Bridal Consultant Business Idea
The decision to become a bridal consultant is one that gives you the opportunity to play a key role in planning one of the most joyful celebrations in a couple’s life. Bridal consultants work closely with engaged couples, the bride in particular, to make each wedding the celebration of a lifetime. Bridal consultants plan every detail with the tastes, preferences, and budget of the bride in mind.
Most women work and have little time to make all of the necessary phone calls, interview vendors, rent a hall, and coordinate every detail of a wedding. Hiring a bridal consultant to step in and ease the burden is a popular option. In close consultation with the bride-to-be, the bridal consultant interviews the couple, helps manage the finances, and brings the pieces together to create that special day.
How to Become a Bridal Consultant
Planning to become a bridal consultant means evaluating and planning the services you will offer. It also means examining your skills. For example:
- Will you come up with various consulting packages to accommodate different budgets? Higher-end packages might include more extensive services, such as personal meetings with vendors. Lower end packages include fewer services, such as providing a vendor list rather than in-person consultations.
- Will you work out of a home office or rent space? Renting space in an existing retail bridal shop may give you more exposure than working from your home.
- Will you target specific demographics? For example, will you spend most of your advertising dollars targeting professional women?
- How are your management, organizational, and people skills? How well do you handle stress? A bridal consultant must be able to work well under pressure and nearly constant stress.
As a bridal consultant, your primary responsibilities will include:
- Meeting with engaged couples
- Contacting vendors and negotiating prices
- Coordinating and closely managing timetables
- Attending client weddings and receptions
- Marketing your bridal consulting services
- Managing the business finances
- Keeping current on general wedding trends and fashions
Getting Started as a Bridal Consultant
Bridal consultants typically do not require state certification. There are, however, accredited training programs. The Association of Bridal Consultants (ABC) provides bridal consultant training as well as business education with classes in marketing and managing business finances. Training and accreditation is not mandatory, but is recommended. You not only learn valuable lessons about the bridal consultation business, an accreditation is proof that you are a professional.
Finding customers obviously means marketing to the bride-to-be. Advertise in the style or engagement/wedding section of the local newspaper. Form partnerships with florists, bridal product retailers, music professionals, and caterers so that you can all work together and share client references. Attend and take part in wedding and bridal shows. Generously hand out advertising material outlining your services.
How to Succeed as a Bridal Consultant
Several factors come together that increase your chances of business success as you become a bridal consultant. Keys to success include:
- Excel in communication. Planning for a wedding is an exciting, emotional, and stressful time for the bride-to-be, the groom, and their families. You’re going to be dealing with a variety of personalities and a wide range of emotions. Treat your clients with empathy, patience, and understanding.
- Build a portfolio of your work. Take pictures, document events, and ask for testimonials. Showing prospective clients what you can do encourages sales more than what you say in your printed advertising materials.
- Show a willingness to do anything to make sure the wedding is a success. Is the reception hall floor full of crumbs? Find a broom and sweep them up. Be ready to jump in and do whatever it takes.
- Stay calm under pressure. It’s possible that something will go wrong during the wedding or reception. A vendor may be late, the menu may be wrong, or a host of other calamities might happen. Stay calm and confident. Fix what you can.
- Use meticulously written detailed contracts with clients. The contract should spell out every single duty for which you are responsible. It should include payment arrangements, time-lines, and safeguard clauses so that you are not held responsible for occurrences beyond your control.
Expand Your Bridal Consulting Services
When you become a bridal consultant, keep your eyes open for additional services to add to your list. Expansion ideas include:
- Add event, convention,and party planning services
- Sell wedding related products
- Write and sell party, event, and wedding planning informational booklets
- Write a guide or teach a course for how to become a bridal consultant (keep in mind, however, that you don’t want to encourage competition in your local area!)