By Brit Bertino
In this day in age, we see so many new wedding professionals entering the wonderful world of events.
Having been one of those new-to-the-scene professionals, there are a handful of top mistakes that I wish I knew to steer clear of as I started out.
Why does this matter so much?
Often, wedding pros who are just entering the industry are given a bad reputation for simply not making the best first impression.
Tell me if you’ve heard this one-
“You just finished planning your own wedding and you think you can start a planning company?”
Sound familiar? Read on.
Do understand that we all start somewhere, but there is an art to the wedding profession and you either get it, or you don’t. While planning your own wedding can provide some experience, it’s entirely different when you’re answering to other brides and grooms instead of yourself.
This may be a hard fact to swallow, but being a wedding professional is not just about the four-day online certification course – it’s about getting down-and-dirty to get some hands-on experience.
Here are 5 deadliest mistakes you can make as a new professional in the industry and how to avoid them…
Mistake #1: Telling people you’ve started your company because you planned your own wedding.
Unfortunately, most wedding professionals are going to judge you. Present yourself as a bride who started a wedding business because she went into withdrawal after the wedding was over, and you will not impress them.
Instead, start off by creating a well-practiced elevator pitch about why you fell in love with the wedding industry and why you have chosen this path as a career. People love to hear and see passion!
Mistake #2: Walking out the front door without a polished company look.
That’s right- before you start selling, have your branding, website, pricing, and all marketing materials in order.
Once you start networking, the first place people will visit for more information is your web site. Once they inquire about your services, you will need to have your pricing and services lined up so you’re not making things up as you go along.
Couples and creative partners want to see that you have these things ready to go in an instant. No one likes to wait for things!
Mistake #3: Forgetting to dress the part.
Remember – you are attempting to sell your aptitude in planning and creating. Wear things that are business savvy, but still show your creative flair.
People love to see fashion forward planners, especially prospective clients, and will look for what sets you apart from others.
Mistake #4: Not learning the lingo.
You can’t fake the language of the wedding industry. Instead, learn the lingo.
Brush up on hospitality-related vocabulary, as it makes you sound knowledgeable. There is an actual event management dictionary book that you can purchase.
You can also consider joining networking groups and sitting on a board. This will provide you with first-hand experience and connect you with other experienced professionals. You may also want to look into a hands-on wedding course from the International School of Hospitality.
Mistake #5: Overpromising and under-delivering.
This is a big mistake that new professionals make because they’re unsure of how much time and effort they can commit.
If you don’t have the answer to something, be sure that your client understands that, then go home and take the time to research before committing. Nothing is worse than having to backtrack, and you can quickly ruin your brand before you even get started!
Last, but certainly not least – be you! I have seen many wedding professionals take ideas and inspiration from their colleagues. Be original and come up with your own content! Plagiarism is a problem for beginners, so never forget how important it is to be you.
Allow your clients and creative partners to fall in love with you, not the person you’re trying to be.
The wedding industry can be a tremendously rewarding career and keeping in mind the above “ do not’s” can help ensure you’re in it for the long run!
Brit Bertino is the award-winning owner of Brit Bertino, Event Excellence as well as Simply Weddings by Brit Bertino and The Totty Belt. A recognized leader, speaker and teacher, Brit recently launched her mentorship program and enjoys assisting wedding professionals on their path to success.