January 06, 2021 3 min read

To succeed in business, you need to pursue something you love. Why? Because it’ll occupy most of your time. If nothing makes you happier than helping couples celebrate their big day, a career in the marriage industry might be for you.

With that in mind, here are the basics of starting a wedding planning business.

1. Figure Out the Logistics

Starting any business requires capital. According to the folks at Entrepreneur magazine, you can get started comparatively inexpensively, making this endeavor a wise choice for those starting small. You’ll still need approximately $300 to get going on a shoestring — you need at least that much capital reserve to hire vendors.

This structure assumes you’re a sole proprietor who outsources all their labor. You still need to worry about logistics, one of the most anxiety-producing factors of business ownership. You must form strong alliances with your partner vendors — today’s drivers and fleet managers have the training to handle tricky road conditions. Quality caterers can make nearly any dish conform with dietary restrictions.

2. Determine the Correct Business Tax Structure

When you first start, you’ll probably begin as a sole proprietor. This frequently used business structure offers simplicity but leaves you open to liability. Plus, you’ll need to pay your quarterly taxes. 

One disadvantage of the sole prop structure is that you remain liable for the business’ actions. Therefore, an unhappy customer could theoretically come after your home or other assets if they decide to sue.

You can separate personal and business liability by forming a single-member limited liability company (LLC). This structure separates your business debts and keeps lawsuit-happy individuals from coming after everything you own. Every state has different rules, but in general, you file articles of incorporation with the state and publish your listing in an approved periodical. While doing so costs money, it pales in comparison to the alternative.

However, as a single-member LLC, you will still get taxed as a sole prop. If you want to reduce the amount of taxes you pay, talk to an advisor about whether forming an S-corporation is right for you. Once your advisor explains the considerable tax advantages, you’ll be able to decide whether the extra bookkeeping duties can put more money in your pocket.

3. Get Your Books in Order

A vital part of running any business is tracking your income and expenses. You need to do so to fill out an accurate and timely tax return, but that’s not the only reason. Without an eye on your expenditures versus rewards, you can’t measure your success.

Fortunately, you have a host of cloud-based apps and software from which to choose. Many versions allow you to import your data to your tax software of choice, making completing your return a snap. Nearly all enable you to run reports showing your gross and net profits.

4. Partner With Ethical Suppliers

wedding planning

Even though you might strive to separate your business and personal lives, your brand ultimately represents you. What kind of image do you want to project, and what are your values? Make sure to reflect them in your mission statement and operating principles.

For example, maybe you want to stand apart as an environmentally sustainable wedding planner. You’ll need to partner with vendors who embrace eco-consciousness to maintain your reputation — it won’t do to hire a caterer who uses disposable plastic stemware that ends up in a landfill post-reception.

5. Determine What You Can Do and What to Delegate

Any business endeavor takes tons of work. How much can you realistically do yourself?

When you first open your doors, you might not have a single employee. As you grow, you’ll need to determine whether to bring on more help. How will you know when it’s time? If you find yourself unable to fulfill your promises to clients, you need to start placing want ads.

6. Get Your Name Out There

Finally, advertising and marketing make up a considerable portion of most businesses’ budgets. You won’t attract a single client if no one knows you exist.

Since you probably won’t have much capital when starting, investigate inexpensive marketing ideas, such as creating content and recycling old material. Attend networking events and explore customer referral services.

Now You Know the Basics of Starting a Wedding Planning Business

Now you know the basics of how to start a wedding planning business. It’s a lot of work — but so is anything worth doing. Only you can ultimately decide if you have the passion for this profession.