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Starting a Wedding Planning Business From Your Home

Starting a Wedding Planning Business
Lauren Ward
Lauren WardUpdated September 5, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you’re wanting to start a wedding planning business, the good news is that there are multiple routes you can take to establish yourself as an industry professional. As you likely already know, planning weddings isn’t as simple as it sounds. Making sure a couple’s big day goes by without any hiccups entails much more than simply helping them choose centerpieces and DJs. If you’re thinking about starting a wedding planning business, here’s what you need to know.   

What’s the Wedding Business Like?

The wedding business is a business of moving parts and pieces. To be a successful wedding planner, it’s essential to have strong organizational skills and be calm under pressure. Wedding planners help couples with a variety of tasks, such as:
  • Communicate with vendors
  • Send out invitations
  • Plan receptions
  • Secure venues
  • Manage finances
  • Track RSVPs
But the list could go on and on. While there are websites and apps to help couples plan their big day, many couples prefer to work one-on-one with a wedding planner to make their wedding day as perfect as possible. Weddings are a lot of work, and for the months leading up, planning one can be a full-time job. This is where wedding planners come in. The great news is that starting a wedding planning business from home is very doable. Since you will most likely spend your time traveling to clients, vendors, and venues, there’s no reason to spend money on an office space in the beginning. As any business owner will tell you, one of the best tips for starting a business is to save money in any which way you can, and using your home as an office is one way to do that.Recommended: How Much Does an Average Wedding Cost?

Steps to Starting a Wedding Planning Business

There is no one way to start a wedding planning business, but here are a few steps you can take to help you get started. 

1. Determine the Type of Wedding Planning Business You Want to Start

Weddings require many people to ensure everything goes as planned. When starting your business, maybe you want to niche down and only focus on one part of the wedding. The paths a wedding planner can choose include:
  1. Full-service wedding planner: You plan everything, beginning to end. 
  2. Day-of wedding planner: Help keep couples on time and on top of everything that needs to be done the day-of.
  3. Destination wedding planner: Destination wedding planners scout out locations that the couple may want to get married in. They learn about local rules and regulations, and speak with community vendors on the couple’s behalf. 
  4. Month-of wedding planner: Designed for couples who want to plan their entire wedding themselves but still want some help speaking with vendors, managing payments, and arranging deliveries.
  5. Weekend coordinator: Weekend coordinators are best utilized by couples who are having multi-day weddings with many guests and non-wedding activities.   
  6. Custom wedding planner: Perhaps you want to offer your clients an á la carte approach. For this, customers choose which services they want your help with. 
  7. Vendor specialist: A vendor specialist helps couples review contracts, gives them referrals for noteworthy companies, and helps them scout out various venues and vendors they may be considering. 
Of course, you may have a skill that you want to market that is not listed above. While you will have to educate the market about your specific offerings, nothing is impossible with the right marketing strategy.  

2. Take an Online Course

While you may feel as if you have enough real world experience to figure everything out on your own, the reality is you don’t know what you don’t know. One way to enhance your knowledge of the wedding industry and how to run a wedding planning business is by taking an online course.There are many sites that offer online courses — such as Udemy and Teachable. The courses are often affordable, and you’re learning from someone who actually works in the industry. 

3. Determine Your Ideal Client and Write a Business Plan

It’s important to focus specifically on your ideal client early on during the planning phase. This will help you develop focus — not only in your marketing and advertising, but also when choosing which vendors you want to work with. Once you’ve determined your ideal customer, keep them in mind when writing your business plan.

4. Choose a Business Structure

You will want to choose a business structure early on to ensure you have the appropriate amount of liability protection and are maximizing your tax savings. When you’re first starting out, an LLC may make the most sense because as the business owner, you are not personally liable for any damages that are a result of your business. If you don’t take any steps to formally establish your business, then it will automatically be either a sole proprietorship or a partnership. While this structure is the simplest, if you are sued by a client, your personal assets could be taken to settle any debts. 

5. Register and get an EIN

Once you’ve decided on a business structure, you will want to register your business. The Small Business Administration has a detailed web page on everything you need to do to register. Even if you do not have any plans of hiring an employee in the near future, you should consider getting an EIN. Having an EIN will enable you to open a business bank account and will make getting a business credit card easier. Recommended: Guide to Small Business Licenses in Each State

6. Secure Funding

As a new business, you’re likely to have start-up costs, but compared to other businesses, the costs of starting a wedding planning business shouldn’t be too high. If you do find you need funding, consider a small business loan. Small business loans utilize a variety of terms, interest rates, payment structures, and collateral requirements. Therefore, you can take out a small business loan that truly works for you and your needs. 

7. Advertise Your Services

In order to get your wedding planning business up and running, you must advertise your services. One way is to go to local bridal boutiques and speak with the business owners. Ask if you can leave a stack of business cards with them. You may also want to do the same with any seasonal trade shows. Next, advertise on social media and work on getting a social media following. The most important thing with social media is to post consistently. Not only will this keep your audience engaged with you, but it will also help establish you as an expert in the wedding planning arena. 

How to Write a Business Plan as a Wedding Planner

Business plans sound complicated, and for many people the thought of writing one may feel intimidating. However, business plans, at their core, are simply strategies. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and how you plan on accomplishing it.   In the beginning, have your business plan revolve around the following: 
  • Company description: What will your company do? Who will it serve?
  • Competitors: Look at what your competitors do to gather business. What services do they offer? How much do they charge?
  • Legal structure: Who runs your business and how is it structured?
  • Services: Will you only offer one service, or will customers be able to pick and choose what they want?
  • Advertising and marketing: How will customers find out about you?
  • Funding: How much money is needed to get started? 
Once you’ve written your business plan, revisit it every quarter. A business plan is a living document, meaning you are free to change it as many times as you see fit until it feels right. Recommended: How to Write a 5-Year Business Plan

Methods to Receive Funding

Raising capital to start a business can be done in many different ways. The more traditional routes include:
  • Bootstrapping: Save up until you can fully fund all expenses on your own without any outside help from lenders or investors.
  • Investors: As a new start up, you may have trouble securing funding through an investor. However, if you have a unique angle to offer the world, investors may want to buy in early. 
  • Partnership: A business partner will share the financial burden with you, but you will have to split profits with them, as well. 
  • Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding takes many forms, but one option is to pursue donation-based crowdfunding so you don’t have to relinquish any equity or go into debt. 
  • Grants: Small business grants do exist, but there will be plenty of competition. Definitely research and apply, but don’t let it be your only option. 
  • Business loan: There are many business loan options, including startup business loans for those that are just getting their business up and running.

The Takeaway

Starting a wedding planning business from home is doable, but it will take work, persistence, and strategizing. Determine what services you want to offer, who your ideal client is, and how much your competitors charge. Once you know this information, you can begin to plan and implement.If you feel like you need extra capital to get started, a small business loan may be the solution. With Lantern by SoFi, you can receive a small business loan offer from one of our leading lenders by filling out one simple form, all with no obligation to you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to start a wedding planning business?
How much should I charge for my services?
How do I market my wedding planning business?
Photo credit: iStock/LumiNola

About the Author

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward

Lauren Ward is a personal finance expert with nearly a decade of experience writing online content. Her work has appeared on websites such as MSN, Time, and Bankrate. Lauren writes on a variety of personal finance topics for SoFi, including credit and banking.
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