Monday, December 13, 2010

What Makes The Perfect Wedding Planner?

Recently, I had the great opportunity to do an interview for Northern Virginia’s West Belmont Place and National Conference Center about what makes the perfect wedding planner in a bride's eyes. As both a recent bride and wedding coordination student, this was a fantastic way to share my perspective and offer a few points of advice.

But it also got me thinking. As part of the interview, I noted that experience and connections within the local wedding community are certainly important considerations when selecting a planner. I also recognize that, understandably, many established planners are wary of recent brides who decide to go into wedding planning on their own, especially since some of these brides are quick to overstate their qualifications and don’t have a clear understanding of what goes into planning a wedding or similarly detailed event.

But I also find that some people are too quick to automatically write off even those of us who do demonstrate a true passion for weddings and have the potential to pursue wedding coordination as a long-term goal. For example, though the congressional events I’ve been involved with during the past few years bear no direct similarity to weddings, they have instilled in me the very real knowledge that event preparation and execution of any type is incredibly challenging and often fraught with logistical snafus. As the youngest person on our staff to have worked my way into a supervising position, I’ve also clearly proven myself to be a skilled organizer and detail-oriented problem solver.

Furthermore, because I recognize that training and credentials are important in any field one chooses to pursue, I'm taking the time to earn a certificate through Northern Virginia Community College’s wedding coordination program. I am honest about my qualifications and would never claim to have years of experience that I simply don’t. I am, however, actively developing knowledge of the industry through my experience as a blogger, writer, volunteer and advisor to others, while being sincere, enthusiastic and thorough in all that I do.

Wonderfully, I’ve spent the past few months advising a creative bride who is planning a September 2011 wedding here in the D.C. area. Helping her navigate the planning landscape has been a true joy and honor, and I'm hoping to connect with several other brides next year, as well as continue offering daily advice and inspiration within the online community. Interning to gain experinece is also on the table, and I do accept the possibility that this path ultimately won’t work out, or that I’ll decide to stick with writing and publishing as my primary focus.

But I’d ask others to please not instantly count me or other hardworking women out just because we also happen to be recent brides. Everyone has to start somewhere, get their inspiration from someone, and discover their dreams somehow. It’s how we handle it that makes all the difference.

What do you think?


  1. very well said! I totally agree that we all have to start from somewhere!

  2. Agreed - we all need to start somewhere, otherwise no one would ever hire new, relatively inexperienced people. It's all about your skill set and your potential. Thankfully, my law firm saw mine and hired me four years ago. I would never write off a recent bride so long as she had credentials like yours. Also, hiring relatively new people is a great way to find someone who will work within your budget, and hopefully no one will ever scoff at that!

  3. I think that you are going to do great! everyone starts somewhere and the experience that you do have is going to make you just as desirable!!!

  4. All too familiar story for most young professionals.. a brilliant mind and a hard work ethic are not enough in this economy. I can understand the wary nature of the suddenly money-conscious consumers, but still, someone has to give the professional of tomorrow a chance. Keep pursuing your passions and it will pay off in the end!

  5. It's true, you do have to start somewhere. I think new planners have to put a little effort to show that they are qualified. You taking courses and keeping up with this blog does just that!

  6. If there's one thing I've learned in Hollywood it's that the most important thing is to believe in yourself and your abilities. There will always be people who are trying to put you down or point out reasons why you shouldn't be doing what you're doing. The faster you learn how to block those voices out, the better. I think the naysayers are just a part of paying dues. As long as you believe in yourself, that's gonna get you where you want to be in the end!