Wedding/Special Events Planner Skills

Wedding planners

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Event planning, by and large, means being in the people business. That doesn’t mean that introverts can’t do it, but an extrovert might have an easier time handling the day-to-day of someone in the event and wedding planning business.

Employers will look for candidates who have a high tolerance for stress, remain calm under pressure, have versatile and sophisticated communication styles, and are comfortable being at the center of creative planning—either through an innate sense for what to do or because you’re great at research and assembling ideas.

Top 4 Skills Employers Look for in Special Event and Wedding Planners

Communication: Special event planners spend lots of time in communication with their clients, as well as with vendors and service providers. Communication in both directions requires patience and different tones. An event planner should have a versatile communication style—one that can translate to high-priced clientele as well as to the server who needs to refill everyone’s coffee. Employers will value event planners who aren’t just great at the logistical aspects of their work, but those who can communicate with everyone in their sphere with clarity, confidence, diplomacy, respect, and a cool head, even in times of stress.

Trends and creativity: A great wedding or special events planner will need to get creative with each client. That means coming up with creative ideas regularly and on-demand. Each event requires a different sort of creativity. A wedding, for example, will be different from a corporate event, which will be different from a birthday or anniversary or retirement event. That said, any event planner will need to get creative when it comes to spatial arrangements, agendas, itineraries, and all the little details like place cards, lighting, and style of glasses and flatware. If you’re not innately a super creative person with a strong visual aesthetic, you need to make up for it by being comfortable with research. Trends are shared and written about all over social media, in magazines, and at industry events. If you’re someone who benefits from inspiration, and you’re able to gather and assemble information into a cohesive experience, chances are, you’ll be able to excel as an event planner.

Budgeting: Every event comes with its own budget. Some are large, some are small, and all are important. Event and wedding planners will be comfortable working within the constraints of whatever budget they’re given. A successful event planner will be able to triage the most important aspects of an event and budget for those big-ticket items first. A great event planner will get creative and find ways to stretch budgets so they can give the client the most for their money. A budget-minded event planner should also be able to tell a client exactly where and how each dollar was spent, without any confusion and without misplacing any funds. Event planners will be responsible for seeing that the money from the client goes to the vendors. Relationships with vendors will be important to any event planner’s reputation, so making sure people are paid accurately and on time will be essential to an event planner’s success.

Organization skills: Events come with a million little details, from which sort of fruit will garnish cocktail glasses, to the volume of the wireless microphone a speaker might use, to the temperature in the room—and that's for simple events. More expansive events take up entire hotels and require the coordination of travel and hotel rooms. A great wedding coordinator will be able to keep an eye on the big picture—the overall feeling and quality of the event—without losing any of those little details. From experience to budget to timelines, an event planner should be great at organizing the whole package.

Wedding/Special Events Planner Skills

Event planning can be an exciting, fun, and lucrative career. It’s probably best suited for people who like interacting with other people, and for people who like work that comes with a variety of responsibilities and requirements. If you think it might be the career for you, work on developing the skills that event planners need most.

Use the skills mentioned here as you create your resume or cover letter. Seed your resume with these terms to make it easier to find through search. Use these terms as you do your own search for a job. Prepare for any upcoming interviews by coming up with examples of how you’ve demonstrated each of these skills in the workplace, in the past.

Each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

A - G

  • Act as liaison with vendors on event-related matters
  • Approve payments
  • Arrange meeting space
  • Arrange support services
  • Arrange transportation
  • Assist catering staff
  • Assist photographers with event photos
  • Assist with execution and timing of food service
  • Assist with wedding/event attire selection
  • AV support
  • Book accommodations
  • Book talent
  • Book venues
  • Book hotel room block 
  • Branding 
  • Client relations
  • Create and manage budget
  • Create event emergency kit
  • Create an event timeline
  • Create an invitee list
  • Create opportunities for upsells 
  • Collect, organize, and maintain event mail and packages
  • Consultations 
  • Coordinate event services
  • Coordinate special events
  • Coordinate newspaper announcements
  • Coordinate logistics
  • Delegate tasks
  • Design event themes
  • Design and implement event promotion/publicity
  • Direct wedding and event rehearsals
  • Distribute final payments and gratuities to vendors
  • Establish relationships with vendors
  • Evaluate and recommend vendors
  • Evaluate and recommend venues
  • Event planning
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
  • Flexibility to work irregular hours when required
  • Floor plans
  • Florist arrangements
  • Greet vendors 

H - M

  • Hire event staff 
  • Identify potential partners
  • Initiate tasks and perform duties independently
  • Inspect venue locations
  • Knowledge of social etiquette
  • Layout event details and intricacies 
  • Manage the day-to-day needs of the events department
  • Manage guest lists and RSVPs
  • Manage timelines and cues
  • Maintain a database of venues, venue descriptions, and contacts
  • Maintain and update social media accounts
  • Meet with clients to determine and analyze event requirements
  • Meeting coordination
  • Microsoft Office
  • Monitor event activities 
  • Multitasking

N - S

  • Negotiate supplier contracts
  • Obtain feedback from clients and vendors 
  • Organize and assist with printed materials
  • Organize event registration
  • Oversee all event day details
  • Oversee vendor setup and breakdown
  • Perform final event run-through 
  • Plan scope of the event
  • Plan special events off-site
  • Prioritize work within a fast-paced environment
  • Professional and pleasant phone and email etiquette
  • Professional appearance
  • Provide crowd control support
  • Provide etiquette advice
  • Provide exceptional customer service
  • Purchase party gifts
  • Quality control
  • Remain calm under pressure
  • Respond to and handle event problems and complaints
  • Review event bills
  • Review supplier contracts
  • Seating arrangements
  • Send event invitations 
  • Setup rehearsal and event space
  • Social media photo sharing
  • Social media advertising 
  • Solicit bids from vendors and venues
  • Source and secure hair and makeup appointments
  • Suggest tips and tricks
  • Superior organizational skills
  • Supervise event

T - Z

  • Troubleshoot day-of-event issues
  • Taste test food selections
  • Up-to-date on industry trends
  • Website management
  • Wedding party and musician cues
  • Warm and personable demeanor