Read as Telli Griffin talks about her career as a Wedding Planner and Officiant.  Find her at www.eventsofalifetimebytelli.com and on her Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.

What do you do for a living?

I’m an event planner and wedding officiant.

How would you describe what you do?

I make a person’s vision of their dream event come true.

What does your work entail?

Listening, creativity, and understanding.

What’s a typical work week like?

Responding to emails or voice mails, marketing, promoting the business.

How did you get started?

I helped a friend with their wedding and people were so impressed they suggested I start my own business. So I did some homework and I was off and running.

What do you like about what you do?

I love it when a bride walks into the reception room and has tears of joy in her eyes.

What do you dislike?

It can be a very emotional business. To some, a wedding is the biggest event in a person’s life and they tend to melt down over small things and just trying to work past that AND the opinions of people who have not a dime invested in this shin-dig.

How do you make money/or how are you compensated?

When booking with me, you select a package and put 50% down when you sign and the balance is due 14 days prior to the wedding.

How much money do Wedding Planners make?

That really just depends on the city (s) you operate your business in, how may clients you book and the current state of the economy. I can also say don’t think you’re going to walk in the door making money hand over fist. It’s not uncommon to work a “day” job while running your business. It takes years to build a solid reputation and a stream of referral business.
How much money did/do you make starting out?

Not much..lol.

What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?

I took a certificate class on line but I also have a degree in Hospitality Management.

What is most challenging about what you do?

Trying to get someone to see that 1-a planner does not take over your event..2-getting your aunt Barb to coordinate the day of your wedding does not always work because it’s hard for a person to work and be a guest and that also applies to using your uncle Bob as the DJ or to film the video. People don’t always understand you get what you pay for.

What is most rewarding?

Happy clients that refer me to others.

What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

It’s HARD work, it’s not about you and what you want, you won’t be enjoying the event, you’ll be busting your butt while everyone else is having fun, at times even though your work is appreciated don’t expect a standing ovation and not everyone is cut out for this. A planner can spend a year or more planning a client’s event and the day of the event can be a 14 hour + day and hours before you have time to pee or have a bottle of water.

How much time off do you get/take?

NONE, I’m always working..my iPhone is never far from me. You have to be quick to respond when calls or emails come in because you’re not the only person they are calling. So just because I’m on the beach, I’m still working!

What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

It’s all fun and games. Kicks and giggles.. And anyone can do this.

What are your goals/dreams for the future?

Just continue to build my business and offer new services.