Event planning as a career?

posted 2 years ago in Career
Post # 3
10 posts

I feel the same way!! Can’t wait to hear the advice.

Post # 5
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

NiKhalessi06:   I realize that ,but the Event Planners Association is a good place to start.


Post # 6
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I’ve been planning events as my own business for a little over a year now. (Informally for others for many years.) First things first: I love it. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding, plus I’ve had several really awesome clients who I now consider friends.

Now to the rest! As far as a certification goes, I don’t think it’s worth the time or money. One reason for this is the fact that there is not one program or set of best practices that is recognized by the industry as a whole. There are lots of good programs, and there are certainly some certifications and organizations that are more popular than the others, but nobody seems to really agree on what every good event planner should know. As a general rule (this applies to my actual day job, too), I steer away from certifications that won’t be universally recognized as beneficial. Second, my clients could not possibly care less if I’m certified. Most don’t know what goes into it, so they definitely don’t care about the type of education you have as long as they feel like you’re creative, organized, calm, and extremely competent. If it’s not going to make me extra money and get me more clients, I’m not wasting any of my hard-earned cash on it! (This is not to say that I think there isn’t anything to be learned from those programs. I just don’t think you get a lot of financial return on your investment.)

As far as the actual job goes, it’s crazy hard work. I worked 17 hours for a wedding this past Saturday, and it was one of the easy ones. This was in addition to all the other hours I’ve spent with this couple planning and reassuring and rehearsing, etc. I sat down for maybe a total of 30 minutes all day. I am fairly strong and have a weird amount of endurance, but I feel completely destroyed after every wedding for at least a day. The difficult ones leave it hard to walk for a few days. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. And I’ve not heard a single other planner disagree with that. Wearing good shoes (ALWAYS sneakers – cuteness is not the key) helps a little, but you’ll still feel like crap the next morning.

Some of this depends on how you structure your services, but the best coordinators will spend the entire day, from set up through tear down, at the wedding. You’ll be in charge of making sure all the decor gets put where it should, directing vendors who are often divas (not all, but a lot of them), calming the nerves of your clients and their family/friends (the mothers are usually more stressed than the clients), bussing tables if there’s no serving staff, moving furniture, making sure licenses get signed and contracts are upheld, etc.

Every planner offers different things as far as the lead-up and planning stages go, so it’s harder to comment on that, but that part is actually really fun and awesome. It’s when you really get to know your clients and help their vision become something awesome, and it makes the actualy wedding day so rewarding.

A few more tips:

  • Know that it will take a very long time to get a good client base set up. The amount spent on weddings is actually trending down right now, so it’s harder to get business, and most people think of a planner as definite luxury. You really have to fight for your clients.
  • You’ll need to either pay someone to build a site for you, or you’ll need to learn to do it yourself. I recommend the latter cuz I’m not rich and most other people aren’t. It’s not that difficult if you’re computer savvy, and it allows you to tweak your online presence whenever you want until it’s just right.
  • Advertising in the wedding industry is expensive. A lot of vendors look down their noses at it, but start on Craigslist. It’s free, and I’ve gotten a lot of quality clients there.

There are a million other things I’d tell you, but this is already ridiculously long. PM me if you’d like to know more! Good luck!

Post # 7
127 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: Tarp Chapel

I work in the hospitality industry, and I am pretty familiar with this side of the business. I would reccomend trying to get on at a hotel, maybe a smaller property first. You would mostly be planning small business meetings, and the occasional baby shower or birthday party. It’s a good way to get your feet wet, and get some expirience before you go into the larger hotels (200+ rooms) that have banquet and catering spaces that host weddings, proms, Christmas parties, and all of that other fun stuff. It’s a lot of work to get together (as you can tell just by from your wedding) because you have to think of LITERALLY everything for the client, and every event/person is different. I think it’s a wonderful field to work in, and that’s actually my career goal. 🙂


Post # 8
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I thought about this as a career path and asked for advice from someone in the field.  One thing they said was that you may want to start looking at hotel’s/other sites with convention centers to get your feet wet.   It can be a good place to learn from someone instead of starting from scratch.

If you want a broad base of study, I suggest looking for a school that offers public relations.  You will get some event planning, but you will get other skills that are transferable to other fields (such as writing a plan for events, writing memos, writing budgets, and design)  Even if you want to focus on event planning, knowing how to compose a good email (memo), budget, and being able to help design programs or invites for weddings and your own promotional material is helpful. 

This is not the career path that I ended up in, but I still love the idea of it when I start day dreaming.  I hope it works out for you!

Post # 9
1762 posts
Buzzing bee

mcp8011:  +1

I also work in the industry. Mcp covered most of what I was going to add, but if you have any additional questions I’d be happy to contribute 🙂


You might want to find a reputable planner or event company to shadow for a bit. That way you can see how this job really works and decide if it’s right for you. As PP’s have mentioned, it’s A LOT of hard work and definitely isn’t for everyone. I’ve found that many people underestimate the amount of time and effort that is put into planning events. If it is something that you end up enjoying, it can be a very rewarding career. I LOVE it!!! Good Luck!!

Post # 11
40 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Willow Ridge Manor - Morrison Colorado

I am going to share my “path” with you. I am 27 years old and an “Event Planner” I went to school and majored in Sports and Entertainment, Event Planning Management but I honestly don’t think that you need a specific degree or certification in order to get into the industry (though I do see a lot of CMP preferred on a lot of job postings so something to think about). When I was in school I interned with a professional lacrosse team at Sports Authority Field in Denver. I also volunteered for literally ANY event that would help me gain experience and meet people (races, hospital events, charity galas etc.) In the end I decided to go into corporate event planning, the main reason being the hours (I get to work regular 9-5). I started out at a small technology company running their events and doing a lot of administrative work, I kept volunteering on the side to build up my resume. I then got a job at one of the largest tech companies in Denver working on their tradeshows- seminars and client appreciation events (golf tournaments, suites at baseball games etc.) While corporate events can be boring at times I really felt challenged there and was a part of a team that put on 400 events a year all over the country. I now work in Washington DC for one of the largest Think Tanks in the country in their conference services department. It’s a great opportunity to get to work with a lot of big names in the political arena. Anyway I thought I would share my experience with you so that you can get a corporate perspective on event planning. If you have any questions let me know!

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