Wedding Planning

Is Wedding Planning For You? How to Become a Wedding Planner in 2024 with Candice Coppola

May 6, 2024

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If you're a newer wedding planner (or you’ve been planning your wedding and feel bitten by the wedding planning bug), I have an incredible episode ahead for you. On today’s episode, I’ve brought on my OWN business coach to talk ALL ABOUT about how to become a wedding planner in 2024. Candice has been my business rock for 5 years now (pre-COVID) and has truly been the mastermind behind so much of what I’ve built today. Loverves, whether you’re a budding wedding planner or you’re an engaged couple or vendor that wants some behind the scenes tea of what goes on in our lives, you’re going to love today’s episode, so let’s get to it. 






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  • Should you become a wedding planner if you've been bitten by the wedding planning bug? [6:41]
  • First steps to take when becoming a wedding planner [11:01]
  • Should you work for someone else or start your own wedding planning business [13:14]
  • Wedding planning business start-up costs [23:49]
  • Biggest hurdles when starting a wedding planning business [25:26]
  • How to build your client base [29:05]
  • The difference between a successful and unsuccessful wedding planning business [34:29]
  • What a typical day looks like for a wedding planner [42:17]
  • Is it harder to plan a wedding or to grow a wedding planning business? [44:57]
  • Advice for people planning their wedding or newer planners wondering what their next steps are [47:00]


Candice Coppola is an author, podcast host, business coach, and entrepreneur who believes that you shouldn't have to do business or happy hour alone. As a successful entrepreneur who grew a business from the spare bedroom of her home into a multi-country, multi-six-figure company, it's safe to say she has navigated the bumpy road of entrepreneurship. She started her first company Jubilee Events during the Great Recession in 2008. With no experience and no contacts, she grew it into a recognizable brand and team.

Over 12 years, she worked with clients from all over the world and produced events in excess of a million dollars. Candice's work and voice can be seen in many publications from her podcast, the Power and Purpose to her two published books, the White Dress in Color, inspirations for the Modern Bride and the White Dress Destinations, the Definitive Guide to Planning the New Destination Wedding.

Personally, she's also my business coach, my mentor, and a true friend. And as you all know, I don't welcome just anyone on the podcast. So who better than to talk about growing your business than the very woman that has helped me grow mine these past five years. Thank you, Candice for being on the podcast!

What would you say to people if they've been bit by the planning bug, planning their wedding and they're considering a shift in their career?

It's so natural to plan your own wedding and then wonder if you can do it for a living. I think it's because planning a wedding is such an immersive experience and a time in your life where you're really focused on everything that goes into a wedding and you're spending so much time researching, hiring people and thinking about what you want. It might be one of the first times (or the few times) in your life where you really make it all about yourself and create an experience around what you want, what your likes and dislikes are and your style. 

I think you need to ask yourself a couple of questions to see if it is going to be the right fit for you. Things like, do you get really excited about the idea of becoming a wedding planner? Is it consuming all of your thoughts and time? Are you doing tons of research about being a wedding planner? Have you maybe even looked at some courses online or read blog posts? Do you feel like this is something that you were meant to do? Does it speak to you in a way where you feel like you were born to do it? And, do you think you could do it for strangers? Because doing it for yourself is one thing, but doing it for other people is a different story.

Then you need decide: Are you good at logistics? Can you manage people and do you have an eye for design? Those are three things that I think a wedding planner needs to have. And the good news is that logistics, people management and design are things you can learn.

To the people nodding along, what are the first steps they should take to become a wedding planner?

They are doing it right now, listening to this podcast and learning so much about how to plan your own wedding that you can parlay that knowledge into becoming a wedding planner. Also, congratulations, you found something that you really enjoy and you want to make a living at it. I think that can be really rare. Once you celebrate that, your first steps should be to ask yourself if you will open up your own business or work for someone else. Then explore both ends of those questions.

You should also ask yourself, how you want to get experience in wedding planning. You might have the experience of planning your own wedding, but what about other people's weddings? Just think about where you want to see yourself in this career in a years time. What would be the best scenario for you?

Would you recommend people work for somebody else or go start their own business?

I have a mixed opinion on this. It's important to know the difference between being a wedding planner and owning a wedding planning business. As soon as you own a wedding planning business, in my mind, you're a business owner first and a wedding planner second. It's okay to become a wedding planner and work for someone else. That's completely okay. It's really great if you decide owning a business isn't for you.

Most people though, feel they want to be in charge of their own destiny so owning a business is probably the direction they should go in. But they need to realize that owning a business is a ton of work and stress. It's financially time consuming and risky and you unlock a whole level of adulting you never thought was possible. Owning a business is a ton of work, but it's also really exciting and you do get to line your own pockets. You are in charge. There's no boss telling you where to be, how much they're going to pay you. So there is benefits of owning your own business. You get to build it from the ground up and it essentially becomes your baby.

I think it's always good to try and see if you can intern or assist a local wedding planner or working for a venue on a few events to see if it's right for you first before investing so much time and money on it.

We always have the best intentions, but then we get going we find it's just not for us. I will say that it might be tough getting a wedding planning position with a local planner. They may only be able to offer you seasonal assistant jobs or internships, or you may need to work your way through the system of their business part-time as an associate planner. So you have to be really committed.

Also, your local wedding planner might feel a little territorial over their business. They might not want to share their trade secrets with you and when you start up your business, have to compete with you for work. So it's a bit of a mixed bag. With that said, there are opportunities for you to assist on a few events to get a feel. Be really transparent with your intentions. Offer to sign any paperwork they would like you to sign, maybe one that says you won't take, use or share any of their intellectual property. This is a gesture of good faith and also legally protects both of you.

How much do you think it costs to start a wedding planning business?

It's going to depend on your taste. You could spend a lot of money or a little money, but I think you can look to spend a few hundred dollars getting things going. This would be things like filing your LLC, doing some business related tasks to get up and running. Then maybe going all in with a website, a brand, your contract that you'll have, your service agreements, some educational tools that you'll use to launch your business, some marketing materials. Maybe $2,500 all in. That's not a lot of money in the grand scheme of things. Other businesses start up costs (photographers, rental companies or a venue for example) is so much more money. You also don't need it all upfront, but maybe over six months, that's probably around what you'll invest.

What should they expect to be the biggest hurdles when starting their business as a planner?

Probably pricing will be the number one. You will feel so out of your element trying to figure out what to charge. You will probably do what most people do, which is comparing pricing of other wedding planners. Then you will question if you should charge less than them because you don't have the experience. That is all fine, you are doing a bit of data mining and market research, which is something you will need to do anyway. You do want to get pricing right. Because you don't want to under price and then work for pennies or worse, even be paying to work a wedding. You don't want to over price to where you don't get any clients. So trying to figure out what your introductory pricing is going to be is going to be tough.

I also find that newer business owners have a hard time marketing.

Even if you've studied it in college, it's different when it's your business and an industry you've only observed as a customer. You're going to need some support in coming up with marketing ideas. Marketing can also feel like the never ending story. Literally it's the Lord of the Ring's trilogy that just never stops playing. It never ends. It's just always there and it never stops.

I would say the third hurdle is typically getting that first client outside of it being your friend or an acquaintance, getting a stranger to give you thousands of dollars to plan their wedding or to co-plan their wedding. That's a big hurdle.

How do you recommend they build that client base in a competitive industry like wedding planning?

Finding new clients and filling up your sales well will be your primary focus the day you start a business until the day you graduate from that business and pivot into another business and have to do it all over again. You're constantly searching for clients. I think the people who succeed at building a solid client base in a competitive market, boils down to building a recognized brand. They have been very focused on building a brand that people recognize and it's synonymous with what they expect in a wedding planner and the style of wedding they want to have. So this tells me a couple of things that you should and shouldn't do. You shouldn't be to following what everyone else is doing. And I invite you to embrace your style, your unique voice.

You've been exploring while planning your own wedding about what you like and don't like. Lean into what you like and be very forthcoming with what you don't like, styles you don't like, and connect with people in the industry who have a similar vibe and aesthetic as you. I say this because you don't build a recognized brand by being the wedding planner you think you should be because it's what everyone else is doing. How you build a recognized brand is separating yourself from the competition visually in your messaging, and even in your services. This can take time for you to figure out and build. So, keep this even in the front or the back of your mind as you're exploring things like building your business.

Always ask yourself, how can you separate yourself from your competition and do things differently while still being authentic to you and what you like.

What do you think are the biggest characteristics between wedding planners that succeed and the ones that don't?

First, I think the people who succeed have support and mentors. Those that don't, try to do it on their own, and they're not open to learning from other people who've come before them. Education is so important. It's going to fast track your success, period.

Next, is marketing. Successful business owners weren't necessarily born good marketers, but they're curious about marketing and they learn how to market themselves. People who don't succeed don't push themselves to put themselves out there. They let their shyness or their lack of marketing knowledge get in the way.

Those who succeed put themselves in rooms where they feel they belong (even if they haven't quite earned the badge yet).

Wedding planners that succeed offer top of the line service and experience. They are obsessed with their customer experience and they are obsessed with customer service. Whereas on the opposite side, that's not a priority and they also take on too much.  They overwhelm themselves and will damage their reputation at a moment's notice.

I think those who succeed are constantly improving and growing. 

Planners who succeed know how to mind their money and understand they should pay attention to their numbers. You need to learn how to manage your money if you want to run a successful business.

Finally, I think wedding planners that succeed, have or establish good boundaries. Those who don't succeed are way too much of a people pleaser and they jump through every hoop that is put before them, and they don't set boundaries (which leads to burnout and being taken advantage of). 

How would you describe what a typical day looks like for a wedding planner?

It depends on in wedding season or out of wedding season, but I would say a typical wedding planner spends the majority of their time answering emails, chasing down grown adults who own businesses who are not responding to their emails. So if you really love babysitting grown adults who have their own businesses and holding people accountable, this career is for you.

I think wedding planners spend a lot of time procrastinating posting on Instagram and worrying about what they should be posting so they don't end up post anything. I kid, but the majority of the work isn't as glamorous as Instagram or movies portray it to be. All that to say though, you spend a lot of your time managing people, logistics, and projects. Managing multiple projects at once, whether those are client weddings, other events, your own business projects, marketing, money, staffing. It really is very gratifying and fulfilling if you love a little bit of something different every day.

Do you think it's harder to plan a wedding or to grow a wedding business?

I think it's harder to grow a business than plan a wedding. I think planning a wedding is very difficult and depending on the complexity of it, it can feel harder than running your business at times. But growing and scaling a business that is financially successful, and that is where most people want to push their business to be, is much harder.

Do you have any last pieces of advice for people either planning their wedding or for newer planners wondering what their next step should be?

I want to give you a piece of advice that was given to me. It was given to me for free. When I was starting my business. I sat down with a financial advisor and we were talking about my business and what I hoped it would be. And he asked me how much I was going to charge. I said I'm was going to do some for free to build my portfolio, and then come in at a really good price, under market value to get more weddings in the door. Same song and dance. And that's how most people think they should start is by working for free or working at such a low margin that you're basically being paid nothing for your labor.

Then he asked me what types of weddings I hoped to plan. I said, I wanted to work with clients who have big budgets, who pay attention to detail, have great style. And he told me my whole plan has a large gaping flaw in it. And that is because if I am going to be working for free, I'll attract people who have low budgets or no budgets. If you want to work with clients on big projects like that, you don't want to be doing small time work at a low budget. You want to start where you want to land.

I want to give you that piece of advice today. As you think about opening up your own wedding planning business or becoming a wedding planner, you're going to have lots of questions. Consider is the type of client you want to attract. Then, build a business that attracts that client from day one, not day 201. Start where you want to be.

Did this episode make anyone want to pull the trigger on a wedding planning business?

It definitely made me reaffirm why Candice is my business coach and overall business goals! Anyway, that’s all for today Loverves, but I hope you loved today’s episode as much as I did! Candice is so full of knowledge and know how and I hope we answered some of your burning questions today.



If you have any questions, DM me on Instagram at @asktheplannerpodcast, call the wedding planning hotline at 585-210-3467, or drop it in your review on Apple Podcasts.

Plus, don’t forget to check out the Wedding Planning template shop, including my new Wedding Day Master Organizer which includes the same spreadsheets we use in our day-of production books.

And for all my planners out there, check out my new wedding planner coaching service! Whether you’re in the first 1-2 years of your business and you don’t know how to increase your prices, build a team, attract your ideal clients, find your brand’s voice, or you’re a little further in your career and you want to take it to the next level with a digital product, start a podcast, or something else, I would love to help you build the dream wedding business you deserve!

Learn more and schedule a call with me to see if this is what your business needs at


Candice Coppola shares tips for how to become a wedding planner