On TV or in the movies, it seems like a clever kit and a bossy demeanor is all it takes to quit your job as an accountant and become a wedding planner. After planning and designing weddings for nearly 13 years, I can tell you that no major crisis was ever averted with the use of my well-equipped kit or my underlying bossiness. A great wedding planner, I believe, is confident, intuitive, clever and creative and manifests each of those qualities throughout the daily tasks of planning a wedding.
Confident: A wedding is a mix-and-mingle of heightened emotions, complicated logistics and nerve-wracking decisions. A great wedding planner can manage each of those challenges – alone or together – with confidence. Your clients and your vendor partners will be looking to you as their leader and will be relying on you to make the tough calls when they cannot. You have to be sure of yourself and of the situation to lead your team through the madness.
Intuitive: One of the biggest challenges in planning a wedding is that often times the bride and groom and their families don’t know exactly what they want… or they may know what they want, but are unable to express it. I find I spend a great deal of time decoding everything that my clients say or do in order to broaden their thoughts and inklings and apply them to the bigger picture of the wedding. It is about taking cues, reading between the lines and being a great listener – but in the end – if you are good – your clients think you are a mind reader!
Clever: Problem solving is not a linear path, but instead a long and winding road. Problem solving during a wedding is a long and winding road with potholes and detours! You have to think through and around and under a problem to solve it under pressure – all while trying to look like it was easy to do in 4″ heels. I find that it is often my non-traditional, out-of-the-box way of thinking that finds the solution under the chair when everyone else is looking behind the bookcase. Anything and everything from taping shoes to a bride’s feet so that you don’t see the tape when she walks to manipulating the wedding day timeline so that the client doesn’t have to pay the photographer for extra hours – it is all part of the everyday cleverness that this job requires.
Creative: Creativity, I believe, is a way of thinking, not just about design, but about everything. For a wedding planner, creativity is required for both the aesthetics and the logistics of an event as well as for the interpersonal dynamics that are different with each client. Every minute of every day of my life demands creativity – from creating a new, unique favor for a destination wedding to trying to determine yet another way to tell a bride she cannot afford the cordials bar at the end of the reception without actually using the words “you are out of money!”
For many years, Apple used a tag line that said “Think different.” It initially infuriated my inner grammarian (proper English would be Think differently), but then I began to understand the message in a different way – Apple wasn’t asking me to change how I was thinking (how to go about thinking? Differently.), but instead, Apple was telling me what I should think about (don’t think about what is the same, think about what is Different). This is at the core of what I believe makes me good at my job – I can think differently as well as think different. I look forward to sharing some of that with you.
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