Some ‘work from home’ careers are jobs where you’re so active that you don’t spend much time at home at all! Being a professional wedding planner is one of those jobs. Wedding planning is a specialised type of event management role, requiring precise attention to detail and the ability to work efficiently, often while multi-tasking, to a definite deadline. This also may sound very similar to project management.
When Tania Nursiah left her stressful job as director of an investment bank in the City of London to found wedding planning business Orange Blossom in St Albans, Hertfordshire, she transferred superb project management skills to her new career, which turned out to be invaluable.
“I was used to working in a pressurised deadline-driven environment, and to get every single facet of a project working and ready on time, which essentially is very similar to planning a wedding!” says Tania. “I needed a more flexible working environment so I could work from home when necessary to look after my new family, and as it turned out I was especially suited to wedding planning. I’m a romantic at heart too, and had the best day ever on my wedding day, so now I can help other people enjoy every moment of their special day! I find it very rewarding and fulfilling.”
As for working from home, wedding planning involves hours of talking to and visiting wedding suppliers, and researching possible venues, so Tania is kept on her feet. “Not everything can be arranged by email or on the phone, I’m out and about a lot some days. If a couple has a specific venue requirement, sometimes I have to go and see locations for myself to check they fulfill the family’s needs.”
I ask Tania why people choose to hire a wedding planner. “It’s easy to lose the joy in anticipation of a wedding if you feel overwhelmed by all the tasks and you have to research, plan and organise,” she tells me. But if you have a professional wedding organiser, she explains, they will take the strain and pressure off the shoulders of the happy couple, meaning that the run up to the event, and the day itself, can be enjoyed by the whole family, the couple themselves and all the guests.
“It’s more than event management,” says Tania. “It also may involved guidance and a kind of counselling too, as you take the couple under your wing, so to speak, and make sure that their dreams of the day are fulfilled, as well as the needs of the family according to tradition, and the comfort and enjoyment of the guests.”
A lot of wedding events these days take on a theme, and if you don’t know yet what you want, wedding planners like Tania are usually brimming with ideas to help in the planning and preparation stages.
Tania can supply barrowloads of ideas and inspiration for the couple who may be unsure of ceremony and reception venue, style and theme of their wedding. “I can always suggest suitable locations, themes and colour schemes for the celebration, depending on the couple’s budget, tastes, interests, and fashion style,” Tania says, “so my customers don’t have to worry if they haven’t got a clue what to do when they first get engaged.”
“There are so many different variables to plan even if you don’t want a special theme or style, but sometimes it can help you choose wedding outfits, type of cuisine, venue location and other aspects like the music played at the reception and style of invitations, venue decoration and even the wedding presents.”
From a large traditional church or cathedral-style wedding, to a smaller more intimate or private registry office or other wedding location ceremony, Tania can ensure everything runs smoothly on time and there are no mishaps like the rings being misplaced, the music not playing or the mother of the bride not receiving flowers.
“I’m the person who allows the bride and groom to breathe a sigh of relief and be confident in knowing that everything will fall into place on the day. I also save them a significant amount of time in the planning process, which is a great bonus for many couples working full-time, for example, who can’t devote the average estimated 400 hours involved in planning a wedding and all its details.”
If you’re interested in training as a wedding planner, there are a number of colleges and organisations that offer courses, both online and in-house, including the Wedding Planner School, which you can visit at http://www.theweddingplannerschool.org.uk/