To put it simply: The wedding industry is worth $95 billion dollars. The majority of those billions stem from the local small businesses coast to coast that service engaged couples. And everything from the wedding photographer to the venue, florist, makeup artist, and caterer are a part of the industry. Ever considered starting a wedding business of your own? Here are 10 ideas.
When it comes to starting a wedding business, it’s true what they say – there’s no time like the present. Not only are couples getting married and searching for businesses every day, but the COVID-inspired wedding boom isn’t close to slowing down, meaning the need for wedding businesses is higher than ever.
In the beginning, the hardest part about running a business is getting started and up and running! But where to start? Create a business plan, research your local market, find your target audience and go from there!
Turn your business ideas into action by formulating a detailed plan. Know what market you want to target and what you want your area of specialty to be. Maybe it’s luxury weddings in Los Angeles or beach weddings in Southern Florida. Whatever style of wedding and location(s) interest you are where you’ll want to focus.
What is the financial plan for your business? How do you plan to pay for all the start-up costs that go into getting your business off the ground? Will you need a business loan? What amount of income will you need to successfully cover your expenses, pay taxes and have money to pay yourself? How will you invoice clients and get paid for your services? Make sure to set up a bookkeeping system to track every dollar that comes in and out of your business for a successful financial future.
Identify how you plan to reach the couples you want to work with. What marketing strategies will you use? How do you plan to communicate with interested clients and take bookings? Where will you network with other wedding vendors to build your community of referrals?
The wedding industry is filled with opportunities. If you love weddings and want to be part of making couples’ day they will never forget, consider launching one of these wedding business ideas. Before you dive right in, one big tip: Once you have a basic idea of what you’re imagining, we highly recommend working with an existing business in your city or local area to get some experience first-hand. Having that hands-on experience in another business within the weddings industry can save you a ton of time and help you understand how best to structure yours.
Are you the person who’s always planning vacations? Does a group get-together result in spreadsheets and lengthy emails outlining all the details of your upcoming plans? Keen attention to detail is critical to becoming an event planner and many people who enjoy coordinating events in their own lives go on to become wedding and event planners.
All wedding planning businesses look different, meaning there is a spot for anyone looking to plan someone’s wedding day. Perhaps you want to offer only day-of coordination or month-of coordination. Or, maybe you loved your own elopement and want to focus on becoming a microwedding planner. Every couple is different. So identify the style of wedding you would enjoy planning and start mapping out a few ideas.
Whether a couple cuts a traditional cake or serves pastries on every table, there is always a need for baked goods.Depending on your state’s food laws, you may or may not need a commercial kitchen to start your business. Not every couple is looking for a wedding cake, so if your specialty is cookies, pies or anything sweet, focus on what you can provide that you truly enjoy creating.
If you attended cosmetology school and haven’t put your certification to use, absolutely consider what it might look like to start a makeup artist wedding business. Some makeup artists keep their companies small because makeup is their true passion and that’s all they want to do. Others will start doing makeup for their couples and then grow their business into something much larger with associates and stylists.
Flowers are a special touch to any wedding day. If you enjoy working with flowers and styling arrangements, couples are looking for you to create stunning décor. Every business starts small, so even if it’s one bouquet, one table arrangement, or a boutonniere, you can begin your floral business with only a few supplies and limited start-up costs.
Hands-down one of the most booked services for a wedding is wedding photography. Whether the couple is looking for full coverage all weekend with a photography team, or they’re looking for a budget-friendly option, wedding photography is a great business opportunity. If you currently don’t have any photography experience, buy a camera and start shooting to practice your skills. Find wedding photographers you admire and inquire if they offer mentorships to help you build your business. Network with other photographers who might be looking for second or third shooters to support them on a wedding day, which can help you gain exposure.
As video consumption online has exploded so has the demand for wedding videos and professional wedding videographers. Similar to photography, you can offer a variety of video packages so that your target couples are able to choose what works best for them. Some video packages are simple in that they offer a 6-8 hour day of coverage and a 20-30 minute video. Others are far more complex, with the option to add second shooters, same-day edit video highlights, and more! One way to grow your business: Consider teaming up with a photographer to offer photo and video packages that help you and the photographer both grow your business through referrals.
While opening a wedding venue is a huge commitment, the majority of couples are looking for a wedding venue. So, if you’ve had your eye on a property that you could see great potential in or love the idea of creating a space for people to come together and celebrate, consider owning a wedding venue. Before you commit, do your research. How many couples get married in your region per year? What is missing from the wedding venue market in that area? And what is the typical price point? Once you have a sense as to what the business plan might look like, you’ll also want to figure out ways to embed yourself in the local community to spread the word and create your own referral network.
From selecting colors palettes and tablescapes to orchestrating uplighting and positioning decorative elements, there are countless ways to design a wedding––and you can absolutely create a wedding design business doing so! One way to target couples is to really own a specific design aesthetic. Maybe what you do is specialize in clean, modern and colorful designs. Or maybe you’re the go-to business for over-the-top floral design and romantic touches. The key is to stay consistent!
Have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the hits and over the decades? If you’re passionate about music, you could start a wedding DJ company. Some couples are looking for simple hits played throughout the evening. Others are looking for something more specialized, like vinyl DJs or DJ hybrids (like a DJ and a live musician). There are DJ companies that specialize in MCs and there are DJ companies that just take care of the music. Just like the other business ideas, a good way to go is to network with other DJs and get a sense as to how it’s done and what works.
While all of the above businesses are services and brick and mortar operations, you could also tap into the weddings industry by starting a jewelry or gifting business. Couples are shopping for their jewelry in all sorts of places nowadays–from Pinterest to Etsy, Instagram and more! And it’s not just wedding day jewelry: Couples are oftentimes looking for gifting options for their parents, wedding party and closest friends. Don’t forget the welcome gift opportunities either. There are many couples looking to gift their out-of-town guests with local welcome gift bags.