Written By Kimber Attaway
Hi! My name is Kimber Attaway and I wanted to share how I became a wedding coordinator with you.
After being a stay at home mom for five years, I decided I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to do something that would give me an honest feeling of self worth and good about myself. I also wanted to put a alot of thought into what I wanted to do, so I sat down and wrote a list of things I loved. Then I weeded out the ones I couldn’t start a business with. I was left with one entry....weddings!
My first lesson was to find information on how to get started and how much money I needed. I researched for a full year and saved money from doing childcare in my home for friends. I knew everything I needed to get started and had some money to boot! My first step was to purchase learning aides and books. I found a software program for wedding professionals. I decided to purchase this software and I am glad I did! It’s wonderful and keeps my records very nicely organized. I bought books about wedding planning, etiquette, floral design, and party/event planning. I also purchased a wedding consultant home study course. A home course is not required but it’s highly recommended! You not only learn about planning weddings but also about how to conduct weddings as a business. You learn general business practices...something that is needed if your want your business to be successful.
My next step was deciding on a business name. This was a FUN task! I wanted something that not only represented weddings but all occasions ( in case I ventured into event planning ). I eventually decided on the name Lasting Occasions and registered it with my county clerks office. I then decided to join a bridal accessories business. I felt offering brides more services would benefit my coordination business and I was right! Now I was able to offer my brides their accessories and invitations for their wedding. Next, I got some business cards, made some brochures with my home computer, ordered a business phone line and put an ad in our local phone book. I also did some small advertising ads. I decided to build a website with a free service. I later bought my own domain ( looks much more professional ) and then moved my website to a low-cost host. I participated in Bridal Shows ( great source of leads ) and gave my brochures and business cards out like candy! Eventually the phone started ringing more and more. Now I have accomplished my original goal of doing something that would make me feel good about myself.
Starting your own business isnt easy. It takes dedication, stamina,and lots of patience.. It also means that your family will have to understand that mommy is working. My biggest problem was getting my family to realize that just because mommy wasn’t working outside of the home, she wasnt working at all. You have set guidelines and boundaries in your home. If you cant dedicate a room for your home office, it’s even more important that your family understand your boundaries. Your desk is off limits! Set a schedule, stick to it! Work it around your husbands schedule. Maybe send your small children to a sitter for a day or two each week. Teach your older kids that when mommy is on the phone to not bother you. ( I have made an office in my room. I put a tag on the door so the kids know when to take their questions to daddy. This is harder for women with small children but find a system that works for you. You will eventually find a way that works for the whole family
Now for some facts about wedding coordination/planning as a business:
What is a a Wedding Consultant/Coordinator?
A Wedding Consultant is a professional who helps a couple discover, implement and manage all of the necessary requirements for a successful wedding. Wedding Consultants must function in many roles. They must be supervisors, working with vendors chosen by the couple to make sure everything in their wedding happens just as they want. They must be coordinators to organize the entire wedding and turn dreams into reality. They must be financial planners preparing a budget for the couple and helping them get the most for their dollar. They are often mediators, helping solve disagreements as impartial third parties.
$500 to $2000 for your first year CAN start an economical business Certification/Training: Not required but very highly recommended. Cost for Training: $400 to $900 - depends on who you receive training from.
Important tips on getting started:
- Spend your money wisely
- Use your home computer to print brochures, flyers, etc. (saves LOTS of money)
- Have a dedicated phone line and e-mail address for your business (You can get free e-mail anywhere)
- Have a nice professional suit for appointments.
- Go around and get to know your local wedding vendors. Share business cards, brochures, etc.
- Participate in Bridal Shows. (This can be a big expense but you get LOTS of exposure)
- Advertise in the wedding section of your local newspaper.
- Open a seperate bank account for your business.
- Save all receipts.
- Have fun!!