Wedding Planner 101: Remarriages and Second Weddings

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An estimated 40% of the weddings held in any given year have at least one partner who has been married before so it's certainly something you can expect to encounter in your wedding planning business. 

Second weddings tend to be unique depending on the circumstances.  Are there children involved?  How old is the couple?  Is this a second wedding for both the bride and groom?  A couple may be concerned about wedding rules and etiquette but what is most important is that a couple chooses a ceremony that feels right to them.  

When a working with a couple getting remarried or getting married for the second time, there are a few things they may want to consider.

  •  Maintaining sensitivity to the unique dynamics of the family is a must. If there are children involved, they should be the first to hear the good news.  It is also proper to inform a former spouse of plans when children are involved.

  • If it is the bride's second marriage, the traditional formal announcement is not made.  If it is the bride's first marriage and the groom's second, then a formal announcement IS made. 

  • If the wedding is a first wedding for the bride, and the parents are able, traditionally they would pay for the wedding otherwise the couple may choose to split the cost of the wedding.

  • If the couple has young children, they may want to find a way to incorporate them in the ceremony, this could be as a member of the bridal party, flower girl, ring bearer, or adding in a vow to child(ren) as part of the ceremony after the traditional vow exchange.

  • If it is the bride's second marriage, a semi formal or informal wedding is usually chosen.  An exception is made if the bride did not have a large formal wedding the first time or if this is the first time wedding for the groom. 

  • Brides may opt to forgo the classic white gown and choose a non-traditional hue or a fun cocktail dress for less formal event, although if she chooses a classic style to symbolize a new beginning that can be beautiful too!

  • When planning a small ceremony with only a few close relatives and friends in attendance, printed invitations may not be necessary.  If the ceremony will be a large one, printed invitations are expected.   

  • Couples may want to register for gifts and that's okay, it is customary to give a gift when a couple gets married. They may want to focus on just items that are important to them or experiences, as they typically already have the basics.

  • Increasing in popularity is a small intimate wedding for family and close friends, followed by a much larger celebratory formal reception.  In this case a formal invitation is sent to those invited to the reception with a small enclosure card for the ceremony to those who are invited to both. 

Regardless of the circumstances of the past, a wedding is a reason to celebrate!  Encourage the couple to worry less about "rules", and focus on customizing the ceremony to reflect their desire and personalities to create a memorable event!

Want to be a Certified Wedding Specialist? Sign up for our self-paced online course which will teach you what you need to know to run a successful business in the wedding industry.  Start your new career today!

I'm A Certified Wedding Specialist... Now What?

At Weddings Beautiful we know a lot of wedding experts.  So we've reached out to some fantastic wedding planners who are doing amazing things with their business and asked them to share their secrets with you.  A special thanks to our expert Crystal Marie Young-Lewis for her fantastic advice!
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Diving Head First into Business and Getting a Wake Up Call

I got my CWS and I was ready to roll. 

Actually, I was ready to roll when I ENrolled in the program, but I was seriously ready to get going with my business once I was officially certified. 

I took all that I’d learned, my energizer-bunny gumption, and dove in head first. 

But then, I got a HUGE reality check. 

Planning and designing the perfect wedding came easily. I was good at that. 

But, planning a wedding is one thing; growing your own business is another.

Booking brides every month and bringing in a consistent stream of income was h.a.r.d. 

It was easy to connect with brides once they were “in the door,” but how did I get them in the door? 

Why I’ve Never Stopped Learning (or Investing in Education)

I relied heavily on referrals, spent time brainstorming creative ways to get my name out there, and attended numerous conferences/workshops in order to extend my network and learn from different event professionals outside of my arena. I also attended every bridal show you can imagine. 

Starting my business was a huge leap of faith, but, sometimes, the only way to get to where you need to be is to leap. 

I booked events, I loved what I was doing, but despite all of my efforts, I wasn’t reaching my goals and I didn’t feel like I was creating the sustainable business I’d always dreamed of. 

So, I invested in a business coach who also ran her own successful wedding planning company.

I knew that if I was going to truly succeed at running a business that could give me the kind of lifestyle I wanted, I had to continue to invest in myself and invest in learning. 

I went from hustling to taking a step back and building the foundation of my business right. 

I set up systems, I set up processes, I learned how to use social media to market effectively, and I learned the value of viewing other wedding planners not as my competition, but as my community of professionals and friends. 

I self-published my first book: “A Girlfriend’s Guide to a Crystal Clear Bride: No-nonsense Wedding Tips from a Seasoned Wedding Planner” and continued to find ways to add value to my brides.

The more I stepped out, the more I began to believe in myself eveeeeen more and the value I had to offer. As I got the foundation right, what I was building became more solid and sustainable. 

As wedding planners, it’s easy to forget about the business and marketing side, because we want to focus on creating and organizing, BUT, we’re really only free to create the experience we hope to for our clients, when we have the right things in place. 

 

As Wedding Planners, Sometimes We Forget to Plan for Ourselves

As wedding planners, sometimes we forget to plan for ourselves and for our businesses. We plan for our couple’s weddings, but we don’t always have a step-by-step plan for how we’ll attract brides, interact with them once they contact us, and nurture them through the process of choosing us. 

We create an amazing “end” experience with their wedding, but we forget about the experience from the moment they fill out a contact form or give us a call. 

If I could offer any advice to those just starting out, it would be to spend the time to really plan for yourself and your business and to lay the foundation correctly. 

Create a proper marketing plan, be completely prepared for clients with canned email responses, welcome guides, frequently asked questions, and valuable content they’ll benefit from. Give them an experience that wows from the beginning not just from the moment they sign the contract. 

I absolutely love being a wedding planner and running my own business. Now that I’m running in the “right gear” and have trained for what I’m going to encounter, I’m even more excited about what the future holds. 

Plan for you and your business, then you can truly plan for brides and give them the type of experience that’s going to keep them sending others your way.


Crystal Marie Young-Lewis is the founder and Chief Event Extraordinaire at Crystal Marie Events located in Detroit, MI. She is also the author of the Amazon Top 100 Bestseller “A Girlfriend’s Guide to a Crystal Clear Bride.” Crystal is known for her no-nonsense wedding planning tips, her zest for life, commitment to her brides, and her out-of-the-box style and personality. Crystal Marie Events was voted the 2015 Best of Detroit Event Planner and she continues to win over brides and entire families with her authenticity and humor.

Church Guidelines

We find that many brides are not aware that most churches have policies in place that govern what can and cannot be done at a wedding.  While your individual church will have its own rules and regulations, in general most churches have these guidelines in place. 

Typically a church will not allow permanently attached furniture to be moved.  No thumbtacks or nails can be driven into the woodwork nor can anything be used that might deface it. 

Saucers or mats must be placed under all palms, greenery or floral arrangements that rest on the floor/carpeting or are not in waterproof containers. 

All arrangements for music, ceremony and decorations must be submitted in advance and are subject to the approval of the officiant or the wedding coordinator for that particular church. 

Floral arrangements or candles that must be taped to each pew are likely to be forbidden.  The best rule to follow is that decorations should be kept to a minimum so as not to detract from the dignity of the sanctuary. 

The church may require that its organist be engaged.  It may require that no photos -especially flash photos - be taken during the ceremony. 

In order to streamline procedures on the ceremony day, many may require that all fees be paid prior to or at the rehearsal. 

It is expected that no trash or personal belongings be left behind in the building. 

If you have not been provided with a printed set of guidelines for the place you have chosen for your ceremony, be sure to ask for clarification.  In popular months, certain weekends will likely host multiple ceremonies so churches have a right to expect cooperation from all of their wedding parties. 

What People Are Saying About Us

You want to be a wedding planner... but where do you start?  
How do you get certified to be a wedding planner?  What are the best wedding planner certification courses?

You have big dreams but you also have big questions.

Weddings Beautiful courses go beyond the basics, and are designed to give you the tools and the confidence to pursue your dreams. Wedding planners around the world have earned the CWS title with our online course.  What are they saying about Weddings Beautiful? Well, here's a little feedback from Weddings Beautiful Certified Weddings Specialists:

 

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude in guiding me to finish this course. I know it took me a while to complete it but I really appreciate all your encouragement, understanding and patience. I would love to meet all of you one day and rest assured that everything that I have learned in this course will be used to further establish the wedding industry all around the world. Again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
J. Dela Cruz 

"Weddings Beautiful has given me clear, creative, and compelling information that is helping me turn my passions into a career and letting my gifts shine! The training course has enabled me to focus my creative spark to help others realize their wedding visions."
Janel B. Keen, Vivid Expressions

"I have been extremely happy and satisfied with each lesson of the training course. I have not only learned about the wedding industry, but also how to better conduct the everyday life of my business. The assignments go over everything you need to know about how to become a successful wedding planner and how to be a true professional."
Tina Zabetakis, Wedding Dreams & Party Themes

 

"The training course was great. It was extremely insightful and informative. I don't think I could have learned more anywhere else. The staff at Weddings Beautiful has been more than helpful when I have questions about an upcoming event or a concern with my business. Keep up the great work!" 
E. Murdock

"Your course has met all of my expectations. From the chapter on ‘Time’ to ‘The Ultimate You,’ I have found pearls of wisdom that reinforce my beliefs and ground my eyes to areas of my life and personality that need polishing. Thank you for providing a program that will help me move forward in my business with greater confidence and insight." 
L. Bathgate

"The training course is a detailed offering of tremendous knowledge on wedding planning. There were areas that I had never even considered when working with a couple, and they have helped me sell my services. Whenever I've had a question, I can call WB, email, or fax, and get a quick response."
S. Lyons

"Unequivocally, I was impressed with the Weddings Beautiful course. I’m grateful to WB for its hard work to provide small businesses like mine the correct tools to ensure success.
Thank you for offering a program that so aptly enables the fulfillment of a personal dream.” 
K. Dryden

 

"The lesson on ‘Mental Power’ really set my mind to work. I feel like I am revved up, and ready to go. Thank you for the mental stimulation, and making me hungry for more." 
C. B. Cunanan
 

Whether you're dreaming of being your own boss, making a career change, or advancing your business, Weddings Beautiful will be with you every step of the way.  What are you waiting for? Enroll today.

Why Choose Weddings Beautiful

You're excited to start your career as a wedding planner but you aren't sure where to get your certification. There are many programs available for becoming a certified wedding planner and it may be hard to know who to trust to give you proper training and support for your business. We believe one of the things that sets Weddings Beautiful apart from other programs is our history.

Weddings Beautiful was founded in 1968 with the vision of Gary Wright, to provide quality education and support to aspiring wedding planners worldwide. Weddings Beautiful currently has two certification programs, a membership association and licensees in Japan, China, Mexico, Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Ecuador, Paraguay, and the Caribbean. The course is available in English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and French.

The Certified Wedding Specialist course was first offered in 1954 as part of the National Bridal Service, America’s first national association of bridal consultants and wedding related businesses. In 1968, the course was adapted to the training of wedding planners and coordinators. Since then, Weddings Beautiful has been providing professional home study training, recognition and support to individuals that have or desire to have a successful wedding planning business. The 18-assignment course is designed to educate you on becoming a successful and professional wedding planner. When you have completed and passed all assignments, you will receive the CWS title and a Certified Wedding Specialist certificate.

The Certified Wedding Planner program was developed in 2008 for the established wedding planner who would like to add the CWP certification to their credentials. To qualify for this program, you must have been in business as a wedding planner for at least two years and performed a minimum of ten weddings. This certification distinguishes the most professional planners from the rest.