goals. You can do this!
Manage your time in a way that best fits your needs for you, your family, and your business.
And remember, take care of yourself—it’s essential! Find your support and reach out to them, lean on them when you need them. I’m sure you will offer support in return.
You can do this! I believe in you! Now, go take charge of your dreams! Be that amazing wedding planner I know you are and make fear take the backseat in this journey.
Jenn Contente is the owner of Jenn’s Joyous Events Wedding & Event Planning in California. She plans a variety of events, weddings are her jam though! Being involved in the planning process along side her clients & seeing the couple celebrate in delight on their Big Day is what makes her most Joyous!