How much money to launch my wedding planning business?
This was a question a new wedding planner asked me recently. And what a great question, in fact it made me smile so much. To me it showed me she is serious about her career as a wedding planner. She is already talking like a business owner. Being a successful wedding planner is not about planning weddings, its not about creating a design – it’s both of those things but most importantly it’s about running a profitable business.
Curious about what I told her? No fear for below is a summary of what I told her. Remember you can spend more but I advise you don’t, I can guarantee you will change your mind on your ideal client and design within 2 years.
TRAINING – £475+
I highly recommend spending money on a training course with a proven track record, I have viewed and researched the cheap discount courses and they are not teaching you what you need to know. In fact the errors are shockingly bad. Read this blog post for more information about starting your wedding planning business. But in the interests of providing costs it is my advice that you receive training in your relevant wedding industry sector. So for wedding planners the UKAWP Wedding Planner Courses range from £475-600 . For wedding florists or photographers the costs might be different.
“In my opinion training is the most important investment for your business. It will help you identify your ideal client, recognise how to market to them and how to price for profit. If you want to have a sustainable and profitable business it’s vital to get the framework working first.”
Bernadette, UKAWP and Bernadette Chapman Consulting
BRANDING DESIGNER – £300+
I wouldn’t go too crazy at this stage but I do recommend hiring one. I’ve seen so many examples in 2019 of template logos that look the same. It might be cheaper but your brand becomes forgettable because they’ve seen it before. And who wants to be forgettable? If you cannot afford for a designer to create a whole brand why not start with a simplified brand identity of logo, fonts and colours?
£300-600 (logo and social media templates)
WEBSITE – £1-2k
Please do not spend thousands on your first website as you will regret it. You can get templates for under £100 and build yourself, many wedding planners have done exactly this. If you are a wedding planner please look in Build Your Wedding Planning Business group for planners that have done exactly this. View the post here
If paying someone try to keep fairly low key as you will change your mind in about 12 months. So I would say between £1-2k. Save the big bucks for when launching a more snazzy website after you have had clients. When turning companies down for membership of the UKAWP it invariably is because the website is not to a high enough standard. So although it doesn’t need to be all singing and dancing, it does need to look professional.
“In the very early stages of business it can be easy to get carried away, and invest thousands of pounds on branding, website, shoots and brochures that you’ll quickly grow out of. A year in you’ll have a far clearer understanding of your ideal client, brand identity and the values you want to share, so be patient and save your investment for when it will have the most impact.“
For wedding planners this is approx. £130 for Public Liability Insurance and £70 for employers insurance if hiring staff to help at a wedding (so you won’t need this straight away). When you get clients you need to add Professional Indemnity Insurance and you are probably talking around £100-200 a year
Computer / home printer / phone / wifi – assuming you have already but if not factor this in
COPYWRITER – £200+
You may wish for a copywriter to review your web copy and recommend changes. £200
LEGAL CONTRACT – £228
Before you accept any client ensure you have a legally binding contract to use with them. We sell wedding planning contracts via our website
MEMBERSHIP OF THE UKAWP 😉 – £420
£120 joining fee (first year only) then £300 annual fee. Can be paid in quarterly payments. To join our waitlist go here
You will notice I have no money for advertising. In my opinion there is a lot of FREE marketing and PR you can do to build your business. Do not spend thousands on advertising thinking it will bring you clients, because it simply won’t. When you have funds you can allocate money for branded photo shoots, styled shoots and select advertising.