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The biggest mistakes I made when dealing with wedding planners

By Natasha Johnson

September 17, 2020

wedding celebrant business, wedding collaboration, working with wedding planners

When I first became a celebrant and started stepping out into the big old wedding world, I’ve got to say, I had a pretty crappy view of wedding planners and I’m sure the Hollywood films that I gorged on as a twenty-something were to blame.

J-Lo’s highly-strung, pedantic, over-organised version of a wedding planner in The Wedding Planner, and Frank (pronounced Frunk), the chic European, uber-camp, stuck-up, no-expense spared wedding planner from Father of the Bride. Oh I love those films so much but I’m pretty sure it was these and all the other film and tv stereotypes that fuelled my not-so-positive ideas about wedding planners.

I do feel that in general wedding planners can get a bad rap though, and that there are still people, wedding couples included, who can’t see the point of a wedding planner. Or who mistakenly believe that all a wedding planner does is to bring unnecessary expense to a couple’s big day, whilst standing looking pretty with a clipboard.

Not all wedding planners are the same

Yes, maybe in a tiny minority of cases there are those stereotypical planner types out there, but I’ve come to learn over the years that the majority of wedding planners are of immense value to couples and suppliers alike. Fabulous planners can really make a difference to a couple’s entire wedding experience, and for the wedding suppliers, like us, too!
And just like wedding celebrants, planners are all varied and unique. They serve different types of couples and all work in different ways and capacities. Not all wedding planners are the high-end Franks from Father of the Bride or the overly-meticulous J-lo’s from the Wedding Planner. There are many normal and loveable ones, too!

But because I started off my own journey with wedding planners thinking along the same negative lines, it led to me approaching them in the wrong way. Or to not starting my relationships with them off in the best way possible.

It’s fair to say that I have now come to love, admire and respect many of the excellent wedding planners that I work with and I know the feeling is mutual. But these relationships I have were not born overnight.

There were times when I emailed them and after a good response, I felt disappointed to not be sent referrals soon after! Or I would get frustrated when I saw them working with other celebrants and wonder why they didn’t work with me.

The point is that just like with our couples, the relationship with wedding planners needs to be nurtured, too. There needs to develop a good amount of trust and understanding, especially understanding, so that a relationship can flourish. But just like with couples, not every planner is going to be for you, either!

Good working relationships take time

I have over the years built up strong relationships with many different wedding planners and venue owners alike. In some year’s, as much as 60-70% of my couples are introduced to me via a wedding planner or a venue. This is a huge chunk of business, that doesn’t come out of thin air!

Next week (23.09) I’m going to be sharing my top tips on working with wedding planners and venues. In my webinar, I’ll be looking at how to build up a good relationship with them to cultivate more referrals and bookings.

I know that there are lots of celebrants out there who are missing out on great collaborations with wedding planners or not even examining the possibility of it! So I want to share my experiences.

My webinar is for Celebrants Collective members only and is the first in line of our awesome autumn webinars.

You can see our full autumn/winter line-up here.

As a Celebrants Collective member, you’ll get access to this webinar and all of our others like this. Our webinars are always recorded for those who can’t watch live. Plus our monthly group coaching calls and have access to our Resource Room, Learning Lounge and Course Corner.

Plus, have a spot in our members directory and supportive international Facebook members HQ group. All of this for just 15 euros a month. (No minimum membership, cancel when you wish).

Click here to join us!
Hope to see you in our Members HQ sometime soon!

Photo by Eloy Muñoz Photography

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About the author 

Natasha Johnson

Natasha is the founder and co-director of awesomeness at the Celebrants Collective, with her business wife, Claire Bradford. When she's not overseeing celebrant development and supporting the hell out of their members, she can be found drinking fabulous Spanish wine, dancing to Beyoncé and hanging out on her veg patch, sometimes all at the same time. She lives in Malaga, Spain with her two favourite humans, three dogs, eight chickens and two giant African snails. (Don't ask!)

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