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Academy TV is your chance to learn from our Director, Kylie Carlson. The Academy is unique in the fact that we are the only training company producing free-to-air videos for aspiring and novice wedding professionals. It is a great way to get a sneak peek of the quality of education and training you will receive as a student of the Academy.

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Google Hangouts

The Academy Google Hangouts are a chance for our students to chat with a tutor live on air and give a great insight into what life is like as an Academy student. It is great publicity for our students and a chance to talk about what it is they are trying to achieve, their business, or their job in the events industry.

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Podcasts

The Business of Weddings Podcast Show

The Business of Weddings Podcast show is available on iTunes and is hosted by several of the staff at the Academy. Each podcast brings you an up close and personal interview with a different expert within the wedding and event industry to help you learn from those already out there enjoying success.

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Industry News

Why You Can Start A Wedding & Event Career At Any Age

Last week I talked about changing careers and the emotions and decision making involved. I shared my personal career change story and my tips for deciding if it’s the right time for you to make the change. Today I want to tell WHY you can start a wedding & event career at any age.
Working in weddings and events is a dream for so many of you but funnily enough, particularly with weddings, it’s a dream that many don’t realise until slightly later on in their professional career.  That’s not to say we don’t get those in their early twenties coming to the Academy to start their wedding & events training, we absolutely do. But what I want to get across to you today is that people just like you are launching new careers in the industry every day, and those people span a variety of age groups. So don’t let your age be the thing that holds you back from a career you’ll love.
When I decided to take the plunge and change careers I had just recently turned 30. I’d been in the fashion industry for 7 years but I struggled to picture myself there in another 7. My job had stopped being one of the things I loved, I was still good at it and I could have continued to be successful but it was making me unhappy.
I know I wasn’t alone in feeling like this. Many students and graduates I have connected with since joining the Academy have a similar story. In our late teens, we are encouraged to make huge decisions that lay the foundations for our future career but as we grow older our dreams and aspirations change. There is nothing like a big milestone, such as entering a new decade or having a family to make us reassess our life plans.
One of the great things about the wedding and events industry is that it employs a wide range of people with different backgrounds of a variety of ages and experience levels. Working in weddings and events utilises so many different skills so I can say with confidence that no matter what your previous education or employment, you WILL have valuable skills to bring to your new career.  The other more industry-specific skills and knowledge can be gained from taking a course like the comprehensive training we offer here at the Academy.

The great thing about launching a new career is that you can take it at a pace that suits you. You are in control. If you are at a point in your life where you don’t have many responsibilities and you have plenty of free time then dive right in, you can make that career change happen now. For others of you taking it slow and steady can be the right pace for you. If you have a mortgage to pay and/or family to support then keeping up your current 9-5 job whilst you make the career transition might be essential. In the long term having your own wedding and events business offers more flexibility than standard 9-5 employment, allowing you to fit work around your family, other lifestyle commitments, and even other business ventures.
The fact is there is no right or wrong way to go about your career change, it’s about tailoring your plans and goals to suit your situation. Our tutors will not only help you navigate your way through your training,  they will also support with career advice and guidance. And once you join the Academy you can connect with our international community of students and graduates who all help, support and motivate each other.
If you’d like to discuss your career dreams with one of the Academy team you can book a free career consultation with us. Click the links below to connect with a Career Advisor in your region. They’d love to hear from you!
Christine of our Australian and New Zealand campuses
Zoe of our UK (& Europe) campus
Bonita of our Arabian (GCC regions) campus
Sandra of our North American campus
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The post Why You Can Start A Wedding & Event Career At Any Age appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
Why You Can Start A Wedding & Event Career At Any Age

How Do I Know If It’s Time For A Career Change?

It can be scary and overwhelming to seize the opportunity and take that first step in making a career change. I should know, just under 2 years ago I was faced with the decision to stick with what was safe or embrace that new opportunity.
My career change story
I have always been employed in a typical 9-5 Monday-Friday job, it’s what I knew for over 7 years. When I told people that I worked in the UK Fashion industry I got a lot of “Wow, that must be amazing” or “What a cool job!”. But the reality was I was unhappy, unfulfilled and bored, and surrounded by a lot of people who felt the same. I can tell you, this does not make for the most positive working environment.
One of the things that had been a real strength in my career and had led to some speedy progression was my work ethic. I am the kind of person who works hard, enjoys being busy and puts my all into my job. The thing is the people who were benefitting most from my work ethic were large corporations with a big bank balance. Yes, I know, that is the point if you work for big companies but it made me start thinking about how I could get more back myself from the energy I was putting in.
Working for myself and starting my own business had never really occurred to me before, but the more I thought about it the more badly I wanted to make it a reality. I’d worked in the wedding industry at the start of my fashion career for a couture bridal designer and I started to look at other roles in the industry that could make use of the skills I had developed so far. When I came across the Diploma in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design via the UK Academy I took the plunge and signed up almost immediately. It was the combination of organisation and planning with the more creative aspects that really drew me in and I thought to myself, the worst case scenario is I pay for a qualification I decide not to use but I still have my career in Fashion to fall back on. So I started my course, studying evenings and weekends to fit it around my Mon-Friday job.
2 years later and taking that small initial risk has paid off, as have the bigger exciting risks I have taken since enrolling. Within a year of starting my course, I quit my safe, well paid day job to freelance for the Academy as Brand Manager and this year I went on to launch my business, book my first clients and work for some amazing UK wedding planners and stylists. I am not going to lie, there are scary moments when I miss security and paid holidays, and I’m earning less than I did two years ago. However, I love working for myself and freelancing within the industry and as long as I keep working towards my goals there is no reason why I won’t be bringing in the profits I want in the not to distant future.
Are you ready for a career change?
Only you can answer this question. All I can do is share my own experience and give you some tips I’ve learned.
Tip 1 – Ask yourself questions and be honest with yourself. Are you happy in your career? Could you do this job for the rest of your working life? Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?
Tip 2 – Don’t be scared of change. It is not possible to avoid change. I considered myself someone who thrived on stability but no job stays the same and I realised the changes in the fashion industry were not going to allow me to create the future I wanted.
Tip 3 – Take risks, even if initially they are small ones. No successful business owner got where they were without a little risk. If I hadn’t taken the risks I have taken I would still be procrastinating about my career. If risk makes you nervous start with small steps, you don’t have to dive into everything head first.
Tip 4 – Do your research. Look at your options, research career viability and the qualifications you might need.
Tip 5 – Empower yourself. Let your career dream and your end goals motivate and guide you. You know what you want and this will help you to put a proper plan in place for achieving your career change goals.
On a final note, I’d like to wish you all luck with your career change decision. And if like me you think a career in the wedding and event industry could be for you then you can find out more about the Academy courses here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Martha Tobyn is a UK Academy graduate, the Academy Brand Manager and the Founder and Wedding Planner & Stylist behind Modern London wedding business Anemone. She loves being creative and helping couples have the wedding they really want.
The post How Do I Know If It’s Time For A Career Change? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
How Do I Know If It’s Time For A Career Change?

The Best Investments You Can Make As A Wedding Planner

When you’re building a business, you don’t have time or resources to waste. As a community of seasoned wedding planners, we get it—we’ve been through it all when it comes to the struggles of running a successful, sustainable business. And often, the question at the top of every business owner’s list (aside from, of course: Can someone please fill my wine glass?) is: How in the world should we spend our money? Today, we’re so excited to be on the IAWEP blog talking everything the industry has taught us about the best investments you can make as a wedding planner. Looking for a reliable return? Read on for our top three areas where your dollars are best spent.
Your Business’ Foundation
When it comes to smart investments, your business’ foundation tops our list for good reason. Without a solid website to market your business to potential clients—or great project management tools to ensure a seamless client experience once they do sign with you—your business will essentially operate on shaky, unsustainable ground. Investing in the tools you need to set a solid stage for your business as you begin will help to ensure sustainable growth down the road (and save you some sanity along the way). The three biggest foundational business items to invest in include: a domain and website, an iron-clad contract (hire out a pro if you have to!), and great business/project management tools. It doesn’t hurt to look for wedding planner-specific tools like Aisle Planner that can help you manage event timelines, seating charts, guests lists, budgets and more, all while also allowing you manage internal business items like invoicing and contracts.
Education
Once you’ve established a solid business foundation, there’s no better place to spend resources than on education as far as we’re concerned. Regardless of how seasoned of a pro you may be, in an industry that’s both competitive and ever-evolving, continued education will give you a major edge, and one that could make the difference between signing or not signing a potential client. If you’re newer to the industry, consider volunteering some hours to shadow an experienced planner as she or he plans or executes events. Certifications are another great way for both experienced planners and those who are just breaking into the industry to refresh and grow. Note that certifications also make for a smart way to enhance your bio if you’re worried about a lack of industry experience.
Or, take your event-planning skills to the next level by attending an amazing workshop. The right workshops are worth their weight in gold—you’ll learn from industry pros, attend insightful talks, grow your network, and meet potential game-changers to build industry partnerships.
People, people, people
The best businesses are made of the best people. It’s that simple. When resources allow, strategically growing your team with interns, associates, and business partners is an important step. Pretty sure you’ll be a one-woman show forever? Not to worry—investing in people doesn’t just mean hiring employees. It can also mean investing in the right contractors and freelancers and knowing when to shell out a little extra cash for a beautiful website design or well written, optimized blog post. Someone once put it this way: artists and writers are like pilots—you don’t want to look for the cheapest one. Investing in people can also mean spending money when it comes to things like sending thoughtful thank-you gifts to those who’ve made a major difference in your business, investing time to mentor someone who’s new in the industry, or spending time and resources on a creative collaboration with pros you admire. There’s no replacement for a powerful partnership, amazing intern, or incredible collaboration, so don’t be afraid to invest resources in building smart, strategic relationships.
Overall, when it comes to the best investments you can make as a wedding planner, it’s all about building a solid business foundation, and then investing in educational opportunities and relationships. Cheers, planners, to investing in your business like the pro you are!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tayler Cusick Hollman is the Editor in Chief and Director of Content at Aisle Planner. She manages the company’s editorial and content strategy, oversees a small editorial team as well as all social media channels and content distribution. Follow Tayler on Instagram @taylrd_designs
The post The Best Investments You Can Make As A Wedding Planner appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
The Best Investments You Can Make As A Wedding Planner

What’s the Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist?

What is the difference between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Stylist? If you don’t know the answer don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! This is a question we often get asked so we thought we’d put together this post to highlight the key differences between wedding planning and styling.
The Role of a Wedding Planner
These days the concept of wedding planning as a career is widely recognised and accepted. Many of us have seen those Noughties films, The Wedding Planner and Bride Wars. As well as popular TV shows such as Don’t Tell the Bride, Say Yes to the Dress and My Fair Wedding with celebrity planner David Tutera. Many of you may have worked with Wedding Planners for your own weddings.
Wedding Planners are experienced professionals who plan, organise and coordinate the logistics of a client’s wedding celebrations. This can be one day or several and can incorporate various different events that need to run flawlessly and in tandem. They are in charge of bringing together all of the elements that make up a wedding day, from sourcing and liaising with venues, managing the wedding suppliers, overseeing guest list and RSVPs, to creating and managing the wedding budget. On the actual wedding day, the planner will coordinate the suppliers, ensure the event runs on schedule and resolve any issues if and when they arise.
The Role of a Wedding Stylist
On the other hand, wedding styling is a relatively new role in the wedding industry. Where previously planners may have also undertaken the design and styling of an event (and like me, in many cases still do) it’s now become popular to hire a Wedding Stylist. This is particularly attractive to couples who love the planning side and take care of that themselves, but who need help with the aesthetics.
A Wedding Stylist (sometimes referred to also as Designer) is the creative visionary behind your wedding. They will take your wedding ideas, your favourite things, and your couple story and use that to inspire a wedding concept or theme (basically the look and feel). Stylists will create colour palettes and consider all the visual elements such as florals, linens, furniture and prop hire, stationery, lighting, backdrops etc. When it comes to the actual event, the Wedding Stylist will be in charge of set-up, overseeing visual suppliers and styling the ceremony and reception spaces so they look perfect.
Client Expectations
Couples who hire a Wedding Planner typically do so because:

They want to hand over the stress of wedding planning to someone else, outside of the family.
They don’t have the time to plan their wedding.
They have no idea what goes into planning a wedding and they are looking for guidance and support.
They are looking for someone to make supplier recommendations and negotiate the supplier contracts.
They want someone who can handle interfering family members with professionalism and delicacy.
They want their wedding to run flawlessly and want someone there on the day who they can trust to oversee and manage everything.
They need someone to determine and manage the wedding budget.

Whereas a couple who hire a Wedding Stylist may do so because:

They cannot make sense of all their theme, decor ideas and inspiration images and need a professional to step in.
The aesthetics and creating something visually impressive is a big part of the wedding for them.
They want to do the planning themselves and are confident that they have that under control.
They need help sourcing and creating visual elements for the day.
They need a professional on-site on the wedding day to make sure everything is styled to perfection.

So there you have it, some of the key differences between a Wedding Planner and a Wedding Stylist. We offer courses in both Wedding Planning and Wedding Styling, or if you want to do it all, we have a combined Diploma course in Wedding Planning, Styling and Design! Discover your local Academy campus to find out more about training with us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Martha Tobyn is a UK Academy graduate, the Academy Brand Manager and the Founder and Wedding Planner & Stylist behind Modern London wedding business Anemone. She loves being creative and helping couples have the wedding they really want.
The post What’s the Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist? appeared first on Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals.
What’s the Difference Between A Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist?

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