When you walk into the decorated reception venue of a wedding celebration, do you ever wonder how it all came together? The beautiful table decorations, the lights, the flowers, the live band…who organised all of this, and how is it possible that the bride and groom look so relaxed when they are hosting the celebration? To put it simply, it’s probably because they hired an excellent wedding co-ordinator. We chat to Kelly Hartmann, wedding co-ordinator and owner of Lovely Pretty, for a first-hand scoop.
- What does a typical day look like for you?
|Time of Day||Activity||Comments|
|06:30||Try to wake up||Alarm goes off…I push snooze…|
|07:00||Wake up and make coffee for my husband and tea for myself||I try to squeeze in a chapter or two of my book|
|08:00||Off to the gym||With my husband|
|09:30||At my desk in my home office, checking emails and catching up on admin|
|Meeting with a new bride||There is hot chocolate involved – win!|
|Lunch! Been hungry since 11:30 already||We usually watch an episode of Masterchef Australia while we eat|
|14:00||I may squeeze in a nap, followed by more hot chocolate||Because I can|
|14:30||Another meeting with a bride, or back to desk work||Blogging|
|17:00||Wrap up admin and clock off for the day|
- What do you enjoy most about your job?
As a wedding co-ordinator, I love hearing ideas that brides have come up with. I think my job is the perfect mix of creative and administrative and I love both! Working for myself is also flexible which can be great.
- What do you enjoy least about your job?
The only downside is that most people get married on a Friday or Saturday and when things are busy for me (busy is always good!) I often miss out on social events. I’ve never had to miss a close friend’s wedding, thankfully, but the busier I get, the more likely it is that something like that will happen.
- Is there a qualification required to perform this job? Where and what did you study?
My love for organising and hosting events began when I was involved in Youth ministry at my church. From there, I became more serious and did a part time events management course at CPUT. At the time, I was working so I enjoyed being able to go to lectures every Monday night and doing assignments in my free time. I believe that planning and co-ordinating weddings requires a natural ability to be organised, but you definitely need practical experience, as well as tried and tested planning methods!
- Is there any training provided by the organisation once you come on board?
I own my own business so I haven’t received any additional formal training but I do make a point of keeping up to date with planning and co-ordinating techniques and tricks. I’m always learning morning on the job and online as well. A big part of my job is keeping up to date with wedding trends and that means lots of long hours on Pinterest (it’s tough!).
- What type of person would be well suited to this job?
If you are organised, you like lists and you are good at delegating responsibilities, you will enjoy co-ordinating weddings. As for the planning side of things, you need a bit of creativity as well, so that you can help inspire your brides to think creatively and outside the box.
- How long have you been in this position and how did you get there?
I started my own wedding planning business in 2012 so it’s been three years!
- Do you have any additional advice for someone interested in pursuing this career?
Do a lot of networking. If you are wanting to work for a wedding planning company or if you want to start your own business, you need to know people in the industry. If your brides ask for wedding supplier recommendations, you’ve got to know who is worth recommending, who is overpriced, and who is a pleasure to work with. Added to that, never stop learning. The wedding industry becomes stagnant when everyone stops thinking creatively and no-one wants to have the exact same wedding as someone else.
- What is the earning potential of this career?
If you own your own business, your earning potential would be determined by how many weddings you are able to co-ordinate each month. In the busy months (November – March) you could easily be working every weekend and on public holidays, but in the quieter months (May – August) you may only have one or two weddings per month.
- What is a typical starting salary in this career field?
If you start out by doing “on the day”co-ordinating as an assistant, you should expect to earn R1500 per wedding. Once you are co-ordinating the wedding by yourself, that is doubled. And then if you are planning weddings, you could earn up to R30 000 per wedding depending on the size of the wedding.
- Any quirky advice for scholars looking to pursue a career in your field?
Get on Pinterest!
Planning an event can get quite crazy. Not only do you have to co-ordinate everyone and everything, but you need to always keep your clients’ vision in mind. When it comes to a wedding, the pressure might be even bigger, as you are in part responsible to help create one of the best days in the bride and grooms life. It’s a challenge, but when you get it right and see their speechless, excited, awe-stricken reaction as they acknowledge your work, it’s one of the best and rewarding feelings.