The decision to hire a wedding planner is a tough one for many brides-to-be. I myself was on a tight budget and chose to do all of my own planning—but I also had a super-organized mom and sister to help me.
As I look back on the year that I spent getting ready for the big day, I can’t help but recall the many late nights when I felt exhausted and overwhelmed, a few tense conversations with my family—and even a handful of moments spent bickering with my fiancé. Thankfully, I didn’t permanently fracture any relationships, but I certainly felt the pressure and had some “bridezilla” moments that I’m not proud of.
How much is your time, energy and mental well-being worth?
That’s a question that San Diego–based certified wedding planner Alison Howard encourages every bride-to-be to ask herself. LearnVest sat down with Howard to discuss what it takes to be a wedding planner, and how this professional can help you craft a dream wedding—and save your sanity.
LearnVest: How did you get into wedding planning?
Alison Howard: Wedding planning found me. I studied elementary education, so my original plan was to be a teacher. But I wasn’t inspired—it was more my parents’ dream than mine. When I got married in my early 20s, I didn’t have a planner. In fact, there was no such thing at the time. Everything went perfectly, but at the end, I remember thinking: That was a lot of work. There has to be someone out there who can help plan weddings.
I was the first of my friends to get married, so when others started tying the knot, they came to me for advice. After I had assisted several people with their weddings, a friend said, “You should start a business.” I’d always had an entrepreneurial mindset because my dad was an entrepreneur, so the idea wasn’t daunting. I interned with professional planners—and then took a chance.