Cash In on 'I Do': Service-Oriented Businesses
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What could be better than working with two people in love? Here are some ideas for service-based businesses that could allow you to do just that.
Plan the perfect proposal. Many grooms are looking for a memorable way to get down on one knee. By acting as their adviser, ego-booster and source of inspiration, your goal is to create the most romantic, personalized proposal. You can get as creative as their budget allows, including proposing in a hot-air balloon or at the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Offer bridal boot camp. From the moment a bride-to-be puts the ring on her finger, she's probably already thinking about how she's going to fit into the perfect dress. That's where you come in. By offering fitness training and dietary advice, you can fill a growing niche of the wedding industry. Other popular aesthetic treatments include teeth whitening, cellulite-reduction therapy and hair removal.
Give private dance lessons. When it comes to dancing, people tend to either love it or hate it. For engaged couples in the "hate it" category, private dance lessons could help create a simple, yet elegant first dance. You can even offer classes for the entire wedding party, so they'll be ready to hit the dance floor on the big day.
Organize on-location spa parties. As the wedding day approaches, brides and their bridesmaids are in need of some R&R. So why not bring the spa to them? Provide massages, pedicures and manicures, but don't forget the mimosas. Along the same lines, "passion parties" are also a popular "girl's night in" event in lieu of a bachelorette party.
Manage bridal registries. According to the experts at WeddingChannel, people spend between $3 billion and $5 billion each year on bridal registries. A majority of that money is spent at department store chains like Macy's, but what about smaller stores? Give smaller retailers a national online presence for their bridal registry offerings by including them on your website. This service also allows brides to find everything they need in one spot.
Become a wedding planner. Bridal consulting is also big business. Companies like eLearners.com offer online bridal consultant programs, so you can become certified from home. Then, a company like WedAlert.com can help you by matching engaged couples with local wedding professionals.
Become a day-of coordinator. A day-of coordinator differs from an actual wedding planner in that their sole responsibility is making sure the wedding day is free of disasters. This is the perfect option for a bride wanting control of her wedding, but who can't do everything on her actual wedding day by herself. Day-of coordinators typically meet with couples a month or so before their big day to catch up on plans and get vendor lists. Wedding planners can also offer day-of coordinating as an additional service.
Start a marriage preparation course. Couples may think love is all they need. But a marriage preparation course is invaluable to couples before they take the next big step. If you and your partner have a loving, long-lasting relationship and are willing to share your triumphs and tragedies, this business could end up making a difference in countless marriages.
Become a wedding minister. Thanks to the destination wedding trend, this role is becoming more prominent. Also, as more interfaith marriages take place, non-denominational ministers are the obvious choice. If you're willing to travel, enjoy public speaking and have a knack for story-telling, this could be the fit for you.
Photograph engagements and weddings. Brides and grooms consider the photographer one of the most important vendors since they capture the day's special moments. Most photographers offer different packages depending on a couple's budget. A deluxe package might include an engagement session, bridal portraits, two photographers for the wedding day, a sign-in book with engagement images and a wedding album. Some couples prefer to choose services a la carte.
Offer videography services. Some couples want more than just photographs to remember their wedding by. They want actual video footage of all the action they might have missed, from early-morning preparations until the last guest leaves the dance floor. As a wedding videographer, you can also offer packages that include a slideshow of the bride's and groom's childhood pictures set to music.
Become a wedding DJ. The wedding DJ can make or break the event. If you have a lot of energy, knack for detail, love for music and personality, this could be the perfect role for you. Some DJs also serve as the wedding planner. By learning both trades, you can make yourself more valuable to your clients.
Start a wedding band. Couples with bigger budgets are springing for both a DJ and a band and having them alternate during the reception. For instance, they may want their first dance song to be played live, but prefer a DJ later in the evening for a nightclub atmosphere. Or some may stick with the live band all night. Create a CD of your band's best jams and send it to wedding planners in your area.
Become a wedding florist. A good way to get your start as a wedding florist is to provide your services for a friend or relative's wedding at cost. Be sure to take pictures to help build your portfolio. Services usually include a bouquet for the bride and bridesmaids, corsages for the mothers and boutonnieres for all the gentlemen in the bridal party. Couples typically request two arrangements for the ceremony site and some simple flowers on the sides of the aisle. At the reception, florists can make a statement with beautiful centerpieces, arrangements on cocktail tables and petals on the cake and cake table.
Bake creative cakes. Picking out the cake is one of the highlights for most engaged couples, especially grooms. Once couples arrange a tasting with you, it's important to find out their likes and dislikes so you know what types of samples to serve them. From there, you can get as creative as you like. Many brides opt for a groom's cake, usually a smaller version featuring the groom's interest or hobby. Companies also are renting fake cakes to couples wanting to save money. Don't worry; couples still get to cut the cake. The rental company leaves a spot for a slice of real cake for the bride and groom, and guests are served an inexpensive sheet cake.
Paint wedding reception portraits. This is a relatively new trend brides and grooms are starting to request. And it's no surprise. Roney points out that today's weddings are about personalization; and what's more personal than a painting of the reception, done by an artist who was there while it happened? It's also a nice feature for guests, who'll enjoy taking a peak as you create your masterpiece.
Become a honeymoon planner. According to The Knot, the average honeymoon budget is $4,200. That means some couples are taking shorter, simpler trips, while others are choosing exotic, luxurious destinations. Either way, your role as a travel agent and honeymoon planner is to find options that fit into their budget while still meeting the criteria on their wish list. If a couple loves golf, schedule a tee time for them. Special white-glove touches will help you stand out from traditional travel agencies.
For more information and the full list of business ideas by categories, return to our complete wedding feature.
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