I cannot stress enough how important it is to hire a wedding planner! Especially a wedding planner who has experience and education within the field. What is really cool is that Randi Barksdale of Nashville wedding planning company Jet Set Planning has her master's degree in Strategic Leadership with an emphasis in Event Planning. She is here today to share about her educational experience in the field, the difference between an educated and uneducated planner, and more! Check out our insightful interview below!
Do you see a difference between wedding planners who have education and schooling in the field vs. wedding planners who don't?
Randi: Yes!!! I always love to explain this to my clients. Would you want to go to the doctor and have the receptionist treat you? You need to be seen by an educated doctor when you are sick, just like you need to have an educated wedding planner helping you plan your big day. The main difference I have noticed is how uneducated planners handle bride's budget. As soon as I get a client I focus on their budget and complete a budget analysis. I get to know what they cannot live without and what they can live without. It is so important to me to get to know my clients and explain the difference of why I am the best choice for them.
What is the difference between getting a certification vs. getting your master's degree? How long does each route take?
Randi: There are so many certifications you can get. This is where I have to educate my clients. Some people create their own certification just to call themselves a "wedding planner". Don't get me wrong, their are some amazing certifications you can get that vary from three months to one year to complete. With me having my master's degree in strategic leadership with an emphasis on event planning makes me an expert in my field of study. To me, education is key. I always want to learn for my clients. I want to better their experience with me as well as the guest experience. My master's degree took me a year in a half and it was worth every penny. It expanded my knowledge on how to handle small groups to large group communication settings to budgeting and statistics. I take my knowledge and background and create a call of action to better the experience for my clients.
Tell us about your master's degree experience!
Randi: The beauty of my master's degree is that it was very hands on. I believe that is what inspired me to open my own wedding planning firm.
What made you want to get your master's before you went full force into wedding planning?
Randi: Being a millennial is hard. I knew that if I wanted to advance my career, I was going to have to have my master's degree. I have friends who are currently struggling on getting a job. For example, businesses want you to have "experience" but at the same time they want you to start being an intern that is not paid. If they are paid, it isn't enough to live on. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I knew I wanted to work for myself and be my own boss. With being in the bridal industry since I was 10, I had a passion for the details and the behind the scenes of creating memories for my clients.
What school did you attend to get your master's?
Randi: I went to Middle Tennessee State University. My undergraduate degree is Organizational Communication with my minor in Fashion Merchandising. My master's degree is in Strategic Leadership with an emphasis on Event Planning. I loved my school and learned so much from my professors.
How has your master's degree helped you in the wedding planning field now vs. before you had schooling?
Randi: Absolutely! I have backup plans for backup plans. I am educated on how to handle every situation that comes my way. I feel like I am an expert when it comes to focusing on strategic planning and the budget of my clients. My main goal is for my clients to have a romantic and fun wedding with their budget in mind.
Why should brides hire planners with a master's/education? How can they go about finding out if a planner has this experience?
Randi: Interview your planner! You should treat every vendor like a job interview. Find a planner that will fit within your budget, but most importantly your style.
Wow - I learned so much from this interview! Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge on wedding education! It's so important to hire a planner who knows what they are doing and can tackle any situation! You can find out more on Randi's wedding planning company Jet Set Planning here. And be sure to check out the latest over on Instagram!