Sunday, October 19, 2008

Talking out of both sides of the mouth?

I don't usually jump on a soapbox when blogging, but this has been on my mind so I've decided to share.

Often, I come across posts from my fellow wedding consultants where they shake a finger at those who fail to take our business seriously as a BUSINESS and not a hobby. Many are frustrated by the idea that a bride who planned her own wedding should automatically assume she can become a professional in the field. Many are also frustrated by ill-prepared wedding consultants giving those of us who have honed our creativity, studied and worked hard a bad name by providing shoddy service and dropping the ball. Why? Because this is serious business and there is really little room for error when you're dealing with a client's once-in-a-lifetime event. A hired planner must be ready...there are no test-runs. However, some of the same consultants who complain are, in my opinion, enabling the behavior they claim to disapprove of. How? By offering "how to be a wedding planner" classes that often suggest if someone's a bride who recently got married feels she can be a professional wedding planner that the class is perfect for them. Facilitators of these courses also often downplay credited courses or formal educational programs, suggesting they might be a waste of time. And to top it all off, these "learn from the best" class fees usually range between $700 - $1500 for 5 hours. Now that's a big cherry, huh?

There are many different ways to pursue a dream. One can seek structured education in that field or one can seek hands-on/on-the-job training. There's never really one set path for everyone. Furthermore, what's getting lost here is the requirement of innate talent. For example, you may really, really, really want to become a painter, but if you lack the basic talent no number of painting classes or internships with successful artists is going to guarantee your success. The bottom line is, no single Saturday course (with lunch included) will make you a wedding planner worthy of a couples hard-earned money, especially in this recession. It's not that I think one shouldn't participate in a class or two along these lines, but know that there is much more required and it's not going to be easy. If these important points are left out, many could be at risk of being misled and further give those of us who are focused on top-notch service a bad name.

Ok ... I'm stepping down now.
Happy Planning!


Nicole Scott-Tate said...

Wow! Let me be the first to say thank you. We all know that over the last few years there has been an increase in wedding coordinators. We are not all the same, however consultants/planners/coordinators that have been in business for a long time look down there nose at all of us.
I personally work as an event manager at a wonderful venue as well as own my own wedding coordination business. I completed two programs for wedding and event planning from an accredited college, interned, and shadowed coordinators who have been in business for years before I started my own business. So I do know what I am doing.
They looked down their noses at newbies until they realized that they could make money off of them. So now many of them are really biting the hand that feeds them by teaching and lecturing to them and then complaining about them too. Shame on them. Pick a side and stick with it!

Affairs With Elegance said...


Andria Lewis said...

While I do feel there is an overflow of what I call fly-by-night planners, I enjoy and respect your opinion on this subject. Well done!

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