Every one of our wedding planner workshops leaves us inspired and motivated. Because, when you get to spend multiple days with a group of people who are ready to connect and learn, it’s hard to not be grateful about what you are a part of. So today, we wanted to share our favorite moments from our summer Academy. Keep scrolling for the moments that made us smile, the people that made it great, and our top takeaways from our 2 days in Winston-Salem.
Planning an Academy is no joke - and neither is taking it on the road for the first time. So, we are very thankful that Academy graduate, Maliquea of Starnes and Co., volunteered to not only be our planning partner but host us at her venue! The Muse at the Mill was the perfect venue for the workshop and our vision was brought together by Maliquea and the introductions she made to some of the best vendors in the Winston-Salem area!
Meet Our Summer Class of 2019
Every year, we have the pleasure of meeting women from around the world at Academy. And, this summer’s wedding planner workshop was no different! We welcomed 18 women from 7 states (and Canada!), each of them with different reasons for attending. This driven group was diverse with a range of professional backgrounds and years in the industry. And, we’re honored to be a part of their stories and excited to cheerlead them as they work to achieve their goals!
Community Over Competition
Fostering a strong sense of community is very important to us, and over the years we have been very lucky to feature some incredible speakers. And, this summer, we were very excited to grow our own community by meeting and speaking with these amazing women! Our wedding planner panel was a great conversation about all things #plannerlife because of Ivy Robinson Events, A Southern Soiree, and Sonju Weddings and Events being so honest and open. And, Katheryn Jeanne Photography sat down with us for an insightful chat about how planners and photographers can best work together.
Learning by doing is one of the most effective ways to gain (or practice) a new skill and breakout sessions at our workshops are always a favorite! And this summer, we learned how to cut a wedding cake, make a backup boutonnière, style flat lays, and how to hand-letter! Thank you Amy of Stemz Farms and Maghon of All She Wrote Notes for sharing your talent with us at Academy!
Top Tips and Takeaways
From Lindsay on Business and Goal Setting
Take baby steps. It took me two years of waiting tables and cleaning houses before I was able to make the leap into full time wedding planning with LVL. So, be patient with yourself because it takes time to build your reputation, refine your process, build a clientele, and meet with other vendors. Don’t rush it when you are starting (or pivoting) because you’ll be thankful you made the effort to build a strong foundation when you are ready to go full time!
Remember to set new goals each year so that they are setting new challenges for your changing business. And, write them down! Studies show that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you have them documented since it helps hold you accountable. Then, make sure to take (or make) time to work on your business and not in it.
From Heather on Planning and Pricing
A lot of people start their careers with coordination and the biggest mistake I see is not asking enough or the right questions to clients. It's crucial to have a checklist of questions to ask couples to really understand their plans and be sure that, not only do you have the information you need, but the information to get ahead of any plans that might need revision before the big day.
For planners, we so often hear that they are spending too many hours and are more reactionary with clients rather than proactive. The very best planners have an over all plan for the actual planning process in addition to the wedding day. This allows you to work off a check list and lead your couples through planning, providing a much better experience and likely allows for you to create better plans.
80% of planners and coordinators under charge. Why? Because they charge to the market rather than based their experience level and the project. But, because you cannot control what the going rate in your market is, part of the solution is getting comfortable asking deep dive questions during the sales process so you have a true idea of the scope of work. Be sure to always base your hourly rate or percentage on your experience and then multiply that by the number of hours to come up with your flat or package rates. And, don't forget to consider travel, staffing and other expenses - those all should be considered!
Thank you to our sponsors
We’ve said it before and we will say it again - LVL Academy wouldn’t be the experience it is without the support of our sponsors! Thank you to each of these great businesses for supporting not just Academy but the education and careers of our attendees!
Venue Muse at the Mill | Planning Starnes and Co. | Photography Lorely Meza | Flowers Eliana Nunes Designs | Rentals Greenhouse Picker Sisters | Catering The Porch and Providence Catering | Technology Honeybook and Aisle Planner | Gifting Greetabl | Beauty Blush and Bobby’s | Stationery Minted Weddings | AV 815 Events | Cake Artsy Cakesy | Swag Sourced Co. and The Sketchbook Series | Flat Lay Props Brass and Bumble | Wine OneHope | Linen La Tavola Linen