Yvonne Bennett

“It’s important for training businesses to stay alert to new opportunities and be ready to diversify.”

Yvonne Bennett runs the Wedding Planners Guild, which has recently achieved IOEE Academy status. In the second of a series of blogs, she tells us about the programmes she offers and the wedding planners themselves!

“Wedding Planners Guild UK training is delivered face-to-face. We’ve got the Award in Professional Wedding Planning and the Certificate in Professional Wedding Planning. It is intensive, interactive three-day training. For the Award the students will be walked through the planning process, working on a fictional wedding. They have to give a micro presentation of ten minutes to sell their product. Then, once they’ve finished that, they’re given six weeks to create a portfolio for two fictional weddings, outlining the whole process including a risk analysis of an event and Health & Safety. They also have to complete an assignment on business resilience and the long-term feasibility of their businesses. The work will come back to myself and the IOEE to be assessed and students will get a pass or a fail.

Most of the wedding planners who come on the training are in their 30, 40s and 50s. This may be due to the fact that wedding planners can be in charge of £15,000 plus, so I think a little bit of life experience goes a long way. Also, because you’re dealing with such a diverse set of personalities you’ve got to have great interpersonal skills. It’s not just about managing your own time and being super organised – you also have to be exceptionally good with people.

It’s important for training businesses to stay alert to new opportunities and be ready to diversify. I spotted that there wasn’t a lot of wedding planning training offered to businesses. Now, I offer a certificate in Professional Wedding Planning for businesses so that they can ensure their staff know all the nitty-gritty about the full wedding planning role. It enhances their businesses. They can come to me or I’m quite happy to go to them to do the training. I also offer bespoke training and I can come in and evaluate exactly where they need the training and produce a plan suited to each individual client’s needs.

Although at the moment the business is just me I do get an awful lot of help because I’m part of the Women’s Organisation in Liverpool, which supports women in business. I also get support through being a member of the Liverpool and Sefton Chamber of Commerce. The IOEE itself is also very supportive of its Academies, and all this positive input is incredibly important when you’re striving to establish a successful business.”