Career Magazine

What My Dad Taught Me About Running a Successful Wedding Planning Business

By Sharonhill @sharonhill

What My Dad Taught Me About Running a Successful Wedding Planning Business  

Can you learn about having a successful wedding planning business from a dealer of Chinese antiques? I think so, if that antique dealer was my father. He owned and ran a successful antique store in San Francisco for over 60 years, closing only when his doctors told him it was no longer a good idea.  

He then set up shop in his home and continued to work for the next 5 years, until he went to heaven a little over a week ago.  

Here are 5 lessons I learned from him about having a successful business:  

Lesson 1 – Don’t worry about your background  

My Dad was born in China and came to America as a young teenager without his family and without any money. He learned that people respected people who were well-educated and presented themselves professionally. He taught himself to read and write in Chinese and English and to speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese, and English. He dressed in a suit and tie everyday. 

He counted famous fashion designers, a few movie stars, and politicians among his clients, and his business was featured in an article in Architectural Digest.  

If you have a passion to work with brides of different backgrounds than your own, and I know from your emails that you do, then do some research and find out what they want in a wedding planner and work to be the person they would seek out and hire.  

Lesson 2 – Clients aren’t necessarily looking for the lowest cost items  

My Dad originally sold a lot of books on Chinese culture and art. They were, of course, priced much lower than antiques but he realized customers weren’t coming to him for books, they came to him for antiques.  

Do you know what brides want from you? It might not be your lower priced packages that interests them the most. They may be willing to invest more in you if you offer them customized services that they can’t get somewhere else.  

Lesson 3 – Never stop learning   

My Dad constantly read the latest books and magazines about Chinese antiques. He knew what was being discovered in archaeological digs, seen in museums, and sold in auctions. He could speak to customers with authority.  

Even if you’ve gotten your wedding planner certification and have planned numerous weddings, keep studying and learning more so you can bring the latest information and new inspiration to the weddings that you plan. Study floral design, theater, architecture, history, art, food, and fashion. Become an expert in your niche and be able to speak with authority.  

Lesson 4 – Your business can be successful in any economy  

Unbelievably, no matter what the economy of the country, there were always people ready to invest in Chinese antiques.  

By the same token, there will always be brides who are willing to hire wedding planners. Make sure you have done your research and determined what they are willing to buy and have marketed your services appropriately.  

Lesson 5 – Do what you love   

My Dad had unmistakable passion for his business so he was willing to work hard and persevere and do what it took to make it a success.  

If you truly have the passion to be a wedding planner, you need to be willing to study, get the experience you need, and work hard so nothing will stand in the way of your success. 

My Dad instilled in me a desire to follow my passion and be the best that I can be. I invite you to follow his lead.

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