Five Challenges Facing Wedding Planners Today

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Planning a wedding isn’t like planning a conference or a trade show. There is one factor that makes it unlike planning any other event –  Emotion. Although you’ve got to take many of the same details into account, weddings tend to be extremely emotional affairs for everyone involved. Therefore planning a wedding comes with its own unique set of roadblocks.

Here, straight from the mouths of wedding planning veterans are five of the biggest challenges facing wedding planners today – and how you might deal with them.

Wedding Tyrants

By now, we’ve heard all about Bridezilla – she’s hysterical, controlling, and completely panicked. Yet this is her special day, and damned if she’s going to let something as minor as a lack of expertise prevent her from running the show.

Thing is…Bridezilla is a dying breed, and being replaced by something far more insidious: Groomzilla.

“Bridezillas want to be princesses,” writes Craig Bridger, author of Surviving Groomzilla, “But Groomzillas want to be gods.”

How can you deal with a wedding tyrant? A few tips:

  • Have his wife-to-be give him a small, simple task, and build it up to seem incredibly important.
  • Sit him down and talk to him. Explain that this day is important for both of them, and they should both have a say in planning it.  And remind them why they hired your team.
  • Divide and conquer. Have the groom in charge of one aspect of the wedding, and the bride in charge of another.
  • Do it yourself, but disguise things as his idea – and really, why did they hire you if not to plan the wedding?

Low-Grade Competition

Unlike corporate event management, there are fewer barriers to becoming a wedding planner. As a result, the niche is flooded with inexperienced, untrained individuals who provide less than stellar service and charge far too little for their efforts. It can be difficult for really talented, experienced professionals to charge accordingly when clients are comparing apples to oranges.

So…what’s a veteran wedding planner to do, then?

“Take them under your wing and demonstrate that being ethical, professional, and investing in their business is the right way to do it,” explains industry expert Alan Berg. “Show that professional training and certification is an asset, not only to their business but to their clients. If you really think that these newbies are taking business from you, then you’re not marketing yourself very well.”

Takeaway: “You don’t sell planning services. You sell specifically you as the provider of those services.”

Avoiding Bad Vendors

Most vendor and service provider categories in the wedding industry lack uniform standards. Service and quality are hard to quantify and there is little to no regulation. Finding vendors that have or lack ethics, quality, accountability, personality and experience can be a bit of a crapshoot. Vendors may make any claims they wish.

Again we turn to Alan Berg who says simply only hire those that prove to meet your standards.

“If you don’t provide quality and service, the marketplace will eventually put you out of business – it holds vendors accountable; you don’t need a governing body to do that. Quality and service are totally in your control. Don’t wait for someone else to set a standard. Raise the bar so high that your customers and prospects can’t imagine doing business with anyone but you.”

Unrealistic Wedding Day Expectations

Has Reality TV caused couples to set unrealistic expectations? This is tied to a trending concept that you “get more than what you pay for.”  There’s a perception of wedding planning that’s absolute fiction; that without work, decoration, services, and money a venue is already paradise. Or the idea that you can expect twelve cake tastings for free, or show up announced to preview a venue, and so on.

How is a wedding planner to overcome the unrealistic demands, yet also make a couple feel special?

“No wedding professional should have to endure mistreatment by any customer. It’s always our right to say “no, I’m not taking that job.” The more experience you get, the more you can sense when a bridezilla is coming. It’s also a matter of taking control of each customer and situation – that also comes with experience.”

The Budget

This is one of the few challenges on the list that weddings share in common with other events. Proper budgeting of a wedding is a difficult task, particularly when weighing everyone’s expectations. As a wedding planner, your job is to make sure the bride and groom get the best “bang for their buck.” Tap into every contact you’ve made, and do everything you can to get a discount – that’s part of the job, after all.

Your couple will have to make some difficult choices and remember weddings are emotional. Your job is to figure out the best possible options that work within the couple’s budget.