If you adore everything related to weddings, are motivated, and would enjoy the challenges that come from working for yourself, you should start your own wedding business. The wedding industry is quite lucrative. Many individuals are willing to pay a great deal of money for someone to help them create their perfect special day. Simply put, the wedding industry is huge.
Here are some quick facts about weddings:
- The average costs for a wedding is over $29,000.
- Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.
- A total of 72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S.
- Honeymoons comprise a $12 billion-dollar-a-year industry.
There are many different areas your wedding business can focus on. For example, if you love photography, you can develop a business that focuses on taking photos of the bride. Additionally, if you are savvy in the latest industry trends, perhaps a consulting business would be a lucrative option for you. Opening up a bridal boutique is another fruitful way to start your own wedding business. Assess your relevant skills and interests and align them with the necessary skills to run the businesses pertaining to the various facets of the wedding industry in order to ascertain which niche is right for you.
Make sure you evaluate whether your business model can remain competitive with other competitors within your field. Obtain a list of all of the wedding planners or boutique owners in your area and learn every detail of their business model. Consider through their business model what types of services you should be offering, competitive pricing, affiliates, staff requirements, industry resources, and suppliers. It is also recommended to visit the Library of Congress Business Reference Services Guide on the Wedding Industry Research for relevant links and industry statistics to help you design your business model.
Wedding consultants have many relevant roles. They are versed in hospitality, event planning, music, decorating, food, photography, and fashion. Boutique owners must be aware of the latest fashion trends. Many owners subscribe to magazines such as “Vows,” “Modern Bride,” “The Knot,” and “Martha Stewart Weddings.” Additionally, it is wise to visit website forums at websites such as The Knot and Brides to ascertain what your local brides are looking for. Once your business takes off, you can find vendors to get your business notoriety. Once you get started, it is recommended to obtain additional certification in your field such as with the Association of Bridal Consultants or the Association of Certified Professional Wedding Consultants.
It is essential to develop a business plan that outlines the vision for your business, your target market, how you intend to reach them, and how you tend to compete. It is a great idea to offer premium coffee and treats at your bridal boutique. Additionally, you must identify your business expenses for supplies, advertising, insurance, business permits, location and staff, and inventory.
License and Insurance
Before going into business, you must choose between a sole proprietorship and a limited liability company. If you are going to be a consultant, a sole proprietorship would likely be best for your needs. That being said, LLCs allow you to protect your personal assets from liability. It is recommended to consult an accountant, attorney, or successful business professional to guide you through the process to help you permit or register your LLC with the secretary of state.
Additionally, you will need to consider your insurance policy. If you are working from home, you will likely only need general liability coverage. However, if you are operating a store or boutique, you will likely need a more comprehensive package that covers you in the event of fire or theft. This package will also cover commercial autos and worker’s compensation coverage. Always consult an insurance consultant to make sure you are covered.
Location and Connections
If you decide to be a consultant or photographer, you can work from home. However, if you invest in a professional space for your studio, it will provide your business with an image of professionalism. If you do have clients visit you at home, you have to ensure that you are in compliance with the regulations of your homeowners’ association. Additionally, you will want to ensure that your home is always clean and projects an image that is appealing to your wedding clients.
If you are renting a commercial space, make sure that your rent does not exceed 10 percent of your expected gross revenue. It is imperative that you consult with a broker who clearly understands your needs. After that, establish connections with those in the industry who can help you, including florists, photographers, makeup artists, jewelers, travel agents, and DJs.
photo credit: 1949-52