Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our Job Isn't What You Think...

Wedding Planners are so over-glamorized and underestimated.  It drives me a little nuts.  Or a lot nuts.  So, I wanted to create this post to simply explain, at least from a BCE POV, how our job really isn't what you might think.  We do a lot more than anyone knows and we do a lot less of what people expect us to do.  


BCE Headquarters
Photo by our Office Mate - Sara Ackermann Photography

With the overwhelming amount of inquiries we get for those looking for a job or internship with BCE, it is also important to share that becoming a wedding or event planner is not for everyone.  It is a misconception (a HUGE MISCONCEPTION) that if you plan your cousin's wedding (or your own), take hospitality courses, create a Pinterest Baby Shower or really enjoy the bridal shows on TV that you will enjoy being a planner yourself.  I am not saying that you wouldn't be able to do it, but I am saying that you might hate doing it - meaning that you would end up not doing such a great job, anyhow.  This is not a job for the sensitive, easily-offended, mild hearted or lazy.  Thick skin is a must.

I am going to break it down simply:

1.  The bulk of our workload happens LONG before wedding day.  If we do our job correctly, wedding day should truly be a breeze.  It should still be work, but not stressful work by any means.  So many people say to me "Oh, you don't have a wedding until the Spring - you must be so glad to have some time off!"  WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.  I have zero time off.  If you had 20+ weddings to plan and organize in the next 12 months, do you think you would have a lot of time to throw your feet up every day?  You would be wrong.  So wrong.  I work well over 40 weeks every.single.week.

2.  It isn't all cake and roses and pretty things.  Actually, it is rarely those things.  Wedding Planners are organizers, logistical experts, negotiators, paper-work masters.  We don't plan the pretty parts of weddings all day long.  Huge myth.  We are at our desks or at client meetings working on problems and solutions.  The meetings are not always fun.  The time in the office is pretty standard and not-so-exciting.  TV has created this falsity about our job and that is why it is so hard for brides, friends and family to really understand what we do each day.  This is not a fluff job and I will always stand by that.

3.  The stress level is HIGH, everyday.  The requests we get are sometimes really tough to manage.  Part of our job is to keep our clients happy and feeling comfortable with the way things are going as they plan for wedding day.  That is not always easy.  Our job takes backbone, patience, major researching and sourcing skills and a smile.  Always a smile.

4.  We manage and do different things than venue coordinators.  We differ a lot from them, actually.    The venue coordinator is not (usually) going to help you stuff invitations, track your budget from start to finish, go to dress fittings with you, deliver your welcome baskets around town, meet you once a month to go over every last detail, update your wedding website throughout the planning...the list goes on and on.  They handle venue-centric tasks.  We are paid and contracted by you.  We work for YOU.  Don't misunderstand.  Some of my greatest friends are venue wedding coordinators.  But, they know and I know that what we do differs tremendously.  Is there overlap?  Of course.  But, that is the truth with nearly every vendor we deal with on wedding day.  It is a falsity to think that having a venue coordinator is the same as having a wedding planner.

5.  We need rest.  As with any other career, burnout is always a huge possibility.  That is why, at least at BCE, I try to create a balance between long, hard hours and R&R for myself and my team.  We are not in the office on most Mondays for the simple fact that we were on our feet for 12+ hours on the Saturday prior.  Our clients understand that we spend time with our families and will get back with them as quickly as we can.  We are not available 
24-7. Ever.

6.  No, we don't do that.  I try to always say "yes" and "of course" when clients ask me to help them with something.  But, we definitely don't do some of the things that you might think, based on what you have seen in the mainstream media.  We don't put together centerpieces, we don't set up tables and chairs, we don't refill food and drink, clean up trash, we don't set up massive decor installations, we don't emcee, babysit, direct traffic, handle security, we don't......the list goes on and on and I swear we have been asked about all of them (and more) at least one time.  I don't blame the "ask-ers".  I know our job is sometimes hard to understand and value.  We help create a vision, plan and execute.  We coordinate and delegate.  We make sure it is done the way you want, when you want.

I adore my job, as everyone knows.  It is simply the best and my clients make it that way.  But, it is so many times misunderstood and undermined.  Not everyone needs a planner for their event.  But, when you do, it is important to know what is really under our umbrella.

All that rambling aside, wedding season is underway and HEAVY right now.  Back to work for this BCE girlie!

Boldly Yours,
Lori




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