Friday, February 15, 2008

So You Want To Know About Wedding Planning?

Are you one of those gals who has planned her own wedding?? You have done a stellar job and everyone says you know what, you would make a great wedding planner??? I know you gals are out there....and you get back from your honeymoon and seconds later you run to Vista Print because they are giving a deal on 250 FREE business cards! I see you smiling girls! In one week you are the new " Wendy's Wonderful Weddings. " I have some news for you. I welcome ANYONE into this industry with open arms. One thing that I have learned is never be afraid to share your success. So this is how I live. I am here to share. Not because I think I know everything, but because the more I give the more I get. I am going to be a realist here. Planning your own wedding and doing it well is not even 1% of what it takes to make it in this industry. You really want to know what makes you successful? 1. YOU 2. Experience. 3. Being totally receptive to learning the hard way. I get hundreds of emails weekly from aspiring planners who watch the show or read my articles. I want to thank you for taking the time to write to me. I thank you for watching me on TV or just shooting an email to ask a question. When I get this support, I want to work harder, be better and more savvy of this business. You never stop learning. I get several emails asking me how I became so successful so quickly. It was not a fast ride. TRUST me. For those who have followed me, I am not an East Coast native. That should be enough info to let you know it was not 100's of open doors. In fact I think the only open door I had was having to pee at a venue and the hotel's concierge showed me where the restrooms were on my way out! Thanks! I lived in Chicago for over 34 years of my life. My background consisted of working in the beauty and fashion industry. We had events, classes, I was also a Regional Sales Manager for many years in the same industry. I basically ran the Midwest along with salespeople in 9 states. I started a side business with a sweet gal named Jennifer Goldstein in the year 2000. Unfortunately, our partnership went sour, but I kept the business. To this day...I wonder Jenn did you see what I did with our company? We made it! Just when I began to really gain a name for myself in Chicago, I was told by my husband in 2003, while I was 4 months pregnant, that we are moving to NJ. Yes the timing could not have been worse. I had to leave my friends, family and career. I just did it. I was depressed, lonely and well out of sorts being so far away from what made me who I am. Where are you without your friends and family? Nowhere. After our daughter was born in Dec 2003, I decided the only way I would be happy was to get back into working. I was not able to do what I did in Chicago considering my old company did not have positions open here in NJ. So this was when my husband suggested starting Gold Events on the East Coast. I did the Vista Print ladies! 250 FREE cards....I bought folders and tried to recreate everything I had in Chicago. Well can I be honest? The first 3 months were the worst. This is what I heard daily: No we don't work well with planners, why do we need planners we have planners that work here, you planners take over everything and screw up our system. Ok. I guess if they just said no I would have been ok. But why do they hate planners here??? You know what, some venues just don't like us. There is nothing we can do about that. All the convincing, the lunches, the letters may have been a bit of a waste. I know I can't gain access everywhere, but I do know one thing. I know I was trained by some of the best people in the sales and event business. I also know I can't be good at everything or win everyone over. So what is the point you ask? I did not give up. I served my talents well at fundraisers where I met some of the best people in the industry out here. I asked a lot of questions and I built relationships. And a few months after that horrible 3 months, I finally broke through and got referrals. Not many. But they came. I paced myself and believe me in my 16 years I have made mistakes of taking on more than I can chew. I wanted to be that everything. But I learned VERY fast that this was not going to make me successful.. Anyway, back to my very first clients. These clients did not know me from Adam... But thanks Marie M. and Melanie B. my first brides! You took a chance on me. Well, here I am. Without you, where would I be in NY, NJ and all over the US? Probably no further than my front door. I had to be different I decided but how? Television and Magazines that is a whole different story. But yes, it has happened. I finally made a niche. Who was going to help those brides, 75% of America who have a budget of 20K or less? I felt it was going to be me. Why? Because this is where I started and you never forget the ones who believed in you when you had no where else to go. Right now as I work with many budgets sometimes in the high six figures, I know I can still help someone who just needs a little extra care to make her wedding just as glamorous as she imagined. I still want to be there for the ones who hope I can be the one. I know can't do it every weekend. But I am working like mad to train other planners to do what I did. So this is a story for the planners. To show you that some bride who may not have a lot to work with budget wise, could make your career as wonderful as you can imagine. If you just take a chance with her or him. And for those of you who have, you know what I am talking about. We work for peanuts, but it's not about the money it is about the reward you receive mentally. Right? People took a chance with me. Like I said, what I have achieved was not an overnight success. But I will never shut the door on someone who needs that extra bit of help and who tells her world about the planner who made her dreams come true. So ladies or Gentlemen, aspiring planners. Your only judged by your last job and you will always need to learn more than your own wedding. I only wish it were that easy to gain trust of someone else's big day. But if you take the time, your train and work very hard at what you want. You can also be that planner who makes a real difference in someone else's life and what that brings in return is Priceless!

2 comments:

Johnny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Morgan N. Scott, CEP said...

Samantha,

I LOVE this post! I am one of those aspiring planners that you talk about, who LOVES WWIA, listens to your podcasts, and just hopes to be a great Event Planner just like you! Sometimes I do get discouraged because it seems like the harder I advertise, the more courses and training I take, the more weddings I shadow....still I have consults with brides, inquiries on my services, but still it gets a little dismal and sad that I'm not getting the clientele that I really want to make my business a success! Thanks for the tips and I love your work!

Morgan N. Scott
Envi Consulting & Associates
www.enviconsulting.com
http://enviconsulting.blogspot.com

I devote my time to ensuring our clients recieve fab service. There's another "calling" for me. To give back to my peers that aspire to be the next "best" fancy pants somebody! Those who play it safe standing behind me, will fail. I do serve as a warning to others and yes, I'm nutty. It's who I am & it's not going to change, as it works. Feel free to comment & join me on what could be the best road trip EVER!

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